There is always plenty going on at Smestow School’s library. Here’s the latest library news from our librarian, Mandy Wright…

So far this term we have been extremely lucky with the opportunities we have had that have allowed us to see some real life authors! This is due, in no small part, to our membership of Wolverhampton Children’s Book Group and all the hard work they do behind the scenes to ensure that our young people have access to these wonderful events.

At Smestow we have had a visit from Catherine Doyle, who did a creative writing workshop with some or our year nine students. It was a great session and the students seemed to get a lot out of it.

On 7th March we went to Wolverhampton Grammar school to see Katherine Woodfine – her books, a crime series, are set in a department store in the Edwardian era. Lovely! She told the students how she develops her characters and then involved them in solving a crime that she had created.

Scholastic Book Sale

We have a book sale scheduled for the 24th March. It will be in school for one week and the students will be able to use their World Book Day vouchers against the cost of a book. If any parents wish to come in and have a browse you will be most welcome.


£5,000 Award for Library Books from the Foyle Foundation



We are celebrating a £5,000 award from the Foyle Foundation – meaning that Smestow can now expand its range of reading books for the enjoyment and education of students.

The award will improve the Accelerated Reading programme and also help to buy specialist reading material which might not have otherwise been possible.

The award has been made by the Foyle Foundation School Library Programme and follows an application from the school.

School librarian, Amanda Wright said the majority of grants approved by the foundation ranged between £3,000 and £10,000.

“We are delighted to have been included in this award process and the money will be put to very good use in our library,” she said.

“While we have maintained and managed within the annual budget, we have been limited in what we can do. It has meant that we have not been able to buy in the range or number of books which would support key reading initiatives.

“This grant will help us in four key areas. We started our Accelerated Reading programme last year and this has been a success in improving reading levels, but we do need additional books to continue with this project. We are now able to do that.

“We will also now be in a position to help those students with special educational needs more. This includes buying complete sets of books appropriate for these children. We have also had a lack of suitable books for older students with lower reading ages.

“The money will be of great help to our high achievers as we have not had a large enough range of books to keep these students engaged. We want them to continue to visit the library and this in turn will encourage other students to come along.

“We can now also improve our Careers section which has been limited and in many cases out of date.

“The grant will help our school achieve an even greater level of literacy and reading levels, and by addressing the four key areas it means we can make a difference to every child at Smestow.”

The Foyle Foundation scheme believes encouraging children to read widely from an early age will provide a massive boost to improving literacy levels.

Our visit to see author Jonathan Stroud at Kings’ School in Worcester

We were very lucky to have the opportunity to see Jonathon in the lovely surroundings of the Kings’ School in Worcester. It was a very enjoyable afternoon and I think he will have a few more fans after this visit. He was promoting his new book in the very popular ‘Lockwood’ series.


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