Alcester Grammar School

– Library and Information Centre

New Alcester Library Opens


Photo credit : Dave Warren

On 13th April a small group of our Year 7 Librarians were selected to participate in the opening of Alcester’s lovely, new library facility.

Globe House now houses the County Council’s Library, which has joined together with Alcester’s Roman Museum and Town Council to bring local services all under one roof.

Our Year 7s, as part of the local community, had the chance to see a Humanoid Robot and a Roman Soldier at the official launch of the newly refurbished Globe House.

Here is a selection of some of our students’ comments:

“I loved going to the new Alcester Library because it had loads of books and great facilities. We met a teacher who used to work at AGS! It was great”

“I loved the Roman activities and also the Library. The opening speech was fantastic including the robot dance”

“I really liked the Library and Museum as it was big and there were lots of books”

“We met old teachers of AGS and there were lots of photos”

“I really liked the pretty Roman bracelets”

Laurence Thatcher, the ex-Head of 6th Form at AGS, and Chair of Alcester Heritage Trust, said:

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the future. We have already started to plan a programme at Globe House, which starts on 14 May with a Roman Alcester Celebration Day.”

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‘500 Words’ – Final 27th May 2016

The final of this wonderful event, created by Chris Evans to inspire children to write creatively, was held live from the home of British story-telling, Shakespeare’s Globe .


  1. Honorary judge, Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall, attended to present winners of the Gold award with their prizes.
  2. This year’s BBC Radio 2 500 WORDS competition received 123,436 entries from young writers
  3. ‘Refugee’ is the Children’s Word of the Year.

Our Head Librarian, Louise Beeson, received a certificate of thanks for her contribution to the event.LOB with Certb

For further information on the competition winners and lots of fun links please click:


Chris Evans – Final of 500 Words event

Here is a link to one of the shortlisted stories.

‘Fakebook’ By Anna Harries, aged 12.    We love this story, what do you think?



Ex student of AGS, Sheila Kinchin, visits

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We were recently contacted by  a previous student of Alcester Grammar School, Sheila Kinchin (now Roberts) asking if she could visit and bring in her school memorabilia which she thought would be useful for our archives.

Sheila who had been a student here from 1955-1961 was able to show us her whole school photograph, from when there were only approximately 330 students.  In her own words, “I loved being at Alcester Grammar School, it was very strict though”.  It was a time of black blazers with red trimming (for the girls only) and a red beret and “you were in trouble if you didn’t wear it correctly”.  You would go and be measured up for your uniform before you started at the school.  Some others of us might remember these times!

Sheila was not keen on hockey so started up a Ballroom Dancing Club.  You stayed at school until you were 15 but if you were taking your exams you stayed until 16.  Sheila achieved her qualifications and went on to work at Midland Bank.  The Headmaster at this time was Mr Davison.

Sheila had been having a clear out and had come across photographs, school reports and other fascinating documents from her school years and had decided to donate them to us, which we were delighted to receive.  She also gifted us a very special book, a mini Shakepeare book of the Play “Cymbeline” which was dedicated to Ellen Terry and published in 1904.

It was a fascinating visit and we would like to thank Sheila for her lovely contribution.

Chris Evans – 500 Words 2016

chris evans 500 words

Photo and content copyright –

Please note: the 2016 competition is now closed for entries. 

*We are delighted that our own Head Librarian, Louise Beeson, has once again been asked to help pre-judge this year’s competition entries …… no mean feat with the calibre of applicants, again, being of an extremely high standard.*

500 Words

Six years ago, Chris Evans had a dream: to get children excited about reading and writing. All children, no matter what their ability. 500 Words is now one of the most successful story-writing competitions for kids in the world. Nearly half a million pupils have written a story; that’s over 215 MILLION words!

It’s very simple.

Entrants write an original story on any subject or theme in 500 Words or fewer and submit it online. If they win, their story will be read live on the radio by a superstar celebrity…like Sir Kenneth Branagh, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Bonneville or Sherlock himself -Benedict Cumberbatch.

Each year, 10 million Radio 2 listeners hear, read and love these stories.

Winners will rub shoulders with the world’s biggest celebrities and massive pop-stars performing at the final. Plus in 2016, 500 Words is delighted to welcome back real-life royalty to the competition: Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, who returns in 2016 to support the competition as the Honorary Judge! She’ll be reading and debating the top 50 stories of the competition with our amazing author panel: Malorie Blackman, Charlie Higson, Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Francesca Simon.

AND in the year of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, the final will be live from the home of British story-telling, Shakespeare’s Globe, on the 27th May.

 For further information, lots of fun links and to check on the competition progress please follow this link –





Pokamon for newsletterA great new Pokemon Club now runs every Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime in the Library.

Formed by a group of Year 7 students this is an opportunity for great team spirit, card swapping, match play and strategy.

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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