Welcome to the library
The School Library Resource Centre (SLRC) plays a central and full role – both academically and socially – in the life of the school by supporting learning and teaching.
The library is on level 3 of the building, next to the Computing, English and Modern Languages departments.
It has a wide range of books, magazines and audiotapes, as well as Internet access.
The SLRC is staffed by a qualified librarian Ms Magda Wojnar working on Wed, Thu and Fri, who shares the job with other librarians working on Mon and Tue to provide a full time professional service.
Accessing books during the Covid-19 Outbreak
Monday to Thursday
8.40am – 3.30pm
8.40am – 1.10pm
Staff and pupils are automatically registered as library users when they join St Thomas’
No cards are needed.
Books are issued for a period of 2 weeks
The loan period can be extended if required.
There are no limits on staff loans.
Reminders for overdue books are sent out via English Teachers.
Letters will be sent home after a few weeks of having overdue books and money for replacement copies sought.
As other people are often waiting for these items, please try to bring them back on time – Thank you !
Wireless Internet access is available.
Currently there are no laptops available to borrow in the library.
We apologise for inconvenience.
Literacy Across Learning
Events in the Library
The librarians along with other departments organise and run various activities throughout the year. Here is the list of upcoming events we would like to celebrate in the library:
The Librarians and English Department have developed a reading programme (Book Bingo) that aims to teach and develop literacy skills. All S1 and S2 English classes have one period timetabled in the Library every fortnight.
Pupils are encouraged to read for enjoyment and to take part in literary activities such as Roald Dahl Day, National Poetry Day, etc.
We want you to enjoy reading!
There are Book Groups for pupils and staff, and pupils are encouraged to review books for Teen Titles magazine.
Trips are organised to the Edinburgh International Book Festival and other author events.
We run various clubs including: S1- S3 Book Group, Staff Book Group and Book to Film Club
Unfortunately they are all put on hold due to social distancing rules. We are planning to resume them as soon as restrictions are being lifted.
After the success of Evernight last time, the nominated titles for this year’s Scottish Teenage Book Prize are Patience Agbabi : The Infinite, Harry Cook : Fin and Rye and Fireflies and S.M Wilson : The Infinity Files . Scottish Book Trust are kindly donating a copy of each title to us , so we hope to get pupils reviewing them soon
Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2020 & 2021
The winner of the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2020 was Izzi Howell’s : Cats React to Science Facts’. Nominations for 2021 are 100 Things To Know About Saving The Planet, Agent Asha Mission Shark Bytes, I Am A Book, I Am A Portal to the Universe, Inventors, I Ate Sunshine For Breakfast and Under The Stars. Our judging panel will be getting into action soon !
Our school has links with other libraries in the city. Everyone is encouraged to join their local, public library and staff and senior pupils can use University libraries and the National Library of Scotland for reference purposes too. Books can often be borrowed from other schools via the Librarian. An inter-library loan facility is also available for Higher and academic texts.
National Library of Scotland (NLS) provides free access to eResources that cover many subjects, from history and social sciences to newspapers and business. Some of these may only be accessed in the NLS reading rooms, but there are also many which you can use at home by logging into the website. You will have to register first.
Please see this National Library of Scotland Guide how to access eResources. You can also ask your School Librarian for help.
You will find them by clicking this link https://auth.nls.uk/eresources/ or by going to NLS website after login in.
Edinburgh City Libraries – you can access free Electronic Resources by registering at Edinburgh City Libraries.
You will find more information on the website below or ask the School Librarian
There are more free resources available online and you can find details in our guide here: Online Resources Guide
For learners with a print-disability, including those with dyslexia or who are blind or partially sighted there are online resources available via RNIB Bookshare Please contact school librarians for details.
For ideas about what to read, there are many websites, including:
Our librarians update Reading Lists annually.
You can access them below or get printed copies from the school library.
STUDY SKILLS WEBSITES
There are a number of commercial and academic websites which can help you with revision for Nat 4/5, Higher and Advanced Higher. Click on the link to find out more.
