Warwickshire Schools Library Service Supporting reading and learning in schools
September 2020

Our Resources

Secondary Network Meeting - Useful Links for June

We host Secondary Network Meetings once a term and throughout this period, hope to increase these to support you. The librarians involved SNMwithin these meetings asked us to share the links and resources in one place so please see below:

Useful Links and Resources: (Updated for June)

  • FutureLearn: free courses on a wide range of things...a good mix of videos, text, discussion, may be useful for EPQ.
  • The COR Curriculum: provides free lessons and assessments that help you teach students to evaluate online information that affects them.
  • ResearchEDHome 2020 Daniel Willingham: Helping Students Think Critically about Internet Sources. These home talks are good for seeing what teachers are concerned with.
  • The John Green Crash Course on information literacy: accessible for students
  • Classoos: Online textbooks for schools, one school was using the 90 days free trial which has been useful for students working at home.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone: Daniel Radcliffe reads the first chapter with more content promised!
  • Barrington Stoke: have created a great resource with advice, information and free resources for parents and carers of children with dyslexia, but that will be useful for all types of readers.
  • Chatterpacks: Currently offering home learning resources for young people with additional needs.
    They have some useful resources on their website and offering free resources to families.
  • MyON: Limited free access to books and articles from myON and myON News for students in the UK and Ireland.
  • Exact Editions: Provide Pupils With Remote Access to 10 Magazines - For Free
  • Demco Webinar: Covid-19 Safety tips for re-opening Your Library
  • Hay Festival online: Some wonderful links on here to share with students, have a look at their school programme to find out more.
  • EMC (English and Media Centre) are offering a free KS3 downloadable home learning pack.
  • British Library - Discovering Literature, useful for secondary English teachers and students: an online resource using treasures from the British Library to explore literature in context.
  • Exact Editions - Exact Editions have partnered with 8 publishers to offer schools free access to the digital archives of their magazines until the 1st October 2020. The participating magazines are: Chemistry World, New Internationalist, Geographical Prospect,The Biologist, Resurgence & Ecologist, BBC History Magazine, BBC Music Magazine, BBC Science Magazine, The World Today. To access these free resources email publisher@exactedions.com
  • NLA Newspapers for Schools (Always free)NLA’s free Newspapers for Schools archive holds newspaper articles from all the major national titles, as well as many regional papers. Teachers at licensed schools are eligible to set up an account, search the database going back to 2006, and access relevant clippings to share with students.
  • Ted Ed Always free - browse educational videos & animations, create customised lessons etc.
  • Liv Torc has been collating some wonderful Haiku poems throughout the period of lockdown. Inspiring to watch and potentially offers a different way to engage students with poetry? (A haiflu is a haiku of 5,7,5 syllables, written during the time of a global pandemic, often set against a photograph taken in the same week)

Training and CPD:

Resources that may help equip you as students return to your school library:

  • Tips on coping with fear of losing a loved one: From BBC Bitesize have collaborated with Child Bereavement UK to create
  • Mentally Healthy Schools: Have produced Coronavirus resources and a toolkit for managing anxiety and improving wellbeing
  • Young Minds: Have created a variety of links and resources to support mental health, with advice for where additional support can be found if needed. 
  • The Thrive Approach: Many of you may be aware of Thrive. They have created a Facebook Page to share some of the activities that they promote within school communities. Perhaps younger than your students, but adaptable concepts.
  • Covid, Anxiety and Stress: Safe Hands and Thinking Minds has lots of useful resources and Dr Karen Treisman has also begun to put together training courses for bereavement and loss in children
  • Five Ways to Help Children Heal after the Pandemic: A thought provoking article from TES as we begin to think about the impact on students.
  • FutureLearn: Have lots of short courses on mental health. Including, COVID-19: Psychological Impact, Wellbeing and Mental Health
  • Teach Together: Support for teachers, which includes evidence-based support via text message
  • Mental Health at Work: A range of useful toolkits and resources to support your mental health and well being whilst working at home and beyond.
  • BBC Teach:A collection of short films on mindset and mindfulness. Five of the films introduce us to one of the five steps to wellbeing, with the sixth film 'The Brain House' using animation to look at what is happening inside our brain when we feel 'big' emotions. The final film is a guide for teachers which introduces the concept of mindsets and mindfulness, and suggests ways the films can be used in class.
  • With the wider opening of schools on 1st June, Widgit have produced a Back to School Toolkit of resources to help support signage, way finding and personal care around a socially distanced school environment.The toolkit also includes a set of well-being and mental health 
    resources to assist children returning to school after such a major disruption to their normal day-to-day lives.
  • The importance of self care highlighted through a variety of TED Talks.

