Hamstead Hall Academy

Hamstead Hall Academy
Part of the Hamstead Hall Academy Trust Hamstead Hall Sixth Form

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Library Blog



Hi, I’m Aanya and I’ve started working at the library. I have found it really fun so far. My favourite book series are the Harry Potter series and I’m a mega fan of it. I’m a Gryffindor and I’m proud of it. If I had to choose my favourite book would have to be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I like this one as Harry has to enter a competition and you get to know lots about other students of Hogwarts. Speaking of Hogwarts I wish I went there, I have my Hermione Granger wand ready!




In the Hamstead Hall library we have a range books such as the dork diary series. This includes party time, pop star, dork diaries, how to dork your diary, dear dork, holiday heartbreak, TV star, once upon a dork,drama queen, puppy love, frenemies forever, crush catastrophe and many more brilliant diaries. These books are written by Rachel Renee Russel and her two daughters Erin, and Nikki Russel. The dork diaries have amazing illustrations. The dork diaries are about a teenage girl who joins a new private school and gets bullied there. She also finds new BFF’s, a new crush and of course a new enemy. Read a dork diary today to discover the amazing adventures Nikki goes through.




10- The Parent Agency

9- Wonder

8- Head Kid

7- The Famous Five

6- Goblino: The Witch’s Cat

5- A Series of Unfortunate Events (The whole series)

4- The Naughtiest Girl

3- Kid Normal

2- Diary of a Wimpy Kid

1- The Person Controller




Libraries can store a very large amount of information which could help you with any subject. Plus it has lots of fantastic books that you might be interested in. Books that are really eye-catching and gripping. Furthermore it has lots of fascinating clubs, for example Warhammer Club is a very fun game in my opinion and it might be yours too. Lastly you are always welcome to come and read a book at the library and you never know, you might be reading it for days.




 In Work experience, I’ve decided to work in the Library because I like reading books that always improve my literacy skills and improves my vocabulary. The librarian told me what to do, I tidied up all the book shelves and placed books on the book shelves. At break and lunch time, the student librarian taught me how to scan books, the students asked me whether they need this book borrowed or returned. I have free time unless the student asks me to borrow or return a book. Then I tidied the book shelves again and the librarian got me to do a few more jobs.




Press start to play is a collection of short stories based around gaming and gaming culture.

It was a good collection but some of the stories were a bit rushed due to the format. These stories could use some expanding to explore their concepts.

My favourite story was the first one called ‘God Mode’, this was by Daniel H. Wilson, author of Robocalypse. In it our main character is a game designer and he has to explain how his game works to a friend.

As a whole the book was good but could use some expansion of its core ideas.



Mr Taylor and Mrs Shakespeare.

The Twin Realms of Hamstead Hall are under attack from forces of darkness. With enemies at the doors, pupils in the Ages of Sigmar and the 41st Millennia battle to keep these forces at bay!

Welcome to the World of Warhammer! Created by Games Workshop in Nottingham in 1983, Warhammer exists in both a fantasy setting and a science fiction setting. Pupils from years 7 through to 11 have joined together to create their own Warhammer figures.

In addition, the Warhammer hobby is a DofE approved skill; so we have a lot of DofE pupils who are creating their own characters, building and painting their own models together with learning mathematical skills and teamwork skills (7 pupils teamed up against Mr. Taylor!).

Ultimately we hope to compete against other schools in the ‘Schools Alliance’ where schools get together in the official Games Workshop stores and battle each other. The battles are marked not just in terms of victory and defeat but how good an army looks, how organised pupils are and their attitudes to other schools. Points are awarded for being graceful when winning or losing. Warhammer doesn’t tolerate sore losers!

We have a lot planned out over the next year and we hope in future to bring news of success in the national school league. The finals take place at Warhammer World in Nottingham, which is where all of the figures are created.

If you are interested in joining our team then come to the school library every Wednesday lunchtime and speak to Mrs. Shakespeare or Mr. Taylor. We would like to thank the library for letting us use their space and facilities as well as understanding that many of the pupils get very excited during play!

