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

Your School Library

Warwickshire Schools Library Service: Great School Libraries Project

Schools in Nuneaton and Bedworth borough to receive dedicated reading support thanks to new ‘Great School Libraries’ project

book shelvesA new project will see Warwickshire Schools Library Service (SLS) supporting a number of schools in the Nuneaton and Bedworth area to help their pupils improve their reading and learning.
Called ‘Warwickshire Great School Libraries’, and complementing Warwickshire County Council’s Nuneaton Education Strategy, the three-year project will benefit pupils at Nathaniel Newton Infant School in Hartshill, Middlemarch Junior School in Nuneaton, and Keresley Newland Primary Academy.

Each school will receive bulk book collection loans and equipment from the Schools Library Service and digital support and visits from a library specialist, who will work in their school libraries on a regular basis in the coming months as this becomes possible.
Michael Drayton Junior School in Hartshill will also work with the project, providing a mentoring role and staff to assist the other schools involved.

The ‘Warwickshire Great School Libraries’ project, which will run for three academic years from September 2020 to July 2023, has been funded by a grant of £77,050 from Warwickshire County Council’s Early intervention, Prevention and Community Capacity Fund. 
By providing staff support to run their school libraries, increasing opportunities for pupils to read for pleasure and more widely, and establishing of a culture of reading in the schools, the aim is to raise reading and learning attainment levels, particularly among those pupils that are not achieving the required levels at Key Stages 1 and 2.

The project will also provide opportunities for pupils to improve their reading fluency and comprehension boys reading bookskills, with access to promotional activities run by the Schools Library Service as well as other national reading promotions.
It is hoped that, by the end of the project, the schools will feel equipped and confident enough to continue the work in the future, and there will be a full evaluation of the success of the project at the end of the three years.

Stella Thebridge, School Library Service Manager and Project Manager said: 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the SLS to make a real difference in these schools and hopefully to enable them and others further down the line to reap the benefits of support for reading initiatives and the regular influx of high quality and engaging reading material going into primary schools.”

Councillor Kam Kaur, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Customer and Transformation, said: 

“Warwickshire County Council is pleased to support these schools to become self-supporting in their reading work with their pupils, and we hope this contributes to the aims and outcomes of the Nuneaton Education Strategy over the longer term.”

Please do get in touch with us if you would like more information about this or any of the other services that we can offer: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk 

Library Support Work

Library Management Systems - We can help!

At WSLS, we have a range of experience in using different systems and can provide you with help and support. We recommend a computerised library management system (LMS).

Benefits include:

  • Improves the effectiveness of your library: helps pupils and staff find books more easily and simplifies recording of loans
  • Saves you time as it can help with cataloguing books by downloading book information from a central system
  • Enables you to locate and track your stock more easily and minimise the loss of books
  • Provides you with useful information about library use and book issuing data
  • Helps develop pupils' independent library skills and greater ownership of their library

WSLS can help provide you with information about the different options available and what might best suit the needs of your school and your budget. For more information about different computerised systems please open the following link.

Your SLS Fiction loan

During the summer term we'll be busy putting together fiction loans for our subscribing schools.  As part of the subscription package schools get to have a loan of fiction books to use in the school library for reading for pleasure and every year we swap half of this loan over to refresh the books.  It's a really great, easy way to get new books into the school library.  The loans vary depending on the size of the school - some loans are for 250 books, some are for 800 books!  

Did you know that if you have a fiction loan from us you can tailor it to your needs?  We hand pick every loan and send out a request form in advance of your loan been selected and delivered.  This means that if you have a specific requirement within your school you can specify that you require books to help you with this.  

We have a great range of stock here at SLS, from old favourites to the latest bestsellers, and what is great about our loans is that you will get a really varied selection of books.  We also provide recreational non fiction titles for those pupils who enjoy facts and hobbies a bit more than stories, poetry books and graphic novels.  We have a selection of dual language titles and also a selection of books for reluctant readers so do make sure you let us know if you would like any of these.  You are also welcome to visit us here at SLS and pick your own loan!

If you would like to know more and make sure you are making the most of your fiction loan please do get in touch, we're happy to help!