If you would like to take part in one of our Secondary Network Meetings or would like us to add a link, please get in touch: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk

Our Digital Discoveries for June 2020

We recognise that there is a lot of information at the moment about useful links and resources, which can sometimes be a little overwhelming to try and sort through. So we have tried to put together some key links for teachers, pupils, librarians, parents and carers to use.
At WSLS we have been busy beavering away to bring you some useful resources:

Useful Resources for Learning at Home     Topic Card Tree
Our Summer Topic Cards for Subscribing Schools

Our Digital Discoveries for June:

  • Oxford Owl: Parents can create a free account to access eBooks including Oxford Reading Tree titles.
  • The Phoenix comic - These are great and you can view a selection of back copies using the link. You can create your own comics with the resources available from Seven Stories
  • BookLife Publishers are offering a selection of free online resources, including PDFs of non-fiction titles and activities.
  • World Book Day's World of stories offers a selection of audio books to listen to for free.
  • It is World Ocean Day on Monday 8th June. There will be an interactive line up of ocean advocates, live ocean films, science lessons, music performances, yoga, breath-work, storytelling and much more!
  • We will be Celebrating Empathy Day on Tuesday 9th June, there are a huge amount of excellent resources available for this very important day.
  • Pobble365: For any budding writers there are some lovely story starters here, with a new picture and teaching resources each day.
  • The Summer Reading Challenge will largely be delivered online this year, you can find out more information on their website, where we found a really lovely Book Sorter to help you find your next read!
  • The British Library are promoting content to help children discover children's books. They are encouraging children to send them their own miniature books and are asking children to share their homemade miniature books with its Twitter account @BL_Learning using the hashtag #DiscoveringChildrensBooks. They also have some fantastic resources to download here
  • The Guardian and the Unicorn theatre present a fun series of short performances, created in lockdown, for children aged three to eight. Anansi and the Two Dinners is available from 11am on 6 June until 8pm on 27 June 
  • The Writing for Pleasure Centre have produced a really lovely resource to support children writing at home.
  • With the wider opening of schools on 1st June, Widgit have produced a Back to School Toolkit of resources to help support signage, way finding and personal care around a socially distanced school environment.The toolkit also includes a set of well-being and mental health 
    resources to assist children returning to school after such a major disruption to their normal day-to-day lives.

Our Digital Discoveries for May: 