May the dice roll be ever in your favour!




Introducing chess to the library has been a huge success. Since its introduction we’ve brought a scrabble set and launched Warhammer club which runs every Wednesday.  I’m happy to announce that next month we’ll be buying even more games! student librarian Karan has shared his first impressions below.



Thumbs up on this one. A similar and simpler game than chess. More fun and easy for kids to play. I play at home in my own time with my competitive grandma!


I will play this, it’s a good game. You have to try to sink your opponent’s battleships by aligning your bombs in the same position as their battleships on your grid.

Ticket to ride

It looks cool. One of those games where you have to control as much of the map as possible. I’m looking forward to playing it.




To celebrate the library acquiring all the Dork Diaries books, Student Librarian Harjas has written about why she likes the series so much.

“I love dork diaries because it is very interesting because it talks about a girl who has a lot of problems in school and how she solves the problem. t is similar to diary of a wimpy kid. I am happy that the library got the whole collection of dork diaries so I will be able to read all of them.”




My book is about a boy called Darren shan. When Darren and his friend go to a strange show they decide to steal a vampire’s spider and things get out of hand. To save his friend he has to become a vampire. He doesn’t like it very much but gets used to it after a while.

I thought the book was really good, I’m still reading it. It is fun and mysterious. My favourite character is Evra Von. He is a snake boy and acts with his snake. I like him because he’s all covered in scales and never grows hair. To hide his identity all the freaks live in a camp and they move on every so often.

It is an easy book to read and I’d recommend it to fans of vampires.




This is a joint article written by Student Librarians Tayba and Hariya with input from Mr Cochrane and Ms Clair. We talk about our favourite sections of the library and why they like them so much.


I like the fiction section of the library because it has stories in it. My favourite stories are adventures like ‘The Witch that does Spells.’


The non-fiction books are my favourite section of the library. This is because the non-fiction section can help me with my work and prepare me for my future tests, assessments and exams.

Mr Cochrane

My favourite bit of the library is the Young Adult section, here you can find lots of interesting books which are specifically written for teenagers. They’re way more intense than the regular fiction!

Ms Clair

My favourite section of the Library is ALL of it! I love reading and my taste is eclectic so I will choose and read whatever subject I am interested in at the time; it can be fiction or non-fiction.




But It’s not Fair is written by Aneeta Prem and Jacqueline Burns

I like this book because it good to read and you can learn from it. It’s all text, there’s no pictures. It’s all about forced marriages. It’s about a girl that wants to get married, but she can’t unless her dad says she can. The book makes me feel sad because the main character is upset she can’t get married. I would recommend it to others so they can learn about this subject.




The book is a range of stories with a mystery in each of them and they are all nearly impossible to solve. The book contains multiple authors, so you get a range of different mystery writing.

I thought that the author Susie Day was a really good author, when she writes mysteries they are real brain teasers to solve and when the answers present themselves you realise how clever they are.

Clues for the mystery are found by reading ‘in between the lines’.

It’s very interesting and when you start reading it you’ll want to continue until you get to the end. It’s not a book that will have answers at the back or at the end of the story; the answers are told to you throughout the novel. It contains a lot of AH-HA moments!

I’m looking forward to continuing this story collection and mainly the books by Susie Day!

I’m finding that the Mystery and Mayhem book can have a variety of puzzles and riddles all in one story. The story I’m reading at the moment is dog related, but others are different. To begin with they all seem impossible to solve, but at the end there are some ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ moments. Not all the mysteries are about murder, some are about lock-picking or poison etc.

The mysteries that are in the book are very intriguing and they get the reader involved by speaking in the first person. Some of the twists are more obvious than others. The Mystery of the Green Room is my favourite of the stories so far as it’s nearly impossible to figure out the answer and when the answer is revealed, you kick yourself for not getting it earlier.




The Fault in our Stars is a romantic drama based on the book by John Green.

