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10th March 2020

Great news for FOSIL from the Great School Libraries campaign!

Following FOSIL’s recent success in being shortlisted for the Strategic Education Initiative of the Year Award at the TES Independent School Awards, we are delighted that FOSIL has received further national recognition as it has been chosen as the Great School Libraries (GSL) campaign’s suggested model of the inquiry process.

“This is doubly significant,” says Darryl Toerien, Head of Library at Oakham School and originator of FOSIL and the FOSIL Group, “as, firstly, it highlights that libraries have an integral role to play in developing the ability of children to learn by finding out for themselves. The Great School Libraries campaign is, therefore, shining a light on the value of inquiry as an approach to learning in a world swamped by information, much of it questionable.”  Darryl continues, “secondly, it recognises the value of FOSIL, as a model of the inquiry process and continuum of inquiry skills, in effectively equipping children with the knowledge that will help them to gain more knowledge for themselves in a world that will increasingly demand this of them.”

The Great School Libraries campaign, launched in April 2018, believes that every child deserves a great school library and is working to make this a reality. This national campaign is a collaboration between the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), CILIPSLG (School Libraries Group) and the School Library Association (SLA).  Oakham School fully supports this important campaign and is therefore delighted to be able to contribute to its future success via the FOSIL Group.

According to Elizabeth Hutchinson, who is heading up this strand of the Great School Libraries campaign, the reason for focusing on one model is in order to be able to best support schools on this journey. “Consequently,” she continues, “we will be working closely with the FOSIL Group, a growing international community of education professionals collaborating on resources to enable and support the inquiry process, which are freely shared under Creative Commons to the benefit of all our pupils.”

FOSIL, which is a model of the inquiry process and an underlying continuum of inquiry skills, was developed at Oakham School in 2012.  It was freely shared, and now continues to grow and develop through the FOSIL Group, which the School established in April 2019. The FOSIL Group has since grown to 180 members, although anybody can benefit from the growing collection of resources that are freely and readily available from the website.

Only last month, Nick Poole, CEO of CILIP, and Elizabeth Hutchinson, Co-Chair of GSL, joined members from Oakham School at the Tes Independent School Awards ceremony in London where FOSIL was shortlisted for the Strategic Education Initiative of the Year Award.

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