  • Hillstone Gardens in Warwick are working in collaboration with local storyteller Kate. Follow each week at 2pm for 12 weeks as Kate begins her journey of Hill Close Gardens through the story of Isabella. You can access the online event through Kate's Storytree page Kate also tells stories and shares content each day on her own storytelling page. Great for all ages groups, parents as well!
  • Wriggle at Home return with bitesize creative dance sessions for children ages 2-5 and their grown-ups and/or siblings.These new videos will be accessible with captions and some with Makaton signing.
  • Discover Motionhouse: Motionhouse have moved all of their content online for the time being, if you love dance have a look! They are offering this content until till the end of May and have over 30 online dance classes for a range of ages.
  • Daniel Radcliffe reads the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone: https://www.wizardingworld.com/chapters/reading-the-boy-who-lived with more content promised!
  • Generation Lockdown: A writing competition for young people aged from 7-17
  • The Book of Hopes: Edited by Katherine Rundell, this is a collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures. There are contributions from more that 100 children's writers and illustrators and it is free!
  • Barrington Stoke have created a great resource with advice, information and free resources for parents and carers of children with dyslexia, but that will be useful for all types of readers.
  • The Undefeated: Watch Kwame Alexander read aloud from this wonderful and thought provoking book. 
  • Beanstalk have produced a create your own story dice, use these to create your own imaginative stories each day. 
  • ChatterPack: A list of free, online, boredom busting resources!
  • Oddsocks Stay Home Shakespeare: Friday 17th Mat at 7pm. Live acted, live edited, live streamed! 
  • Picture Book Party: This lovely blog from Walker Books offers lots of author chat and resources.
  • Puffin Schools: 'Ideas to Spark Imagination at Home' and it doesn't disappoint, amazing resources.
  • The Children's Poetry Archive: Poems to read and read aloud by authors, plus a good glossary.

Our Digital Discoveries for April: 

  • Warwickshire Public Libraries - Really useful home learning resources.
  • We particularly love the wide variety of eBooks and eAudio that are available and so easy to borrow!
  • Warwickshire Family and Information Service have a useful website and a newsletter that you can sign up to.
  • Newsguard - A free tool which will help to discern the reliability of information from a website you are visiting.
  • First News - Free downloads of this.
  • Premier League Primary Stars - Supportive curriculum-linked resources to educate and entertain children and keep them active, with no registration needed.
  • Audible - Currently offering a number of free children's titles to download for free with no subscription or sign up needed.
  • Family Zone - National Literacy Trust have created some lovely resources by age group on this part of their website.
  • National Shelf Service - Launched this week, virtual recommends of book titles from authors and librarians. 
  • Tiny Happy People - Tiny Happy People is here to help you develop your child's communication skills. Explore our simple activities and play ideas and find out about their amazing early development.
  • The Maths Factor - Created by Carol Vorderman, free at the moment to help support your child's learning at home.
  • Kate's Story Tree - Twice daily 'live' storytelling sessions.
  • Escape Arts - There are some lovely digital resources and programmes on offer here.
  • Book Club with Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery - This might be of particularly interest to older pupils and adults. The first books they are focusing on is Silas Marner.
  • STEM Learning have launched their free home learning support for children aged 4-19. Watch a video from Tim Peake!
  • Heritage and Culture Warwickshire are advertising a  loans box that you can borrow from them and quite literally hold history in your hands! Designed to supplement and support your learning activities and currently free. 

Please do let us know if you have any useful links you might like to share with us or that we can promote. We are also keen to continue to help you with any book related questions or queries to help you keep reading over the coming months.
You can get in touch with us here: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk

Useful Resources for Learning at Home

Our team at Warwickshire Schools Library Service have been putting together some really lovely resources for our schools.
Here is a topic card that we have put together specifically for VE Day:
VE Day
We have been particularly thinking about useful resources for learning at home and for those that may not always have access to digital content. We wanted to share some of that with you here: 

Topic Card Tree

Useful Resources for Learning at Home  Useful Resources for Learning at Home   Useful Resources for Learning at Home  Useful Resources for Learning at Home                         

Useful Resources for Learning at Home  Useful Resources for Learning at Home   Useful Resources for Learning at Home  Useful Resources for Learning at Home  
Please click on the thumbnail images to open larger PDFs of these files, for you to print, save, share with each other. Our subscribers will also find Topic Card resources on a specific area of out website. 

Robin Hood MAT LogoWe have also contributed reading-based activities and resource links to learning projects being compiled by a Birmingham-based Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) @RobinHoodTrust which will be shared nationwide from Thursday 23rd March 2020. We are really pleased to have worked with them to add reading support to the next lot of #TheLearningProjects that are being made available to any school that wishes to use them. This is the time to collaborate and help children.