It follows a girl called Hazel who has had lung cancer since she was 13. Her mom forces her to go to a support group for cancer patients so she can make friends because she doesn’t have any. She bumps into a boy called Augustus Water who has survived cancer by having his leg amputated. When Hazel and Augustus meet in the support group they instantly become friends. However something horrible lies in their future that could ruin both of their lives. What could possibly endanger their friendship? Well you’ll find out in this heartfelt movie about love, friendship and survival for life.


Both the book and the movie were very emotional for me as it involved a lot of heart-breaking subjects like death and coping with the effects of cancer. I would still recommend it, if you haven’t already seen it.




 This Movie was the best fantasy film I’ve ever seen. The special effects were amazing. Tim Burton’s vivid imagination came through in this film. My favourite character would have to be enoch. His ability to revive life is a very peculiar one.

My favourite scene would have to be when Enoch revives all the skeletons so that the other children can beat the hollows. The Creepiest scene in my opinion was when the hollows licked the eyes out of the children.

Samuel L Jackson was funny (as always) in the movie and had some great one liners. My favourite scene of him was when he said Emma needed a mint because her breath stank.

In conclusion this movie is well worth watching and is worth seeing in the cinema 3 or 4 times!

The book of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is available in the library now.




In the library we are going to perform a mock US election. The candidates in the mock US election are going to be Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. The reason why the US election is taking place is to see our views as an Academy, politically.

Donald Trump is a very wealthy person. He has unique views on how to improve America. In my opinion Donald Trump does not approve of a multicultural society even though it brings peace. He has racist views and lies frequently.

I don’t know much about Hillary Clinton however, in my opinion she could be an inspirational individual to women. She is also more experienced in politics.




This book is about a girl that has a blog which describes how she is feeling in school. In this book she is in year 11. Her parents are wedding planners and her brother is in uni. She loves photography and wants to be a photographer when she is older. She has an enemy in school who she despises. She is humiliated in front of the whole school while she is taking photos of the school play. He parents get an offer to create a Downton Abbey themed wedding in New York and before going she writes a blog about she was involved in a car crash with her parents that almost took her life away. She discovers a secret while she is in New York.

It is a good book because it is describing how school life is and how she manages her love life and how to fit in school and how some secrets can hold a lot meaning and how it can affect your life.




Good day folks! I’m here, your host: Wari and today will be the day you see the best you saw yet. Today we see the new history book “corpse talk” and explain why it is a book rich with information that delivers well to the reader. Corpse talk is a non-fiction piece of genius written by Adam Murphy. The book contains satirical content as well as cheesy puns to help relate to the readers more. In addition, the book stars inspirational icons in history and explains the funny stories they have through a journalist’s perspective in a commentary style. The book consists of many facts and dates to deliver to you, making it memorable and actually useful.

Overall, a great read especially for the modern youth.


Status: Recommended




These books are about other Wimpy Kids which you’ll enjoy reading if you liked Jeff Kinney’s series.

I like Dork Diaries because it is the female version of Wimpy Kid. It’s all about being at school and making friends. Our main character is moving to a new school in the hopes that she will leave her dork days behind her. It will appeal to those new in school who are feeling a bit lonely.

Middle School is like Dork Diaries, this boy is moving to the big city to the world’s dinkiest house. He doesn’t like the school at all, the book’s subtitle is ‘Get me out of here!’ Main character Rafe is moving to a posh school which he doesn’t like.

Finally Tom Gates is an exciting book for me. This book is all about Tom going to school and he is really good in class, he gets to the top of his teacher’s chart but he still has problems in school.

All of these books are about characters going to school and dealing with change. I think the year 7s should read them despite the fact that they should all get kicked out!




Recently my two student librarians Karan and Joseph had a debate concerning whether the library should or should not stock video games. They both raised some great points. Karan argued against and Joseph argued for. I’ve transcribed it and tidied it up a bit, but all the points were made by them.

