Monday, 7th June 2021
It’s not surprising that as a nation we have been as impatient as To Kill a Mockingbird’s Scout whilst waiting for summer to arrive but it is here – finally. As the first draft of this blog entry was being written, summer seemed quite elusive as the dark skies were threatening yet another rainshower, and we seemed to be experiencing all four seasons in one day. It’s been a long year for our staff and students with the gloomy weather adding to the general feeling of moroseness. However, just as assessments and exams were nearing completion and the half term week began, the clouds lifted and the sun came out with impeccable timing.
World Environment Day 5th June
The weather of recent weeks is not that unusual in the UK. In fact, last year’s gloriously sunny and warm start to Lockdown #1 was a distinct change to what we would normally be expecting for March and April. Climate measurements generally are showing that the earth is gradually warming..
It’s not surprising with the evidence of both climate change and ecological destruction – it’s estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the world’s oceans than fish – that the College has formed a new Climate Action Impact Group to investigate what we can do to help address this and see how as a community we can help to meet the government’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
The first steps for all of us are relatively easy. For example, recycling as much of our waste as possible (although when it comes to plastic we have to export much of it for other countries to dispose of as we don’t have the facilities here to process it and, as we are now out of the EU we can ship our waste to countries that also don’t have the facilities to process it properly but will bury or burn it instead.)
We have the means to make a slightly bigger impact by making a few more fundamental changes to our behavior. We can buy locally (when restrictions allow!), buy clothes made from recycled material, choose to NOT buy products that use unnecessary packaging, consume less meat, and generally reuse rather than throw out the items we have.
The Impact Group is looking at what other actions we can take both individually and as a community that could make a real difference and help us develop a greener environment.
The Month of June
June is a busy month for raising awareness of and indeed celebrating the diverse student and staff body we have within the college. Both the LGBTQIA+ and the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities are at the centre of campaigns throughout the month.
“Pride is about communities coming together in celebration, protest, unity and solidarity” – Stonewall
Pride month is dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQIA+ communities all around the world.
June was the month chosen to celebrate pride as it was June in 1969 that saw the Stonewall riots, the protests that changed gay rights for many people in America and beyond. It’s about people coming together in love and friendship, to show how far gay rights have come, whilst also highlighting the work that still needs to be done.
Pride month is about teaching tolerance, education in pride history and continuing to move forward in equality. There are usually colourful parades, concerts and marches. Much of the festivities were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic with a host of online events put on in their place. This year however there are some in person events scheduled to take place.
LRC colleague Sarah has taken a look at a new flag that has evolved to encompass a wider and varied community within its colours that some Pride organisations and activists have decided to adopt. Designed by Daniel Quasar in 2018, ‘The Progress Flag’ features black and brown stripes to represent people of colour, and a baby blue, pink and white to include the trans flag in its design.
Gypsy, Roma and Travellers History Month
“Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month (GRTHM) celebrates the diverse ways in which Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities add to the vibrancy of life in the UK and recognises the varied contributions that these communities have made to British Society historically and today.” – Friends, Families and Travellers charity
GRTHM was established in 2008 in order to celebrate this large community as well as to raise awareness in order to tackle the prejudices that have evolved over many years, dispel the myths and highlight the richness that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities bring to people’s everyday lives.
This year’s campaign theme for the charity Friends, Families and Travellers is ‘Make Some Space’ with the key points being :
There is much more work to be done. In terms of councils making space, there is a nationwide shortage of places to camp. Although there has been a decrease in the actual number of caravans, in 2020 there was a waiting list of nearly 1700 households for a pitch at one of the 13 permanent sites or 5 transit sites in England. More authorised sites are needed.
However, there are teaching resources for the different key stages, and the charity has a touring theatre production entitled Crystal’s Vardo – the story of a young gypsy girl who is being bullied at school, something which often leads to children leaving secondary education.
“Through powerful and compelling theatre, Crystal’s Vardo weaves the histories and cultures of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities into one story. The aim of the play is to raise awareness of the persecution of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities through the centuries and to reflect on the ways this manifests as anti-Gypsyism today.”
The LRC has created a display which can be viewed online here.
The LRC team were saddened to hear that Eric Carle, author and illustrator of the much loved The Very Hungry Caterpillar children’s story died recently aged 91. May he come back as a beautiful butterfly!
National Volunteers Week 1st June
It was National Volunteers Week over half term. The pandemic saw a halt to many traditional volunteer roles whilst at the same time many new ones were created in line with new demands. In January, there appeared to be an army of volunteers recruited to help the NHS with the vaccine roll-out across the country.
We’ve previously used this presentation to see how we can help within local communities
Carers Week 7th-13th June
The theme for Carers Week 2021 is Make Caring Visible and Valued. Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness, recognise the contributions, and highlight the challenges of the 6.5 million people across the UK who are carers for family members or friends.
More information is available here.
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
This book is set during World War II. It tells the story of the main character, named Willie Beech. He is a schoolboy who gets evacuated from the wartime dangers (and other dangers) in Deptford, London to the safety of a village called Little Weirwold. Willie is very mal-nourished, pale, thin and of a nervous disposition as his own mother cruelly beats him. He is taken in by a bad-tempered, widowed gentleman in his sixties, who is a recluse. This gentleman is called Mr Tom Oakley and is avoided by his community. As time goes on, you see Mr Oakley and Willie’s relationship bloom. They are good for each other in so many different ways. Mr Oakley’s relationship with his community also changes for the better. The story goes on to tell you about what they get up to, the friends Willie makes, what his new school is like and the things that Mr Oakley discovers. I would describe this book as ‘beautiful’ as just thinking about their relationship gives me goosebumps, but in a good way! But there are also some very sad bits too which made me cry.
Surrey Libraries will be hosting the second of its online book club, Surrey Page Turners. later this month. It’s a free event although you do have to register to join beforehand. This month’s chat will be held at 7pm on Thursday 24th June and the chat will focus on Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman which centres on the blossoming relationship between 17 year old Elio and the 24 year old scholar Oliver that his parents invite as a houseguest to their home in 1980s Italy.
Follow this link to register.
Worried about fines during lockdown? No problem. All loans have been renewed and fines waived whilst the LRC was closed. Book returns can now be returned to the Library Desk or renewed by email/telephone.
Students are now allowed to browse our book collection as long as they adhere to simple Covid rules.
E-Book of the Week
Each week, the LRC will be highlighting an e-book that we feel will be of special interest to certain students here. Last week was National Volunteers Week and we thought this latest resource from Issues Online entitled Active Citizenship would be of interest.
If you are accessing offsite, you may be asked to login. Click in the “Shibboleth” login box and select Brooklands College as your home institution. Log on with your college username 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 email@example.com.
Contact us with an area you are interested in or your assignment title and we can suggest some resources for you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you need support with e-books, e-resources or anything else.