Monday, 19 December 2016

Crisis at Christmas 2016

Thousands of people will be homeless this Christmas.

Each year, some of the staff at TRS choose to make a donation to Crisis instead of sending Christmas cards.  This year the total raised is £420.  

In addition, our Business Manager, Mrs Whiting, kindly organised a staff raffle with the money raised also going to Crisis.  This brings the total raised to £522which will reserve 23 places for homeless people this Christmas.

Crisis is a charity which offers shelter, companionship and life-changing services to people who are homeless.  To find out more visit the Crisis website.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

🎅 Books into Film at Christmas

What are you reading over the Christmas holiday? Come and browse and borrow from our display of Christmas books and books with a film tie-in on TV! 

School Librarian, Helen Smith, has compiled her annual list of Christmas book and film tie-ins that are on TV over the Christmas period.  Please click on the link below to view: Christmas TV List 2016.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Michael Morpurgo and The Power of Stories

The acclaimed children's author, Michael Morpurgo, consistently champions the benefits of allowing all children to develop a love of reading through storytelling, giving them the opportunity to access the world of books and all the advantages that brings.  As he eloquently put it in a speech he made recently as President of the Book Trust, reading "widens and deepens knowledge and understanding, develops the ability to empathise, explore, discover, be comforted, excited, provoked and challenged and it spurs confidence and creativity".

At TRS we have two amazing Libraries, and three knowledgeable Librarians, who are passionate about reading and endeavour to find a book for every student. We have a culture of reading, where all students are encouraged to carry a reading book, we organise visits from authors to inspire and run competitions such as 'Take A Risk' to engage KS3 students.

We have lots of favourite titles by Michael Morpurgo in the Discovery Library, including Private Peaceful, War Horse, Kensuke's Kingdom and An Eagle in the Snow.

For ideas on what to read see our 'new books' and 'book review' pages on the blog, visit the reading list web sites on the blog home page or ask your librarians!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Caboodle are asking young bookworms to draw a picture from their favourite book - the book that made them a child of books. Upload the drawing to their gallery and one lucky booklover will win a massive selection of 50 books from Walker Books to create their own world of stories, plus a signed copy of A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers & Sam Winston, framed print, and tote bag. 10 runners-up will receive a signed copy.
Enter here. They will pick the winners after Monday 2nd January 2017. So go on, get creative this Christmas!

Friday, 25 November 2016

Speaking Up for Libraries

Chris Riddell, acclaimed author and illustrator and current Children’s Laureate, has been speaking up about the importance of school libraries.  Backed by all eight former Laureates, Chris Riddell has written an open letter to the Government expressing his concern that the work school librarians and school libraries do to promote reading for pleasure is being under appreciated and undermined through lack of investment. 

Speaking during a House of Lords debate about illiteracy and the crisis facing public libraries and independent bookshops, Lord John Bird, founder of the Big Issue, has warned the Government that if they continue to cut libraries they should “be prepared to build more prisons, to build more homeless hostels".  He believes that libraries, both public and school libraries, are essential in helping young people become literate and therefore drastically improve their life chances.  Earlier this year John Bird co-launched a Project Literacy Campaign with actress and model Lily Cole calling upon the UN to tackle global illiteracy, the cause of many social issues.

We are fortunate at TRS that we currently have two excellent Libraries, which are well resourced and staffed by three professionally qualified librarians who are passionate about encouraging reading for pleasure.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Are You Ready to 'Take A Risk'?

The Library’s ever popular ‘Take a Risk’ competition is back for Christmas!  

To enter, simply borrow a mystery ‘Take A Risk’ book, fill in the short questionnaire, if you get the questions right you will automatically win a prize and have your name entered into a free prize draw with the chance to win more prizes. PLUS, there are spot prizes to be won!

See a Librarian in the Discovery Library for details. 

Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2016 - winner announced

Crongton Knights by acclaimed author Alex Wheatle has won the this year's Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.  Set on a fictionalised council estate, it is a funny, moving and hard hitting story about a school boy called McKay.

