The Library/Learning Resource Centre
“In a world where knowledge is rapidly expanding, the way forward in education must be through equipping students of all ages with the skills to find out and learn independently from a range of resources. At the same time increasing leisure will be enriched by developing the habit of reading for pleasure. The school library has a vital role to play in both processes.”
School Library Association School Libraries – ‘Steps in the right direction’
The library is in a central location within the school buildings and provides a large, bright space for use by the whole school. The library is available for individual study, group study and classes. Separate areas are allocated for different purposes:
- Computer Area
- Study/Classroom area
- GCSE Pod / EPCS 6 study area
- Reading Area (with magazines, journals and general interest books)
- Low level tables and chairs for games of Chess / Draughts
- Work Experience base
- Careers offices (Adviza)
The main library is open daily from 8.15 am to 4.15 pm. Sixth Form Area, Careers Area and Staff Area is open from 8.15 am to 3.30 pm daily.
All students and staff can access the library during breaks and lunchtimes, as well as before and after school. In addition, students in Years 12 and 13 are welcome during their study periods.
All students are registered with the library when they join the school. Students can borrow up to 4 books (6 for Years 12 and 13) for 3 weeks. We do not issue fines for late returns; however, students with overdue items can have their access to the library restricted. Payment for books is only required should a book be lost and need replacing.
All students in Year 7 are given a library induction via their English teacher. A lesson will be booked in the library and students will complete work on the function, benefits and structure of the library. They will complete an induction package that includes a basic understanding of the dewey decimal system to support them in finding their own books for wider reading and research into extended projects.
Students in EPCS6 are also supported with their essay footnotes and bibliography writing. A session is run by the library manager for all students so that they are aware of different types of referencing and feel confident in their ability to produce extended essays ready for study at University level.
Throughout the year and in support of National / International literacy events, the library hosts competitions for different year groups. Annually we enter two teams for the Lit Quiz competition, two teams for the Youth Speaks competition, a Young Writers competition and online competitions such as WordMania. We also support the Carnegie Children’s Book Award Shadowing, offering students incentives for coming in to the library to read and review those shortlisted, posting their reviews onto the Carnegie website.
In addition to these short term events, we also issue all students with a Reading Passport at the start of the academic year. Students are encouraged to read as many of the books as possible, including the reading of a recommendation, recommended either by family, friends, teachers or the library staff themselves. On completion of a Reading Passport book having been read, students are rewarded with the points system.
Students can also enter themselves into a termly draw for their review writing skills. After reading a book they can pick up a postcard, write their review and hand to the librarian to be in with a chance of being added to the ‘Pupil Recommendations’ display and awarded 10 house points!
Every year the library offers students in Years 7-10 to opportunity to work as a student librarian. A rota within the library ensures equal opportunity and where there are more applications than positions, students are interviewed for the post formally by the Library Manager.
Student Librarians are a real asset to the library and complete a training programme so that they can act as members of staff, supporting the Library Manager in issuing books, returning books to the shelves, making orders, recalling overdue books and managing the online catalogue.
Please click the link here to view our Student Librarian Application form.
Applications can be handed in at any point during the year, however new applicants are sought specifically in January each year.
During PREP sessions, reading mentoring takes place between our Year 9 avid readers and students in Year 7. These mentoring sessions take place twice weekly for 10 weeks before a reading assessment is conducted to analyse improvements made.
The library provides a base for students completing their GCSEs to sit quietly and complete GCSEPod tasks. This separate area of the library hosts 4 computers with headphones, enabling students to watch ‘pods’ or videos from GCSEPod in full without disturbing other students.
The library offers Year 11 students a weekly competition via GCSEPod, and monitors engagement via a large Pod-o-meter in the reception area. A weekly top student is also selected and awarded for their efforts in assembly by their Head of Year.
For students who continue to study with us in EPCS6 who are repeating study of their English or Maths GCSE, we also host an additional lesson, once a fortnight, for students in small groups of 4 to complete GCSEPod revision materials online and under supervision.
KS3 Work Experience
Within the library there is an office for our KS3 work experience students. The Library Manager greets two new students each day and presents them with their work. Students are required to work together, answering calls, taking messages and responding to the radio when supporting the admin team. At the end of the day students are debriefed on their success and complete a helpful skill sheet that will support their writing of a CV in later years.
Mr Sam Young (Librarian)
- 15 computers with Internet access
- 4 computers with Internet access and headphones for GCSEPod study
- Over 14,000 books in 5 book sections: fiction, non-fiction, reference, Sixth Form/adult fiction and quick reads (easy reads, fun facts, quizzes etc)
- Newspapers, journals and magazines
The book stock is regularly checked to remove out-of-date books and we are constantly adding the latest publications. We welcome recommendations from students.
- Book Club
- Homework Club
- Chess Club
- Board Games (lunchtimes)
- Berkshire Book Festival
- World Book Day events, Berkshire Book Award for Key Stage 3
- Carnegie Children’s Book Award shadowing
- Competitions and quizzes with prizes
- Topical displays and promotions