World Book Day 7th March 2013

Here’s this years’ promotion for World Book Day



Tokens (one per student) will be given out by Tutors, you can use them in the MRC for one of the £1 books OR pop into a book shop in town and get £1 off any book you like.

PD Sessions (Personal Development)

Over the past few weeks Tutors have been delivering some PD (Personal Development) sessions that I created about Reading (DEAR) and Independent Learning (Information Literacy).

As part of the first Reading session students were asked to create an A4 landscape poster about the MRC, e.g. how to use it and what you can find there.They could then vote for their favourite.

I have received lots of wonderful examples that I have shared via the Academy screens, but here are some of the ones I liked best!

mrc poster winners (1) mrc poster winners (2) mrc poster winners (3) mrc poster winners (4) mrc poster winners (5) mrc poster winners (6) mrc poster winners (7) mrc poster winners (8) mrc poster winners (9)

Summer Reading Challenge 2012 winners!

Better late than never….. Here is a short extract of some of our students who managed to complete the Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge last year. It was great that the Public Libraries were able to let us know who finished this time, as they haven’t been able to do this in previous years.

So here is a glimpse of some of our students receiving their certificates, medals and a reward from the MRC.

Summer reading challenge 2012 completers.

Drop in on DEAR 2.1

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

NNFD or National Non-Fiction Day and this years’ theme is Discoveries.


 There are lots of books about discoveries available to borrow from the MRC

Political Freedoms

I did something a little different over half term. I travelled down and marched through the streets of London to the Houses of Parliament; shouting chants; waving placards; handing out leaflets to passerbys; all whilst wearing one of the matching t-shirts. ( Over my two wooly jumpers!).

We caused a bit of a stir with people stopping and staring; taking photos; one gent even wrote a poem to support us!

Once at the Houses of Parliament I went inside; passed through security; and walked straight to the central lobby area where I had arranged to meet – or lobby my local MP, Stewart Jackson for Peterborough.


This area is quite impressive; steeped in history, with four stained glass windows, high up, depicting the four patron saints of the United Kingdom; and with access to the House of Lords on one side and the House of Commons on the other. I gave my name at reception, and waited….

Suddenly four police arrived and moved everyone to the sides. A minute or two passed and then the policeman standing next to me shouted “hats off strangers”. It was the start of the Speaker’s procession.

(Before every sitting of the House, the Speaker’s procession leaves the Speaker’s House inside the Palace of Westminster and heads for the Commons chamber.
The Serjeant at Arms, carrying the Mace, and a doorkeeper walk ahead of the Speaker. Some members of the Speaker’s staff – his chaplain, secretary and a trainbearer – follow behind. As the procession reaches the central lobby of the Houses of Parliament, one of the policemen on duty shouts: “Hats Off Strangers!” Then, policemen in helmets and any members of the public wearing hats are required to remove their headgear as the procession passes.)


Once they had passed through many people jostled to queue to go to the public gallery. Those wearing t-shirts that matched my own were marvelling at our lucky timing when over the tannoy I heard “Could Sarah Masters please come to reception”. This was it, my big moment had arrived. All my preparation, reading; and research meant I was ready. However it was a bit disappointing as my MP had double booked me. Instead I spent 30-40 minutes talking with his assistant ( Michael Horwood) about why over 120 librarians; teachers; students and authors had come to London. (Some of those attending included Mary Hoffman (Book Maven Blog ,Philip Ardargh (see Facebook pages), Sarah McIntyre (Jabberwoks Blog), Chris Priestley, Dave Cryer, Candy Gourlay, and Francesca Simon.)

So what was it all about?

Well you, as students, and indeed staff, are lucky at the TDA as you have both a school library and a professional librarian (that’s me folks!). Not every student is so lucky with many schools not having either; with no access to resources or professional expertise they are at a disadvantage.

It may surprise you to know that whilst libraries are statutory (legally compulsory) in prisons, they are not statutory in schools. Perhaps if this was the other way around there would be fewer people in prison! Our chant we called out as we marched along was “Kids are extraordinary, make school libraries statutory” (devised by some of the students who marched with us).

Can you spot me?

The second reason we were lobbying for might surprise some of your teachers, as we were lobbying or asking for school libraries to be included in OFSTED inspections. It annoys many school librarians to have their efforts, and the contributions of the school library to teaching and learning; reading for pleasure; literacy etc to be overlooked and ignored.


So was it a success?
Only time will tell, but my MP will be writing to the minister (Michael Gove) and hopefully we won’t receive the standard reply. Already there has been an Early Day Motion submitted for debate in the House of Commons, and at the time of writing 21 MPs have signed up.

I found the whole day and experience to be quite liberating, exerting my “political freedoms”!

Picture credits: Terry Richards Photography & CILIP; Candy Gourlay and me!

Drop in on DEAR 5.4

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

Maurice Sendak and his classic picture book: Where the Wild Things Are


 Available to borrow from the MRC – coming soon!

Welcome to a new academic year 2012-13!

A big Welcome to all our new Year 7’s, 13’s and welcome back to our Year 11 students too!.

Make the most of the space today as everyone else will be back tomorrow.


Here’s a video about the FAQs about the MRC

(Multi-media Research Centre)

Drop in on DEAR 5.4

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

Patrick Ness and his award winning book: A Monster Calls


 Available to borrow from the MRC – Click HERE to check

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

Drop in on DEAR 5.4

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

Alan Gibbons and his book: An Act of Love


 Available to borrow from the MRC – Click HERE to check