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, 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.


Archives and Library

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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.

9t-history-project-books 9t-history-project

Deja vu

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Remember Brexit Day back in June?

In an echo of the shock of the Brexit vote some on our Twitter feed are suggesting that this is also the kind of day it would be best to switch off and retreat into a book. Cursor poised above the ‘off’ switch, we suddenly noticed @chrisriddell50 doodling his mind off the US election news and both @malorieblackman and Dan Snow (as @HistoryHit) sharing Martin Luther King Jr quotes. Meanwhile, @I_W_M and @newint highlighted that #OnThisDay in 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, which, of course, simply reminded us of the news!

Just in time, irresistible distraction popped up by way of @newscientist A “speedy bat”? Who wouldn’t be curious to read more about a super fast bat? Brilliant.

But if switching off is the only way for you today then here are our current recommendations:

Mrs Stein
Ms McGuinness
Ms McGuinness
Mrs Judet
Mrs Judet






And, as part of Dulwich Linguistic this week, the Periodicals Room is currently dominated by staff favourites which have been translated. Films, novels and songs feature so come along and take a look, be inspired to try something you might not have looked at otherwise based on what makes it special for someone else.

Highs and lows

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It’s exam time and whilst you might be dropping into the Wodehouse Library to revise we thought we would take this opportunity to mention a few new books dealing with teenage stress to help you through.

First up we have 3 books by Nicola Morgan:

  • Blame my brain: the amazing teenage brain revealed (someone told us that this had made their son understand more about sleep patterns)
  • Know your brain: feed it, test it, stretch it
  • The teenage guide to stress.

Read them through if you want/need to but probably right now you might find simply dipping into these books helpful. There’s a short chapter on exams and schoolwork in The teenage guide to stress that highlights the kinds of worries students feel at this time of year and Nicola Morgan makes a number of suggestions for managing the stress these worries cause.

We’ll mention just 2 more books here:

  • Mind your head: all about our mental health by Juno Dawson and Dr Olivia Hewitt
  • Fighting invisible tigers: stress management for teens by Earl Hipp.

Juno Dawson writes with a real light touch about exams and school and Dr Olivia weighs in with an expert view. There’s a table on p.71 that highlights what stress might look like.

Finally, Earl Hipp’s book busts some myths about stress and there’s a nice section about procrastination which prompted the actual writing and publication of this blog post (which has been in a planning phase for longer than we like to remember).

You can find all of these books and plenty more in the Library Catalogue and these keywords will be helpful: Reading Well, stress.

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!”





Philip Allan Magazines Online Archives and UK Newsstand

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We have 2 e-resource trials running this month so in addition to all the regular goodies you find on the menu, for the next 30 days you will also have access to the entire Philip Allan Review series online archives and Proquest’s UK Newsstand.

Over the past year we’ve seen the PA Reviews become increasingly popular with lots of boys and staff using them. The online archives trial offers unlimited access to all the titles – not only the ones we already subscribe to* – so whole classes will be able to work from the same material simultaneously. The content of these magazines is aimed at A-Level study and includes exam tips. They are well worth a look.

UK Newsstand is a huge, searchable database of daily national and local newspapers and magazines. Helpful search functions like a date-range slider and source exclusion options mean you can make your research efficient and effective. All the major dailies are available from UK Newsstand, including The Guardian and The Times. This is ideal for anyone looking for information on current affairs topics, perhaps for an essay, report or maybe a forthcoming class debate.

You can find the links and login details you need for these resources on the eResources page on MyDulwich. Any questions, just come and see us in the Wodehouse Library.

*Available in the Periodicals Room in the Wodehouse Library: Biological Sciences Review, Chemistry Review, Physics Review, Economics Review, Politics Review, RS Review, Hindsight, Wideworld, Modern History Review, English Review.

It’s raining, it’s pouring

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As the Wodehouse Library filled up this morning with boys soaked through from the awful and unrelenting rain, I found myself reading an article on the Connell Guides website* about a rainy night in an Italian villa in 1816.

I can call this serendipity because although I was searching quite deliberately for something related to vampires in literature, I wasn’t expecting to learn that inclement weather had caused Lord Byron to suggest that he and his companions (Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and Byron’s doctor John Polidori) should knuckle down and write ghost stories. Almost 200 years later, how many of us would spend a wet evening in writing a ghost story?

Anyhow, why was I looking for vampire related material? Because I found an abandoned page of notes about Dracula on the photocopier is the answer. If they are your notes, come and collect them and then spend some time reading the (short) Connell Guides article in the Review of January 2015. Then click on the link in that article and read a review from Michael Dirda the Washington Post that highlights why reading is a great way of gleaning information that you weren’t necessarily in search of as you find out about something you were looking for. In summary, reading is good for you.

*see the Online Resources page for login details