SLS-UK School Library Award

We are delighted to offer schools in Warwickshire the opportunity to accredit their library service via our national award scheme.SLS-UK Logo

The SLS School Library Award was initiated by Warwickshire Schools Library Service in 2012. It is now available nationally, via the Association of Senior Education and Children’s Librarians (ASCEL), administered locally by individual SLSs.  We are delighted that the School Library Association (SLA) the School Library Group (SLG) and the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) have endorsed the new Award.

 Any primary or secondary school may apply to work towards achieving the main award or the Gold version for high-achieving services.

The award is a self-assessment process conducted by the designated member of staff in charge of the library and endorsed by the Head teacher. It is an audit of 20 key activities with supporting documentation where necessary. Schools note across three levels (developing, establishing and enhancing) how their library service is operating across a range of activities and services.

An award is given to a school where the library is achieving 10 or more separate activities or services in the ‘establishing’ and/or ‘enhancing’ category. A Gold award is given for 15 or more services in the ‘enhancing’ category.

The awards are a brilliant opportunity for library staff to obtain a certificate that acknowledges the fantastic work that they do each day in the school library.

How do I apply?
There is a very small administrative cost for participation. If you would like to know more, please contact us: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk

Schools achieving SLS-UK School Library Award and former Warwickshire SLS School Library Award:
Abbotts Farm Junior                                     Adderley Primary (Birmingham)
Alcester Academy (revalidated)                   Alcester Grammar School
Alsager School (Cheshire)                           Aylesford
Bilton                                                            Bilton Junior
Bridgetown Primary                                     Campion
Cheney Primary (Oxon)                               Haselor Primary
Internat School Aberdeen                            James Young High (West Lothian)
Kineton                                                         King Edward VI Stratford
King’s Heath Boys (Birmingham)                 Kings High
Kings Norton Girls School (Birmingham)     Kingsley
Lillington Primary                                         Marlborough Junior (Birmingham)
Myton (revalidated)                                      Orchard Academy (Milton Keynes )
Polesworth                                                   Princethorpe College
Rugby High                                                  Stockingford Primary
Stratford upon Avon                                     Stratford Girls Grammar
Stratford Primary                                          Walsall Academy
Warwick School                                            Wyndcliffe Primary (Birmingham)


Book Awards

Warwickshire Year 9 Book Award 2020 FINAL RESULT

We are delighted to announce the winner of our W9BA 2020! 

A BIG thank you to all the students who took part and all the librarians and teachers for their support.

Thank you very much to all the authors for getting involved and taking the time to record some lovely videos for the students and also sending us prizes for our competitions. 

WATCH THIS VIDEO to find out who Warwickshire students voted as their winner!

We had some fantastic entries to our student competitions. Well done to the winners at Alcester Academy, Exhall Grange and The Kingsley School.

Our popular Warwickshire Secondary Book Award 2021 is running in the Spring Term 2021. Do get in touch if you would like to sign-up for this.

If you would like more information about our Book Awards or the other things we do, please get in touch with us at schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk 

Warwickshire Secondary Book Award 2021: Shortlist announced!

We are delighted to reveal the shortlist for our Warwickshire Secondary Book Award 2021.

Thank you to all the fabulous secondary school Librarians in Warwickshire who helped us choose this shortlist. This Award takes place in the Spring Term 2021 and is aimed at students in Years 7 and 8. We ask them to read six of the most exciting books published during the last year and vote for their favourite towards the end of March. The winner must simply be “a page-turner that students would highly recommend to others”. The shortlist is as follows:

   -   The Last Paper Crane by Kerry Drewery

   -   Nothing Ever Happens Here by Sarah Hagger-Holt

   -   Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

   -   That Time That I Got Kidnapped by Tom Mitchell

   -   Gloves Off by Louisa Reid

   -   The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein

We will host a final Award Ceremony on Tuesday 30th March 2021, either in person or virtually.

If you would like more information about our Book Awards or how to take part, please contact us at schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk.

