Coming Soon…. Poet Terry Caffrey

As part of our annual Literary Festival the MRC has arranged for Poet Terry Caffrey to spend the day with our Year 7 Students on 28th June. (Today!)

He has written the lyrics to the Children’s Olympic song so the olympics will be a theme for his session.

I for one am looking forward to his visit as he is quite animated when he reads his poems out.

Check out his website to watch / listen and read all about him!


Drop in on DEAR 6.2

The current focus of the Authors Page on the DEAR Homepage is…

Terry Caffrey and his poetry as he is visiting us as part of our Literary Festival.


 Available to borrow from the MRC – Click HERE to check

Book of the Week


 Click HERE to find out if this book is still available from the MRC.


Year 7 Information Literacy Programme: Bibliographies


(not to be confused with Biographies!)


We touched very briefly on Bibliographies when we were evaluating books  – did they have one or something similar for example “Further Reading” usually at the back of the book near the index?


What does Bibliographies mean?

A few suggest that it is something to do with the Bible and we chat about word origins – Biblio being latin for book.


Moving on I share some videos about Plagiarism from Plato online, and emphasise that copying, and copying and pasting is cheating.


Students are amazed that this is the case. “But surely the people who put things on the internet know they are going to be copied?” said one innocent student. I pointed out that this wasn’t the case and gave “creative commons” as one example where the author or creator can give usage rights away depending upon use.


They continue to be amazed when they hear that TDA students have been ‘kicked off’ courses because of this plagiarism or cheating.


“But what happens if it’s a really good idea?”


Then you can use it IF you say where you found it! – put it into quotes and list the book; website; article in your……


wait for it…..





I demonstrate the order


Author, Date, Title, Place & Publisher


and where to find that information before setting them a challenge to create a mini bibliography on a topic of their choice.


Football, cricket and make-up are popular choices, but ghosts, athletics, and scouting are examples of some of the rarer topics chosen.

So a quick reminder about using the subject indexes and then we’re off to the MRC to find books to include in our bibliographies.


Bookmarking Next Academic Year

It’s normal for this time of year to be forward planning for next academic year.


With Literacy and the Reading for Pleasure agenda – finally coming into focus in schools I was asked to create booklists for year 7 & 8.

Booklists? I thought. Aren’t they a bit ‘dry’ and, well boring?



So instead I have started to create a series of Genre Bookmarks – something I have done before at a previous school, but the book world moves on and so I have started from scratch to include some modern titles alongside the classics.



Genres covered so far:-


Adventure; Animals; Crime; Dystopia; Families; Fantasy; Friends; Funny; Ghost; Historical; Horror; Myths; Other lands; Romance; Sad; School; Sci-fi; Sport; and War/Conflict.




I have a few more ideas for other bookmarks – but if you have an idea or want a bookmark creating on your favourite type of stories – then please do let me know!


Comenius Fairy Tale Project – continued

Our version of Jack and the Beanstalk keeps getting better and better. I went to a rehearsal last week and parts had been given out and most knew all their words.


The feedback I gave them all was about talking more slowly – a really difficult thing to remember when you are nervous and just want to get to the end of your lines. The different narrators were effective popping in and out of the action but they need to ‘make their presence’ larger to gain the audiences’ attention.

Final rehearsal tomorrow and then the real thing, performing to the other schools at Spalding later this week.

Good Luck to you all!




The latest Comenius Project – funded by the Education and Culture DG Lifelong Learning Programme is based upon Fairy Tales – and as soon as I heard that I knew that the MRC should be involved.


It is a two year project working with some of our students (11-18) from Thomas Deacon Academy and other schools across Europe,- Lincolnshire UK;Germany; and Slovakia.


Carnegie – 2012 the end….

Last Wednesday the TDA Carnegie Reading Group voted for their favourite illustrated book on the Greenaway shortlist and their favourite book on the Carnegie Shortlist.

Amazing results – and I actually agreed with them this year.

See our results video!

Imagine our surprise when I was able to reveal the official results on the next day – not only had our favourite book won – it had won both awards!.

I hadn’t this mainly because I had discounted the beautiful illustrations as I had read “A Monster Calls” on  my Kindle App which only includes the cover illustration. (Another downside of e-books!). I think I’ll re-read “AMC” but borrow a real book to enjoy these in context. That’s if there are any left on the shelf to borrow!

Book of the Week


 Click HERE to find out if this book is still available from the MRC.


Futures 2012


Year 8 Students are just starting to embark on their Nuffield STEM Futures Project.

STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

They can shoose from 8 different research topics, ranging from re-designing household projects, or clothes, how we can use alternate energy sources.

They will need to think about local, regional, national, and global issues and impact.


Their class boxes are being stored in the MRC and are collected at the beginning of each of their lessons.


To support this teaching and learning I have created a display with books from around the MRC, and have included QR codes.


These QR codes link either to a sample of the websites and videos available via Oliver or to two of my podcasts – one explaining Dewey and the MRC layout, and the other demonstrates how to use the Subject Index.



Early days so far but it has already been handled.

I do encourage students to touch and borrow these resources.

Carnegie Long List – continuing the challenge to read them all….

I’m setting myself the challenge to read all of the books on the long list before the winner is announced. 52 titles in 6 months. That’s 2 a week….. I’d better get reading!

Since my last post I have read….

Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis

I really liked this book, and as my 9 year old is obsessed with bird watching / Springwatch etc I have passed it straight onto him. I am just wait for the wailing when he reaches the sad part in the middle of the book. This saddness isn’t really resolved in the remainder of the story and this is the books downfall. But a good read for all those bird and nature fanatics.

And that’s it I’m done! The announcement of the winner comes out this week – and I dread “Everybody Jam” winning and hope that Patrick Ness walks away with it again with the fantastic “A Monster Calls”. Our Carnegie group will be doing our own vote before the announcment so I’ll report back.

I am really looking forward to next years long list – it made me read some really good and surprisingly really bad books this year, and now I feel kinda lost!


 Books I’ve read so far….

      The Language of CatSee full size imageHidden