Tag Archives: Bookbuzz

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!



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!


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.


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.


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.

Welcome Back!

We’re back for another year at Hamstead Hall Academy Library. It’s going to be a pretty great year. To start with we’ve enrolled on the Bookbuzz scheme which allows us to give every year 7 a free book! Options this year range from the award-winning The Lie Tree to the side-splitting My Brother is a Superhero. If you are a year 7 you’ll be asked to choose your book in a couple of weeks, so make sure to thoroughly research the selection available.

Next month we’ll be doing another mock election this time we’ll be voting on the US Presidential election. Hilary Clinton vs Donald Trump. Like with our EU referendum vote we’ll be displaying impartial information about both candidates, in the hopes that students will make up their minds using  facts as opposed to media spin.

We’re also celebrating the 100th birthday of Roald Dahl. We’ve already set up a display of his books encouraging pupils to try his adult short stories and autobiographies. We’ll also be viewing the Penguin live webcast on Tuesday 13th September at 14.00, so make sure to be in the library on that date.

This is the tip of the iceberg, we’ll be doing lots more throughout the year, we’re still running the awareness week display, trilogy of the week and we continue to get in ten new resources every week. Hope you all have a great year, see you in the library!