School Database of Educational Articles
For more information on how to access them online, please refer to our Online Resources Guide
OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES
Book to Film
There are films based on books released every year.
Click on the list below to see films for children and young adults released between 2019 and 2021
Future Events & Activities
Children's Mental Health Week 2022
The Children’s Mental Health Week takes place on 7-13 February 2022.
Around five children in every classroom have a mental health problem and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement.
This year’s theme is Growing Together. Children and adults are encouraged to consider how they have grown, and how they can help others to grow.
Don’t forget about Place2Be that provides child counselling and mental health support in schools, including primary, secondary and all-through schools across England, Scotland and Wales.
Our school has a dedicated Place2Be mental health professional who is an integral part of the school team. You can also find more information at https://www.place2be.org.uk/
On 25 January we celebrate the life and writing of Robert Burns. Click on the link below to find out more.
Holocaust Memorial Day
Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January 2022.
Click on the link to find out more :HMD2022
Shadowing Book Awards - St Thomas' results are in !
Thanks to pupils in Mrs Watt’s and Miss McClelland’s English classes who took part so enthusiastically in assessing this year’s book award nominations !
Their chosen winner for the Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize was ‘Inventors’ by Robert Winston ( official result to be announced in February ).
For the Scottish Teenage Book Prize, they chose ‘The Infinite’ by Patience Agbabi (official result due 4 May).
FREE ACCESS TO E-RESOURCES
Here’s a link to Edinburgh Libraries Libby from OverDrive service. This enables free access to ebooks, audiobooks and magazines for those who are not a member of the library. Thousands of best-selling titles for adults, teens and children are available to read on phone, tablet or computer. From the 18 January – 16 February 2022 if you are over 13 years old you can sign up for an Instant Digital Card in seconds. All you need is a mobile phone number and the access code – Library2go. To find out how to get started go to www.edinburgh.gov.uk/IDC. The Instant Digital Card will give you access to Libby for three months.
S4 MEET AUTHOR ALEX WHEATLE
In October, as part of Black History Month, Mrs Hunter’s S4 History class met up with author Alex Wheatle for a black history tour of Edinburgh, to help them understand the city’s links with the trans-atlantic slave trade. Here’s the thoughts of S4 pupils Niamh, Mara, Katie, Charlie on the visit and the book it tied into, Cane Warriors .
‘Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle is based on Tacky’s revolt, an uprising against white enslavers which took place in April 1760 on plantations in Richmond, Jamaica. Tacky was a highly-respected chief who lost his freedom when defeated in battle. Hundreds joined his rebellion. They enjoyed initial success but were ultimately captured and killed, or returned to slavery.
The story is a journey of hope and freedom which doesn’t shy away from the brutal happenings of this time in history. The events are moving and tragic, with Wheatle creating a vivid world through detailed descriptions, imagery and strong characters who jump out off the page. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and offers an education on the uprising of enslaved people in Jamaica.
As well as having emotional impact, Cane Warriors is a necessary story to tell, especially considering the recent Black Lives Matter protests. It highlights the lack of conversation around slave uprisings and rebellions; it gives understanding of an important moment in history that should not be forgotten; it sparks crucial interest in how our modern world is built and rests on the shoulders of the unforgivable and horrific past of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Our history class had the fortune of meeting Alex Wheatle. We learned about his unpleasant childhood and how , when he was imprisoned after the Brixton riots, his Rastafarian cell-mate introduced him to the importance of literature and embracing your heritage. Wheatle felt compelled to research and write about Tacky as his own mother had been born close to the rebellion site. He was also inspired by the pride he feels in possibly being descended from the mighty cane warriors that took part .
