Archived Library news - Bellerive School

Lockdown Reading at Bellerive

Whilst school is closed look out for our weekly ‘Bellerive Reads’ e-newsletter, packed full of reading recommendations and activities, shared with our whole school community via email and on our school Twitter. We also now have a Bellerive Reads Padlet (an online noticeboard) packed full of resources to help support reading for pleasure in these challenging times and beyond.

World Book Day 2020

Our World Book Day celebrations this year have been the best yet with a fun-packed week of activities. We hosted a Scholastic Book Fair, so students could make use of their World Book Day £1 off vouchers in school and help raise money for new books with every purchase. We enjoyed a visit from Liverpool-born author Paula Rawsthorne who spoke to students about what inspires her to write and helped students develop their own creative writing skills in her workshops.

We also celebrated Harry Potter Night in style with the library ‘magically’ being transformed into Hogwarts and students dropping their Muggle disguises in favour of their Wizardy selves!

Finally, we took a trip down the road to St. Hilda’s school to see author Dan Freedman talk about his latest book and his Jamie Johnson series.

Roll on next year!

Christmas 2019

The Bellerive ‘Booky’ Advent Calendar is back again this year, featuring recommendations of great reads from staff and students behind every door. Here are a few of our favourites:

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

Jelly by Jo Cotterill

Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans

Winter Magic edited by Abi Elphinstone

The festivities continued with our resident book clubs and Student Librarians enjoying their Christmas party, which included a classic round of pass the parcel and Christmas inspired ‘Booky Bingo’!

It’s been a great term and we’re already looking forward to another reading-filled year in 2020. Watch out for Harry Potter Night in February, World Book Day and the Liverpool Readathon in March, and the return of Liverpool’s very own Children’s Festival of Reading in the summer!

September 2019

Merry reading everyone!

This year’s reading fun has officially begun! On 13th September 2019 we celebrated Roald Dahl Day with students and staff alike being treated to instalments of one of his short stories, ‘The Sound Machine’, throughout the day. We also held our third annual ‘Golden Ticket Hunt’, in which students were given clues inspired by some of Dahl’s famous works to help them find tickets hidden around school. Where would you most likely find Matilda? And where might the Twits serve you up some worm spaghetti? The Dahl detectives amongst our students soon discovered the hidden tickets to much delight!

At the end of September we also welcomed the Scholastic Book Fair through our doors once again. It was another great event that created a real buzz about books in school, helping to encourage reading for pleasure and with the added bonus of 60% of all sales going towards buying more books for the school library. Thanks to everyone who visited and supported the fair – we’ll have lots of lovely new books joining our library shelves soon.

With lots more to come, including the launch of our own short story competition to help celebrate the FCJ Bicentenary, we’re looking forward to another happy year of reading ahead.

Spring 2019 Reading Round Up 

As part of this year’s World Book Day celebrations in March we welcomed award-winning author Sarah Mussi into school to inspire students to get reading and learn more about the craft of writing stories. The day kicked off with some thought-provoking talks for Years 7-10, followed by book-signings. Then in the afternoon Sarah led two workshops for selected students from Years 9 and 10 who had the chance to develop their own story ideas using one of Sarah’s favourite planning techniques. They had great fun acting out story-lines and experimenting with different ideas for the direction of their stories.

The celebrations continued on World Book Day itself when we saw our Key Stage 3 students and staff donning their favourite book character costumes.

We also set-up a pop-up bookshop in the library where students could use their World Book Day vouchers to choose from a selection of free specially released titles or receive £1.00 off a book of their choice. Other activities included a Book Bonaza Quiz in form time, a book character matching pairs hunt and a whole school reading of the short story‘Button, button’ by Richard Matheson. We already can’t wait for next year!

We are pleased to announce that in January 2019 we were awarded the Liverpool Reading Quality Mark, achieving the Gold level, in recognition of our ongoing efforts to promote the joys of reading across our whole school community. This is a real honour and we as a school are delighted to have achieved this high standard.

This term we also celebrated Harry Potter Book Night (in the day) on 7th February. The library was transformed into Hogwarts – entered through Platform 9 3/4, with floating candles, house bunting and our very own Penseive! Students were invited (via Owl Post) to attend a session of wand decorating and house bookmark making at lunch time, followed by an after school sorting ceremony and house quiz – Ravenclaw were victorious! Much fun was had by all on this magical occasion and we hope to make it an annual tradition.

In March we will be welcoming multi-award winning author Sarah Mussi into school as part of our World Book Day celebrations and our resident book group, A New Chapter, will once again be shadowing the CILIP Carnegie Medal ( Students will also have the opportunity to vote for their favourites from the Excelsior Award for Graphic Novels and Manga ( shortlists. Watch this space for more details coming soon.


Winter Reading Round-up

As part of Mission Week (3rd-7th December) this year we launched our Short Story Competition. Students were asked to write up to 500 words inspired by this year’s theme – ‘In the beginning…’ – and their experiences over the week. There were some fabulous entries and it was hard for our judge, Mrs Henry (Chaplain), to pick the winners but the results are in:

First prize: Zayna A (Year 11)

Mrs Henry was impressed by how real Zayna’s story felt and how well it captured what this year’s Mission Week was all about with its concern for the environment and care for others.

