It’s been busy

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Lent has been a busy time here in the Wodehouse Library.

Year 11s spent two of their wellbeing lessons with us learning about plagiarism avoidance using the study skills books and the Encyclopedia Britannica online resource.

Year 9 boys also visited the library for two lessons to work on their history projects. During these lessons boys used Ormiston (the Dulwich College Register) and the Dulwich College War Record, and other online resources to research an OA who was killed during World War 1.

This year’s Free Learning Day for year 10 saw the Library and Archives team up to deliver 5 sessions exploring Christopher Marlowe’s connections to Dulwich College, conspiracy theories, fake news and fact-checking.

As part of the Trinity Schools Group, Dulwich College hosted the TSBA ceremony which saw author Stewart Foster win with his novel Bubble Boy.

We’ve maintained the usual displays of fiction and non-fiction in and around the library, added new stock and been glad of the continued help of prefects and pupil librarians with on-going weeding and tidying projects. We’re looking forward to seeing both boys and staff over the next few days choosing holiday reading!

Have a great Easter break, everyone, and see you in the Summer Term.


New Items in the Wodehouse Library

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Here’s a selection of what’s new on the shelves here in the Wodehouse Library

You can find more on the New Items display in the Inner Room and more besides on the end of shelf displays.

The #PeriodicalsRoom shelves are sporting fewer Trump covers this week, even if the new President’s words and actions aren’t dominating the news still. Philosophy Now back issues are on display and we encourage you to pick up and browse any/all of the titles on offer. Cycling Weekly is back after we paused delivery for the Christmas break and our penultimate copy of Creative Review is there to be read. Do feedback to the Art Department if you read this title and value it as we’re not planning to renew the subscription.

We’ve been busy over the past few weeks with Year 11 wellbeing classes covering plagiarism avoidance and the Year 9 History Project is coming up in the weeks before and straight after half term. Year 10s are not forgotten this Lent Term in the Wodehouse as planning has started for their Free Learning Day in March.

Finally, Phil the chameleon has settled into his new home well. Pop in and say hello to him 🙂

Round up

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We’re taking advantage of a quiet moment to round-up the start to Lent Term here in the Wodehouse Library.

Year 11s came back from the Christmas break straight into GCSE mock exams, so the Inner Room in particular has been a hive of activity for the past 9 or 10 days. It wasn’t always a peaceful hive of activity for anyone using the library (although there were moments!) but fingers crossed the results will be encouraging.

Today sees a return to lessons for the lucky Y11 boys so we’re looking forward to welcoming them all into the library for their wellbeing classes on plagiarism avoidance over the next fortnight.

The Periodicals Room has somewhat more than a fair smattering of covers featuring President-Elect Donald Trump. Earlier we ran a few of these covers by some Upper School boys who were in there reading and they agreed that the most striking was the NewStatesman’s Twitter/cuckoo clock effort.

One of the most exciting things to have happened though is the arrival of our new chameleon. Not yet officially named, he is around 18 months old, largely emerald green in colour (we are told he turns yellow at night), quite sociable and hungry! He joins us behind the Issue Desk to the chirping of crickets.










Readers of this blog will recall that the Wodehouse Library has been home to 2 other chameleons, Vernon and Colin.

Finally we should add our current reads in case you need inspiration over the weekend:

Echo Burning by Lee Childs

The Humans by Matt Haig

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

The Girls by Emma Cline


Easter egg-citement

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Congratulations to our plagiarism avoidance winners: Louis Wright, Ben Wald, Christopher Ho, Matthew O’Flaherty and Theo Harhalakis of 11P whose rap performance won the commercial prize and to Octave de Baynast-Cheval, Sachin Patel, Arjun Gupta, Fred Mosier, Alex Foster and Will Spurrell of 11G who produced the best poster!

Yes, we know how to have fun here in the Wodehouse Library and we unselfishly share this talent with the boys whenever we can. Opportunity knocked this term for lucky Year 11s who were asked to grapple with the potentially gloomy topic of plagiarism.

Banishing the gloom, Year 11 boys rapped, rhymed and rode pretend horses as they realised that avoiding plagiarism is rather easy and made even easier still by the Study Skills section of the Library. We encourage everyone with exams looming to take a look at the titles on offer there.