The prize is judged by authors and previous winners have included Jacqueline Wilson, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Ted Hughes, Philip Pulman and Meg Rosoff.  Alex Wheatle is the 50th author to win the award and the first black writer.

Crongton Knights, which is available to borrow from the War Memorial Library, is the second in a planned trilogy.  The first book in the series, Liccle Bit, is also available to borrow from the War Memorial Library.

To find out more about Alex Wheatle, who was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2008, go to the Guardian website.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Epic Reads - best new YA books

We have an amazing collection of new YA fiction in the War Memorial Library, including the supernatural thriller The Graces by Laure Eve, the funny and touching Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella and for fans of Michael Grant, the thrillingly fast-paced Boy Nobody series by Allen Zadoff.

As well as checking out our displays and this blog for your next favourite read, why not have a look at some of the fantastic YA book blogs.  We liked YA, Yeah Yeah and Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books.

Find your new favourite read!

Friday, 11 November 2016

Remembrance 2016

Armistice Day, also known as Remembrance Day, takes place on 11 November every year, marking the official ending of the WWI on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.   A two minute silence is held on this day every year so that we do not forget the millions killed, injured and affected by war and people wear remembrance poppies.  At TRS, we will be observing a silence today at 11 am. 

The Discovery and War Memorial Libraries have special Remembrance displays of war time books for you to borrow.

The Ravensbourne School War Memorial, initially dedicated to students and staff who gave their lives in the Great War, is situated in the KS4/5 Library; known as the War Memorial Library. It was added to again after World War II. The war memorial is important to the life of the school and we mention it often.

As the War Memorial Library is for the use of KS4 and 5 students and staff only and we are aware that the KS3 students do not get to see the memorial, we are hoping to arrange a timetable of visits for the Year 7 students to visit during Form Time this term.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Books into Film - A Street Cat Named Bob

The week sees the release of the film adaptation of A Street Cat Named Bob, the true story of James Bowen, former homeless busker, recovering drug addict and Big Issue seller, whose life is turned around when he meets a ginger tom cat called Bob.  The film stars Luke Treadwell as James and Bob as himself.

A TRS favourite, A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen, also appears on the World Book Day Writes of Passage list of 50 books that will change your life.

To view a trailer of the film click here and copies of A Street Cat Named Bob, and the children’s adaption of the book Bob, No Ordinary Cat are available to borrow from the Libraries. 

Also out in cinemas is the film adaptation of Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, a gripping psychological thriller.  The film stars Emily Blunt and, for the film, the action has been transferred from London to New York.  A copy of Girl on the Train is available to borrow from the War Memorial Library.

Word of the Week - recent winners

As you know, the Library runs competitions throughout the year, including Word of the Week.  Below are some recent winners.  If you have an interesting or unusual word that you want to share with everyone, please ask for an entry form in either of the Libraries.  The competition is available to enter in both the Discovery and War Memorial Libraries.  All Word of the Week winners receive a pen of their choice!

Look out too for other Library competitions coming up this term.

Discovery Library

Verb: To be in charge of a meeting or gathering.
chosen by Summer (7FH)

Adjective: Shrivelled or wrinkled with age.
chosen by Fleur (9HE)
Adjective: Able to use the right and left hands equally well.
chosen by Rosanna (7MP)

Verb: An act of thinking up a new way of doing something that becomes successful.
chosen by Lewis (8CL)

Noun: A feeling that something bad will happen.
chosen by Shelby (7HR)

Noun: A strong dislike [irrational fear] of foreigners or strangers.chosen by Jamie (7FH)

Adjective: A period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful.
chosen by Max (9LN)

Verb: To exclude someone from a group or from society and completely ignore them.
chosen by Christopher (8MP)

Noun: Various yellow-brown symbiotic single-celled protozoans (dinoflagellates) that live within the cells of other organisms, especially certain corals and marine invertebrates.

chosen by Mia (8SH)

Adjective:  Bold, passionate and enthusiastic about a belief or purpose.
chosen by Vienna (7MA)

Adjective: Easily distinguishable; attracting special attention.
chosen by Rosanna (8MP)

Verb: To delight and fascinate.
chosen by Masuda (8BM)