Karan- This is wrong! You can see the damage that they do to DVDs. What do you think they would do to games?

Joseph- However this will make the library more popular and attract a new audience. It’ll be a new thing to do and if someone breaks an item, they will have to pay for it.

Karan– But you can’t trust cause people to return something like that.

Joseph- Then they’ll get banned and won’t be able to take anything else out.

Karan-If you ban them they might come back and steal.

Joseph- You would have to trust people.  If someone doesn’t bring it back, then we would get out money back.

Karan- Games are too expensive to risk. Furthermore they don’t have educational value. Pupils are only interested in violent games and Fifa. They don’t care about puzzle/educational games. GTA and Call of Duty have a lot of violence and no redeeming educational value. The stories aren’t even very good. Students don’t play games for the story and it would be much better to encourage them to read.

Joseph- Games don’t necessarily have to be educational. A lot of the books and DVDs here aren’t educational. But I think that a game is a really good medium for delivering a story and you shouldn’t say no to all of them just because of a few bad examples.

Karan– People aren’t interested in story games and even if they were you wouldn’t be able to limit play. Students would play all night. They would be tired and they wouldn’t do their H/W.

Joseph– Students do that anyway and at least if we were picking the games we could steer them towards ones with some creative substance to them.

Karan– But game are different to books and films because of their format. People all have different consoles. How are you going to please them all? When new games come out you’re going to have to pick which console to buy it for and this will annoy those without it. Also when a new console is announced and people move on, the entire collection is obsolete.

Joseph- But there is so much potential here. We could drive students to discover games outside of their comfort zone. This could inform their ICT learning. There is already modules in ICT to design games, so why don’t we have really good examples of the medium in the library? If someone took out a good game then they could learn from it and design a new one on Kudo. This could fuel creative ambitions. We could even run competitions for creative games. For example a contest to build the best landmark on Minecraft. This encourages those with artistic tendencies. I even think there should be a console in the library and students could play new, creative, exciting games like Minecraft, The Witness or Portal. Games are the most popular creative medium for teenagers and you can’t just ignore them because of old-fashioned prejudice.

Some excellent points on both sides. Well done to the boys for arguing so effectively. I’m afraid we won’t be buying any videogames for the school library anytime soon, but I think we can agree that Joseph made some very valid points for their inclusion. 




We recently acquired this film on DVD so Libby is going to let us know her thoughts.

Heeellllooooooo guys,

Today we will be talking about the thrilling Marvel Avengers film: Age of Ultron. This film is absolutely amazing and features many of the characters at their best. The film has a brilliant story line and the actors are all great in their roles. Some of the characters in this film are Thor, captain America, Iron Man and the Hulk. It also features Black Widow and Hawkeye. Throughout the film there is action and thrills. I’d definitely recommend it to someone who hadn’t seen it.




I enjoyed Run Zan Run, A LOT!

It was about a girl, Katie, who is being bullied. She is helped by a homeless girl called Zan, and they form a friendship. But eventually, Katie realises that Zan is hiding something, and suddenly, the girls have more to worry about than school bullies.

I would recommend it to people who like thrillers and also people who don’t read much because it’s so short, and the action starts almost immediately.



LIBBY and Esther

Divergent is a sci-fi, dystopian novel by Veronica Roth. It’s about a girl named Triss who lives in a society which you must choose between 6 factions when you turn sixteen. These are known as Candor, Amity, Erudite, Abnegation and Dauntless, all of which have a specific strength. To help teens choose they must take a test. When

Tris’ test says she fits multiple factions she is worried as and this means she is a Divergent. The government considers these people dangerous and when caught are killed. The story is about the thing Tris has to go through to avoid the government.

We would give this book 9/10 as it is a gripping, amazing piece of literature. We think this book is aimed mainly for 12 year old’s and upwards as it can be mildly distressing and violent.

There is also a film based on this book which we think is also amazing. The book and film is the first part of an epic trilogy and the film is part of four films as the last book was split into two. The second part of it is not yet out.




