March 2017 Newsletter for Secondary Schools and Sixth Form Colleges

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Welcome to our March 2017 Newsletter for Secondary Schools and Sixth Form Colleges

In this month's newsletter we report that 82% of the top schools in the UK for A-level results subscribe to online resources through JCS according to figures published by the Department of Education. However, when so many schools are suffering serious budget cuts, arguing the case for any new resources to support teaching and learning is a challenge. But there are strong arguments for using the limited budgets on e-resources – especially in this digital age – so our latest blog focuses on this important subject. As well as this there is plenty of useful product news, events and our survey.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’re here to help.

Product news

JSTOR Buying Group

Save up to 25% on the JSTOR Secondary Schools Collection 

You can save up to 25% on a JSTOR subscription by joining a Buying Group for subscriptions commencing 1 April 2017. Make sure you don't miss out – get in touch to place your order before the deadline, Friday 24 March.

By providing students with access to JSTOR's 2,300+ archival journals and four primary source collections, you are giving them a really important head start for university.

JSTOR is considered a core resource by the vast majority of higher education institutions and all Russell Group universities so the likelihood is students will be using JSTOR during their time at university. The journals can make great talking points in university admission interviews and prove student's extensive interest in their subject in personal statements.

Over 290 schools subscribe to JSTOR through JCS, take a look at the full list here

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New Macbeth podcasts 

Audiopi has recently added Macbeth podcasts. The podcasts are specifically developed for AQA, Edexcel and OCR English Literature GCSE.

Macbeth is played by the renowned Shakespearean actor Guy Henry (who your students may know from the Harry Potter and Star Wars films) and alongside two excellent teachers, Catherine Hartley and Stella Vassiliou, they bring Macbeth to life.

Accompanied by sound effects and music, Henry, Hartley and Vassiliou take your students through an analysis of each act, character overviews and how to answer possible exam questions. As students can listen anytime, anywhere, it makes for a really useful revision resource as well as in the classroom. 

Audiopi covers topics in many more subjects and levels, see the list here. Request a free trial to the whole resource here.

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Credo Online Reference 

New titles

Credo is regularly expanding its excellent collection of titles. To find monthly content updates click here. New titles added in February include: Antarctica and the Arctic Circle: A Geographic Encyclopedia of the Earth's Polar Regions, Encyclopedia of World Biography, The Innovation Paradox and The Psych 101 Series: Positive Psychology 101.

Credo Mind Map

The Credo Mind Map is an excellent research tool that displays the connections between search results in a visual, interactive and easy-to-use format.

It is especially useful for expanding student's knowledge of a topic and to uncover connections early on in research. Ideal for the EPQ and extended essays.

The Mind Map displays related concepts around the central topic and a panel shows Credo reference articles related to the central topic.

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Artstor (from the same not-for-profit organisation as JSTOR) offers a digital library of over 1.7 million copyright cleared and high quality images. The images, unavailable for free on the open web, are from leading museums, galleries and universities and appear alongside authoritative descriptive data.

Artstor also provides excellent teaching resources such as curriculum and subject guides.

Curriculum guides

These guides offer selected images for teaching courses curated by experts in their field. Each guide includes a course syllabus outlining topics and themes, a set of images for each theme, and a description of how the images can be used in that course. Learn more.

Subject guides

These one-page handouts in over 20 subject areas highlight collections, search strategies, and search terms to help users find relevant content. Learn more.

25% discount available to subscribers to the JSTOR Secondary Schools Collection plus current JSTOR subscribers are not required to pay Artstor’s Archive Capital Fee. 

Request a free trial to Artstor here.

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Churchill Archive for Schools/Churchill Archive

New (and free) resources for history teachers

What was the significance of Pearl Harbor? This is the subject of the latest investigation to be made available free of charge in the Churchill Archive for Schools.

A total of 14 investigations, covering a wide range of subjects, is now available – from "Did the Suffragettes help or harm the cause of women's suffrage?" to "What went wrong Gallipoli in 1915?"

Each investigation includes background information, primary sources and downloadable activities.

The Churchill Archive for Schools website also provides an accessible gateway into the complete Churchill Archive which is available free of charge to schools worldwide until 31 December 2020 exclusively through JCS. It only takes of minutes to register for free access.

JCS Blog 

How can e-resources help limited budgets go further?

The 2016 UK School Library survey conducted by Softlink on behalf of the school library sector looked at key trends and issues impacting school libraries.

The main findings from the survey concluded:

Budgets, support from management, and physical space are significant challenges for many school libraries across the UK. These challenges align with the top priorities for school libraries, raising the profile of their school library, increasing engagement, looking at implementing eBooks and use of online resources.

Similarly, the FE Sector is also under increased pressure to meet student expectations of learning support against a backdrop of area reviews, mergers, changing curricular focus and budget cuts.

Many of the librarians and teachers we talk to on a daily basis tell us about the budget cuts you are facing and the limited budgets you have to work within. The 2016 UK School Library survey found that library budgets at 58% of the respondent’s schools did not increase from the previous year and more worryingly, 33% of schools indicated their library budget decreased.

So with limited budgets why would libraries invest in e-resources? Click here to find out.

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JCS news

Customer survey

JCS is conducting a survey to find out how best to improve its service for you

As we plan new developments to the JCS service we would really value your input. We want to understand more about what's important to you when it comes to online resources and the support JCS offers.

If you haven't had a chance yet to respond, we would be really grateful if you could find a few minutes to give us your feedback. It should take no more than 10 minutes. The survey deadline is Tuesday 14 March. 

Click here to start the survey

Your responses to the survey will be kept confidential and anonymous. Results may be used in promotional materials for JCS, to help other schools learn about the service JCS offers. Thank you for making the time to complete our survey and thank you for helping to shape the future of JCS.

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JCS is delighted to be running two workshops at the 2017 joint YLG and SLA weekend course - Lightbulb Moments: Powered by Librarians. The course will be held over 23-25 June 2017 at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire.

The first session, titled: Managing Change looks at how the school librarian responds and adapts to the needs of students in a world dominated and driven by technology and the Internet. This seminar will be led by Terri McCargar (Librarian, Latymer Upper School) and Elizabeth Hutchinson (Head of Service, Guernsey School Library Service), both well practised in managing change within schools.

The second session, titled: E-resources: are you maximising your investment? will discuss the variety of ways a library can promote their e-resources in as cost-effective way as possible for maximum impact drawing on Joyce Martin's experience in promoting e-resources as well as ideas from the workshop delegates.

If you are attending the Weekend Course, we hope you'll come to one or both of our workshops.

Find out more here.

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Any Questions?

If you have any questions, comments or queries please do get in touch. We love to hear feedback about our newsletter and if you would also like to contribute, please email or tweet us @JCSResources.