Class 2.1 Empathy Postcards Tuesday 12 June

S2 English pupils worked in the library on Tuesday 12 June and our plan is … to send postcards to other S2 pupils in Moray schools.


We had a good discussion with class 2.1 about empathy, watched a film trailer and then pupils began their postcards. We shall be sending these to S2 pupils in the other Moray schools. Though, oc course, all are keen to display them here first!  There is a lovely reading recommendation postcard from Kyle, ready to send to S2 pupils at Forres Academy. Elise loves her book and wants to share with pupils at Elgin High School.  Mia & Evie enjoyed writing their postcards and there were lotsof reading recommendations, to share in school and with other schools, from Mr Clark’s 2.1 class. Everyone enjoyed being in the library today and making lots of connections.

Empathy Day 12 June 2018

Happy Empathy Day 📚💜 Books are the BEST way to help us understand others.

There was fun – and difficulties, as there are so many – choosing book recommendations for Empathy Day.  When we find out how the world looks to other people. In fact, every day is empathy day in a library!

Our new S6 study students were looking forward to Empathy Day and to sharing their favourite books.  See what Alisha, Jessica & Emily have recommended in our display. All books with strong messages. S6 student, Jessica, recommends The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood as a brilliant read and says it is an intense novel.

We asked staff across school, including those on exchange visit in Landshut with the Modern Studies department:

 Which book made a difference to you?

Mrs Hendry said: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. “The story of injustice of life for many in the Deep South, the innocence and bravery of Scout and courage of Atticus was so compelling when I first read it. It still is.” We have our battered and well-read copy available to borrow.

Mr Terron in our English department recommended I Am Malala, whilst Mrs Forster in the English department recommends the wonderful novel Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth. There are several copies available, so pop in and borrow one. Our Art department staff had great book recommendations too. We all love Eleanor Oliphant, don’t we? See the world through someone else’s eyes. Thank you Mrs Lee, Mrs Templeton,  Miss Tullis & Mrs Young.

Ending Empathy Day with a book that is elegant, gorgeous & daring and which is recommended by Mr Clark in our English department: The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon.

Perfect choices for Empathy Day and any day!

World Cup Reading Challenge for Staff Summer 2018

Are our staff ready for kick-off?  Displays, books and a Big Reading Challenge too. To include food and drink from the participating countries too. Well, why not? ⚽⚽📚📚🌞 #WorldCup2018

Staff are invited to read a book from one of the participating countries in this year’s tournament, share it & some fine fare too to eat and drink and share, with everyone, after the holidays.  Draw a country & book from the box before the 14 June. Let’s get reading more this summer 📚⚽ #WorldCup2018 ⚽📚💜.

Head teacher Mr Barnett has his summer reading sorted.. from Uruguay…. Hmmm…..some chaja cake maybe?⚽

Mrs Gordon from our Biology department scored a cracker, with her book from Colombia and the classic Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez .

Know a reluctant young reader who loves football? Gain persuasion techniques with these 5 ways in which reading books will make them better at the beautiful game: ….

Paired Reading and the New S6 Cohort June 2018

So many new S6s visited this week to ask about being paired readers. Fantastic enthusiasm….which meant….on Thursday 7 June, a presentation to all our S6 cohort.

Really looking forward to working together building readers!

The paired reading film for our new S6 cohort – all about last session’s S6’s experiences and which is full of hints & tips – is a masterpiece! Created by S4 student Rory Stanley . Take a bow, Rory 👏.

Edinburgh International Book Festival – Deposits for Places Need To Be Returned

We need forms and deposits for places on our Edinburgh Book Festival trip returned.

What an opportunity to see amazing authors, soak up the atmosphere in the Charlotte Square book festival tent AND stay overnight in Edinburgh. Excitements🎉📚💜


The Jeanius of Spark Talent Showcase is soon! June 2018

Staff enjoyed a final planning meeting for The Jeanius of Spark event – on Wednesday 13 June – and we are good to go.

Are you?


Don’t miss our 1930’s Talent Showcase on 13 June!  This will celebrate the skills & learning of our young people and the centenary of writer Dame Muriel Spark, who was a poet, writer of fiction and who was at the top of her profession for more than half a century.

The evening will include an education into what Elgin Academy was like in the 1930’s – the era in which her best-known book, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was set – with music and drama performances and a retro tea room too. In addition, Mr Pete Kelly, from our Physics department, will be there to tell a story about the school he attended as a pupil, which was the same on as Muriel Spark attended.


Miss Mackay (S5 student Rana) as headmistress of the Marcia Blaine School for Girls, strongly disapproves of Miss Brodie’s educational methods. Wonder what she will make of our Miss Jean Brodie, in her prime, on Wednesday 13 June. All in the school community are invited, from 6.30pm.


Mrs Toonen is The CILIPS Library and Information Professional of the Year 2018

This Moray School Librarian was named Scotland’s Library and Information Professional of the Year on Tuesday 5 June 2018.

Mrs Toonen was been named as ‘Scotland’s Library and Information Professional of the Year’ at the Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland held in Dundee. The award, which recognises outstanding achievement and accomplishment in post, was presented by CILIPS President, Margaret Menzies. ​

Mrs Toonen remarked, “Winning this award and being recognised by my profession is thrilling. I really enjoy being a school librarian.  Every day is different and I love the variety and vitality of my job.”

David Barnett, Head Teacher at Elgin Academy said “Shelagh is an inspirational professional, who makes a major contribution to the very good levels of literacy attainment in the school – there is always something happening in the library to capture the attention and imagination of our young people.

Mrs Toonen was nominated in recognition of her development of the library as a  welcoming productive learning environment, introducing exciting learning opportunities and building excellent relationships with pupils, colleagues and external partners whilst supporting curriculum delivery.

Scotland’s Library and Information Professional of the Year was established as an annual award by CILIPS in 2017 and is sponsored by Bolinda Digital. Open to CILIP members working in Scotland, nominees are assessed by a peer panel of judges for:

  • Commitment to the profession;

  • Service development and innovation;

  • Sector engagement; Positive impact.

Seafield Primary 7 Visit 6 June 2018

Everyone loves our Reading Throne. The P7 pupils from Seafield Primary School picked a good spot for some reading during their visit.

“We need these books!” they said. We know how they feel.

What a fabulous, fun transition session and the pupils have promised to keep on reading over the summer.

All of which meant happy readers and a happy librarian.

The posters from our P7 Transition Challenge have now gone to Mrs Lee in the Art department. She is very excited about jumping into all the books & judging a winner from each school and an overall winner. She has a very difficult task ahead!

Madiha – senior library assistant – leaves the library 31 May 2018

 Madiha, our amazing, awesome senior library assistant paid us her last visit. With her leaver’s form in hand.

She is off to travel and then University of St Andrews.

 A 🌟of the future! All the best Madiha and keep in touch! Sad and happy goodbyes.

Nibbles & Bytes Cafe – Day 2 2018

There was lots going on in the Café during day 2 and our  visitor Mr Jackson, from Dundee University, dropped in and logged in to good chats with ICT Technician Mr Campbell and with Mr Ord in Business Ed & Mr Mackay in Computing too.

What was on the menu today? Lots on offer in our Nibbles & Bytes Café!

Here comes the girls….. keen to find out what Nibbles & Bytes Café is all about. Already we are making plans to make the Cafe even better and bigger next year #digitallearning #fun #menus #choices #bytestoremember.

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