Runners-up: Julianne C (Year 7), Cara M (Year 8), and Nawar N (Year 10)

Highly commended: Lauren (Year 9)

Congratulations and well done to all who entered! We hope to share the winning stories with you here in the new year.

We’ve also been getting into the Christmas spirit in the library with the return of our Booky Advent Calendar featuring readingrecommendations from students and staff, and our Christmas book tree – this time decorated with book inspired baubles made by students.


November 2018

Liverpool Readathon

November has been another jam-packed month of reading fun here at Bellerive. We joined the Liverpool Readathon, coordinated by Liverpool Learning Partnership and the charity Read for Good, to help raise money so children in hospitals can get to enjoy the magic of reading with visits from storytellers and lovely new books.

On 14th November a lucky group of Year 7 and 8 students got to attend a fantastic session with award-winning author Phil Earle at Liverpool Central Library. It was a great morning, in awe-inspiring surroundings, which inspired our students to get reading more and listen out for the stories all around us.

As part of the fun our resident book club, A New Chapter, also delivered an assembly to Year 7 students to inspire a love of reading and share some of their favourite books.

Finally, on 16th November everyone in school, along with schools and workplaces across Liverpool, literally dropped everything to READ at 2pm in the second citywide D.E.A.R event. Our D.E.A.R. police (Student Librarians) were out and about on patrol to make sure no one was caught without a book – thankfully, no arrests needed to be made!

We’re still counting funds raised but will update the total soon. A BIG thank you to everyone who took part and supported our Readathon! Keep reading, raising and being AMAZING!

September 2018

We started the new academic year as we mean to go on with a host of exciting reading related fun already underway!

On 13th September we celebrated Roald Dahl Day with students and staff alike being treated to instalments of one of his short stories, ‘The Umbrella Man’, throughout the day. We also held our second annual ‘Golden Ticket Hunt’, in which students were given clues inspired by some of Dahl’s famous works to help them find tickets hidden around school. Where would you find Augustus Gloop, anyone? How about Matilda? And where might George have concocted something marvellous? We have some real Dahl detectives amongst our students who soon discovered the hidden tickets to much delight!

At the end of September we welcomed the Scholastic Book Fair through our doors once again. This was a great event creating a real buzz about books in school and helping to encourage reading for pleasure. We sold over 140 books meaning we will receive over £500 worth of free books from Scholastic for our school library. A big thank you to all who visited and supported the fair!

October 8th-13th was Libraries Week, focussing on wellbeing this year. Staff and students shared their favourite ‘Feel Good Reads’ throughout the week. Here’s a list of some of our favourites:

Wonder by R. J. Palacio
The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupéry
I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Books by C.J. Sansom

And these great quotes:

“Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future” – Robert H. Schuller
“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” Saint Augustine of Hippo

You can share your favourites by emailing

With lots more to come, including joining the Liverpool Readathon in November and the launch of our own short story competition, we’re looking forward to a year of happy reading ahead!

Summer term Reading Round-Up

We celebrated Spanish World Book Day on 23rd April (the date literary heroes Cervantes and Shakespeare are both said to have died) with a series of Spanish lessons for years 7-9, organised by Head of Spanish, Mrs Marquez. Students enjoyed a carousel of reading activities based in the library, including reading and translating old favourites (The Very Hungry Caterpillar!) and discovering some new ones like the comic series Mafalda. It was a great way for students to have fun developing their Spanish reading skills, get to know the library and to celebrate the special occasion.


In other news our resident book group, ‘A New Chapter’, has been busy shadowing the CILIP Carnegie Medal for the second year running. Group members have been reading their way through a list of eight titles and sharing their thoughts at meetings each week. The winner was announced on 18th June, (drum roll please…) it went to Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean, much to the surprise of the group! For more on what they thought about this year’s shortlist take a look at our group website


This term students also had the opportunity to shadow and vote for the Excelsior Award – a national award for graphic novels and manga decided by young people aged 11-16. Students had fun reading and rating each book and reading books they might not usually choose. We now have a group of graphic novel and manga fans who can meet regularly next year and we’ll certainly be making this award part of our reading calendar from now on! For more information see

Students in Year 9 Art lessons have been showcasing their artistic talents by creating this fantastic bunting inspired by their favourite reads to decorate the library and help spread their love of reading across school.


