World Book Day

Today has been World Book Day – just in case you have missed it!

The MRC has been as busy as usual but with excitement in the air!



The first student arrived at 7.50 am to use their WBD voucher and swap it for one of the WBD books, it seems that less people are trying to use their ‘friends’ vouchers which is good as they are using them for themselves, and although some of the older students were disappointed with the young choice of titles I have chatted to a few P16 students about using the voucher to get £1 off a book in town.




So what else have we been doing?


Well I tried something new (new to us) with a Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner display/competition – and this has proved to be both popular and head-scratching. I’ll reveal the answers soon!IMG_1136

appWhat has also ‘gone down well’ is the Books Alive App – I’ve demonstrated this free app using my iPad to a chorus of “wows” and “that’s sick” and students were keen to download the App to their own devices.

Sticking with the technology theme I also set 6 WBD puzzles using QR codes and morphed images of the authors of some of the £1 books.

Finally I circulated a book related quiz (on Powerpoint) to all tutors for tomorrow’s DEAR session – but I’ve seen it on some whiteboards already.

wbdThe day is almost over, phew!

Roll on next year!



Sorry -I’ve been away for a while – I’ve not been too well and something had to give – this blog was it!

But I’m back now – not completely well – but hopefully getting there!

I’m looking forward to bringing the blog up-to-date again!


Year 11 Study Leave…

As per item 4. in the document circulated to you….

You CAN revise in the MRC when you are in school – providing you have signed in with your home college first.


So IF you turn up in the morning when you have an afternoon exam you’ll be asked to go back to your college as you are not expected to attend lessons in the morning and you should only come into school for 1.30 when you exam begins.


So IF you turn up in a big noisy group – you’ll be asked to return to your colleges.


So sign in with your college first – show this to MRC Staff when you come in and revise quietly.


IF you start causing any disruption (loud chatting etc) then you’ll be asked to return to your college.


To help you with you revison the MRC has lots of revision books and during this time they can be foundon the revision display -please ask if you can’t find what you want or need!





  1. There is no official start to study leave for Year 11 students.  This decision has been made due to the long period of time over which the GCSE exams are spread this year.  Students will remain in lessons until they sit the final exam for the particular subject e.g. the final English exam is on 29th May 2012 and therefore students are in their English lessons until this date.
  2. A calendar spreadsheet containing all this information will be made available to students and parents / carers.  This can be filtered so students can personalise their own timetable.
  3. If a student has completed their work for a particular subject they must attend lessons until that subject has completed their final exam.  All students are being provided with revision tools to support all subjects and this work can be taken to these lessons to complete.  In the majority of lessons staff will be delivering structured revision lessons to support students in their preparation for final GCSE exams.
  4. When a subject has been completed and the final exam or coursework completed the subject will be removed from the student’s timetable.  At this stage students are no longer required to be in school for these lessons.  If students wish to be in school to revise they must sign in with their home college and remain there or go to the MRC.
  5. If a student wishes to leave school during the core day (08.45 – 14.45) they must sign out at their home college and gain a signing out card to present to reception within 10 minutes of the start of any lesson.
  6. Where students have an afternoon GCSE exam they will not be expected to attend lessons in the morning.  Students only have to come into school for the start of their GCSE exam at 1.30pm. 
  7. Students will be given the option to “opt out” of their core PE lessons at their assembly on Friday, 11th May 2012.  The school recognises the importance of relaxation time for students during their exams but want to give students the option to attend or not.  As of Monday, 14th May 2012 Core PE lessons will operate for those who have not opted out.
  8. The last core examination for students is Module Three Maths on Tuesday, 19th June 2012.  The final GCSE exam is Textiles on Thursday, 21st June 2012.  As of Friday, 22nd  June 2012 Year 11 students are not expected to be in school.
  9. Students should be in full school uniform at all times whilst in the building.  Students must also have their ID card to be able to access the Exam Hall.  ID cards can be purchased from the Finance Office for £3 in advance of the exams.
  10. Student absence from exams cannot be rectified.  If a student is ill medical evidence must be provided to the Exams Office immediately and a phone call to the Exams Office should be made by parent(s) / carer first thing in the morning.

Book of the Week


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


World Book Night

I was lucky enough to be selected as a World Book Night Giver this year.

My application was to balance all the giveaways we have in place for students in Keystage 3 and 4 – Booked Up (RIP), World Book Day etc. This was my chance to target Post 16 and I wrote…


“We are all aware of the serious drop off in reading that take place during the later teenage years, and anything that counters this is worth doing.  I love Bryson’s writing style which is very approachable.”


So why do I think it is so important to encourage readers in this age group?


It is really easy to fall out of the reading habit during the busy and exciting time during the later teenage years. We can all remember the new opportunities – learning to drive and the freedom of going where you want to with friends, buying your first (legal) drink when you turn 18, the opposite sex, first love and heartbreak.

On top of this heady mix is the pressure of studying, exams, and part time work. When you are struggling with all this, and often more, you can always fall back onto a book for support. From outright escapism (and don’t we all need that from time to time), to walking in someone else’s shoes, who are going through similar experiences or experiencing something completely different!

Books and reading are an important part of the rich tapestry of life, and one that often wanes once you ‘can’ read, and no longer ‘have to read’. It’s difficult to compete with all those distractions – but it is worth diving into a good book once in a while- as they could take you anywhere!


The Book I chose was “Notes from a Small Island” by Bill Bryson – simply because it made me laugh out loud. I could relate to his experiences when he wrote about places I too had visited, and I was interested in reading about places I hadn’t been too yet.





Giving the books turned out to be easier than I thought… I delved into the SixthForm study centre during lunch and went around chatting to students about their reading habits. To those who considered themselves to be a reluctant readers I explained about World Book Night and talked about “Notes from a Small Island”. Only three students refused to accept a book. And many avid readers were a bit miffed that I wouldn’t give them a book! I kept a few books back to reward sixthformers who actively supported our DEAR initiative within their tutor groups but who wasn’t an avid reader themselves- and these were well recieved too.


So I’ve sent my fleglings out into the big bad world – I wonder where they will travel (and who will the books take with them on their journey?)

Book of the Week


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


Book of the Week


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