Learning Professional 2019: Deena Wren
We are delighted to announce Deena Wren, librarian at Beeslack Community High School in Midlothian as the winner of the Scottish Book Trust Learning Professional Award 2019.
Deena has over twenty years’ experience as a librarian and sits on the senior management team at Beeslack Community High School, Midlothian. She has created a library that is used as a shared learning space by all, and is a welcoming and accessible area for students.
Deena has made the library the beating heart of the school community and done so by:
- Creating the ‘Read for the Future Programme’ which involves pupils keeping a reading journal and has inspired generations of local children to read for pleasure. The library is organised into ‘worlds’ of reading based on topic, encourage pupils to read widely across genres. After their reading in completed, they are encouraged to report on the world to their teachers or parents, either orally or verbally. Once three reports are completed, a sticker is used to mark the pupil’s progress on a chart, which creates a sense of purpose. To date, 62% of S1 pupils have completed at least 6 reports.
- Working collaboratively with teaching colleagues on the delivery of lessons in the library
- Curating a strong graphic novel section in the library to support students with dyslexia.
- Supporting pupils to create and run their own clubs such as the manga club which has 35 students attending every week.
- Running a paired reading programme involving S6 pupils reading to S1 pupils. They also visit local primary schools.
- Organising regular author visits from top children’s authors such as Theresa Breslin and David Almond.
Karen Atherton, Teacher of English, said:
“As a librarian, Deena goes above and beyond her role. She inspires a love of reading with her personal knowledge of books and through her amazing ‘Read for the Future’ programme. In addition, Deena has produced and delivered wonderful literacy classes that children remember even years later. The sheer popularity of reading in the school speaks for itself: the library is packed all the time. Every pupil has been supported by Deena – she’s the beating heart of the school.”