I’m Isobel and I recently took part in some training that Elizabeth Hutchinson ran on FOSIL and the IFLA School Library Guidelines. I’m the librarian at Channing School, an independent secondary school in London, and have worked here since 2015, first as a part-time library assistant (whilst completing my MSc in Library Science at City University) and now as the librarian.
Elizabeth’s training helped me see how useful FOSIL can be for orientating oneself within the inquiry process. As has been pointed out by others, in schools we often focus on the Investigate and Construct phases and I’d like to raise awareness of the other stages in the inquiry process. And even within Investigate and Construct, there are so many skills to cover and the skillset helps to navigate these.
One of the ways I’d like to use FOSIL is to design and/or deliver a project that includes every stage of the inquiry process – either for use in library lessons or in collaboration with a teacher – similar to the Inquiry Journal that Elizabeth on science fiction writing. However, I’ll probably start by integrating it into work I already do on supporting students with finding and using resources. I’m also planning to introduce new teachers to FOSIL in their library inductions.
I have developed a project that I run with Y7 and deliver as part of their Science timetable. It comes under the science skills part of the curriculum. It touches on all the FOSIL stages and I have produced a workbook. It should be on the FOSIL website in the near future, but if you want to know more, please contact me on [email protected].
I am delighted to see you here. Looking forward to more discussions in the future and to hear how you got on with Sally’s inquiry journal 😊. You might also want to look at some of the presentations available here that might be useful for your teacher inductions.
Hello everyone, my name is Valerie Dewhurst and I am the Librarian/Head of Library at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Lancashire. I’ve been in post here for 16 years and very much enjoy a challenge. Having discovered FOSIL I’m now eager to get it used, but of course it’s small steps …however, I’ve already planted the seed (slideshow presentation on INSET day) and an end of term email sent out yesterday …so with a bit of luck, next term we will see things starting to grow. FOSIL to me is many things but it’s also a way in which I can try to get my non-fiction stock back to being used again – it’s also a way in which to entice departments back to booking the library (other than the English team – who by the way are fabulous) I know this can’t be done solo – so I’m hoping to get as many HOFs and SLs onboard…then of course share their experience with others in school. I’ve also added FOSIL down as one of my appraisal targets for the next academic year – there’s no stopping me now!
Hello, my name is Matthew Rose. I am currently the MYP and DP Librarian at the International School of Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany where I also coordinate our libraries and educational technology team. I am a qualified librarian and certified elementary school teacher. I have worked for several international schools in Germany and Japan. During this time I have had a number of jobs in international education in the areas of school librarianship, educational technology, design technology, and technical theatre. I have begun to explore using FOSIL at my school in my school library program. I look forward to exploring it with you all in the time to come.
I’m Emma Wallace, Librarian at St Benedict’s School, West London, an independent Catholic school. I have worked as the senior school librarian now for over five years and run library lessons for all year 7 and 8 students, plus some one off research sessions with sixth formers. I am also very involved in supporting the HPQ (whole of year 8) and EPQ ( year 12), acting as EPQ Lead Supervisor, helping to teach some of the taught element skills sessions and organise research trips to a range of libraries, as well as university outreach skills training. It is through the EPQ that I have developed a close working partnership with English teacher Dr Julie Greenhough, who is also the EPQ Centre coordinator, writing a number of joint pieces and presenting together at conferences on topics such as, critical thinking skills, digital literacy and dis and misinformation (all leading to the below SLA publication).
I first became aware of Inquiry Based Learning and FOSIL when attending a Haileybury Group Librarians meeting in the summer of 2019 at Oakham School, when Jenny Toerien explained the concept and how the framework is used there. I was so inspired by this introduction that I came back to school and immediately emailed my Senior team about what a great student learning model this is! Whilst I have used some of the ideas of Inquiry, a number of the stages of the FOSIL cycle, including the worksheets available on this website, I haven’t yet managed to fully implement IBL as a programme. I also attended an excellent training session with Elizabeth Hutchinson in March 2020, when I was reinvigorated with the idea of implementing IBL at my school, but unforutnatley the pandemic then struck!
I have though been lucky enough to be invited to write a new School Library Association Guidelines on the topic of Inquiry Based Learning. The working title for this guide so far is ‘SLA Guidelines: The Librarian and Teacher Mindset: A Practical Guide to Inquiry Based Learning‘ and is still a work in progress. It would be really great if I could engage further with the community here to discuss ideas, content and key focuses – it is very much intended to be a practical guidelines to help other school librarians so any help would be appreciated.
Welcome Valerie, Matt and Emma. Our move to Guernsey has been hard work and I’m only just starting to get my head back into the forum, but you’ve drawn me back in Emma – it’s so exciting to see how small things have ripple effects that come back to you years later! Having spent a fair bit of time supporting the IB Extended Essay I’m now at a non-IB school and have just been appointed EPQ Co-ordinator (as well as part-time Librarian and part-time Science technician. An odd combination, I know!). My EE experience will help considerably with using what I know of the inquiry process to support the EPQ more effectively, and I had just begun working with the Head of Student Research on supporting the EPQ at Oakham before we left. However, I am very aware that the EPQ is a very different beast in many subtle ways and that I have a great deal to learn. The most exciting bit for me is the ’30 hour taught component’ (we do AQA), which has allowed me to insist on a 1hour compulsory weekly activity for skills teaching. Now I just need to design the course… (AQA have a wealth of materials available but I need to reshape them to my situation and my understanding of the inquiry process). This regular weekly access to our EPQ students (it’s voluntary here – I know in many schools it is compulsory for Year 12) is a real opportunity to deliver skills teaching and support at exactly the right stages in the process and is very different to the seminar ‘info-burst’ approach that was forced on us by the EE structure. I think we did a pretty good job under the circumstances with that, but this could be so much more effective!
I’ve got some thoughts and ideas, and hope to start posting them later this week (hopefully tomorrow) in the EPQ discussion here: https://fosil.org.uk/forums/topic/fosil-and-the-extended-project-qualification-epq/ but I’m really looking forward to learning from those of you on the forum who have much more experience than me with the EPQ – definitely including you Emma, but also Sally, Emily, Sarah and Rachel to name just a few who immediately spring to mind. It’s one of the many reasons I am, as always, very grateful to be part of a collaborative community of inquiry.
I’m Head Prep School Librarian at Clifton College, Bristol. I was first introduced to FOSIL when I introduced Darryl at a CILIP YLG/SLG Joint Conference a few years ago.
I’ve been a qualified School Librarian for over nine years now, before that I was Serials Assistant in the Graduate School of Education in the University of Bristol and I previously worked in the Public Library service in Bristol.
My first degree was in English Literature and Language, I’m a past Carnegie and Greenaway Award judge and I’m currently on the Golden Egg Academy 12 month course as I’m writing a book for children so I’m heavily involved in the literacy and ‘Reading For Pleasure’ elements of my professional role but I’ve recently been asked onto a working group looking at independent learning across our school and my first thoughts were of the FOSIL Group.
As I set up and worked in our Library for Nursery-Yr 3 and currently work in the Prep School Library (Years 4-8) I have a particular interest in how we might be able to develop information and inquiry skills from the youngest pupils upwards. I’m also very interested in how elements of an inquiry based learning approach will impact our neurodiverse pupils in particular as I’m keen to find ways to change our teaching and learning so that we enable everyone to work to their strengths and take charge of their learning.
Hello Jenny and welcome to this group. It sounds like you have found the right place to start thinking about independent learning across your school. There is an interesting discussion about using FOSIL in primary schools which, if you haven’t found it already, might be useful. Here is the link
I look forward to future discussions on the forum with you.