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

Measuring Attitudes to Reading

This year with greater emphasis being placed upon Literacy and Reading for Pleasure (at last) the MRC is currently measuring the Year 7’s Attititude to Reading (ATR) and giving them a score – 1 Outstanding; 2 Good; 3 Satisfactory or 4 Unsatisfactory.

I have sent each our of 350 year 7 students a quick email link to my online survey and during their first IL lesson with me I help them logon; open their emails and complete the survey, it is a bit of a steep learning curve for some of them! But I’m about halfway through and the results are interesting so  far – with many more regarding themselves as a good reader who enjoys reading, rather than “I hate reading”. Still it’s good to know so we can target our services and give targetted support to those who need it.

Well that’s the big challenge for the MRC this academic year!

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!

World Poetry Day

Today is World Poetry Day

to celebrate I have challenged the tutor groups to read aloud a poem about English Pronuciation!


Here is an extract of the poem by  G. Nolst Trenité

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

English Pronunciation by  G. Nolst Trenité

World Book Day Round Up

World Book Day 1st March 2012

A busy day, but FAB!



In the lead up to WBD we asked for mini book reviews and created posters from these. They were then stuck up in strange places aroung the Academy on the day.

I had arranged for an Author Visit by Malcolm Rose, who spent the morning delivering two sessions with our Year 8 students, he was fantastic and with his scientific background is a perfect fit for our Science and Maths specialisms.

He explained where he gets his ideas from, demonstrating that the explosion at the start of “Jordan Stryker” is based upon the SS Richard Montgomery which is a sunken ship laden with unexploded bombs from the Second World War just off the cost of Kent. Nobody dares to move it – so it just sits there, but in theory it could explode – and this is what Malcolm makes happen in the first Jordan Stryker book.




He went onto demonstrate a bionic hand (worth £10,000) and shook hands with a few lucky students before explaining where he got his ideas for Jordan Strykers other scientific / bionic abilities.

He had them gripped – in the palm of his hand (or the palm of his bionic hand!)



Lunch was a special World Book Day Menu which is an excellent way of raising the profile across the student population.


We’re still waiting for our WBD vouchers – but have oodles of the £1 books to swap -once they arrive and are shared out to students.

Drop in on DEAR 4.1

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

World Book Day!


Promo Video for the £1 Books!


Promo Video for the Book Posters in unusual places!


National Love Libraries Day

So we’ve been trying to raise the profile of National Love Libraries Day which is tomorrow (4th February 2012).

All week we have been showing on all our Academy Screens the incredible library book dominoes video from Irelands Library week.



I’ve also included some posters obtained from all sorts of places.


All this week we have been giving out free raffle tickets to eveyone who borrows a book from the MRC. The prize is a book signed by G.P.Taylor who visited us last year.

We have also been handing out joining forms for our local public libraries.

Coming Soon Author Visit…

Part of our celebrations for World Book Day on 1st March 2012 we have invited Author Malcolm Rose to our Academy.


He will be spending the morning with our Year 8 students before visitng a neighboring school in the afternoon.

He writes thrillers and adventure stories all with a scientific thread – his characters quite often use forensic science.

Students will be able to pre-order his books for signing on the day.