Alcester Grammar School

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6TH Form Book Club (with cakes)

Established well last year the 6th form bookclub is up and running again. It kicked off this term with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? A dystopian novel by Philip K Dick which definitely gave rise to discussion!

The club runs regularly on the first Thursday of every month and includes lovely cakes! For further information on joining the group please ask at the Library desk or speak to Miranda Gleaves or Beatrice Taylor.

Do Androids

(Accessed from https://enWikipedia.Org 16/11/15)

First Addition Cover

Bookbuzz Books – 2015-16


Bookbuzz Image

Our new Year 7 were given the opportunity to buy a book at a reduced cost as part of our annual Bookbuzz programme. Reading is a pleasure and “a vibrant way of bringing books to life”,

A selection of some of the mainstream titles received were:-

  • The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
  • Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan
  • Infinity Drake by John McNally
  • The Last Wild by Piers Torday
  • The Tornado Chasers by Ross Montgomery
  • Dr. Proctor’s Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo
  • What Are We Fighting For?  by Brian Moses and Roger Stevens
  • The Astronaut’s Handbook by Louis Stowell

If you didn’t manage to order and still wish to, we still have just a few remaining titles. Please come and ask us in the Library.

Born to Play – Dan Freedman Prequel Novel

Dan Freedman, the talented author of the Jamie Johnson series of novels; about an aspiring young footballer, visited our school just a couple of years ago as a shortlisted author for our local Alcester Schools’ Book Award.  It was therefore great to receive a sample copy of the latest, specially written prequel in this series called, Born to Play. 

Born to Play is a novel that covers a young boy’s aspect of life and experiences in the football world whilst also being in Year 7 at school.  Thus, it was a lovely gesture to be able to present this sample copy, by Mr McGready, our Head of PE, as a gift to a young, talented Y7 footballer in our school: Will Cooke.

Mr McGready with  Will Cooke

Mr McGready with
Will Cooke

Will was scouted by Wolves’ Academy, Wolverhampton and has been playing with them for one and a half years.   He loves this experience and covers three training sessions a week and plays one match a week to develop his tactical, football team skills.

Thank you to Dan Freedman for a lovely gift.

Check the site link:

Alcester Schools’ Book Award 2015 – Final

The final of our three schools’ event was held at St Benedict’s RC School on 21 May 2015 which was a lovely event for all and the students were able to find out the winner of the book award and see if their choice matched.  The winning book was ‘The Fault in our Stars’ – John Green, second place went to ‘No Stone Unturned’ Helen Watts and third place went to ‘The Darkening Lands’ – Harry Sherwin.

One our students, Eleanor wrote about the first trip. 

Today we visited Alcester Academy and met with students from Alcester Academy and St Benedict’s RC.

When we arrived we were put into mixed school groups and were shown a brief introduction to the five shortlisted books.  This was a complete surprise as the selection had been kept secret from us.  They included a wide genre of books – a romance, a fantasy, a mystery, a war and a dystopian fiction.

Once we were in our groups, we were asked to vote for our favourite book based on the cover, the blurb and quotes from other authors out of the shortlisted books, by a show of hands.  The most popular cover from the students was “The Darkening Lands (fantasy), and for the staff it was “Soldier Dog”.  I didn’t like this one because I don’t like the war genre.

After our break we then had a quiz.  There were several pictures which related to a popular book and from the pictures we had to try and guess which character it was, eg glasses and a wand was Harry Potter.

What I enjoyed about today was that it was very well rehearsed and the teachers had already read the books so the teachers could give us an overview on the books, with an idea of some of their favourite genre.   I also enjoyed meeting some new friends, seeing old classmates and seeing what new books we would be reading.

