Stromness Academy Library

Books, reading and life in a school library

March 19, 2020
by Mrs Sinclair

Fill your Bag with Books

Extraordinary circumstances – library loan limits waived – overdue reminders went out in the last two days and it is preferable but not essential to get them returned or renewed.

Pupils and staff can take as many books as they feel they need for the next few weeks. Ignore the loan date stamped – just for records. No overdues will be sent out.

Remember to get library books stamped out at the desk.

Also please also help yourself to the non-library books off the book swap trolley or the boxes of books on the tables. You might find something your parents or younger siblings might like to read.

If you have any queries in terms of book suggestions, or information requirements in relation to you studies or interested please do not hesitate to contact me via email:

Anyone interested in joining a Microsoft Team to discuss books and reading can get in touch via the above email.

If you like e-books and audiobooks, the Orkney Library & Archive have a loan facility for these. If you are an Orkney Library member, you can use Borrowbox. They also have a digital music lending service called Freegal.   There are also some great online reference resources available at Library Online.

Stay safe over the coming weeks –

  • Develop a daily routine
  • Get your allocated schoolwork done
  • Read
  • Build in relaxation and chilling time
  • Protect your mental health
  • Practise social distancing to keep vulnerable family safe

All the best – will be thinking of you in these times.

March 13, 2020
by Mrs Sinclair

Fake News

We are all, or at least should all be aware of double and triple checking the sources of information we view on the internet, yet many of us get caught out. In the light of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, it is doubly important to ensure you are getting the correct information and to be aware there is a lot of misinformation out there which may cause increased anxiety. Firstly, Here is the official information schools have been given (Click on the image):

You can also go to the NHS or World Health Organisation pages.

Secondly, here is information put together for a recent display to help you ascertain what may or may not be true.

February 25, 2020
by Mrs Sinclair

Coming Soon – World Book Day

Building a Reading Culture – WORLD BOOK DAY: Thursday 5th March 2020

Here are a few of the things to look forward to:

WBD £1 BOOK TOKENSCan be used in local participating books shops including to exchange for the specially published £1 books. Tokens will be issued during library periods. Senior phase may came and collect one from Mrs Sinclair in the library.

BOOK SWAP – Bring a book, take a book! Do you have any pre-loved books you no longer want to keep? Would you like to acquire some new (to you) books? A book swap will run from next Wednesday in the library (and staffroom). Donations to populate the trolley gratefully received prior to the launch. Books (fiction or non-fiction) should be in very good or excellent condition (no scribbles, mildew, stained pages, etc) and suitable for the school population.

NATIONAL BOOK TOKEN COMPETITION – Design a book token with a chance to win up to £150 in books for yourself, and £250 books for the school library. Entry forms will be available in the library.

BOOK BLIND DATE – Take a chance on an unknown book. Pick a wrapped book and borrow it, read it, review it (a brief review, even if you didn’t like it or get very far).

BOOK CAFÉ – An informal event in the library to read and share favourite reading, do the National book token competition, literary colouring in, chilling with books. Hot choc / tea / coffee on offer. Bring lunch (eg. Sandwiches) – no hot snacks. Reading and discussion. No PCs available. Please let Mrs Sinclair know if you are interested.

February 20, 2020
by Mrs Sinclair

A Plethora of Lunchtime Activities

The school library at lunchtime has become a place where pupils can do a variety of different activities whether it just chilling out on a bean bag, doing homework, or playing board games. It can be busy with sometimes between 40 and 50 pupils in the library, averaging around 25-30 most days. Most of the activities are pupil driven – they can choose what they want to do within the bounds of what is appropriate and as long as they are not rowdy or disruptive we offer great flexibility within the bounds of a 40 minute lunch break.

What do pupils do:

  • Computers for leisure (games or browsing) or work – work always has priority. Pupils may book PCs in advance if they know they need to do work.Pupils manage to find plenty of games to play, however they are restricted to those that are of appropriate age range and to the school setting (same with general internet browsing). Often they are ‘competing’ against each other in a game on an individual or team basis. Most of the time the atmosphere is of happy cooperation.

  • Board games (as listed below)
  • Reading for pleasure

  • Writing for pleasure
  • Drawing
  • Homework
  • Study & revision
  • Research
  • Chilling and chatting (hopefully relatively quietly) on bean bags and soft seating
  • Dungeons & Dragons character creation, game preparation and design

  • Pupil Library Assistant jobs

  • Occasional pupil working group meetings (Upper Library)
  • Magic the Gathering and other trading card games such as Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh)
  • Nintendo switch games – often in groups with individuals or teams going against each other
  • Colouring-in – a recent addition with a view to being a fun activity, yet also as a relaxing one to help relieve anxiety and stress. This is tied in with a display of books on mental health awareness.


We have some more formal activities on set days although these can be done on any day:

Monday – Miniature Painting: Mrs Sinclair, the Librarian, ‘teaches’ pupils the basics of miniature painting, and even pupils teach Mrs Sinclair. The library, due to generous donations over the years has a variety of miniatures pupils can choose from, which they can paint for the library collection, or keep for themselves, if they so wish. Some will paint up one to represent their character in Dungeons & Dragons activities we run on Tuesday after school and Friday activities period.