Warwickshire Year 9 Book Award 2020- THE SHORTLIST

We had another fantastic longlist of books for the W9BA book award this year and we would like to thank all the longlisted authors for their support. Students from across Warwickshire have been taking part in 'Speed Shortlisting' events at their schools. We are delighted to reveal that they have chosen the following shortlist:

    Summerland by Lucy Adlington 

    Bearmouth by Liz Hyder  

    That Asian Kid by Savita Kalhan  

    Run Rebel by Manjeet Mann 

Students are now reading the 4 shortlisted books and will vote for their favourite in early December 2020.

Want to find out more about the shortlisted books? We are delighted to share with you these wonderful introductory videos from the authors, which includes a reading of a short extract from their books....just click on each author below to view the videos!

You can borrow these titles from Warwickshire Libraries through their Click and Collect service or as eBooks via Borrowbox. Happy Reading!

If you would like more information about our book awards or any information about our service, please get in touch at schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk 

Warwickshire Junior Book Award 2020: Digital Award Ceremony

We are delighted to welcome you to our Digital Award Ceremony. Pupils from across Warwickshire have been reading the 4 shortlisted books and have voted for their favourite. 

We are really sorry that we were not able to meet you all in person this year but we hope you enjoy watching this Digital Award Ceremony that we have created, with support from the authors, especially for you! Congratulations to all the authors for being shortlisted for the WJBA this year.

To find out more about our WJBA Award click here.

Who was your favourite and have they won?

Watch this lovely video and find out.....

(Please ensure children are supervised when watching YouTube)

Remember that you can also follow us on Twitter @WarwickshireSLS  We have been using #WJBA20 throughout the awards.
If you have any questions or you would like to find out more about our Awards and what we do, please get in touch with us by email: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk

Warwickshire Junior Book Awards 2020

Welcome to the Digital Warwickshire Junior Book Award 2020! wjba20 poster

Our Warwickshire Junior Book Award began on Monday 27th April and has run for 10 weeks. Participating schools have been able to access weekly resources including exclusive videos from the shortlisted authors, competitions, quizzes, puzzles and opportunities for creative writing and drawing. We also worked with the publishers, authors and Warwickshire Libraries to ensure that pupils had as much as access to the books as possible. The shortlisted books are:

    - Swimming Against the Storm by Jess Butterworth
    - Runaway Robot by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
    - Wildspark by Vashti Hardy
    - D-Day Dog by Tom Palmer

Our Junior Book Award usually ends with a final award ceremony at the Bridgehouse Theatre in Warwick, where we bring together all the pupils and authors for a wonderful celebration. Sadly, due to Covid 19, this was not possible this year. However, pupils have now voted for their favourite and we shared the results exclusively with participating schools at our Digital Book Award Ceremony on Wednesday 8th July.

This includes videos from all the shortlisted authors answering some of the pupils' questions, including what has been the nicest and maddest things they have done during Lockdown! We shared this more widely on Friday 10th July. 

We hope that this Award has provided some comfort to pupils during these challenging times and inspired them to continue reading, writing and drawing for pleasure, which supports their learning and well-being.

Who will win? Warwickshire pupils have decided....

Thank you to all the pupils that have taken part and to their teachers and families for supporting them. Thank you to the authors and publishers for supporting WJBA 20 and congratulations to you all for being shortlisted. Thank you also to Warwick Books for sponsoring our Award and to the Bridgehouse Theatre at Warwick School who would have hosted our final event.

Digital Award Ceremony Video

(Please ensure children are supervised when watching YouTube)

We also thought you might like to watch these lovely introductory videos that we shared with WJBA schools in Week 1 from all the shortlisted authors, talking about their books and what inspired them...

Jess Butterworth author of 'Swimming Against The Storm'
Frank Cottrell-Boyce author of Runaway Robot
Vashti Hardy author of Wildspark
Tom Palmer author of D-Day Dog

If you want to find out more about the shortlisted books, you can watch these book talks from Warwickshire Schools Library Service staff members. Usually we love coming to visit you in your schools but that wasn't possible this year so we made these videos especially for you instead!

