A new voice for our blog today. Harry, one of the Yr 13 boys, shares his thoughts on the library:
The knowledge that can be found in books is the primary source of their appeal, novels are important too but my interest is more often than not directed towards the non-fiction shelves. The library is valuable not only for reading around syllabuses, especially as a first point of reference for individual studies such as history coursework (the stock of Very Short Introductions in particular), but also as a place to generally broaden horizons in a way completely detached from the syllabus. Tim Marshall’s ‘Prisoners of Geography’ for example provides a fascinating interpretation of geopolitics based on a geographic determinism that, while dubious at times, is rather illuminating and certainly thought provoking. The reference section is also important, feeding a fondness for apparently useless facts and obscure information, dictionaries of quotations or subjects as esoteric as the burial places of famous people are always wonderful diversions. Building a wider knowledge and understanding of the world, with history as a main focus, has therefore been the biggest influence that books have had on my life from a young age to now and in the future.
We had some fun writing 5 line reviews of some books in the last of the Reading Boon sessions today.
The format is 5 lines with the fist being 2-3 words long, the second 4-5 words, third 6-7 words, fourth 8-9 and the fifth just 2-3 words again. We gave the boys 15 minutes to come up with the following:
A Game of Thrones, George R R Martin
Please, stop it
Please, just stop it
Please, just stop killing them already
You are going to run out of characters soon
Calm down George.
Large mysterious land
Deception lies around every corner
Puts you on the edge with every turn of the page
You win, or you die.
Dracula, Bram Stoker
A thrilling tale
A story of blood and corruption
Strong themes of reverse colonisation
A story with one of the most iconic antagonists in literature
Life versus death.
Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
A normal boy?
A life turned upside down
A mental immigrant who wants murder
A spying agency wants a boy to save England
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
Washout journalist, secretive PI
Investigating a folklore serial killer
Tensions rise as protagonists edge closer to truth
Who are they?
Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane
Killer on the loose
Deepening investigation with hurricane closing in
Closer they get to the truth, more mystery
Big thanks to Mark Warner, Deputy Head at Patcham High School for the 5 line idea and the inspiration to try it and to Louis, Dennis, Angus, Harry and Jacob for their efforts.
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, Ancestry.com 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.
The Year 9 History Project is underway in the Wodehouse Library.
Either side of half term we’ll be welcoming Year 9 classes into the Wodehouse Library for the ‘Old Alleynians & the Great War’ Year 9 History Project.
Each Year 9 boy has been allocated an OA to research and their library sessions will offer them a chance to use Dulwich College Archive materials, such as Ormiston (a record which offers a summary of every OA since 1619). Boys will also use the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website to find memorials and final resting places of the OAs they are learning about with a little family history being added by the 1911 Census on Ancestry Library.
The project also prompts boys to look at more of our online resources, like the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ONDB) and undertake some detective work on sites around the school campus too.