Tuesday – Chess & Board Games: We have several chess and draughts boards as well as Connect4, Mastermind, Topple Blocks, Ker-Plunk, D&D Board Game and Lord of the Rings Risk available. The ‘official’ session is on a Tuesday but pupils will play them most days as they are on an easily accessible shelf.












Wednesday – Magic the Gathering: MtG is a strategy (collectable) fantasy card game which has been played in the library for many years. Individuals and teams can play against each other with cards that represent monsters, spells and other effects and equipment with the aim to reduce each other’s hit points from 20 to 0.

We always welcome recommendations for activities, especially if pupil led, or suggestions for new board games – of which donations would be gratefully received. Might even look into having a few jigsaws available too.


Curriculum for Excellence

Health & Wellbeing

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

I know that friendship, caring, sharing, fairness, equality and love are important in building positive relationships. As I develop and value relationships, I care and show respect for myself and others. HWB 3-05a / 4-05a

Social Wellbeing

As I explore the rights to which I and others are entitled, I am able to exercise these rights appropriately and accept the responsibilities that go with them. I show respect for the rights of others. HWB 3-09a / 4-09a

I recognise that each individual has a unique blend of abilities and needs. I contribute to making my school community one which values individuals equally and is a welcoming place for all. HWB 3-10a / 4-10a

I make full use of and value the opportunities I am given to improve and manage my learning and, in turn, I can help to encourage learning and confidence in others. HWB 3-11a / 4-11a

Through contributing my views, time and talents, I play a part in bringing about positive change in my school and wider community. HWB 3-13a

I value the opportunities I am given to make friends and be part of a group in a range of situations. HWB 3-14a


I understand and can demonstrate the qualities and skills required to sustain different types of relationships. HWB 3-44b / 4-44b

I am aware of the need to respect personal space and boundaries and can recognise and respond appropriately to verbal and non-verbal communication. HWB 3-45b / 4-45b


Listening & Talking

When I engage with others, I can make a relevant contribution, encourage others to contribute and acknowledge that they have the right to hold a different opinion. I can respond in ways appropriate to my role and use contributions to reflect on, clarify or adapt thinking. LIT 3-02a


I regularly select and read, listen to or watch texts for enjoyment and interest, and I can express how well they meet my needs and expectations and give reasons, with evidence, for my personal response. I can identify sources to develop the range of my reading. LIT 3-11a


I enjoy creating texts of my choice and I am developing my own style. I can regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to suit the needs of my audience. LIT 3-20a


I enhance my learning by applying my ICT skills in different learning contexts across the curriculum. TCH 3-04a

By considering ways to protect technological devices, I can act safely and responsibly when selecting and using different technologies to communicate and collaborate. TCH 3-08a


November 27, 2019
by Mrs Sinclair

S1 Ancient Civilisations Research

S1 pupils in History do a research project on Ancient Civilisations based in the school library for four weeks. We start out by looking at note taking skills and the use of the library blog to find collated links to the topic in the LibLinks – Subjects Links page of the blog where various topics have Livebinders of appropriate websites to use.

Pupils are initially encouraged to work from the books available in the library, and supplemented by ones borrowed from The Orkney Library & Archive, doing some background reading before starting their note taking. We have two to three lessons solely focusing on the books, before pupils are given the choice of using the computers to continue their research or to stay with the books, which many do.





We are now coming to the end of the project and pupils are now typing up their notes into the final piece which is due in on Monday 2nd December.

October 31, 2019
by Mrs Sinclair

Spooky Happenings

The annual ghost storytelling event took place in the library today. It was attended by 25 pupils, and a few staff members, with other folks passing by from time-to-time. In the short time (40 minutes) that we had nine pupils and the Librarian, Mrs Sinclair told their stories. The sentient trees discussing what to do with a human they captured was particularly unnerving. A few made up their stories on the spot, with one asking for a place and a time in history prior to telling of a ‘haunted’ mountain near the great Wall of China.

Pupils were asked to fill out evaluation sheets and comment.

It was good fun!

Could not be improved.

It was really fun. Maybe if it was longer, one a Friday perhaps.

Very fun, scary stories.

It was good.

Change the day.

Do this again.

Decent stories.

More time.

Most agreed it was fun and gave 😊  or 😀 evaluations. There was agreement that the event needs more time, but we are somewhat limited to the 40 minutes we have for lunchtime, but in reality by the time folk get here, 30 minutes is the duration of the actual storytelling.

October 3, 2019
by Mrs Sinclair

Poetry Picnic for National Poetry Day

Our annual Poetry Picnic is now in its 16th consecutive year, with this being actually the 17th year of running an event to celebrate poetry and National Poetry Day. Back in 2004 the theme was ‘Food’ and the Poetry Picnic was born and in the intervening years has attracted pupils and some staff into the library to partake of snacks, their lunch, and share poetry, whether it is favourite poets or poems, or reading poems from books, or from memory.



This year a small group of regular library users and handful of staff popped by. Poems were read out from the poetry postcards which also were celebrating the UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages with poems in Manx, Cornish, Welsh, Scots, and Gaelic including the English translation. Some pupils very quickly wrote their own poems and shared them, as well as a selection from some of the poetry books selected from the shelves.


Report a Glow concern  Cookie policy  Privacy policy

Glow Blogs uses cookies to enhance your experience on our service. By using this service or closing this message you consent to our use of those cookies. Please read our Cookie Policy.