All posts by Mr Cochrane

Senior Librarian at Hamstead Hall Academy. Favourite Books are: American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Atonement by Ian McEwan, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut, Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve, Sabriel by Garth Nix, Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan, The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Bone by Jeff Smith, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, V for Vendetta by Alan Moore.

HALF-PRICE BOOK FAIR 2019

After last year’s record-breaking success, the Scholastic book fair will return for a 4th year.

Once again everything you see at the fair is 50% off, this includes all books, all stationary and all posters. We’ll be in the library from Monday 8th July till Thursday 11th July.

During break and lunch times you’ll be able to browse the selection of the hottest titles to hit the shelves this year. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to pick up your Summer Reading.

Also if you’re lucky enough to spot Wally hidden somewhere on the library walls, you’ll win a £5 voucher to spend at the book fair.

World Book Day 2019

We had a great World Book Day this year. Firstly we smashed the fund-raising record raising almost £600. Funds will go to the charities Book Aid and Book Trust. We had more pupils coming in dressed up than ever before. So many amazing outfits this year including Julius Caesar and Gangster Granny. You can view some of their amazing outfits on the Hamstead Hall site by clicking here. Thanks for everyone who took part . We had such fun in the library. Bring on World Book Day 2020!

Christmas and the Excelsior Award

We’re reflecting on another amazing term at Hamstead Hall Library. We’ve seen student librarians leave (goodbye Duaine and Wari!) but we’ve also added four new members. A big library welcome goes to Atara, Ishmail, Courtney and Aleena! They’ve already proved themselves to be excellent student librarians and we hope that they are enjoying themselves.

What have we done this term? Well we kicked off the year by running the year 7 reading challenge. Over the summer, pupils were given the chance to write a review of the book they were reading. Our favourite entry would win a £10 book voucher. The eventual winner was Elsie who reviewed ‘A Whole New World’ by Liz Braswell. Congratulations! All entries are currently on display at the back of the library.

Speaking of year 7, every pupil received a free book courtesy of the Book-Buzz scheme. They got to choose which book they would like from a selection of fifteen amazing titles. This scheme is funded by the Academy in partnership with the charity Book Trust. Students who have finished their books should head to the library where they will find a copy of every Book-Buzz book available for loan.

We’ve had some great displays this term. Students where able to go on a blind date with a book. This involves them picking up a wrapped book and borrowing it on the strength of the genre and first line. These nearly all went out, which was awesome! We also ran a Christmas countdown in which we revealed a new book every day and as usual we’ve been getting in at least 9 new books a week and running our awareness week display. Topics covered this term include Anti-Bullying Week, Black History Month and Remembrance Day.

We’ve got so much planned for the spring term. We’ll be launching the Excelsior Award in January. The scheme which allows pupils to read ten graphic novels and then vote on which one they believe should win the coveted award. This year the award is split into 2 categories:

Excelsior Award Blue, for students aged 11 and over- Key Stage 3 Excelsior Award Red, for students aged 14 and over- Key Stage 4

You can check out the shortlists here.

We hope you all have a wonderful break. Lets make 2019 the best library year yet!

 

 

Half-Price Book Fair 2018

After last year’s record-breaking success, the Scholastic book fair will return for a 3rd year.

Once again everything you see at the fair is 50% off, this includes all books, all stationary and all posters. We’ll be in the library from Monday 9th July till Thursday 12th July.

During break and lunch times you’ll be able to browse the selection of the hottest titles to hit the shelves this year. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to pick up your Summer Reading.

Also if you’re lucky enough to spot Wally hidden somewhere on the library walls, you’ll win a £5 voucher to spend at the book fair.

World Book Day 2018

I am writing to inform you that on the 1st March 2018 Hamstead Hall Academy will be hosting a World Book Day event. As always pupils will be given their £1 book voucher for use in all good bookshops. Details about this can be found at  www.worldbookday.com 

To celebrate World Book Day, we will have a different dress code and pupils will have two options: either they dress up as their favourite literary character or dress up smartly in formal attire. Prizes will be awarded for the most imaginative costumes.

Pupils will be asked to pay £1 and funds raised will go towards improving resources in the library and Book Aid International; a charity committed to stocking libraries in the poorest parts of Africa.
We’ll also be running Drop Everything and Read (DEAR), which means that classroom activities will stop for a designated period of time in order for pupils to read a book of their choosing. It is imperative that pupils bring in their chosen fiction book on 1st March or choose one from the Academy library. They can also go to their English teacher if they need to borrow a book.

Hamstead Hall Academy is committed to raising the standards of literacy across the school and we hope to see as many pupils take part as possible in all the activities taking place.

For great budget-beating dressing up ideas go to www.bookaid.org/worldbookday

Warhammer Club

This article was written by Mr Taylor and Mrs Shakespeare.

The Twin Realms of Hamstead Hall are under attack from forces of darkness. With enemies at the doors, pupils in the Ages of Sigmar and the 41st Millennia battle to keep these forces at bay!