We’ve also been enjoying following author Tom Palmer’s Live World Cup 2018 Read, Defenders: Russia. A new and exciting chapter was released every weekday during the competition via the National Literacy Trust website and staff were able to read these aloud with their classes. Although it’s all over now, you can still catch up on all the installments here

Wondering what to read this summer? Check out these recommendations for all ages from LoveReading4Kids and the Reading Agency:


Spring 2018

In the days leading up to World Book Day celebrations this year we welcomed award-winning author Alan Gibbons into school to inspire students to get reading and learn more about his life as a writer. The jam-packed day kicked off with two laugh-a-minute assemblies for Year 7 and 8, followed by a book-signing and four author-led workshops, where selected students from across the years had the chance to develop their own writing by coming up with adventure or horror stories under the expert guidance of Alan. Students produced some brilliant, thoughtful, pieces – watch out for when we share some of these spine-chilling tales on the website soon! A fantastic time was had by all and it’s sure to leave a lasting and inspiring impression for all students involved.

The celebrations continued on World Book Day itself when we saw our Year 7 students donning their favourite book character costumes, as well as members of staff – with Heads and Assistant Heads of Year 7 and 9 leading the way!

Other activities for students included a Book Bonaza Quiz, ‘Share a Story’ book club – where students shared book recommendations and a ‘Mystery Shefie’ challenge where students had to guess the member of was staff pictured behind different books, as well as a whole school reading of ‘The Veldt’ by Ray Bradbury. Students all also received World Book Day vouchers enabling them to buy a book from a selection of great teen titles for just £1.50 or receive money off a book of their choice. Now we just can’t wait for next year!



Autumn 2017

On 13th September the whole school celebrated Roald Dahl Day in style with our first ever ‘Whole School Read’ – a section of a short story by Dahl, ‘The Landlady’, was read aloud in each lesson over the school day so that by the end of the day the whole school had read the same story. There was a great response from students and staff alike with much debate about what would happen next and if the ending really was the ending – it was! We also held a Willy Wonka inspired Golden Ticket Hunt where students were given the chance to win book tokens or chocolatey treats and our Student Librarians organised a charity bake sale, raising over £80 for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.

National Libraries Week was 9th-14th October this year and provided a great opportunity to re-launch our recently refurbished and newly stocked school library with lots of exciting activities . The main event saw us join forces with over 50 other schools in the city for a Liverpool-wide ‘Readathon’. This sponsored reading event inspired everyone to read more and helped to raise money for Read for Good, a charity working to help children discover a love a reading and supporting reading for pleasure initiatives in children’s hospitals across the UK. The school library also received 20% back of money raised in vouchers to buy more books so we can all keep reading!

To help get ready (steady, go!), for the ‘Readathon’ we also opened a pop-up book shop with the arrival of the Scholastic Book Fair on 27th September-4th October. Students were able to browse and buy books from a specially selected range and the school will also earn 25% back in Scholastic Rewards on all books sold to help support the continued development of the Library.

Finally, this term will see us welcoming visits to year group assemblies from Liverpool City Council Libraries. These talks will help to ensure every child in school has the chance to benefit from being a member of their local library and encourage the love of reading amongst our students to continue to grow.

July 2017

It’s been a busy few weeks in the Library as over 700 new books have been added to the shelves! The Student Librarians have worked tirelessly sticking barcodes and date labels into the books to get them ready for borrowing. Unsurprisingly, library loans have seen a massive increase going from just 1-2 a day to over 10! As the new books continue to be added to the shelves the trend is set to continue in September.

The winner of the CILIP Carnegie Medal was announced on 19th June 2017 and it was ‘A New Chapter’ book club’s favourite to win: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. This is a powerful and moving read; set in the closing days of WW2 it recounts one of the worst maritime disasters in history as it follows the lives of four young people seeking refuge from the war. Highly recommended!

To carry on the success of shadowing the Carnegie Medal shortlist, the book club decided to ‘Adopt a Book’ from the list of previous winners for our next read. We’ve chosen A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly and are so far enjoying it immensely! To find out more about previous winners, see:

Adopt a book

Alex Rider series links

We’re now looking forward to next year when we will be celebrating Roald Dahl Day, taking part in a city-wide ‘Readathon’ and much, much, more besides!

Wondering what to read this summer? Check out these recommendations from Love Reading 4 Kids , and why not visit your local library to take part or support the Summer Reading Challenge, for more info see: Summer Reading Challenge or Top Ten Reads

June 2017

‘Our book group for Year 7-9, ‘A New Chapter’, is fast becoming a firm fixture on Thursday lunchtimes in the Library. Most recently we’ve been shadowing the CILIP Carnegie Medal, a national award for children’s books judged by Librarians, now celebrating its 80th year. Groups all over the world shadow the award by reading, discussing and reviewing titles from the shortlist.

We’ve been busy reading selected titles from the shortlist at a pace of one book per week! So far, our favourite to win is Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, a gripping and powerful story set in Germany during WW2 as four young people struggle to escape the devastation of war and come to terms with their own troubled pasts.

The group are also pleased to have delivered an assembly to Year 7 on 9th June all about the Carnegie Medal and the value of reading. Everyone in the group contributed their thoughts, ideas and all-round passion for reading to the presentation – we hope the audience enjoyed it and felt inspired to pick up a book!

The official winner of the Carnegie Medal award will be announced on 19th June – watch this space!

In the meantime you can see our group’s own Carnegie shadowing website and read reviews by group members at:

Carnegie Reading Group


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