Library Events

Current & forthcoming events

Mrs Count, Assistant Librarian, hosts the Creative Writing Club at lunchtime on Thursdays, with workshops on various subjects from point of view to flash fiction to evoking emotion through setting. All are welcome, including staff and students.


Students have just started reading for the 2017 Oxfordshire Book Awards. The list for this year is as follows:

A Library of Lemons – Jo Cotterill (Our Patron of Reading)
A Seven-Letter Word – Kim Slater
A Slice of the Moon – Sandi Toksvig
Bad Apple – Matt Whyman
Blame – Simon Mayo
Boy at the Top of the Mountain – John Boyne
Chasing the Stars – Malorie Blackman
Goodbye Stranger – Rebecca Stead
Hell and High Water -Tanya Landman
Jonathan Unleashed – Meg Rosoff
More of Me – Kathryn Evans
Riverkeep – Martin Stewart
Shakespeare’s Ghost – Mary Hoffman
Silence is Goldfish – Annabel Pitcher
Sweet Pizza – G. R. Gemin
The Girl of Ink and Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave
The House on Hummingbird Island – Sam Angus
The Monstrous Child – Francesca Simon
The Other Alice – Michelle Harrison
The Wolf Wilder – Katherine Rundell

If your son or daughter is interested in taking part in the awards this year, please ask them to talk to Library staff as soon as possible.  The deadline for voting for the shortlist is Thursday 26 January.

Year 7 Author visit  –  Monday 16 January – Huw Powell

Reading Week – 27 February – 3 March 2017.  Events arranged each day.

Monday 27th February – Jo Cotterill talk to Year 7s in the hall followed by writing workshop in the Library.

Tuesday 28 February – Bumper Burford Book Quiz – Staff and student teams – Prizes

Wednesday 1 March – Martin Stewart talking to Y8/9 students in the Library followed by writing workshops.

Thursday 2 March – World Book Day Book Fair

Friday 3 March –  TBC



Recent Events

A Great Day out at the Oxfordshire Book Awards

oba-ohs-2016The 2016 Oxfordshire Book Awards were a great success, with eighteen Burford School students attending Oxford High School to see the authors of their favourite books speak about their writing and illustrations, their backgrounds, and answer a great range of questions about where they find their inspiration, how long it takes for them to write a book, and how they overcame dyslexia to become published authors. Afterward, they enjoyed some celebratory cake in the dining room, a book sale by Blackwell’s, and took full advantage of the authors’ presence by having them sign whatever they could—from their books, to their programmes, to slips of paper to paste into books they had forgotten to bring with them!


Open Evening – 22 September – Jo Cotterill, Burford’s Patron of Reading joined us to talk to parents about reading and to recommend good reads.


The Carnegie Conference took place on 20 June. Students met, at Burford, with three other schools for a day of presentations, quizzes and had a chance to vote for their favourite Carnegie shortlisted book.


Year 7 students joined Patron of Reading, Jo Cotterill, on 27 June for a Madhatter’s Tea Party, quizzes and book related fun.


Jim Kay of the Illustrated Harry Potter books gave a fascinating talk on 7 July to parents and students.


On 8 July – Kiran Millward Hargrave introduced students to her fantastic debut novel, ‘Girl of Ink and Stars’


On Friday April 15 2016, some of the Year 7 and 8 students were lucky enough to meet Robin Stevens, award-winning author of the brilliant Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries.  She visited Burford as part of her Jolly Foul Play tour, promoting her latest book, in which young detectives, Hazel and Daisy, are back at school, investigating the murder of their horrible head girl.

Robin treated the students to a fascinating talk about her books; the students learnt all about the process of writing and worked with Robin to create their own unique murder mystery.

At the end, there was an opportunity to ask plenty of questions, to buy the books and have them signed by Robin.

On Wednesday 27 April 2016 we were visited by Tanya Landman– Carnegie winning author of Apache, Buffalo Soldier and more.



Book Review Workshop for Years 7/8/9

Our Patron of Reading, Jo Cotterill led a day of exciting events recently.IMG_6443

The Library is planning to start a Review Writing Group in September, with reviews of new titles being sent to publishers and published on our website.  Twenty-five Year 7, 8 & 9 students attended the morning which culminated in writing a review on a book of their choice and Jo presenting prizes for the best two reviews later in the day.  Prizes went to two Year 7 students, Mitchell Ward and Charlotte Drury, both of 7TA.