Adjective: Uncontrollably exuberant; boisterous
chosen by Charles (7AH)

Adjective: All-knowing; having or seeming to have unlimited knowledge
chosen by Kursat (7BT)

Noun: A trivial complaint or objection.
chosen by Rosanna (8MP)

War Memorial Library

Noun: The authority given to an elected group, such as a government, to carry out an action or govern a countrychosen by Joe Dargis (12BY)

Noun: The basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.
chosen by Amy (13PT)

Noun:  An infectious disease caused by a protozoan parasite which invades the red blood cells and is transmitted by mosquitoes in many tropical and subtropical regions.chosen by Kate (13BI)

Noun: A lover, especially the illicit partner of a married person.  Developed from the French phrase ‘par amour’ meaning ‘passionately’ or ‘with desire’.
chosen by Monet (13AP)

Adjective: Belonging to a period other than that being portrayed; belonging or appropriate to an earlier period, especially so as to seem conspicuously old fashioned.chosen by Frankie (12SR)

Noun: An intention or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who are handicapped or learning-disabled, or racial and sexual minorities.
chosen by Ms Roberts (Librarian)

Adjective: Having or expressing a lively, cheerful and self-confident manner.
chosen by  Harry (12CI)

Adjective: When something is unclear or open to more than one interpretation, as it does not have an obvious meaning.
chosen by Mbalu (12DE)

Verb: To rise above or go beyond; overstep; exceed.
chosen by Frankie (13ME)

Adjective: Overly concerned with minor details or rules.
chosen by Louis (10WH)

Adjective: Taking time to work hard on what you want to do; being committed to a task or purpose.
chosen by Brian (10OC)

Noun: A 150th anniversary or its celebration.  For example, this year marks 150 years since the birth of author, Beatrix Potter.
chosen by Fleur (10OC)

Noun:  A piece of land projecting into the water from the larger land mass. 
chosen by Monique (10LN)

Adjective: All of the same or similar kind or nature
chosen by Mr Shuttleworth (History)

Adjective: A very showy appearance or manner; exuberant or ostentatious.
chosen by Fleur (10OC) 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Writing Competitions November 2016

First Story’s National Writing Competition 2016
You are invited to write 850 words of poetry or prose on the theme of ‘footprints’.  The competition is open to all secondary state school students and their teachers too.  Schools must select three entries to submit by 23rd November 2016.

Prizes include a place on a creative writing course for yourself and three friends with a teacher and shortlisted entries will be professionally published anthology.  The judges include Mark Haddon (author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and Juno Dawson (author of Say Her Name).  For more details go to

National Novel Writing Month
NaNoWriMo's (National Novel Writing Month) YWP challenges young writers to complete an entire novel in November! Are you up for it?  You will need a parent, teacher or librarian to help you sign up.  For more information go to

Why not ask your teacher about entering these competitions!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Man Booker Prize Winner 2016 Announced

American author Paul Beatty has won this year’s ManBooker Prize for his novel The Sellout.  It is a satirical novel about a young black man who tries to reinstate slavery and segregation in a local high school on the outskirts of Los Angeles.  This is the first time an American author has won the prize. Beatty receives £50,000 in prize money.

We have a selection of past Man Booker prizewinning and shortlisted novels available to borrow from the War Memorial Library.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

New Comics Laureate Announced

Charlie Adlard, artist of The Walking Dead zombie comics and many more, has been appointed as the new comics laureate. The appointment was announced at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival.  Charlie Adlard will take over the role from Dave Gibbons in February next year. 

The scheme was set up two years ago by The Comics Literacy Awareness Trust (CLAW) and the purpose of the role is to champion children’s literacy and encourage creativity.

The new laureate believes that “the power of comics to encourage learning and develop literacy shouldn’t be underestimated. Comics can connect with people who may never pick up a normal book and really help encourage a love of reading”.

Graphic Novels in the WML
We have a growing collection of graphic novels in the War Memorial and Discovery Libraries, including graphic novel versions of Charlie Higson and Eoin Colfer books, Manga versions of Darren Shan and James Patterson novels and Marvel Comic graphic novels.  An example of Charlie Adlard’s work, Days Gone Bye, is available to borrow from the War Memorial Library.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Carve Out Time for A Good Read this Halloween!

