Staff Newsletter

QHS Information Centre - Volume 8, Issue 2 (Term 2, 2016)

Reading Challenge 2016

Our annual Reading Challenge is underway for 2016. Hopefully by now you know how this works (if not, have a look here). Our goal as a school is to read 150 books before the 12th August. We did this easily last year, so I'm sure it will be achievable. Don't forget that you can enter too and be in the draw for a staff prize, so make sure you take some reading home for the holidays!

Books in School Libraries Programme

Earlier this term we had a visit from Michael Stevens, a contributing author of the book Tangata Whenua. A copy of the book was presented to the school as a celebration of the Bridget Williams Books Publishing Trust's Books in School Libraries Programme. This programme has seen 15 New Zealand history titles donated to ALL the secondary schools in the country - an amazingly generous donation! The books were selected in conjunction with the NZ History Teachers Assn to ensure that the most useful and important titles would be made available to New Zealand students. If you would like to have a closer look at Tangata Whenua or the other 14 titles, they are all available in the Information Centre.

A 'good news' story ....

One of our Year 12 girls (who by her own admission is not a reader), had a breakthrough last week. After numerous suggestions, including taking part in summer reading, and ongoing encouragement from both library and English Dept staff, she finally found a book that she loved and had read right through to the end! She came rushing in, very excited, to ask for another book that was like the one she had just read. There really is such a thing as the 'right book at the right time' and she had obviously struck it just right! This is a great example of perseverance, both from the student (who kept trying) and from staff (who never stopped encouraging and supporting her).

Makerspace update

A Makerspace is much, much more than just the 'tools' it contains. However, we are pleased to have been able to purchase a few more goodies for our Makerspace, including Lego, solar robots, an electronics starter kit and some other electric goodies to add to our growing collection of resources (including a Lego Mindstorm set - thank you Murray!) to encourage girls to get making!


Experiences with Makerspaces overseas has shown that it can take a while to get a Maker culture established, and we need to remind ourselves that it will take much longer than a term for us to get students enthused and taking part. It is most definitely a very worthwhile thing for us to offer (for more on the reasons why we have a Makerspace, see my article on page 26 of the June issue of Library Life and see our Makerspace website)


With Natalie Tregidga leaving at the end of term, it is an opportune time to thank her for her input into getting the Makerspace up and running this term. She has freely shared her ideas, enthusiasm and resources and it has been hugely appreciated. Jo Bishop-Cherry has very kindly offered to step in and help, and has already been busy getting the girls trying some flax weaving. Like Natalie, she is also full of enthusiasm and fantastic ideas, so we're looking forward to some exciting things in the future.


Our goal for next term is to have some robotics and electronics things happening during Makerspace sessions so that girls can see what is going on and join in. Please encourage interested students to come along and have a go, and of course feel free to call by yourself - we would love to have staff input!


Carole and Lesley

A week in the Information Centre

Every year we pick a week and record data on the use of the Information Centre. This year we did this from 27th June to 1st July. It did feel a bit quieter than usual, but the results still show that our Information Centre is very well used. Check out a summary of the results.

Recent New Books

See below for some selected highlights. The new book display in the Information Centre is changed each week, with 14 new titles going on display every Monday morning - check it out next time you're passing. If you see anything there that you would like to read, please ask to place a reserve.

Photo credits

Copyright free images from Pixabay are used under a Creative Commons CC0 licence.

Book cover images are used with publishers' permission.