(Please ensure children are supervised when watching YouTube)

D-Day Dog: Book talk with Stella Thebridge, WSLS Manager

Runaway Robot: Book talk with Nigel
Wildspark: Book talk with Hannah
Swimming Against The Storm: Book talk with Angela
Remember that you can also follow us on Twitter @WarwickshireSLS  We have been using #WJBA20 throughout the awards.
If you have any questions or you would like to find out more about our Awards and what we do, please get in touch with us by email: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk

WJBA20: if you loved the WJBA shortlist then you may like to try.....

(Click on the image to download a PDF)

Our Warwickshire Book Awards!

We are very proud of our three Warwickshire Book Awards, which we run annually. Our trained and experienced library team carefully select the shortlisted books. Pupils/students read these books and vote for their favourite. The winner is decided solely by them and we think this makes our Awards really special! Schools from across Warwickshire take part and are invited to the Final Award Ceremony for two of the Awards (WJBA and WSBA), where we invite the  shortlisted authors to attend. This is always a lovely event and a fantastic celebration of reading that we hope inspires young people across Warwickshire.

The Awards are aimed at the following year groups:

  • Warwickshire Junior Book Award (WJBA): Years 5/6 (Summer Term)
  • Warwickshire Secondary Book Award (WSBA): Years 7/8 (Spring Term)
  • Warwickshire Year 9 Book Award (W9BA): Year 9 (Autumn Term)

book award summary

If you would like more information about them, please get in touch with us at: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk

Warwickshire Secondary Book Award 2020 Digital Award Ceremony!

We are very pleased to announce that our Warwickshire Secondary Book Award Digital Final Ceremony will begin on Monday 30th March 2020.

Students from 18 schools across Warwickshire have taken part in the Award this year and voted for their favourite book, from a shortlist of 6 fantastic books published in the last year.

We are delighted to be able to bring this to you online. We were hugely disappointed to have to cancel the ceremony and we know the students were too. Every day this week we will be releasing a video from one of the shortlisted authors for you to enjoy. Please use the links we send you to join in!

Day one
Day two
Day three
Day four

Day five - your winner announced!
Winning competition entries - We had some fabulous entries so thank you to all those who entered.

Finally, thank you very much to all the wonderful students, librarians, teachers and authors for supporting this event (and supporting us!)
Thank you as always to Warwick Books for ensuring that students were able to receive their pre-ordered books and for supporting us all.

Warwickshire Secondary Books Awards 2020

The Warwickshire Secondary Book Awards will be fifteen this year and is as popular as ever with students. We are busy reading the longlist at the moment, ready for our shortlisting meeting in early November. We love them all for many reasons and part of the criteria for the secondary book awards is that the books must be ‘a really good read that I would recommend to others’.

Do let us know if you have any favourites on the list below:WSBA LonglistYou can get in touch via email here: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk  

Warwickshire Secondary Book Awards - Shortlist Announced!

We are really pleased to announce the shortlist for this years Warwickshire Secondary Book Awards!
If you would like more information on how to take part in the awards please get in touch with us at:schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk 

WSBA2020 poster

Warwickshire Year Nine Book Awards - Winner Announced!

We are really pleased to announce that the winner of the Warwickshire Year Nine Book Awards 2019 is The Truth About Lies by Tracey Darnton.The Truth About Lies W9BA Winner It was a very close vote with several favourites on the shortlist, we certainly enjoyed reading them all here at WSLS!
All of the books long-listed for this awards are shortlisted by the students participating within the awards, they then vote again on their overall winners after having a chance to read them fully and discuss. 

We are already reading books ready for the year nine awards next year and hope you will be able to join us on our reading adventures!

If you would like to know more about the book awards that we run please get in touch with us at: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk 

Warwickshire Year Nine Book Awards 2019

Students are currently busy reading the 4 shortlisted books that they chose for this years Warwickshire Year 9 Book Award.


The team at WSLS carefully selected a longlist of 10 books, which are 10 of the most exciting books published in the past year. Students across Warwickshire took part in longlist speed dating events where they chose the final 4 shortlisted books.

We hope that they will inspire, challenge and leave a lasting impression on readers. Students also have the opportunity to take part in competitions alongside the Award, giving them opportunities to be creative and champion their favourite book!