Our meeting took the form of a black history walking tour to help understand Edinburgh’s links with slavery. We visited statues and landmarks , including Edinburgh University’s Old College. We heard about black people like John Edmonstone (who taught taxidermy to Charles Darwin) who were resident in Edinburgh but have been largely forgotten. We learned how the very foundations of our city were built on slave money. This is part of history that everyone should be aware of. ‘
picture courtesy of amazon books
EDINBURGH LIBRARIES : SELFIES COMPETITION
Edinburgh Libraries are inviting you to pop into one of their public branches and take a photo of yourself with your winter read – you could win a £10 book token !
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY - 10 DECEMBER 2021 - THEME : EQUALITY
Human Rights Day is observed on the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, published in 1948, which states that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’.
BOOK WEEK SCOTLAND 2021
To promote Book Week Scotland, which ran from November 15-21, we received copies of the book ‘Celebration’ . It includes 22 real -life stories from people around the country – some were commissioned from authors, others were submitted by the general public. It’s suitable for age 14+ and available from the school library now if you’d like a copy.
ST ANDREW'S DAY 2021
On November 30 the world celebrates St Andrew’s Day, Scotland’s national day. He is a patron of Scotland and a few other countries too. There will be events in Scotland and around the world. Traditional activities may involve enjoying the national dish of haggis, neeps and tatties, storytelling, reciting poetry and enjoying a ceilidh, a party which involves traditional folk music and dancing.
Traditions vary slightly throughout the different regions of Scotland. Glasgow hosts a spectacular torchlight procession. East Lothian the annual Saltire Festival celebrates arts and sporting heritage with traditional music performances, crafting workshops and a 10k night run. The Oban Winter Festival celebrates with Gaelic and Scots tunes, haggis tastings and a whiskey festival.
St Andrew is patron of diocese of Victoria fishermen, fishmongers, rope-makers, golfers performers (singers), gout, sore throats, spinsters, maidens, old maids, women wishing to become mothers.
If you would like to learn more about St Andrew watch videos and read the story below:
NATIONAL POETRY DAY : 7 OCTOBER 2021
We forgot to mention this earlier ! Our S1 & S2 pupils faced quite a challenging task on National Poetry Day this year – to think of all the small decisions they make each day and to write something on the theme of ‘choice.’
They came up with some great work, now on display in the Library.
COP26 - CLIMATE CONFERENCE, GLASGOW
To tie in with the climate conference taking place between 1 -12 November 2021, try some of the activities listed below. You could also watch this video – ‘ How to be a Responsible Activist : Q&A with Young Friends of the Earth Scotland for COP26’ –
Dyslexia Awareness Week Scotland 1-7 Nov 2021
Dyslexia Awareness Week Scotland is an annual event aimed at further understanding and raising awareness amongst your pupils about dyslexia: what it means, what it is and what can be done to support people who have dyslexia. The theme is ‘Destination Dyslexia: a road map’.
Scotland could become a dyslexia friendly destination for every person who has dyslexia. A dyslexia friendly society is one where everyone understands dyslexia and how it impacts the 1 in 10 children and adults who are dyslexic.
More info can be found at https://www.dyslexiascotland.org.uk/dyslexia-awareness-week-scotland
BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2021
Black History Month runs from 1-31 October 2021. It has the campaign slogan ‘Proud to Be…’ to actively encourage all black and brown people, especially children, to be proud of their African or Caribbean roots.
Teen novels by Black writers – some great fiction reads for teens by amazing writers at
Black History Month for kids – non-fiction focussing on the Little People, Big Dreams series as well as titles about African-American history at
DYSLEXIA AWARENESS WEEK 4-10 October 2021
Dyslexia Awareness Week runs from 4-10 October 2021 and has the focus ‘Invisible Dyslexia‘, highlighting how people can feel unsupported, unwanted & invisible because dyslexia itself is unseen. More info at https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/
BANNED BOOKS WEEK 26 SEPTEMBER-2 OCTOBER 2021
Banned Books Week – celebrating the freedom to read – runs from 26 September – 2 October 2021. Ms Nealon has been talking about banned children’s books to some S2-5 pupils, as well as quizzing them on other items ‘banned ‘ at some point in history – football, popcorn and chewing gum included ! Find out more about the week at https://bannedbooksweek.org
MATHS WEEK SCOTLAND 27 SEPTEMBER - 3 OCTOBER 2021
It’s Maths Week Scotland from the 27 Sept – 3 Oct! There’s a fantastic collection of children’s Maths books available on Libby/OverDrive, via Edinburgh City Libraries. Have a look at :
WORLD ALZHEIMER'S DAY 20201
World Alzheimer’s Day is on 21 September 2021. You can find out more on Twitter : ECR_Edinburgh or at
ROALD DAHL DAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2021
13 September is Roald Dahl Story Day and the date on which Roald Dahl was born in 1916. To celebrate his writing, some S1-3 pupils have been discussing his books and sharing facts about him during their library periods this week.