Why not choose a 'scary' book to read over half term? Come and browse our display of horror books for Halloween in the Discovery Library. We have something for everyone - from vampires to werewolves and books that are horrifying and funny!

In the War Memorial Library, we have put together a display of must-read, spine-tingling, Halloween horror classics.  From gothic novels such as Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker's Dracula, to the terrifyingly creepy The Woman in Black by Susan Hill - borrow them if you dare!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for literature

Bob Dylan, one of the most influential American singer/songwriters of the 20th century, has been awarded the 2016 Nobel prize for literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

There have been mixed reactions to the award, however, former poet laureate Andrew Motion has called it "a wonderful acknowledgement of Dylan’s genius. For 50 and some years he has bent, coaxed, teased and persuaded words into lyric and narrative shapes that are at once extraordinary and inevitable.”

Thursday, 6 October 2016

National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day and we are celebrating in many different ways at TRS!
Founded in 1994 by William Sieghart, National Poetry day is a nationwide celebration of poetry, which is held each year on the first Thursday of October.

Check out our display in the Discovery Library and browse and borrow our fantastic collection of poetry from Michael Rosen to Adisa and Jacqueline Wilson.  What's your favourite poem?

Friday, 23 September 2016

Writing Competitions

Do you enjoy writing stories? Would you like to win some great prizes?  If the answer to both these questions is yes, you may be interested in entering two national creative writing competitions for secondary school students. Good luck!

Writing subject: The organisers want your writing to be personal to you so you can write on whatever topic you like.
Length: 750 words
Open to: 5 to 25 year olds
Prizes: All winners will win four tickets to see the London production of WICKED at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and an opportunity to meet cast members after the show along with an exclusive backstage tour.  Plus loads more prizes.
Deadline: Monday 13th March 2017
Click here for more information and how to enter

Writing subject: Anything you feel passionately about.
Rules: One entry per student, poems can be submitted online or by post. Please ensure your name, surname and age are included on your work.
Prizes: The best poet will WIN £1,000 for themselves!
The best school will win the Young Writers' Award of Excellence, which they can showcase in their school.
Closing Date: Friday 21st of October 2016
Click here for more information and writing tips.

Post-a-Read 2016

Thank you to everyone who told us what they were reading over the summer holidays. We've had postcards from Grenada to Devon and Croatia to The Maldives and lots of excellent book recommendations!  Mr Contreras-Ramis read the most books - 13 novels in English and more in Spanish!  All the students who sent us a postcard have been awarded achievement points and received prizes.
Come and have a look at our display, which is on the noticeboard outside the Discovery Library.  Remember, we are a reading school, so feel free to ask you teachers what they are reading.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Man Booker Prize 2016 - short list announced

The Man Booker Prize is awarded for fiction and is open to authors writing in English regardless of their nationality.

The six books on this year's short list are:
  • The Sellout by Paul Beatty (US)
  • Hot Milk by Deborah Levy (UK)
  • His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet (UK)
  • Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh (US)
  • All That Man Is by David Szalay (Canada/UK)
  • Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thein (Canada) a (US)

The winner of the year's Man Booker Prize will be announced on Tuesday, 25th October.

Previous Man Booker Prize winners are available to borrow from the War Memorial Library.

Friday, 16 September 2016

The UKLA Book Awards 2017 - long list announced

The 2017 UKLA (UK Literacy Association) Book Awards long list has been announced. The awards, which celebrate children's and YA books, are judged by active classroom teachers.  The books are split into the three age group categories and among the books long listed in the 12-16 age group are:
  • One by Sarah Crossan, winner of the Carnegie Medal, a moving novel about conjoined twins.
  • Island by Nicky Singer, illustrated by Chris Riddell
  • Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine, nominated for the Carnegie Medal
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, nominated for the Carnegie Medal
These books are all available to borrow in the Discovery and War Memorial Libraries.

The shortlists will be announced from 13th March 2017 and the winners will be announced on 30th June at the UKLA International Conference.