All posts by Y. Manning

Spelling Bee

Yvonne Manning , Principal Librarian, Service and School Improvement Team of Falkirk Council Education Service attended Larbert High School’s first Spelling Bee. It was an excellent event with pupils from S2 who overcame their nerves to stand on the stage in front of their peers and pupils from Kinnaird PS and Stenhousemuir PS to show their excellence in spelling. Award winning author Nicola Morgan, Larbert High School’s Patron of Reading, was there and her main message to us was that reading  for enjoyment helps the brain to perform better! Nicola also presented  prizes to the pupils.

RED Book Award


Yvonne Manning , Principal Librarian, Service and School Improvement Team of Falkirk Council Education Service led the 8th RED Book Award ceremony on the 29th January  2014 in the Falkirk Town Hall.

 The shortlist this year was Mortal Chaos by Matt Dickinson, Torn by David Massey, Mister Creecher by Chris Priestley and Slated by Teri Terry.

This year there was an international dimension to the Book Award with young people from Nairobi (International School of Kenya and Mathare North Library) shadowing the award. It was very successful and they have renamed their book group The RED Book Club!

250 pupils from  the secondary schools in Falkirk Council participated in the Book Award reading, enjoying and debating the shortlisted books. Along with the Kenyan young people, they voted in December for their favourite book and planned a creative interpretation of one of the books to be performed at the award ceremony.

The Award ceremony had a wonderful atmosphere thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of the young people. The performances showcased the creativity and  confidence of the young people. We particularly enjoyed the performances from Nairobi sent to us electronically. At the ceremony the radio broadcast team from St Mungo’s High School recorded interviews, pupil journalists from Graeme and Larbert High Schools wrote a news report which will appear in The Falkirk Council News, a film team from Braes High School filmed the event and a pupil from Falkirk High School, interested in photography, shadowed the council photographer.








 Feedback from the some of the authors:

“Thank you so much for everything this week. I had the best time at the RED book awards. I think having the colour red as part of things added such a fun element to the day. I really enjoyed myself, and was amazed at how good the presentations by the schools were. ” Teri Terry

“Could I just say a big thank you, on behalf of David and myself, for the hospitality shown to us during our time in Falkirk. We enjoyed our visit to Scotland so much and are looking forward to returning when we have more time. Some of our favourite moments were seeing the children act out parts of the shortlisted books – especially Torn of course!” David Massey

And the winner of RED 8 is Slated by Teri Terry

Edinburgh International Book Festival Outreach Programme

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Yvonne Manning, Principal Librarian, Curriculum Support Team, Falkirk Council Education Services has arranged for author Pippa Goodhart and James Carter to visit Falkirk Council in August 2013 as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival Outreach Programme. Pippa Goodhart has written many wonderful picture books, including ‘Just Imagine’ and ‘You Choose’. She is also the author of the very popular books ‘Winnie the Witch’, written under the name Laura Owen. James Carter is a poet and brings his poems alive with music at his appearances in nurseries and schools. His books include ‘Hey Little Bug, Poems for Little Creatures’. Yvonne is working in partnership with Community Learning and Development and Pippa will be leading a session with young families from adult learning groups, while James will be visiting Denny Nursery.

Russian relations

Yvonne Manning, Principal Librarian, Curriculum Support Team, Falkirk Council Education Services gave a presentation via Skype to the annual gathering of 100 children’s librarians in Russia on 17/6/13.

In November 2012, Library Support for Schools hosted a visit from Directors of children and young people’s library services in Russia where they were particularly interested in Falkirk Council’s RED Book Award and storytelling initiatives. This visit prompted  Andrey V. Lisitsky, Head of the Training Centre “School of Librarian Leadership”, Pushkin Library Foundation, to arrange a Skype meeting with Yvonne. After Yvonne talked to the group about the RED Book Award and storytelling projects there was an opportunity for questions. They were particularly interested in ideas to engage young people in reading for enjoyment and oral storytelling.

Reading Champions

 Yvonne Manning, Principal Librarian, Curriculum Support Team, Falkirk Council Education Services organised a project with looked after and accommodated young people who worked with storytellers and an animator to create a film. The project was funded by Awards for All and is an example of very effective partnership work between Education, Social Work, Lisa Kapur Forde (Arts Development Officer, Falkirk Community Trust), storytellers – Ruth Kirkpatrick and Claire McNicol, musicians and Wrighteye film makers. The launch of the film took place in Falkirk Town Hall on 22/3/13. It was a wonderful occasion to celebrate the achievements of the young people. The storytellers and the young people told the story that they had created and then the film was shown. The film shows the group in Meadowbank Library working together on the story, making the characters, shooting the scenes and then viewing the animation of the story. The song that accompanies the story was written and sung by one of the young people. The film can be viewed by clicking this link – Tear Drops on the Wings

Feedback after the launch was exceptional, here is just a snapshot of what people said:

‘What a fantastic and moving film.  The music was wonderful and fitted perfectly with the story and the animation.  I was blown away by the whole event and by the talent and ability of the young people.  Thank you.’ Chief Governance Officer, Falkirk Council.