In other news, we noticed that Mr Trevill offered a revision session on To Kill a Mockingbird. Further resources can be found here in the Wodehouse Library and via our e-resources. From eMag, for example,  you will find an interesting and concise exploration of character entitled “The Mockingbird Figure in Narrative Texts: Why Rue and Clerval Have To Die”, by Lorna Syred. Additionally we have items shelved at 820 LEE/C which offer criticism of the text as well as the book itself on the 42 spinner. Ask us for help in tracking down any of these items.

We’ve had a lot of fun in the Wodehouse Library since Christmas, particularly with a week’s worth of World Book Day inspired author visits and quizzes.

Taran Matharu, and Tom Pollock visited. Both OAs, they held workshops for various classes and gave lunchtime talks to keen audiences of boys and staff.

Taran had taken part in a Twitter chat about YA fiction
The Summoner
Book 2 of the Summoner series







Tom got the boys thinking about what makes monsters scary
Tom got the boys thinking about what makes monsters scary






And of course we should mention Colin, the Wodehouse Library’s new chameleon. Poor Vernon passed away last half term and is much missed. Colin offers a much more dynamic presence and is able to catch and eat crickets all by himself. Our thanks to all the boys (special mentions to Gbenga, Sam and Will) who took the time to care for Vernon whilst he was with us.

Give me crickets!
Colin: “Give me crickets!”





Beethoven’s lost penny

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Every last penny seems important at Christmas time so we thought we’d make Beethoven’s lost penny the topic of our first Advent Window E-resource.

Choosing an appropriate e-resource was fairly straight forward: Oxford Music Online (OMO) is a gateway for information from a range of sources. Here at DC our online subscription includes Grove Music Online, The Oxford Dictionary of Music and The Oxford Companion to Music.

The OMO homepage offers browse options as well as a search box, which is where we started using the search term: ‘Beethoven’s lost penny’.

OMO returns 6 hits for our search term to Google’s 1,4000,000 so for getting started with our research into Beethoven’s lost penny OMO offers an efficient route to reliable information because OMO draws on the work of experts. A simple Google search leaves us having to critically assess each link we choose, so the time we could spend reading about our topic is eaten up in deciding whether or not to trust the information in the first place. Remember, too, that when you are compiling your bibliography you want to demonstrate that you chose your sources intelligently and you also want your teachers to be able to retrieve the same information you did so that your arguments can be seen to stand up under scrutiny.

Okay, so back to our 6 OMO results. Straightaway we can see that they are categorised into biography and subject entries and the source of each result is shown along with an abstract where available.

We can e-mail our search results using a short form – again a valuable bibliographical tool that we should make use of – or we can print the results so that we have a record of the search terms and the sources of information we’ve used.

The results page offers a menu of further search refiners and once we’ve clicked on a result we are taken directly to the part of the page where words from our search term appear. Scrolling down, we can also see the bibliography for the articles and the author name. Back at the top of the article page, we again have options to print and e-mail the information plus there’s a ‘cite’ tool which means we can export the bibliographic data we need to avoid plagiarism and present a comprehensive bibliography with our work.

All we need to do now is read the articles and learn about Beethoven’s lost penny!

Thinking about plagiarism

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Back in the Wodehouse Library after half-term we’ve been looking at the issue of plagiarism with the Year 11 boys.
Academic integrity is important and it has been encouraging to hear that many DC boys already have a pretty good grasp of what plagiarism is and how they can avoid it. However, two things have really stood out during the sessions we’ve run so far:

  1. the different types of plagiarism that we all need to be wary of committing, and
  2. how often plagiarism makes it into the news.

Our sessions have started off with a short DVD from the Study Skills range. Whilst many boys were aware they should not copy other people’s work and claim it as their own, many were surprised to learn that they could also plagiarise their own work!

We’ve gone on to look at a few scenarios which get the boys discussing how their school work, and later their university assignments, can represent only their own best efforts at synthesising information from different sources. We’ve also researched plagiarism in the news and learned about some of the consequences – such as expensive law suits and reputational damage – that have hit people who have not been as careful about attributing the work of others when they’ve chosen to include it in articles, speeches, films and art.