Welcome to the World of Warhammer! Created by Games Workshop in Nottingham in 1983, Warhammer exists in both a fantasy setting and a science fiction setting. Pupils from years 7 through to 11 have joined together to create their own Warhammer figures.

In addition, the Warhammer hobby is a DofE approved skill; so we have a lot of DofE pupils who are creating their own characters, building and painting their own models together with learning mathematical skills and teamwork skills (7 pupils teamed up against Mr. Taylor!).

Ultimately we hope to compete against other schools in the ‘Schools Alliance’ where schools get together in the official Games Workshop stores and battle each other. The battles are marked not just in terms of victory and defeat but how good an army looks, how organised pupils are and their attitudes to other schools. Points are awarded for being graceful when winning or losing. Warhammer doesn’t tolerate sore losers!

We have a lot planned out over the next year and we hope in future to bring news of success in the national school league. The finals take place at Warhammer World in Nottingham, which is where all of the figures are created.

If you are interested in joining our team then come to the school library every Wednesday lunchtime and speak to Mrs. Shakespeare or Mr. Taylor. We would like to thank the library for letting us use their space and facilities as well as understanding that many of the pupils get very excited during play!

May the dice roll be ever in your favour!

Warhammer Club Poster

Massive Update!

It’s been 3 months since the site has seen an update. We apologise, we’ve been super busy-improving the library and now we’ve got a huge amount of news we’re desperate to share with you!

Biometrics!

We’ve been given clearance by our senior leadership team to change our old library card system to one run on biometric technology. This means we’ll be using the same finger print technology that is used in the canteen to access student’s accounts. It marks the end of the problem of lost cards (Hard to lose a finger!) It is a work in progress. IT are working extremely hard to get it all working. Year 7 will be the first group to be converted and we’ll gradually migrate everyone else. If you are uncomfortable with your fingerprint being used we’ll also continue to support the old card based system.

D.E.A.R.

We’ve officially launched Drop Everything and Read. The scheme in which pupils stop what they are doing for twice a week and read whatever they want for pleasure. Our first session on the 18th September was a huge success. Pupils and teachers both spoke of how much they enjoyed it. Pupils in science got to sample some excellent science short stories. One of which you can read here. We’re looking forward to our next session at the end of period 2 on Monday 25th September.

Bookbuzz 

Like the last few years we’ll be running Bookbuzz again. This is the government-funded scheme to give a free book to every year 7 pupil of their choosing. To view the books before you decide then head to the library where all the books available are on a display. You can also read about them here.

Young people’s Parliment

What should your UK Youth Parliament campaign on? On the 20th November the UK Youth Parliament will come together in the house of commons to debate and decide the most important issues to campaign on in the years ahead. They will decide the top issues voted by you. Use the ballot papers and box at the back of the library to vote on what matters to you most and what you think needs to be discussed in the houses of parliament.

Warhammer Club

We’ll be launching Warhammer club on Wednesday 27th September during lunchtime in the library. Warhammer is a action strategy game in which you control units on a battlefield with dice rolls. It’s lots of fun. Mr Taylor will be running the club and we hope to see as many faces there as possible.

Other stuff!

We’ve got so much planned for this year including multiple events to support DEAR, a huge chess championship, the return of the excelsior award and the half price book fair. It’s going to be a busy year, so head down to the library next chance you get and see what we have in store.

The Book Fair Cometh

The Book Fair returns to Hamstead Hall this July!

After a successful run in 2016, the book fair is returning to Hamstead Hall Academy. Once again everything you see at the fair is 50% off, this includes all books, all stationary and all posters. We’ll be in the library from Monday 10th July till Thursday 13th July.

During break and lunch times you’ll be able to browse the selection of the hottest titles to hit the shelves this year. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to pick up your Summer Reading.

If you wish to view the book fair yourself we’ll also be at the year 10 parent’s evening on the 11th July from 8.00 till 9.30.

Mock Election Results

Everyone pupil in the Academy got their chance to vote for the party they wanted in power. At the academy we have pupils aged 11-18 from a wide variety of backgrounds. You can view our results on the chart above. Most people voted for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party. He is very popular with young people and with Birmingham citizens and our vote reflected that of the local area.

The Conservative Party currently run by Theresa May came 2nd. Her party does very well in rural areas and is popular with older people, so she did badly here.

UKIP and the Green party did very well almost doubling what their percentage was in the real election. However the Liberal Democrats did very badly, indicating that young people hadn’t heard of them or simply don’t like them.

ANOTHER Mock Election!

Following Theresa May’s recent announcement of the UK Snap general election, the library has decided to run another of our Mock General Elections.  This follows on from our votes for the EU and our votes for the American Presidency. Although unexpected this is a fantastic opportunity to inform Hamstead Hall pupils about the UK electoral system and the parties within that system. Once again we’re only going to be offering objective information about party policy in the hope that pupils will make up their own minds based on their values. You can view our display below.

Once the ballots have been counted on this website will be the first place that the results will be published. Although bear in mind that in both our previous elections we backed staying in the EU and Hilary Clinton!