‘This has by far the best thing that’s happened for me for ages, thanks for sharing your work, talent and experiences.  I would be delighted if you would be prepared to show the film and tell the story at the Falkirk Parents and Families Workshop on 9th October 2013.  I think you could inspire so many more people there!, Thank you!!’ Co-ordinator, Children’s Services, Falkirk Council.

‘Incredible! I was unbelievably impressed with the quality of the film.  Thank you so much for giving us the chance to see it.  You are all brilliant.  Well done!!’ Clinical Psychologist.

‘Well done all involved.  A brilliant team effort.  Hope to see your film again soon.  Thank you so much!’  Child Health Commissioner, N.H.S. Forth Valley.

‘Excellent show, the young people have shown how much talent they have.  Through this film they have hopefully addressed some issues they have, they worked very well together, social skills proven, feelings revealed etc.  Well done to everyone who encouraged and taught, helped make this film.  What next for these young people, they need to get to the next stop.  BRAVO!!’ A Grandmother

‘…  Wow! Wonderful achievement to everyone who participated in the movie.  It was a lovely story well written.  The film makers were great and the music was showstopping! Simply stunning! Wonderful music.  To all of you, I wish you every success in the future.  Keep working hard; Keep positive: Keep doing good work and Thank You I loved it.’ Councillor, Falkirk Council.

And what next?

To nominate the film for an Award.

The young people will tell their story and show the film at a Parent and Families Workshop event in Falkirk Council in October 2013.

CELCIS (Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland) are very interested in showcasing the film at their annual conference in October 2013.

Education Scotland are very interested in sharing the project as an example of good practice.

A connection has been established between the Homes and Meadowbank Library. The young people all received a library membership card and borrowed books from the library. The plans  to reinforce this connection include a trip to the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August; library staff will visit the Homes in advance of the trip to read ‘tasters’ from the books by the author(s) with whom the young people will meet.

At least two of the young people have been offered opportunities to further explore  their musical interest and talent from the musicians and producer involved in the project.

The young people who were involved in this project wanted it to continue  and other young people are now very keen to be involved in a similiar project. With this in mind, Yvonne Manning, Lisa Kapur Forde and Jenny Kane (Leaving Care Service) are looking at other potential funding sources and build on the success.

RED Book Award

Yvonne Manning, Principal Librarian, Curriculum Support Team, Falkirk Council Education Services organised the Falkirk Council Book Award called Read Enjoy Debate. A shortlist of four books was read by students in each of the mainstream secondary schools between August and December 2102. Voting took place and book reviews were submitted in December. The award ceremony was held on 23rd January 2013 at Falkirk Town Hall, where the young people presented creative interpretations of each of the shortlisted books. The shortlisted authors attended and there was a lively question and answer session. The day culminated in the opening of the red envelope to reveal the winning book… and the winner: An Act of Love by Alan Gibbons.

The shortlist:

An Act of Love by Alan Gibbons

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

Gladiator by Simon Scarrow

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

“Best day out I have had in a long time. I was really impressed by the seamless efficiency of it all and the enthusiasm of all involved.”  Simon Scarrow, shortlisted author.

“It is a brilliant event and we are delighted to be associated with it. Congratulations to you all for putting on such a super day.” John MacPherson, Bright Red Publishing Ltd (sponsor).

“My class thoroughly enjoyed their day out. Thank you so much for inviting us along. I have had nothing but positive feedback from the pupils and staff. It’s such a wonderful event to attend and I hope to work with you again in the future.” Falkirk High School

Images of the RED Book Award ceremony can be viewed on Flickr:

Reading Flash Mob

Yvonne Manning, Principal Librarian, Curriculum Support Team, Falkirk Council Education Services organised a reading flash mob on 30th November 2012 to celebrate Book Week Scotland. Pupils from Bantaskin Primary School and Windsor Park School met in Falkirk Town Centre each with a book, and at 11am the reading began, starting with one voice and building up to over 50 voices reading aloud. At the signal (a whistle) the reading immediately stopped and everyone walked off in the spirit of a flash mob.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]

Book Week Scotland is organised by Scottish Book Trust,