Stromness Academy Library

Books, reading and life in a school library

Recent Activities in the Library



The library can be a very busy place at lunchtimes. Pupils read, go on computers or play computer games. The atmosphere is somewhat relaxed with around 25 – 30 pupils regularly visiting. Board games such as chess and draughts prove popular as do the computers. Despite the informal nature of the lunchtime sessions some pupils do manage to do school work and all the regular library users know that work will always get priority on the computers over leisure use.

Tuesday after School and Friday Afternoon Activities

Friday activities started back in the first week of term and the librayr activity of ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ saw 15 pupils taking part. A number of whom were beginners to the game. The first session for the beginners was an overview of the game and the complicated character sheet and an introduction to basic combat using the miniatures and dungeon tiles to help explain movement and positioning of characters. Meanwhile the more experienced players got straight back into role-playing as though they had never been away.

The after school opening of the library restarted on Tuesday 31st August and this saw the usual regulars coming a long to play ‘Dungeons and Dragons’. After some discussion the eight experienced pupils and one beginner split into two groups. A pupil DM’d (Dungeon Mastered) one group whilst Mrs Sinclair, the Librarian, led the other group through a goblin lair.

Pupils enjoy this activity and gain a lot of benefit from playing. Games are developed by pupils or myself in our own time at home and require a considerable amount of creative input. D&D certainly meets aspects of the ‘4 Capacities’ in Curriculum for Excelllence with pupils becoming:

Successful Learners – literacy (reading the manuals), communication (using role-playing) and numeracy (maths with up to 20-sided dice, additions, subtractions, negative numbers when calculating attacks and defenses and health points) skills; Think creatively and independently (making up stories on the spur of the moment)

Responsible Citizens – Learning to respect each other (taking turns, etc)

Confident Individuals – Relating to others; assessing risk and take informed decisions (albeit in a role-play / imaginary context, but these decisions can affect how the character in the game acts)

Effective Contributors – Communicating in different ways (they have to be able to communicate with each other); Work in partnership and teams; Taking the initiative; Critical thinking; Solving problems.

S1 Library Induction

Lessons on how to use the school Library got underway in the first week of term with pupils discussing the library rules and being issued with their library cards. The following week they were introduced to the layout of the library and other general information (opening times, borrowing books, etc). This week they are being introduced to the fiction section of the library, being shown how to successfully browse the shelves and to use the library catalogue. In future weeks, they will learn about the arrangement of non-fiction books, the Dewey Classification and more advanced catalogue searching.

Practising alphabetical order

Using the library website to find out about the library

S2 English Library Time

During the first couple of weeks of the new session S2 classes, during their library periods, are reminded about the library rules and what activities the library can be used for. They have group discussions, then each group creates a poster suggesting key rules and informing others what the library can offer.

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