GREEN PENCIL AWARD 2021 : CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION
The Green Pencil Award may be of interest to S1-3 pupils who enjoy creative writing. Participants are being asked to write no more than 1x A4 side on the topic of Climate Change, to tie in with COP26. Closing date is 15 October. Further details are available from Ms Nealon in the Library.
CLIMATE CHANGE COP26 - get involved !
As you may know, Glasgow will take centre stage as it hosts the UN Climate Change Conference in November. Edinburgh school libraries are working with Friends of the Earth Scotland to create a Question and Answer video on how to become a responsible activist. If you would like to ask a question on this subject, please complete the following form.
Please submit your question by 1st September. Thank you.
SUMMER READING CHALLENGE JUNE-AUGUST 2021
HI-VIS week runs until 20 June 2021 and highlights accessible reading via large-print, audio books etc. To find out more, click on the info below.
Empathy Day - 10 June 2021
Empathy Day is on Thursday June 10. This year’s theme – ‘ walk in someone else’s shoes’ -encourages us to understand what others are feeling. More information can be found at :
For fiction related to empathy, see the links below ( clicking on the book icons in the picture will lead to specific titles & tell you what they’re about; clicking on ‘why don’t you ?’ suggests activities you could try)-
https://www.thinglink.com/scene/1451913541043879938 ( flashing)
https://www.thinglink.com/scene/1453735763857375235 (non flashing)
EUROS 2021 : BOOKS TO ENJOY WITH THE FOOTBALL
The Euros football tournament takes place for a month from June 11. Teams from Scotland, England and Wales will take part. To find out more – and to read about some of the players involved – see the link below.
You can also enjoy a mini film created by author Tom Palmer to tie in with Scotland’s first match against the Czech Republic. Find out more at https://youtu.be/wKteX3aI6kQI
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK MAY 2021
DEAF AWARENESS WEEK 2021
May 4 -9 2021 is Deaf Awareness Week, this year highlighting ‘acquired deafness’, which happens when someone loses hearing during their lifetime. Useful resources can be found here –
Deaf teens talk about support at school: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkVBRvNS8VM&feature=youtu.be
Edinburgh Libraries: https://edinburgh.overdrive.com/library/kids
You can find more activities relating to Deaf Awareness Week here too.
EARTH DAY 2021
International Mother Earth Day takes place on 22 April 2021 to raise awareness of the challenges to our planet and the life systems it supports.
The seasons of Lent and Easter are traditionally times to reflect. Therefore you can take opportunity and write a poem “When I think of Easter”.
You can use template Easter Poetry Egg here or blank Easter Egg here.
Send your poem back to Ms Wojnar please.
Here is the example of “When I think of Easter” poem.
For suggested books to read on the theme of Easter and Springtime, click on the link below.
MARCH QUIZ , CHALLENGES & LITERARY DAYS
‘Thanks to all who took part in the March quiz. Answers can be found below
You could also try some of this week’s ‘Why Don’t You’ challenges, which ‘cover ‘cover the themes of time travel, book prizes and autism
You might also like to celebrate World Storytelling Day on Saturday 20 March (find out more at :https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/world-storytelling-day/ ) and World Poetry Day on Sunday 21 March – details at https://www.twinkl.co.uk/event/world-poetry-day-2021
WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS WEEK
‘World Autism Awareness Week runs from 29 March until 4 April 2021 and asks us to think about the inclusion of autistic people in our workplace and learning environments. Information can be found at
For a chance to win a book token during WAAW, by colouring or drawing a picture, go to https://www.facebook.com/newingtonlibrary/posts/10164819387090459
International Women's Day
Our school library has organised various activities as a part of the International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021.
