So I have been experimenting with Pinterest to create online, visual Reading Lists.


What do I mean by this? Well I have been creating Pinboards using Pinterest to collect images of book covers and grouping them into themes. I have had several requests from Science to create a reading list to support different curriculum topics, and this seems to be working quite well, although some of the topics have been challenging (if anyone knows of any fiction books which covers fizzy sports drinks – please let me know!). Students have picked a book related to their academic study and have gone onto write a review of their chosen book as a homework activity.

The benefits over a traditional list are:- no reprographic costs, new titles can easily be added, and they are easily accessible by students and staff.

These reading lists can be embedded in our VLE alongside the assignment and I have put a link to all the boards on our Oliver Homepage.

I plan to promote with other subject areas, as this is just one other way the MRC can encourage and support Literacy Across the curriculum and the Reading for Pleasure Agenda!

Click HERE to view my Reading List Boards!

Drop in on DEAR 3.2 Hobbit

DEAR Preview 3.2

Click HERE to find out more about JRR Tolkien, his books, and Middle Earth

Book of the Week

Book of the Week

Click HERE to find out more on Oliver

Carnegie the long list challenge to read them all 2012/13

A ghost story with a difference. Not your normal ghost story, and not your ‘normal’ hero. Instead a confused, bruised, overweight boy is dragged to a holiday park with his borderline alcoholic father, and meets a girl. Not your typical love story, but Daniel is attracted to this slip of a girl whose body is covered in cuts and bruises that get worse over time rather than better. Strange huh? Well worth reading to find out why.


Book of the Week

the book of the week

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

Carnegie – the challenge to read them all 2012/13

Sophia’s father suddenly arrives back from oversees and her life of freedom is over, instead she has to rebel against her cruel father who wants her married off as soon as possible. I would have been content if this story had followed this theme, of her trials and how she overcame the restrictions placed upon a “lady”, I even liked her nighttime adventures. But no the author has to twist in a spy plot, treason, and gunpowder. This, and the unsatisfactory ending, in my opinion, spoilt the main storyline.


Carnegie Long List the Challenge to read them all!

I told you I was on a roll! Here is my next review this time it is

The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce.


This book is a nice easy read, and since it is set in Year 6 will appeal to Primary age readers. The story is presented as if it was typed into a notebook with snapshots stuck in. The story is basically about two new students from Mongolia, they are a little bit different and adopt the main character is adopted as their “Good Guide”. They seem to be really superstitious and think they are being hunted by demons, and it is this story which leads to the emotional twist at the end. It is billed as “laugh out loud funny” but I’d have to disagree. I found the authors afterword to be thought provoking and I’d hope that students will go onto read this, as this provides the worthy inspiration for the story.
A simple read with a subtle political message.

Carnegie Long List Challenge

This year my challenge to read all of the Carnegie long list before the final winner is announced, hasn’t gone to plan. Well I’ve been Ill and unable to read as much as usual = boo!

However I have started to make up for lost time…..
Here is my first review.


Hitler’s Angel by William Osborne

Enid Blyton managed to “get rid of the parents” so that the Famous Five could go about adventuring. William has come up with a slightly unrealistic way of allowing our teenage heroes (one boy, one girl) to become a bit like SAS secret agents during World War Two with just two weeks training. Suspend all belief and enjoy a rip-roaring adventure, with a little bit of romance, and social conscience.

Malcolm Rose visits TDA as part of our STEM Festival



Malcolm Rose spent the morning with three of our year 7 groups, a Science class, an English class and a Maths class. In these workshops he talked about where he gets his inspiration, namely through developing current scientific ideas and making them bigger and better. The students where then challenged to think of a scientific theme they could include into a story and went onto to create mind maps, and to write a reader grabbing start to their story.




During the tutor periods he chatted to some of our students who regard themselves as not very enthusiastic readers, who ended up asking for Malcolms’ signature!

The day ended with Malcolm giving a STEM lecture about his Jordan Stryker books and his bionic arm. The highlight was when Malcolm produced a real bionic hand, it is both fascinating and creepy at the same time, and the audience of students and parents were keen to look and touch, some of the students got the opportunity to shake the hand!


STEM Festival

Copy of ill Slide1


The MRC is supporting this years STEM festival by organising an author visit by Malcolm Rose. He gets his inspiration from the world of science, and incorporates possible future developments into his writing. He writes adventure stories, thrillers and murder mysteries each with a scientific flavour. He’ll be delivering some workshops tomorrow, meeting some of our less enthusiastic readers, and presenting a lecture in the afternoon. Should be good!

The lecture starts at 3pm and is FREE to all, even parents are welcome, come and find us in the lecture theatres.