May 2014 Newsletter

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In this month's edition...

Guernsey Schools' Library Service subscribes to the Gale Schools Package

We are delighted to announce that Guernsey Schools' Library Service has subscribed to the Gale Science, Environmental and Global Issues Schools Package on behalf of five Secondary Schools.

Elizabeth Hutchinson of Guernsey Schools' Library Service writes:

"The increased use of the internet and online resources by teachers and students highlighted the need for the Schools' Library Service in Guernsey to consider other resources we could offer along with our book collection.

As our librarians already go into classrooms to teach the use of the online catalogue and information literacy, we decided that we would be able to ensure that any resources we bought would be promoted and used.

After talking to schools and teachers we decided to trial some JCS resources and got feedback from the teachers as to which ones would be the most useful. 

JCS were very helpful with suggesting a package that would suit as many of our students as possible and their patience with us was much appreciated.

We have now subscribed to a package of three resources which are Global issues in Context, Science in Context and GREENR (Global Reference on the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources).

We will monitor how these resources are used over the coming year and hope that this is the beginning of being able to offer more resources of this kind."

Find out more about the JCS regional subscription scheme

Why not request a quote and/or free trial of the Gale Science, Environmental and Global Issues Schools Package for your school or SLS?

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World Book Online now available in all West Berkshire Primary Schools

Teachers and pupils at primary schools across West Berkshire now have unlimited 24x7 access to a fantastic range of World Book Online resources and e-books thanks to a new agreement between West Berkshire Council’s School Improvement Team and JCS Online Resources.

"We are convinced of the quality and educational value of World Book Online products,” says Thomas Ng, School Improvement Adviser (ICT & Assessment). "By negotiating an area-wide agreement through JCS Online Resources, all West Berkshire schools are now benefitting from 12 months’ access.”

"The combination of high quality information, engaging multi-media and teacher support materials makes

World Book Online products ideal for use at primary level,” says Joyce Martin, Director of JCS. "We are delighted that Primary Schools across West Berkshire are able to benefit from access from 1 April, and that West Berkshire can achieve excellent savings through the JCS regional subscription scheme.”

The following World Book Online resources are available on an unlimited simultaneous user basis to all West Berkshire Primary Schools until 31 March 2015:

•    World Book eBooks: over 120 highly illustrated books which are packed with engaging multi-media content.
•    Early World of Learning: rich resources designed for easy integration into the classroom curriculum.
•    World Book Kids: a general reference product developed especially for young students.
•    World Book Discover: content and tools specifically designed for students whose reading is below grade level because of language or learning difficulties.
•    Science Power: includes interactive multimedia, teacher guides, and tests for each lesson, making it ideal for use in the classroom.
•    Dramatic Learning: helps to improve reading fluency and content comprehension of primary school students by turning text into plays, skits, and monologues, and providing tools for use by teachers in the classroom.

World Book Online also offers a range of resources suitable for Secondary Schools and Further Education Colleges.  Find out more here.

Find out more about the JCS regional subscription scheme

Why not request a quote and/or free trial of World Book Online for your school or SLS?

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Guest post - Developing students' research skills: an Information Manager's perspective

In this month's guest post, Anne Buxton, Information Manager at Northampton High School (pictured right), writes about the programme of information literacy and research skills training that has been introduced at her school.  Read the full article here.

Trying to embed information literacy and research skills into the curriculum has sometimes felt similar to trying to find the Holy Grail!  But, since September 2013, we have been running weekly sessions with year seven and year eight students at Northampton High School, and the results are already very encouraging.

Our starting point was how to use the library effectively, but we have now moved on to more sophisticated analytical skills – for example, how to identify quality information appropriate for a specific information need.

Use of the World Book Encyclopedia, both in paper and electronic format (as part of World Book Online), has been a significant and helpful part of our skills training. We recommend that students use it as a starting point for project work, especially when they know very little about the subject. Students also have an introduction to the World Book Encyclopaedia during Library Induction at the beginning of the academic year.

