Memorial Library News

Monday 27th March 2023

There’s been a whirlwind of activity in the Memorial Library this term: we’ve loaned out over 1,000 books, had thousands of visitors, and expanded our collections with hundreds of amazing new books. The Upper Sixth have been revising for mock exams, while the Shell took part in our World Book Day quiz, plus we’ve hosted a number of exciting activities for our partner schools, all alongside out usual Harry Potter Night and World Book Day events. Phew!

Here are some of this term’s highlights…

Harry Potter Book Night

On the night of 2nd February, pupils gathered in the Library to help us celebrate our annual Harry Potter Book Night! The four wizarding Houses thrashed it out in a series of challenges to see who would claim the Tri-Wizard Cup, and a bucketful of sweets.

Harry Potter Night 2023

The competition was spirited this year, and while Ravenclaw and Gryffindor put up a good fight, it really came down to Hufflepuff vs Slytherin. Controversy ensued when Slytherin were accused of cheating, but in spite of a judge’s intervention, they still went on to win the Cup. You can read the full report, plus commentary from Hufflepuff’s team captain here. A big thank you to everyone who came along and made it another magical evening!

World Book Day

For World Book Day this year we teamed up with the Modern Languages Department to celebrate books – and food – from around the world. There were platters of sushi, pizza, pretzels, croissants, chorizo, and much more on offer. A parade of hungry pupils came along, stacking their plates high, before competing in a World Book Day quiz to test their knowledge of books, languages, and countries: big congratulations to Phoenix F who was this year’s champion!

Pupils enjoy the buffet as part of World Book Day

This year also saw another chance for budding bakers to showcase their talents in the World Book Day Bake-Off. We invited pupils to bake something inspired by their favourite book. It was a tough choice between some excellent entries, but last year’s Bake-Off champion Xanthe retained her title with an amazingly detailed cake (pictured above) depicting Alice and Wonderland, complete with teapot, the Cheshire Cat, and playing cards! In second place was Nina with a colourful Harry Potter themed cake, while Atalanta came in third with chocolate cake inspired by Bruce Bogtrotter’s ordeal in Roald Dahl’s Matilda.

Visits from our Partner Schools

We’ve hosted a number of visits from our partner school Swindon Academy this term; Year 7 have been working on developing two-minute trailers for classic books including Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, and The Woman in Black. Golden statuettes and sweets will be on offer for the best trailers!

Swindon Academy pictured during their recent visit to The Memorial Library

Meanwhile Year 10 have started researching ‘unsung heroes’ for an essay prize to be judged in the Summer Term. Pupils will be aiming to bring the stories and achievement of these often overlooked individuals to light; nominees include Percy Lavon Julian, an African American pioneer in chemistry, and Baldwin IV the ‘Leper King’ of Jerusalem. We look forward to future visits, and to seeing the results of everyone’s hard work soon.

MC Reads

MC Reads is our new, alternative book club. Each term we recommend four exciting books, two fiction and two non-fiction, and invite pupils to choose one to read, discuss, and review, with a prize for the best review. This term we recommended Spare (Prince Harry); Anything is Possible (Gareth Southgate); Rosewater (Tade Thompson) and All the Best Liars (Amelia Kahaney.)

We had a great response, with Spare dividing opinion, and Anything is Possible winning over one sceptical reader. But our winning review by Alice weighed up All the Best Liars, a YA psychological thriller.  Many thanks to all the pupils who took the time to read and review one of the books. Keep an eye out for next term’s picks and another chance to take part!

The Library Team wish everyone a relaxing and peaceful Easter break, and we look forward to seeing you all in the Summer Term!

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