Students across Warwickshire will vote for their favourite at the beginning of December and their votes alone will decide the WINNER!

If you would like more information please contact us here: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk


Primary School Subscriptions

What does a subscription with us look like? 
A subscription with us will give you an overall loan of fiction books for your library and a number of project loans that can be used within classrooms. Our prices range from £450 upwards and to give you an idea, our most popular Primary Subscription is Young Shoots which is ideal for up to 200 pupils. This annual subscription would cost you in the region of £1,610 and give you 21 project collections (7 boxes a term) and an annual reading for pleasure loan of 350 books.
It is always worth getting in touch with us to find out what subscription options might be the best match for you and how we can work within your budgets.
Email us at: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk 
Project Box Infographic
Project Collections:
These are hand picked by our team from the information that you give us about your topic, so they can be as specific as you require. A few examples of  of the project collections that we have been asked to supply recently are; Feelings, Mini-beasts, People Who Help Us and Habitats, but the list is endless. Project collections are delivered to you at the beginning of each term and collected again at the end of the term. We will often try and incorporate an artefact or photo pack into each box, alongside your book resources. We want learning to be as hands on as possible so please encourage your pupils to examine, pick up and use the artefacts that we send to you. Find out more about the journey of a project box here:

Reading For Pleasure Loans:The fiction loan is sent at the beginning of your academic year, again this is hand picked by our team to your specific requirements and we will include a percentage of non-fiction for you too. You are able to swap half of the collection back with us half way through the year, a great way to refresh your books and keep your pupils reading a wide variety of reading materials throughout the year. We also have a new Reading for Pleasure Subscription which primary schools are benefiting from.

In addition to all of that there are also 'Bolt-on' extras that you can use and take advantage of, for example our useful advisory visits, library work and reduced rates for our training programme.

We have a variety of subscription options, it is always worth getting in touch with us to find out what might be the best match for you and how we can work within your budgets.
Email us at: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk

Secondary School Subscriptions

What does a subscription with us look like?
A subscription with us will give you an overall loan of fiction books for your library and a number of project loans. We find that our secondary school subscribers tend to use our services slightly differently choosing very bespoke subscriptions and tailoring their choices to suit the specific needs of their school and students. Our prices range from £500 upwards and it is always worth getting in touch with us to find out what subscription options might be the best match for you and how we can help to work within your budgets.
Email us at: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk
Project Box Infographic
Project Collections:

These are all hand picked by our team from the information that you give us about your topic, so they can be as specific as you require. A few examples of the project collections that we have been asked to supply recently are; wellbeing sets to support SMSC, World War Two, Slavery and Gender Identity, but the list is endless. 
Project Collections are delivered to you at the beginning of each term and collected again at the end of the term. We will often try to incorporate an artefact or photo pack into each box, alongside your book resources. We want learning to be as hands on as possible so please encourage your students to examine, pick up and use the artefacts that we send to you. 

Reading for Pleasure Loan:
The fiction loan is sent at the beginning of your academic year, again this is hand picked by our team to your specific requirements and we will include a percentage of non-fiction for you too. You are able to swap half of the collection back with us half way through the year, a great way to refresh your books and keep your students reading a wide variety of reading material throughout the year. We also have a NEW Reading for Pleasure Subscription that many schools are benefiting from.

In addition to all of that there are also 'bolt-on' extras that you can use and take advantage of, for example our useful advisory visits, library work, reduced rates for our training programmes.
We offer a variety of subscription options, it is always worth getting in touch with us to find out what might be the best match for you and how we can help to work within your budgets.
Email us at: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk

Not sure whether to subscribe? Try one of our TERM TASTERS....

Our TERM TASTERS are specially tailored to meet your schools needs. These are a great way to try our service without committing to an annual subscription. Project Box Infographic

You can choose from: 

4 project boxes for the term: £240
7 project boxes for the term: £420


What will your project box contain?
  At least 20 books
-   An artefact or whiteboard resource (at no extra cost) as available and applicable.

We select each box afresh for every loan ensuring appropriateness to the topic requested and key stage.


