Alcester Grammar School

– Library and Information Centre

Alcester Schools’ Book Award – 2017


On Wed 15th February, the Launch Event for Alcester Schools’ Book Award 2017 took place in our Library at Alcester Grammar School.  It was great to welcome all the students and staff from the other schools. The response from the students, who were chosen to participate in this event, was superb; reminding us of the value of books.  All three Alcester Schools host a different event and the wonderful game Linkee that we played in the afternoon, definitely helped to ‘link’ the schools together in fun and friendship.

After the event our students were asked to provide some feedback.  Here are some of the comments made:

I really enjoyed the launch event today because it gave you an opportunity to compare interests with others from other schools. Not only that, but I loved the fact that while we were all having fun, we were improving our communication skills.  My favourite part was the LINKEE game because it was all fun and games and it was a good laugh. I learnt about book buzz and how it benefits before reading a book.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity – Jacob 
I really enjoyed meeting students from the other schools. It was really fun playing the Linkee game with mixed groups – Dan
The Launch today was a very fun experience.  I got to meet new people from different schools and learn about their interests and about their school as well. The LINKEE game was very fun as we got to use are knowledge and communication skills in a fun new game that none of us had heard of.   Learning about the new books and the authors was very interesting and I can’t wait to read them!  All the books look so new and different that I’m sure that I will love all of them!  Thank you for this experience. – Joseph 
 I thought the launch event was good because we found out about the books and rating them by the cover was good. I think the videos were good especially when other pupils shared their thoughts on the different books.



Warwickshire Student Librarian of the Year Award – 2017

copyright-free-6th-form-book-imageCongratulations to Erin Wood who was on the shortlist of three and received a Commendation for this prestigious Award.  Erin began her service with us in Year 7 and quickly demonstrated a conscientious and competent approach to her work, encouraging other students to be Library Assistants. Schools across Warwickshire were asked to submit only one student and Erin, when shortlisted, was asked to submit a short video clip of herself,  saying why she felt she would be a worthy winner and this followed on from the detailed criteria that had been submitted  by Head Librarian, Mrs Beeson, as to why she felt Erin deserved the nomination.  The decision by SLS and a panel of Librarians was a close and tough one and the standard was exceptional.


6th form book club (with cakes)

Now in its 2nd Year with our two new Library Assistant Managers, Harriet and Sarah, in charge and with new ideas and plenty of early interest, it has seen a great start to the term. green-mint-cupcake-background

The club runs regularly on the 3rd Thursday of every month and includes homemade cakes!

For further information on joining the group please ask at the Library Desk.


Warks Schools’ Library Service

Year 7 – Library Assistant Training and DOE volunteering

We now have our team of Librarian Assistants and D.O.E volunteers up and running with their new training programme. Some of our students, who have continued the service from  last year , have been able to hit the ground running with their knowledge and been a great help in supporting the training of the new team.

We were joined by a member of the Warks. Schools’ Library Service team, Hannah, earlier in November who provided some inspiring further training to enhance the understanding of the value of Libraries for the new Year 7 Assistants. They have now completed their training and service and gained their badges and positions as Student Library Assistants. Well done.hannah-sls-with-students

Warwick Castle Trip – July 2016

In block week the Library accompanied the History Dept. for a fun and interesting trip around Warwick Castle.

Whilst the sun shone, students wandered through fascinating rooms, saw the dungeons, watched the Trebuchet in action and ate ice creams.  A lovely end to the Summer Term.

Biology Trip to Bristol Zoo and Library Literacy Link

In October, Year 7 enjoyed their annual trip to Bristol Zoo to visit, research and produce a poster on their favourite animal. The research base was linked in a session with Mrs Beeson, the Head Librarian.  The standard of the posters was incredible and students are most welcome to view some of them on the display area in the Lower Library.




‘Bookbuzz’ – Nov 2016


Our new Year 7’s were given the opportunity to buy a book at a reduced cost as part of our annual Bookbuzz programme, a reading programme from Book Trust, which supports schools to encourage reading for pleasure; independent choice and to develop a whole school reading culture. Students chose their own book to buy, at a reduced cost, from a list of 17 titles suitable for 11-13 year olds and selected by a panel of experts.