During our sessions, we have compared World Book entries (which are written by experts at a level appropriate for our students) with information available on websites such as Wikipedia. The emphasis is not on criticising Wikipedia, but on assessing quality and appropriateness of information in the context of tasks set by teachers. 

By equipping our year seven and year eight students with information literacy skills, we believe we are preparing them well for the more rigorous academic challenges of A Level studies, particularly the EPQ which is growing in popularity.  We also believe that these skills will help them to succeed in Higher Education. 

Judging by the work that the students have been producing in other lessons, we already have evidence that they are utilising their new information literacy skills to a pleasing extent, and the World Book Encyclopedia has made a significant contribution to the increase in achievement we are witnessing.

Anne Buxton, Information Manager, Northampton High School

You can read the full article here.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you would be interested in contributing to this section in future!

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Product news

JSTOR Secondary Schools Collection - 15 new subscribers and a long list of triallers!

We are delighted that 15 new schools have subscribed to the JSTOR Secondary Schools Collection over the last couple of months. 11 of the schools formed a buying group, and were therefore able to save up to 25% on their subscription fee.  Contact us to find out more.

Many more schools have confirmed that they will subscribe from September, and 35 schools are currently trialling!

If your school isn't one of them, why not request a free trial today?

"JSTOR is a tremendous resource which we have used at Magdalen College School for our research-based extended project course in the sixth form, as well as for some curriculum subjects. The database is utterly user-friendly and can be accessed by students and staff through the school network. It’s a tremendous opportunity for our students to work with peer-reviewed publications at a crucial point of their academic career." Alexey Kostyanovsky, Head of Theology, Magdalen College School

Containing a substantial portion of the academic journals available in JSTOR (named "best overall database" by Library Journal in 2013), the Secondary Schools Collection is an affordable single package specially designed for use in schools.

Request a free trial of the JSTOR Secondary Schools Collection for your school.

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Gale NewsVault - new guide and materials to support teaching about Margaret Thatcher

A new guide, specially prepared for JCS, is full of great ideas and tips about how to use Gale NewsVault to support teaching and learning about Margaret Thatcher. You can also browse a selection of hand-picked articles in Gale NewsVault's Margaret Thatcher Anniversary Collection here.

If you're not already a subscriber, why not put the new guide to good effect by requesting a quote and/or a free trial of Gale NewsVault for your school?

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eChalk - best app for teaching fractions at KS3

Reviewed by appolearning as the best app for teaching fractions at middle school, check out eChalk's suite of fun chicken-themed educational games.

 The resources are already used in thousands of schools to help children develop methodologies for rapidly solving problems involving fractions.

Read the review of Chicken Coop Fraction Games.  Watch a YouTube video.  Find out more about eChalk.

Why not request a quote and/or free trial of eChalk for your school?

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JCS news

Goodbye Patrick...and hello Sarah!

We are very sorry to report that JCS Sales Representative Patrick Edmond is moving on at the end of May.

“It has been so great to work with the JCS team," says Patrick. "I am now moving back to university for a couple of years, this time in Germany. I am also going to be spending some time singing madrigals in Switzerland with Anthony Rooley, the master of the genre.”

Patrick has been a huge asset to the team. We’ll particularly miss his lively banter, his new ideas and of course his big deep voice – and we wish him all the best for his future career be it academic or on stage.

Sad as we are that Patrick is leaving, we were delighted to welcome Sarah Norman (pictured right) as joined us in March as our new Sales Representative.

"I was a teacher and Head of History in London for a number of years before moving to Oxford and having my eldest son Benjy.  He is now ten and has been joined by two younger brothers, Wilfred who is eight and Rufus who is six. They have kept me pretty busy over these years but I have continued to examine and team lead on the History GCSE, iGCSE for Edexcel Pearson and the iGCSE for Cambridge International, something I started to do in 1997.