To register your interest or sign up for a Term Taster please follow this link

New! Reading for Pleasure Subscriptions for Primary Schools

We have been offering our secondary school subscribers a great reading for pleasure subscription for some time now and we wanted to extend this to primary schools. This is an annual offer for just £450 and includes a loan of 100 fiction books as part of the subscription. (See leaflet below for everything that is included in the offer)

These books handpicked by our team to your specification so will meet your pupils reading habits and curriculum needs. We know, as you do just how important reading for pleasure is and the huge difference that positive reading experiences can have on pupils, this subscriptions will help in these areas whilst also providing an added breadth to your existing library resources. Get in touch with us if you would like to sign up or find out more. You can email us here: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire/gov.uk New Primary Reading For Pleasure Subscription


Making the Best of Recovery in School Libraries - Free Webinar!

Warwickshire Schools Library Services hosted a free webinar on Monday 28th September 2020. We were delighted to welcome school library colleagues from Warwickshire and beyond. If you missed the session, please watch the recording below.

School libraries are important spaces, helping to support and sustain the reading and learning within your school community. Join us for a collaborative discussion to explore how school libraries are surviving and thriving through this period of uncertainty; better understanding how to adapt your school library provision and enabling safer operations day-to-day.

Leading the conversation on successes and challenges will be Stella Thebridge, manager of Warwickshire Schools Library Service, Ayub Khan, Head of Warwickshire Libraries and Thomas Bryans of IF_DO Architects, leaders of government-backed work to help libraries be as safe as possible in the Covid-19 period.  We are particularly pleased to have the insights of Thomas Bryans on this important topic. 


If you would like to get in touch for further information please email us:


Kate's Storytree

We are excited to be working with Kate Coleman and learning more about storytelling!Kate Coleman

Remember the days of climbing trees? The rush of excitement you felt as you’d clamber up the trunk? The freedom to explore and sense of limitless possibility– that life was a story waiting to be told… That’s the same magical feeling that grows withthe branches of Kate’s Storytree.

The Storytree is a safe, sensory-rich space where children can come together and explore themes and feelings that are most important to them. With the aid of classic yarns – from We’re Going On A Bear Hunt to The Tempest – little ones are encouraged to tell their own tales, helping them to make sense of the world.

A creative space, The Storytree gives children the confidence to listen, engage, share their thoughts and, above all, to feel like they belong. Books come to life with the aid of imaginative play and arts and crafts, lifting the adventure from the page and into the hearts and minds of children and parents alike.

About Kate
Having grown up in Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, Kate has always appreciated the power of a good story. ‘It was a passion for stories that led me to work within the children’s bookselling industry, before moving on to the education system,’ says Kate. Montessori-trained, I’m passionate about helping young people to feel listened to, and have witnessed first-hand the gift of self-discovery and validation that group storytelling can bring. Kate is trained in Therapeutic Storywriting, a method to develop emotional literacy.Storytelling kate coleman

Kate’s clients
The branches of the Storytree extend throughout the UK, taking root at festivals, libraries, schools and theatres. Clients include: Camper Calling, Lunarfest, Warwickshire Council, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and The School Library Service.

Want to sow a creative seed?
Email: katesstorytree@gmail.com

Running Your Library with a Reading for Pleasure Focus

Reading for pleasure is incredibly important for the young people that we work with and this session is aimed at all who want to gain confidence in the day to day running of their school library linking with others in similar situations and getting it on track.

You can expect to learn about:

Classifying books using the Dewey Decimal System
Selecting and evaluating stock
Creating the right environment
Ensuring that your library is effectively used by staff and pupils
Promoting reading for pleasure 

Event Information:
Date: Monday 16th September
Warwickshire Schools Library Service, Warwick, CV34 5LT

WSLS Subscriber: £50.00
Non Subscriber: £75.00

Please use the following online booking form if you would like a place on this session
If you would like to get in touch to ask us about this event please email us at: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk

Young People, Mental Health and Reading: A Training Session with Nicola Morgan

We are really pleased to announce a fantastic training opportunity with Nicola Morgan!