Warwickshire Schools’ Book Award 2015

Students from all over Warwickshire attended Bilton School, Rugby on Tuesday 17th March to meet with the shortlisted authors and find out the winner of this year’s prestigious award based on the votes from all schools.  Our vote was for Phoenix by S F Saio which had been selected by our students, firstly by the cover design and then on the book itself. The author presentations were excellent with each author, Hilton Pashley, Berlie Doherty and S F Saio explaining where they found inspiration and material for their books.  The students were then able to purchase a book and get it personally signed by the authors present. We also have signed novels by all three of the authors in the Library!  Our students were delighted when our favourite book, Phoenix, was chosen as the winner.

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Alcester Schools’ Book Award 2015

On Wednesday 13th May, three Alcester schools (Alcester Grammar, Alcester Academy and St Benedict’s RC) came together for the annual Alcester Schools’ Book Award.

The event was held at Alcester Grammar School and we were thrilled to welcome local author, Helen Watts who was here to talk to the students about her book “No Stone Unturned”.  The story follows the path of Kelly, a traveller, who feels the odd one out at her new school and isolated.  She then meets Ben who helps her with her history project.  What follows is an exciting, magical adventure which can’t be spoken about for fear of ruining the book!

The book is fictional but based on local history and Helen Watts researched specific information about the limestone quarry that had been in the Wilmcote area, which gave her inspiration for her novel: definitely, a ‘stone turning’ novel for the wonderful heritage of the local area.  The limestone was used for the floor of The Houses Of Parliament.

Helen spoke about how her initial idea for the story came whilst walking around the edge of the disused quarry with her dog, near to her home and she began to imagine what the quarry would have been like in its time.

The students were able to purchase signed copies of Helen’s book which can also be purchased from Mary Arden’s Farm bookshop and Wilmcote Stores, or the Shakespeare Birthplace Bookshop in Stratford, priced £6.99.  ISBN 978-1-4729-0540-6.

We are now looking forward to the final event which will be held at St Benedict’s on 21 May 2015

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Chris Evans – 500 Word Story Competition

English Teacher and Head Librarian, Louise Beeson, will be a Volunteer Judge again this year for this UK wide, Radio 2 competition, which involves writing a story in only 500 words.  Teachers and Librarians around the country are to be given batches of stories to read and score and put through to the next round.  There has been a fantastic level of entries this year.  The judging panel for 2015 includes Richard Hammond, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Francesca Simon, Malorie Blackman and Charlie Higson.

The Top 50 shortlisted entrants (25 in each age category) will be invited to attend the final at St James’s Palace, London on Friday 29th May 2015 for the live broadcast of the BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show.  The full names of the 6 finalists and the overall winners will be announced during this live broadcast.Chris Evans

Launch of Alcester Schools’ Book Award – 2015

This year’s annual book award, for our local schools, is now underway with students from Alcester Grammar, Alcester Academy and St Benedict’s Roman Catholic School uniting for the joy of reading and community friendship between the three schools. The first event will see students being introduced to the shortlist titles and the defined criteria by which they can judge the books to help decide which they will put through as their winner and the competition and author event, which they always hold. Alcester Grammar are delighted to be hosting an author visit this year and will be visited by an exciting, new author.  Details to follow shortly

Shakespeare Week and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

A Medley Of Extemporanea

This week I’m celebrating the work of Pupil Library Assistants, and also Shakespeare Week.

I am a member of the judging panel for the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award. The competition for the prize was very fierce and, sadly, not everyone could make it to the final seven. However, these pupils clearly all had a great passion for books and reading and took this beyond the walls of their schools. Almost all of the pupils not only worked in their school libraries, but they had also had the opportunity to take part in other schemes connected to books and literacy. One of the longlist nominees, Miranda, described a little about her volunteer work at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

I was so intrigued by this that I invited her to write a blog post in more detail so that she could explain what Shakespeare and the Birthplace…

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Student Work Experience Placement at Shakespeare Trust

Alcester Grammar School has forged a mutually beneficial link with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust which enables students to further develop research skills through educational work experience. Miranda, a Year 12, Student Librarian, has written an exemplary piece of work based on her time at the Trust, please open the attachment to read the whole article

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust write up -2

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