Family life is very busy as my husband is an opera singer and travels a great deal.  The boys have taken after him and the two eldest are choristers and play a total of five instruments between them, including the drums.  I also spend a lot of time on cold pitches for various sports! Our house is pretty chaotic much of the time!

I keep my sanity by being a keen participant in Crossfit, running and cycling, and I am delighted to be back at work and with a great team of people and great products!" Contact Sarah

The rest of the team remains unchanged. David Zawada is responsible for sales to schools and colleges in the UK (South East, East of England, East Midlands, West Midlands, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and overseas. Karolina Nenca is responsible for finances, events and after-sales care. Joyce Martin continues to lead the team and negotiate new licences for the JCS portfolio. Anne Kail manages our social media presence and sales of World Book Online to public libraries. Susanna Lob is responsible for our newsletter, website and promotional materials.

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Packed JCS seminar at the CILIP School Libraries Group Conference, April 2014

Over 30 librarians attended JCS Director Joyce Martin's seminar on how to get value for money from e-resources at the CILIP School Libraries Group Conference last month.

Joyce provided practical advice and guidance on ways to promote their e-resources, to get teachers and students using them without prompting, and to help them show how their digital library is helping to raise standards and prepare students for university.

Through practical group work she illustrated that having a clear aim and a proper clear plan of what they wanted to achieve, who should be involved, the promotional activities to be employed and when they should be undertaken was key to success.

Great feedback about JCS publisher workshop, Northampton, April 2014

Thanks to all the school librarians who attended the latest in a series of JCS Publisher workshops, and we were delighted to receive some lovely comments from participants....

"Thanks very much for yesterday. I must say that I surprised myself how much I enjoyed the day as I was not really very thrilled at the thought of a day on e-resources (being an old-fashioned booky librarian!). It was good to hear all the different publishers talking about their products, interspersed with time on the computers to have a 'play'. Also it was nice that the event was relaxed and informal with plenty of time to chat to colleagues - and the lunch was great, of course!" Jane Neill, Learning Resource Officer, Malcolm Arnold Academy, Northampton

Happy JCS newsletter reader

We were very pleased to receive the following feedback about the JCS newsletter from librarian Janet Syme...

"Thank you for alerting me to the London conference, ‘Schools And The Great War Centenary: How Schools Should Best Prepare’ organised by Wellington College and The Wellington Academy last month. It was an inspiring day filled with great speakers – Michael Morpurgo, Jeremy Paxman and Ian Hislop along with Professors from Oxford University and Yale University and representatives from various organisations. For more information and ideas to commemorate The Great War please go to www.WW1andSchools.co.uk". Janet Syme, Librarian, Simon Balle School, Hertford 

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Events and training courses

School Library Camps (Saturday 14 June in London, Glasgow, Great Malvern/Midlands, Leeds, Manchester)

Calling everyone interested in developing and improving school library services! On Saturday 14 June, there will be five school library camps held simultaneously in different locations. Attendance is free. Find out more about each event by clicking the links below:

School Library Association Weekend Course - No Librarian is an Island (Saturday 20 June to Sunday 21 June, Renaissance Hotel, Manchester)

Are you getting value for money from your e-resources?  Joyce Martin, Director of JCS, will be running a workshop as part of the SLA Weekend Course on ways to promote your online resources to ensure that you do!

By special request, Joyce will also be running a session on World Book Online - "No student is an island...with World Book Online".

There are lots of other great sessions too! Find out more

Other School Library Association training courses: The School Library Association is also running a wide range of training courses in May and June – for example "iCan with an iPad" and "The E-Reading Revolution".

Find out more about all SLA training events.

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Sector news

Impact of School Libraries on Learning - an important Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) Report

"The research indicates that a large and high quality school library collection is a significant contributor to student attainment and achievement and that physical and virtual access to the library and its resources throughout and beyond the school day have an impact on test scores." Download the report

Geography lessons go virtual. Danish government creates Minecraft version of the country to help teachers and to make lessons more fun for students. Read more on Schools Improvement Net.

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