Share Jo’s Top Tips for Review Writing


Year 7 Reading Progress Tea Party with our Patron, Jo Cotterill, as special guest


The English Dept and Learning Support/Reading Buddies have been using the Accelerated Reader program with Year 7 students this year and following lunch, a Reward Tea Party was held for students who had made significant progress with their reading. There was a Mad Hatter’s theme and Quizmaster Jo Cotterill, asked children book related questions whilst munching a delicious tea.  Any students answering a question correctly got to wear a fabulous hat, courtesy of the Drama department!  It was a very successful event and  just rewards for the students who had worked so hard to progress in their reading this year.


Carnegie Conference

Carnegie Cake 2015

    Burford students from years 7, 8 & 9 joined up with others from Carterton, Chipping Norton and the Henry Box schools for a wonderful day of quizzes, group presentations and lobbying for their favourite Carnegie Book Medal title out of a shortlist of 8.  Students were required to read and review books online prior to attending this popular day.  The Shadowers’ favourite was the brilliantly imaginative novel by Sally Gardner – Tinder.  To choose the same novel as the national judges’ favourite is a rarity and at lunchtime, we were privileged to watch the live announcement of the winner on television. The incredible novel by Tanya Lanyon, set in the American south following one girl’s journey from slavery to freedom -‘Buffalo Soldier’ took this year’s crown.Our students were a credit to the school and worked very hard during the day, were impeccably behaved and won lots of prizes too.  Congratulations go to  Jess Lewis, 9BY (Best Fancy dress costume); Niamh Cousins , 9CO (Best Review) and Jess Buxton, 9BY (Most books read in fastest time and reviews written), but our students also dominated the best presentation groups which were mixed with students from all schools.The phenomenal Carnegie Cake rounded off the day and was enjoyed by all.


 Short Story Competition – June –October 2014

Burford Story comp winner - Jo and PhoebeThe School Library runs a joint short story competition on an annual basis with Burford Public Library for students in Years 6-9 who either live or attend school in Burford. This year’s competition was launched at the end of June and tied in with the Oxfordshire Libraries Summer Reading Challenge’s theme of Myths and Legends.  We received a great response from our students and a shortlist of entries was drawn up.  We are delighted to reveal that our Patron of Reading, Jo Cotterill, judged the competition and selected a winner and two runners up.  These were:

Winner:           Phoebe Haywood 9DA

Runner up:     Lucy Taylor, 8IZ

Runner up:     James Webster, 7AS

An awards evening for winners, runners up and families took place towards the end of January at the Burford Library. It was attended by parents, students, members of staff and the press.

Do read the three fabulous winning entries.





Author Visit from Joe Craig – September 2015

Joe Craig Burford VisitIn September Year 7 students met the amazing Joe Craig.  We have entertained some energetic authors previously at Burford, but Joe probably tops the list.  Joe’s approach is lively, informative and fun.  Without exception every student was on the edge of their seat and was enthused and inspired to read his books and have the opportunity to meet the man in person.  For the first time ever, our bookstall sold out.  Interspersed with his craziness, Joe put across some excellent tips about planning stories and keeping stories imaginative and engaging.

As well as being a screenwriter, songwriter and performer; (his tall tales are legendary!), Joe Craig’s thrillers have earned him a place alongside Anthony Horowitz and Charlie Higson.  His seven books in the Jimmy Coates series have won him young fans across the world and converted previously reluctant readers with an electric mix of action, suspense and thrilling twists.


Author Visit from Joe Craig – February 2015

Following Joe’s visit in September we invited him back in February as the Year 8 students were keen to hear him too.  Once again his talk was engaging, amusing and enlightening.  The students were thoroughly absorbed throughout and he was inundated with enthusiastic questions at the end and requests to sign copies of his books.  A great inspiration to the Year 8 students to be creative themselves and some guaranteed reading will be going on in the next few weeks.


Visit by Jeremy Banning, Military Historian – February 2015

We were delighted to welcome Jeremy Banning, Military Historian and specialist on World War 1 to talk to our Year 9 students in February.  Jeremy focused on the life of the Private Soldier and delivered a fascinating picture of life in the trenches, complete with the limitations of an itchy woollen uniform, the importance of a man’s rifle, life lived in centimeters of water, methods for dealing with lice and the discomfort of Trench Foot.

We learnt about lines of defence, new military hardware and the challenge of razor wire.  He explained the reality behind the myth of the Christmas Truce and also talked about working on such popular historical programmes as ‘Time Team’ and ‘Who do you think you are?’ It was a fascinating talk for the students bringing to life the topic of WWI which they have been studying in History.

Back to the Top