A selection of some of the mainstream titles received were:

  • You Killed Me! By Keith Gray (Barrington Stoke Ltd)
  • Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis (Oxford)
  • 13 Hours by Narinder Dhami (Tamarind, Random House)
  • My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons (Nosy Crow)
  • Petunia Perry and the Curse of the Ugly Pigeon by Pamela Butchart and illustrated by Gemma Correll (Nosy Crow)
  • I am Malala by Malala Yousafzaia and Patricia McCormick (Hachette Children’s Group)
  • An Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Michael Foreman (HarperCollins)
  • The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan)


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THE FINAL EVENT – Alcester Schools’ Book Award 2016: Winner announced.


The culmination of lots of months of planning and fun came to an end in May when the three Alcester schools re-united for our Annual Book Award.

  • One of our Year 8 students wrote:

Today we went to St Benedict’s School for the end of the Alcester Schools’ Book Award.  It was an interesting morning, speaking and working in a group of people we have never met before. Together we had to complete activities such as quizzes and writing an end to one of the stories. It was quite cool to hear the opinions of people from the other schools who had been reading the same books.

Finally we were told the winner of the Award. All three schools voted for the same book which was amazing because this was the first time this has ever happened. Not only that all three schools had the same top 3 authors! It was an interesting and exciting experience.

The results were as follows:-

Book Cover Choices         Winnersnowhere

1st – Nowhere                       1st – Nowhere

2nd – Terror Kid                  2nd – Terror Kid

3rd – Flyaway                       3rd – Dark Lord – The Teenage Years








Alcester Schools’ Book Award 2016

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2nd Event – Author visit, Jon Robinson.

As part of the Alcester Schools’ Book Award events this year, at AGS, we were joined by Jon Robinson – author of Nowhere, Anywhere and Somewhere.   Jon fascinated us all by telling us of his first, rather macabre, short story at 11 years old – hanging intestines, skin and a heart on a Xmas tree!  Rather than criticising him, his English teacher praised his story and gave him encouragement with the comments “…strange imagination – keep writing.”

Later in his life, with a spell on crutches and time in a wheelchair, after having been hit by a car, it helped give him time to bash away on an old typewriter and saw him submitting his first book at the age of 12.  Jon then went on to recount the long journey of submitting books (8 novels and 8 rejections over 8 years) before finally, on writing for a different audience in 2011 saw success and the publication of his first novel … ‘Nowhere’.

Jon then spoke about about some of his writing influences: studying ‘A’ Level Psychology and the interest of the subliminal messaging used by advertisers in the 1950’s; also he read about a teacher showing the power of self-belief with her experiments on Primary School children and the effect of discrimination on them and Jon’s short spell in a prison cell (not his fault).

The effects of these varied experiences were long lasting and it was only after Jon reflected back on his career that he realised how much these incidences had influenced his writing and the subsequent success of his series.

To find out more about Jon visit:

One of our students wrote afterwards:

Jon Robinson Author Visit

On the 27th April 2016, the professional writer, Jon Robinson (the Writer of Nowhere) came into the AGS Library to discuss book writing and his ideas. It made us all think that writing isn’t all about making something up randomly, it’s about creating an idea and letting it grow, enabling you to share with the world your opinion. His presentation included a lot of information about different elements of psychology, including subliminal messages. Subliminal messages are images that flash up during a film or elsewhere, that only the subconscious mind can recognise. He included this in his presentation because in his book it includes these. As well as that, he talked about the influence things have on us. If you haven’t read his book, here is the blurb:

   “NO ONE’S

         COMING FOR US.

               NOT OUR FAMILIES


                    NO ONE.”

Alcester Schools’ Book Award – 2016

Our annual event kicked off with great excitement in March with the first event held at Alcester Academy.

The participating Year 8 students all came together to discover which books had been chosen by the School Librarians and then had a chance to discuss, on first appearance, which books they thought had the best chance of winning based on their blurb and cover.

The list of books for 2016 were:

1              Nowhere                                              Jon Robinson

2              One Day in Oradour                         Helen Watts

3              Dark Lord                                            Jamie Thompson

4              Fly Away                                              Lucy Christopher

5              Terror Kid                                            Benjamin Zephaniah

Their position: based on the cover and blurb were as follows:

1st        Nowhere        (20) + Staff (5)

2nd      Terror Kid        (5)

3rd       Flyaway          (1) – yellow cover version

What followed was reading the novels for the pupils to decide their winners. What will be the final result?


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