Nicola is an internationally-acclaimed author and authority on pupil well being, how stress impacts performance, effects of screens, social media and reading for pleasure. She has spent more than 20 years studying the subjects she now writes and talks about and can make highly intelligent and perceptive connections between neuroscience, psychology, observation and the lived experience of the thousands of children, young adults, parents and professionals she has engaged with.  
“Nicola Morgan has that rare gift of being able to communicate science and make it fun.” Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, University of Cambridge

You can find out more about Nicola at www.nicolamorgan.com

This will be a popular event so please book your place ASAP using our online form here

Event Information:
Date: Thursday 3rd October 2019
Northgate House Conference Centre, Warwick, CV34 4JH

Outline of the session:
12.30-13.30: Arrival and buffet Lunch
13.30-15.00: The science of stress, for young people and the rest of us, including the contribution of screen time. Nicola will bring you the well-researched science, going behind media headlines to find out what we do and don’t know about stress in our modern world, offline and online. At the end of the session you will understand the problems and challenges and improve your insight into how things are for many people of all ages, with a special focus on young people in your care.
15:00 – 15:30: Break   
15.30-16.45: The important role of Reading for pleasure in well being and success. This session takes reading for pleasure as one strategy for well being and looks at the fascinating science and evidence for choosing (and funding) this as a powerful tool for success in schools. How can we support young people (and the rest of us!) to read more for pleasure and why should we? Do our reading choices matter? Fiction or non- Fiction? Simple or Complex? Digital or print?

Book by Friday 26th July to benefit from our Early Bird rate:
WSLS Subscriber: £55.00
Non Subscriber: £65.00
After the 26th July tickets will cost the following:
WSLS Subscriber: £75.00
Non Subscriber: £85.00

*Please note that a cancellation fee will apply to all tickets. If you are unable to attend the session, 50% of the ticket fee will be charged up to four weeks before the event. After this point, tickets will then become non-refundable.

This will be a popular event so please book your place ASAP using our online form here

Please get in touch with us if you would like any further information: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk 

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.


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!

Reading Promotions

Recommended Reads KS2

We have a bumper crop of books to recommend for children across the whole of KS2. This has been created to suit all abilities and interests and with a mix of best loved classics and recent titles. Including quick reads, graphic novels and lengthy titles to curl up with, we're sure there will be something for everyone. As ever, many titles are available on BorrowBox from Warwickshire Libraries. Click on the image for the full list. Which are your favourites?

Recommended Reads for Years 7 & 8

There are books to suit all sorts in our brand new recommended reads list for Years 7 and 8 pupils. Sometimes something challenging and more grown up - but not too grown up - is required and sometimes what's needed is to go down a well-trodden path and read something familiar. Or maybe somewhere in between. This list has something for all and we hope it is useful. As ever, check out the pages of BorrowBox from Warwickshire Libraries for titles available to read for free! Click on the image for the full list.

Recommended Reads for Year 9

A fantastic range of top titles grace the pages of our recommendations for those in Year 9. Re-imagined classics, rapid reads, series and graphic novels are just some of the topics included. Selected to suit a range of interests and abilities, we are sure there is something for everyone. Many titles are available for free on BorrowBox from Warwickshire Libraries. Please share with your students. Click on the image for the full list.

Year 6 Transition Reads

Take a look at the list of fantastic titles we've put together for Year 6 pupils to read during their transition from primary to secondary school. A mix of non-fiction and fiction titles; offering glimpses into what is to come, hints and tips and school tales - from overcoming nerves at a new school to challenging yourself to achieve big things. Many titles may already on the bookshelf, with now the perfect time for a re-read. Many are available on BorrowBox with Warwickshire Libraries. There's something for everyone!Yr6 Transition

Summer Reading Challenge 2020 - Matt Black

First Reading Adventure!

We are really excited to be able to share our First Reading Adventure with you. This is a reading engagement package for Years 1 and 2 to promote:

  • sharing of books
  • recent and fun picture books
  • themes of well-being and empathy
  • first steps in reading

Our adventure will take children on a journey to greater understanding of themselves and the world around them as well as increasing their confidence with books and early reading.
The high quality texts, chosen by Warwickshire SLS staff, will engage children of all abilities by their attractive design, quality illustrations and exciting narratives.

