Study leavers

Posted on

Today our Y11s will start their study leave period ahead of their GCSEs.

To send them on their way we are offering this link to the Student Minds Exam Stress page.

Good luck everyone, be kind to yourselves.


Round up

Posted on

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


Highs and lows

Posted on Updated on

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

Posted on

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!”





You are feeling very sleepy

Posted on

Yes, you are feeling very sleepy but unfortunately it’s the middle of the day and you have to stay awake.

Sleep can sometimes feel like hard work, especially during exam time. Nicola Morgan has written several books about how the teenage brain works (as well as some fiction) and suggests strategies for managing sleep despite exam stress in this podcast.

Two things which really stood out for us during the research for this post were:

  • the importance of a relaxing pre-sleep routine, and
  • how much our brains are working during sleep.

Being librarians of course we can’t publish this post without mentioning that reading before going to sleep is a great way to relax. Close the curtains on the real world, turn off your electronic devices (even the mobile phone), silence your music, pick up a book and read. Just remember to set your alarm, night night!


Exams ahead – be prepared!

Posted on Updated on

Here in the Wodehouse Library we know how stressful exam time can be. Honestly, we do.

We also know that there is no magic wand to wave which will make all of the stress disappear. Instead we recommend good old-fashioned preparation!

There are many useful books in the Study Skills section which cover everything from time management to exam room strategy. Sometimes you won’t have thought of some of the things that these books mention and we’re not suggesting that you read them all and faithfully stick to any one strategy over all others – indeed it’s  important to remember in the run up to your exams that you work out a mix of time management, revision and exam strategy that works well for you.

Other resources that could help include:

  • the Very Short Introduction series of books – it’s common to hear exam candidates complain of not knowing anything and these books on subjects from Communism to Statistics might just be what reminds you of all the things you do know so you can walk into the exam room with some confidence
  • Connell Guides – another series of short texts. Search the Library Catalogue using the term ‘Connell Guides’ to find all 18 guides
  • Access to History series – as recommended by Charles Apthorpe (Year 13) whilst borrowing one! Not only finding them  helpful with his A2 coursework, Charles agrees that this kind of text is a great revision aid too
  • the Philip Allan Review series – these journals are aimed specifically at GCSE and A-Level students and include valuable revision help and syllabus-focused content
  • newspapers and magazines – in the Periodicals Room you will find the current editions of English and foreign language dailies and magazines, including The Economist, New Statesman, Mathematical Spectrum, New Scientist and BBC History
  • online resources – avoid wasting your time filtering good from not so good results in a Google search and head straight for the e-resources available via your MyDulwich homepage where all subject areas are covered by known, reliable information providers
  • staff – as we said at the top, we do know stuff and are here to help you.

Finally, because we understand how easy it is to procrastinate online whilst allegedly looking for tips on dealing with the horror of Exam Time, we’ve stashed some revision links for you on the Wodehouse Library’s Delicious page. Now there’s no need to go searching for revision help as we’ve done it for you and made the links easy to find by tagging them with the words: revision, exams, study skills.

Good luck!