STEM Festival

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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.

Creative Writer of the Year 2012

Last term students in Year 8, 9 and 10 were asked to submit a short story to become our first Creative Writer of the Year.

We had 15 entires from Year 8, 11 from Year 9 and 7 from Year 11.

The criteria we judges had to use was….

Does the story have originality and flair?

Does the story have relevant and well-judged level of depth and detail?

Has language been crafted deliberately to create effect?

Is the plot coherent and logical?

Are the characters realistic and three-dimensional?

Are descriptions sensitive and subtle.

I really enjoyed being one of the judges for the year 8 category. and although there were a few of the typical vampire/witches stories, and ones I’m sure I’ve read or seen before – so these scored low on originality.

However there were some gems and at the final event I read an extract from the Year 8 winner.


Alongside all this judging the opening paragraphs were read to Tutor groups who then went on to illustrate this text – with a prize for the best illustration. There was also a ‘People’s Choice’  where the opening paragraph of each story was displayed and students, staff and visitors were able to vote for their favourite.



The final event was well attended by families and the occasion was extremely enjoyable and inspiring for both students, parent/carers and staff. With local Poet Toby Wood presenting the awards.




Congratulations to all the winners and I’m looking forward to next years event now!

Reading Workshop for Parents

Last week I took part in delivering a Reading Workshop for Parents of Year 7, we combined it with information about the launch of our Comenius Project which is based around Fairy Tales and the oral tradition of storytelling.

Students taking part in this two year project will be working with other students from the UK, Germany and Slovakia, and this includes some trips abroad. The recent poll of students resulted in Cinderella being voted as the most popular Fairy Tale.

The workshop alowed me to talk to Parents about how they can support their child with their reading. I set the scene first by explaining the links between reading for pleasure, reading habit, reading ability and the links to successful outcomes in life (including exams). I then shared several suggestions of what they could do at home to encourage the reading habit and widen their childs reading range.

Initial feedback has been positive with one parent of an avid reader expressing his childs’ disbelief that some children didn’t own a single book. During my presentation and following on from the NLT data on book ownership, I did ask two students if they owned a book and one said Yes but one said No…. 

More work yet to be done…..


Book Fair – is Here!

Our annual Book Fair arrived yesterday.

You can’t miss it as it is in the Atrium!

We are open during i-connect – and you can visit during your lunchbreak or after school until 4pm 

There are lots to choose from, including some bargain bundles and the popular stationary box.


Book Fair – Coming Soon!

Our annual Book fair is due to arrive on Wednesday 9th November.


There will be lots to choose from including some bargain bundles and the popular stationary box.


The Book Fair will be based in the Atrium and will be open over i-connect and until 4pm

MRC Open Evening

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As part of the Parent Workshop Programme the MRC opened its doors (metaphorically speaking as we don’t actually have doors!) to over 50 parents who attended the Homework Workshop last week.

Parents were shown how to access their childs’ homework area on the VLE and then listened to six presentations from eachof the colleges about subject specific homework setting.

I then spoke briefly about how the MRC supports Homework, our opening hours, and access to resources including the online databases and then took them for a browse around the MRC. Lots of questions about  staff help; journals and how many items students could borrow; and many took away the leaflets I had prepared. An exceelent opportuity to talk with Parents.