What do teachers that have been using it say? 
'...a great selection of books that the children have really enjoyed listening to. We have had some lovely discussions sparked by the topics in the books, particularly when it comes to protecting our planet. Some of the children have enjoyed doing their own book reviews after they have chosen to read a book independently. 
The book activity cards with a brief overview and activity ideas have also been useful.'
Mrs Helen Everley
Head Teacher
Henley Montessori Primary

How does it work?
Warwickshire SLS arranges for the books to be delivered to your school (30 new books for you to keep), designed to be used over thirty weeks of the year (10 a term) but schools can use the books in any way they choose. The books come jacketed to make them both easy to clean and long-lasting, making bent corners and scuff marks a thing of the past. 
First Reading Adventure SamplesA pack will be sent to the named school contact electronically. It will include a quick guide for staff or volunteers, including activities and curriculum links, and ideas for parents. It will also have copiable promotional materials (pdfs) to keep the pupils engaged in a fun way, which will be emailed to you when you buy the pack. 

Why is it needed?

  • There is increasing concerns among educators and from the government to have books available that both inspire children to read more and more widely.
  • This will help them to engage in a wider understanding of the world and to develop a sense of empathy for other people.
  • Many parents and early years’ settings are asking for recommendations of appropriate texts to share with very young children around issues that might be quite difficult to discuss – loss, family changes, first experiences – as well as books that are simply a joy to read!
  • Staff in settings and schools do not always have the time to research and select these books themselves. Our team of staff at Warwickshire SLS select books for school on a daily basis and have many years of collective experience.
  • This pack from Warwickshire SLS provides your school with brand new books for your school to keep. They are there for you when you are ready to add them in to your topics with Year 1 or 2 and we are confident these titles are timeless in their appeal. They may also meet curriculum needs. 
  • The selection of books will fulfil your need for ready-to-use stock without the headache of having to select and order books yourselves.


  • The First Reading Adventure pack price for one set of the 30 books with jackets, plus accompanying materials and pdfs is £250
  • Further sets of the 30 books may be bought for £200

If you are interested please fill out our online form and we will send you all the books and information that you will need to take part.

If you would like to get in touch with us to find out more information, please email us here: schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk

Year 4 Reading Celebration 2020!


Following another successful Year 4 Reading Celebration in 2019, we are delighted to offer this again in 2020 in partnership with Warwickshire’s public library service (#Y4RC20).

This is a lovely way to celebrate reading and support Government objectives and your own work encouraging reading for pleasure in school. We hope to inspire young pupils to enjoy reading and to use their school and local libraries.

Participating pupils will be asked to borrow and read any four books from their local library and record their thoughts in a specially designed Reading Log, which will be sent to schools in January 2020. There will be a class challenge in response to their reading and the school will select a team of four pupils to attend the Final Celebration Event that will take place in March 2020 at a Warwickshire Library in your area.

Your school will need to be able to send a team to the relevant area Final Celebration Event. The teams will bring with them the class challenge work that the whole class has completed, and this will be part of the competition at the final event. Teams will take part in activities, such as book-related quizzes in a fun atmosphere and compete against other schools in the County. The winning team will be given a trophy to keep and display at school and each team member will receive a Star Reader medal and goody bag.  All participating Year 4 pupils will also receive a certificate.

To sign-up please fill in the online form.
Please email schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk for more information.

Year 4 Reading Celebration 2019!


We had another successful Y4RC this year. Schools from across Warwickshire attended our Final Celebration events at Nuneaton, Lillington, Stratford and Warwick public libraries. Schools took part in fun book related quizzes and winning schools took home a trophy for their school and individual medals and goodie bags.

As part of the Y4RC19, schools were asked (as a class) to prepare a Creative Response. This year the theme was Shakespeare and the schools' team of 4 pupils brought their Creative Responses to the Final Celebrations and presented these to the other schools. We were really impressed with all the hard work that had clearly gone into this work. The pictures below show just a few of the wonderful pieces of work that were created...


Previous Recommended Reads

For our previous book recommendations please take a look at our back issues pages.  This can be found at the bottom of this page, please select the edition you want and click go!