The day is celebrated and supported globally by industry, governments, educational institutions, community groups, professional associations, women’s networks, charities and non-profit bodies, the media and more.
English, Science and PE departments run activities in our school next week. If you would like to find out more please click on links below:
Click this LINK to see International Women’s Day video
Click on the link below to read a two page comic that shows an example of a gender stereo type myth, about learning abilities:
Interview with women’s footballer Fiona Brown
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Fiona Brown (Scottish professional footballer who plays as forward for both FC Rosengård and Scotland’s international team) answers questions from Edinburgh’s secondary school pupils. In the interview Fiona discusses her career, the challenges she has faced as a player and her experiences of being a professional female footballer.
Some secondary school pupils across the city were given the opportunity to submit questions to ask Fiona via an online form. A small group of school librarians then had the challenge of whittling down to the best questions to put forward to Fiona and this interview is a culmination of their amazing questions and Fiona’s thought-provoking answers. “
Here is the LINK to the watch this interview.
There are many famous women in music history but please have a look at those two names: Eimear Noone – the first female composer/conductor at the Oscars recently and Marin Alsop – a very well known conductor in the UK and abroad.
Edinburgh City Libraries run various events across the city to celebrate International Women’s Day
See the website for more information.
To support activities run in our school you can find a list of female authors whose books are available from our library HERE
Foyle’s Young Poets of the Year Award 2021 competition is open to those aged 11-17 yrs and the closing date is 31 July. If you enjoy writing poetry, why not take part ? Further details at-
WORLD BOOK DAY 2021
‘BOOK OFF : the winner was announced on 5 March . Follow this link to find out the favourite Carnegie Medal – winning book of Edinburgh’s teenagers –
World Book Day is on 4 March and there’s lots to get involved with and free books on offer . See below for details.
Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 22 February to 7 March 2021 and is focussing on the challenges which climate change presents to farmers and workers in Fairtrade communities. You can discover more about the impact on nature and wildlife by reading some of the novels below.
Royal Society Young People's Book Prize 2020
The winner of the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2020 has been announced – Izzi Howell’s : Cats React to Science Facts’. It’s a fun book featuring feline adventures through space, force and the human body and it’s available in our school library. Thanks to the S1 /S2 pupils who took part in the judging & who agreed that this book should win
SHORT STORY COMPETITION : CREATIVE WRITING
If you enjoy writing your own stories and are aged 14+, visit https://www.cymerafestival.co.uk/short-fiction-competition. There’s an opportunity to win £75 for a short story on the subject of ‘After the Plague’.
Children's Mental Health Week
Place2be’s Children’s Mental Health Week takes place from 1-7 February 2021, with the theme ‘Express Yourself’. The link below shows how reading can promote positive mental health and offers a range of related activities.
Burns Night 25 January 2021
Each year, Burns Night helps us to commemorate the life and works of Robert Burns, the Scottish poet born in 1759. To test your Burns knowledge, try the quiz below.
Holocaust Memorial Day 27 January 2021
HMD remembers all those who suffered in the Holocaust and in subsequent genocides. The theme for 2021 is ‘Be the Light in the Darkness’. To find out more, and for related Fiction titles, see below.
Winnie-the -Pooh Day 18 January 2021
Greyfriars Bobby Day - 14 January 2021
Europe Day 2020
Although we are in the process of Brexit, Europe Day will be celebrated on 9 May 2020 to mark peace and unity amongst member countries. Test your European book knowledge below.
23 APRIL 2021
23 April marks both the birth of William Shakespeare and World book Night. Click on the link below to find out more.