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I wisely started with a map…

Monday, 8th March 2021

We have a road map at long last. Whilst there may still be a few detours along the way, there was a good deal of positivity stemming from our PM outlining a way forward through the pandemic at long last. It’s almost been a year since the start of our first full lockdown. Today sees the start of restrictions being lifted as step one of that road map comes into action. Schools and colleges are allowed to fully reopen.

The College has a plan in place for welcoming all of our students back over the next week or two. A small but wonderful group of College staff have become quite proficient at testing in recent weeks as, like many schools and colleges up and down the country, we’ve not actually been closed. This team is in a great position to increase testing capacity to facilitate as safe a return as we could hope for. So a huge thank you to them and an even bigger welcome back to our students.

ASMR “stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, which is associated with a tingling sensation in the scalp, neck and spine that is typically found to be euphoric and relaxing.”

Lockdown conditions have made people crave for a change of scene and a means to make home studying/working less monotonous – to find an abstract way to get some ambience that they’ve been deprived of for so long. ASMR videos have become a popular tool for this. They have been created to help relieve anxiety, help people to sleep and – in terms of the lockdown experience – help people to focus.

There are several dedicated channels on Youtube that offer long-form videos designed to be a study accompaniment. Many of the videos run for several hours and often use instrumental music that’s not too jarring, fast or loud to provide a constant background noise. Some examples of this are lo-fi hip-hop (beat driven music), chillwave, soft jazz and space-rock among other styles and genres. 

There are also videos very similar to these studying videos that provide an even more ambient experience. They tend to feature the sounds of rain, wind, fire and are often accompanied by inviting images of coffee shops, serene scenes of buildings, streets, interiors and even libraries. People cite using these for reasons such as relaxation, studying, anxiety reduction, concentration, helping to sleep, and even doing housework. 

(I spoke to my 19 year old daughter who talked about ASMR a lot during her A level years, probably more so for the last few rocky final  months of year 13 with no schooling and grades to be predicted by an algorithm. She told me “Personally, I tend to watch ASMR to help me sleep, and although I don’t always get tingles, I find that ASMR videos are consistently effective in making me feel calm and sleepy, so even if ASMR doesn’t give you tingles, it can still be a very relaxing and calming stimulus.”)

Here are a few great examples of ASMR videos.

The YA Book Prize 2021
The 10 titles shortlist for the YA Book Prize 2021 has been announced, along with the news that author and former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman is to receive a Special Achievement Award – only the third of such awards to have been given – twenty years after the publication of Noughts and Crosses.

The shortlisted titles are:

  • Wranglestone by Darren Charlton 
  • Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson
  • And the Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando
  • Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence 
  • Loveless by Alice Oseman 
  • The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff 
  • Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter 
  • Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury 
  • Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle 
  • A Snowfall of Silver by Laura Wood 

The winner will be announced during The Hay Literary Festival in May.

International Women’s Day 8th March

“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all choose to challenge” – #IWD21 #ChooseToChallenge

International Women’s Day falls on 8th March and has been celebrated since 1911. It is a global day where women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements are celebrated, and it’s also a day to raise awareness for women’s equality.

We chose as part of our image to use today on social media a quote from Kamala Harris. 

“What I want young women and girls to know is: You are powerful and your voice matters”. 

It’s taken from an interview in Marie Claire and the rest of it says “You’re going to walk into many rooms in your life and career where you may be the only one who looks like you or who has had the experiences you’ve had. But you remember that when you are in those rooms, you are not alone. We are all in that room with you applauding you on. Cheering your voice. And just so proud of you. So you use that voice and be strong.”

It is heartening to be able to illustrate IWD using the words of the first female vice-president of the United States. A powerful and influential position where she will certainly be able to make her voice matter.

We love…

It was World Book Day last Thursday and our Childcare team put together this rather fun quiz on children’s books. Give it a go and see how far up you go on the leaderboard – Children’s Literature Quiz


This week’s tutorial topic concerns Wider Community Support and Sarah has worked her magic on this presentation.

Book Review 
Becoming by Michelle Obama 
Rating: 4/5

“I’m an ordinary person who found herself on an extraordinary journey”. I’m not sure I agree with Michelle Obama on this – we do choose, to a certain degree at least, our own paths in life, and it can’t be a complete coincidence that someone as driven and ambitious as Barack Obama has a lady such as Michelle by his side.

On the surface, this is standard autobiography fare – from early family life through to high school and college, starting a career, meeting her husband, raising a family and living in the White House as the First Lady of the United States. However, the narrative is generously interspersed with stories that inject personality and life into the book, such that the 400+ pages sped by.

Obama talks us through the people and events that shaped her. Her working class parents guiding her to adulthood and independence, teaching her values to carry through life, giving her confidence to set goals and not to be deterred from achieving them. She recalls one story of the school counsellor saying she wasn’t “Princeton material” and how, instead of listening to this professional, she completely ignored her and continued with her plan to study there. 

This is a great autobiography. It’s entertaining and there’s a lot of love – for her husband, her parents, her children, her country. As a child, Michelle Robinson dreamed of living in a house with stairs and owning a dog – two things she most definitely achieved whilst First Lady.   

– Alison 


Book Loans
Worried about fines as we enter another lockdown? No problem. All loans have been renewed and fines waived while the LRC is closed. Book returns can wait until the College has safely reopened.

E-Book of the Week

Our e-book of the week is for those studying for a hairdressing qualification or for those just wanting to try out something new (particularly while the hair salons remain closed).

Simply click the Brooklands College Login link here and access the book using your College student ID and password.

Tip of the Week

Access our virtual library online
You can search for e-books on the library catalogue or directly through our e-book providers. Click on the Shibboleth login if requested and select Brooklands College. If you have any problems please do not hesitate to contact us at

Heritage Online | Proquest | VleBooks

Contact us with an area you are interested in or your assignment title and we can suggest some resources for you.

LRC website 
The LRC website contains links to our resources, our online catalogue and is full of information about LRC use, plus there are book reviews, links to our displays and other items of interest. It is only available to College members (sorry) and can be found through links on the LRC Google Classroom, and on the staff and student intranets.

LRC Google Classroom page
Tutors have been invited to join the Classroom and will be passing the joining code on to their students. It’s full of links to resources, and helpful advice and tips.

Please contact us at if you need support with e-books, e-resources or anything else.

Contact Us

Brooklands College Weybridge Campus

Heath Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8TT

Brooklands College Ashford Campus

Stanwell Road, Ashford TW15 3DU