Friday, September 11, 2009

Dear Alison by Simon Pollard

Dear Alison is the diary of a soldier, Dudley Roberts Muff, who was captured in the Crointh Canal during a retreat from Crete, during the second World War. This beautifully produced book is a diary which he wrote for his niece, Alison. Alison was only a little girl at the time but he was very fond of her. Dudley was captured and sent to Stalag 383 and various other camps during the time he was captured and to entertain himself, and to tell the story of his life in the camps this diary was kept.

The book is full of Dudley's drawings, stories of what the soldiers did, tales of activities the soldiers made up to keep their spirits up, there are stories of illness, escape, prison dogs, diagrams of the buildings in the camp and fantastic descriptions of the guards and the other prisoners. I loved the mentions of the prison food, 'cabbage water' features prominently! Parcels which arrive to the camp are vividly described, and the makeshift teapots and other equipment made from whatever the men could get their hands on.

This book is so beautifully written, and because he was writing it for his niece it has the feel of a very serious story being told so that a child can understand it but not be frightened. It is a fantastic book and would make a great present for an older person who is interested in stories of war, or a teenager who enjoys realistic stories of war and of history. This book made me laugh and cry and I think it will appeal to people of all ages. I took this book to show my Mother and she loved it. The extra bits giving the story of the rest of Dudley's life were fascinating, and the beautiful end papers give the book a real 'feel of it's time'. Read it you'll love it I guarantee it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

 The final book in the Wheel of Time is due out soon.  Chapter one have been released.  You can read it online on the site below.  There are some boys here at King's who are going to be very excited about this!

The Gathering Storm
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Exam time tips!

How can you prepare for an exam?
It is the easiest thing in the world to put off studying.  There is always something else you would rather do, these tips might make it easier, and  see the blog on Studyit below as well.

Find yourself a place where you can't talk to others, make yourself comfortable, it is almost always easier to sit at a table or desk. Leave your phone in another room, get yourself a nice big drink of something you like, have a treat in another room for when you have done a good half hour of work. Log off Facebook, MSN or Bebo so that you aren't tempted to chat.
  • Ask yourself, “What do I know?” and “What do I NOT know?”
  • Study the information you don’t know well. This is harder than the stuff you do know but is more important learning at this stage.
  • Use highlighters and sticky notes for important points.
  • Break up your study into small chunks – the brain cannot absorb too many pieces of information at once. Go outside and take a breather between chunks.
  • Look at the headings so you know what topics are being covered.
  • Write down the names of topics and the main things you need to cover for
    each topic.
  • Highlight keywords for your subject.  Make lists of words and make definitions of them. It is important that you read the exam questions carefully and understand them. Learning lots of
    words related to your topic can help you.
  • Make new notes for the exams – this is important because if you don’t have good notes to study from, you won’t be able to write good answers in the exam.
  • Mind maps are a good way to visually represent information so that it is
    easier to learn. Visit a mind-map website for ideas on how to do this such as but don't do this to put off studying.
  • If in doubt, ask questions in class before exam. Talk to your teachers. Tutorials are for your benefit you should go if you can.
  • Study groups – Study groups can be effective. To make the groups work well, make sure you have a plan about what you want to cover so you don’t end up just chatting and wasting your time.
  • Practice with old/past exams   Practice the content and time yourself so you know how much time to
    give to each question. 
  • Talk about your study, to a friend or to someone at home. Repeating information out loud helps
    you remember it. Maybe you could have an online chat about a particular area of a subject.
  • Eat breakfast on the day of the exam and breakfast and lunch if it is an afternoon exam.
Hope your exams go well boys, the library is available for you to use, but this week there will be strict rules about noise if boys are trying to study.  Year 13, the Williams Room is the quiet zone for you.

Student Resource Centre - Profile from the Epic Databases

The Student Resource Centre provides cross-curricular information suitable for senior secondary school students. Students can search topics including history, literature, geography, and biographies. Also available is a multimedia gallery containing photographs, graphs, maps, and sound and video clips.

So if you are:  researching a speech, writing an assignment for history, biology, general science, english, geography, classics or art, go to this database using the log in from the tear-off sheets in the library and access quality information for your topic.


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