The full learning projects will be available from: www.robinhoodmat.co.uk/learning-projects
The projects, created by Robin Hood MAT, cover the whole curriculum and will provide parents overseeing their children’s home learning with a range of activities for primary-school-aged children over an eight-week period.The Trust, based in Hall Green, Birmingham, previously created projects for use by parents and other schools for the first 8 weeks after the lockdown began. These went on to be shared widely across social media and used by more than 200 schools and local authorities across the UK.Contributions to the projects have also been made by the York-based STEM Learning organisation.

Topic Cards for Our Subscribing Schools

To all our lovely schools. Topic Card TreeWe hope that you are all keeping well and staying safe. 
While we are still unable to access our office or collections we have been thinking of ways to try and complement the work you are doing for pupils. We have been working on producing topic cards which we will email to you on a weekly basis, they include some fun activities and internet links, please use them in whatever way you can.  
As a subscriber to WSLS we are offering this as a service just for you and there will also be a button called Topic Cards on the front page of our website that you will be able to click on once it is live. We will be in touch with you to ensure that you can access this part of the website.
Topic Card Man with Clipboard
If you are able to please continue to use any SLS topic boxes you have in school, also Warwickshire Libraries have an ebook and audio book service called BorrowBox which pupils can access with their library cards: https://library.warwickshire.gov.uk/iguana/www.main.cls?surl=eBooks
Please continue to get in touch with us if you need to, we are working remotely and can be reached via our email: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk
With very best wishes
The WSLS Team ?

Our Bespoke Book Selection Service

Use our expert knowledge to find the books that you need for your pupils. We can suggest and select resources to support many areas including: 
Accelerated Reader sets
Guided reading
Class reading sets
Books to support well-being and mental health
Reading supports for specific age groups and reading levels
Get in touch to give us an idea of what you are looking for and we will do the work for you!


Useful items to buy

Items to help you with your general library maintenance:

Two A3 Posters: A colour coded chart listing the main subject areas in each Dewey Decimal Class and a 'How to find a non-fiction book poster
Cost: £10 for both items
Please email us for more information: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk

Finding a non-fiction book posterDewey Poster Example


Library Spine Labels: Mainly used within primary schools, each colour represents a different Decimal Dewey Class. (We can provide you with all of the colours shown within the Decimal Dewey poster pictured above.)
Cost: 75p for each sheet (ten labels)

Please email us for more information about these: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk

Spine Label Example

Reading Support Pack:
Reading Support Pack Example

Full of ideas for making the most of picture books to encourage the development of reading for pleasure and related skills, such as visual literacy and creativity. This pack can be sent to you electronically or printed versions are also available - please get in touch with us if you would like further information or to see a few samples.

 Please get in touch if you would like to know more: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk 



Empathy, Mental Health and Well-Being

Recent studies have shown that reading for pleasure builds empathy and improves well-being.  Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another and helps us to connect to each other.   When we identify with a book character we learn to see things from other points of view.

Here at SLS we have been developing our resources so we can provide you with fantastic books and artefacts to promote mental health and well-being with your pupils. 

We have lots of non fiction books looking at feelings, self esteem, confidence and mental health.  We have new picture books that cover topics such as depression, being different and how we feel.  We have recently added conversation cubes and How We Feel prompt cards to our collection, and of course there is our huge range of junior and teen fiction that covers a wide range of different mental health topics. You can find out more about our 'Feel Good Reads' here

 For more infomation about requesting and accessing these resources please contact us on schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk or 01926 413461

A selection of our resources

We have a vast collection of artefacts, photo packs, whiteboard resources and story-sacks here at WSLS, here is a small selection of our favourites:
Artefacts to Support Curriculum Topics:
Artefacts Images 1

Artefact Image 2
White Board Resources:
Whiteboard Resources Image

Story Sack Collections:

StorySack Images

Votes for Women!

This year marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act 1918 gave women over the age of 30 the right to vote.


We can help you celebrate here at SLS with a fantastic selection of books about Women's Suffrage, Voting and Political Systems and books about famous women past and present!