Hey guys, its Duaine here back at it again with book of the week. For the past few weeks I’ve reviewed some of my favourite books that I’ve read and enjoyed but it’s time to shake it up. Now I will explore the library every week and pick a book that i have yet to read and review the first few pages. So this week i have picked…Timmy Failure

(BTW Before I begin I apologize for not uploading last week).

The book follows the adventures of Timmy Failure, an amateur detective with a lot of ambition and very little sense. The first thing i noticed from this book is the childish art style and wording. It definitely appeals to younger children at least in year 6. While I thought that at first, reading the next few chapters really made me laugh. All the attempts at being funny really succeed. I would recommend it to fans of Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates.





Hey guys.

Its Duaine here, back at it again with book of the week. This time we explore a dark version of the future North America in a large, tragic nation called Panem. That’s right, this week we review the hunger games.

Panem is in dark times. The 74th hunger games is approaching were 12 boys and 12 girls are randomly selected from the 12 districts of Panem in which only one will survive in a gruesome fight to the death. When Katniss Everdeen, a hunter and natural survivalist at birth, nominates herself as tribute to save her sister from otherwise certain death she must use all of her survival skills to live another day.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrilling action in a dystopian world. Can you survive the games?

The Hunger Games Series- 7/10




We have recently received a film called Inception. I have watched it and I think it is exceptionally good.

The film stars many famous actors who most of you will recognize and the leading star is Leonardo DiCaprio who plays the character Cobb. The film is about a group of a people who know how to channel their mind to control other people’s dreams.

I recommend this film and I hope you enjoy it.




Yo guys,

So I have read the fault in our stars and I thought I could do a review on it for you.

The fault in our stars is about a couple, one of which Hazel-grace (the main character) has cancer. She goes to a cancer support group where she meets Augustus waters (her lover who no longer has cancer). Hazel asks Gus to read her favourite book, he loves it and takes Hazel and her mum to Amsterdam to meet the author. During this time, things take a turn for the worst and Hazel’s world begins to collapse.

Sorry that’s all I can tell you without telling you the ending so if you like the sound of it or long to know what happens to these lovers then you will have to read the book.




Hey guys its Duaine here back at it again with book of the week. This week we explore the mythical island of Berk as we look into the hit book/TV/movie series ‘How to Train Your Dragon’.

Long ago, on the wild and windy isle of Berk, a very skinny boy with a very long name stood across Berk. His name is Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III. Hiccup has a vast knowledge of everything about the dragons who coexist with the humans. He looks to impress his father and classmates as the heir to the king of Berk.

I recommend this book series to anyone and everyone who likes a fantasy mythical adventure with a deep storyline and multiple plot twists.

Train your dragon now.

How to Train Your Dragon series 8/10




Hey guys, Duaine here for the next instalment of book of the week! This week we will be looking at the first ever entry of the popular book series Beast Quest by Adam Blade.

The infamous dragon Ferno makes his debut in the first book. When a mysterious fire causes Tom to flee from his home, he sneaks into the magical city where the king shall be found. Disguised in knight’s armour he seeks the help of the king but his plan is failed after his true identity is exposed.

Desperate, he pleads and begs. After being presented to the wizard Aduro and set on an adventure the beast quest begins.

This description has only scratched the surface of the 80+ books that are waiting to be discovered.

Your quest awaits.

Beast Quest series 8.5/10




Hey guys. Its Duaine here from the Hamstead Hall Academy library team. This week for book of the week we will be looking at ‘Hacker’ written by Malorie Blackman.

Overview: Vicky is a girl who has been trained in the ways of a hacker by her legendary father. A mysterious accusation of a robbery worth millions of pounds puts her father in prison. Determined to prove his innocence she sets of on an adventure to uncover the true thieves.

I would definitely recommend this book simply because it appeals to anyone who likes a mysterious adventure with a few plot twists. It especially appealed to me as I’ve a keen interest in computers and hacking culture.

Overall rating 9/10