The Main Library is at the heart of the school. It has a large collection of fiction books suitable for readers of all levels – from the most reluctant to the most avid. There is an age appropriate reading list for each year group and PRIDE points are awarded to students who loan from the lists.
The non-fiction section has recently been updated and reclassified to ensure that the resources it contains are relevant to the needs of the current curriculum. This means that the quality of the information is the best available and students are well equipped to complete homework and class research projects.
The Librarian offers an Induction programme to the new Year 7 cohort at the beginning of their Academy career for them to become familiar with the protocols of using a library and introduce basic information retrievals skills..
There are a small number of computers in the library which are also useful for homework and allow students to email work directly to teachers.
Our KS4 students now have their own quiet reading and study space away from the main Library. It stocks all current GCSE study guides and has a collection of past exam papers for students to practice their exam technique. College and University Prospectuses are housed there, along with a growing collection of career development publications to help students plan their future careers – thanks to a donation from careers publishers How2Become. They also have their own collection of age appropriate fiction for them to loan.
The Great Learning Zone is situated in the Atrium. It is used before school, break and lunchtime for students to work collaboratively on projects; complete homework and extra curriculum based activities; read a selection of quality magazines and newspapers or play chess. This space has seating for 56 students and it is run by the Year 11 Prefects, who are on hand to see that the behaviour expectations are met. There are also Prefects stationed in the Genius Zone to help KS3 students with homework or classwork problems. Students are rewarded for using the GLZ with PRIDE points.
A new addition this year to the Great Learning Zone was a grand piano. Accomplished students are allowed to play the piano when the GLZ is open and this can create a calm, welcoming environment to those using the area.
There are plenty of library events to get involved in such as Roald Dahl Day, World Book Day, National Poetry Day, International Harry Potter Night. Students and teachers alike are challenged to enter the annual sponsored Readathon plus many colourful and inspirational displays to entice students to try new titles. One of our most popular attractions is Blind Date With A Book which is the February Half Term Reading Challenge. Students check out plain wrapped books so that they can judge the book on its content and not it’s title or cover.
The Library Areas aim to be:
Monday – Friday
Before school: 8.15am - 8.25am
Break: 10.45am - 10.55am
Lunch: 1.00pm - 1.25pm
After School: 2.35pm - 4.00pm* (3.45pm on a Friday)
Students can loan up to 2 books at any one time for 3 weeks. The books can be renewed twice before they need returning. There is also a request service for books that are not on the shelves.
There are a number of students from all year groups who volunteer in the library. They help the Librarian outside of lesson time to run the library smoothly. They are hand-picked after a rigorous selection procedure to maintain the high standards of the Library. They are trained following the School Library Association Pupil Librarian Training Programme and they are encouraged to continue training to reach the standards necessary for the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum awards before they leave in Year 11. This training helps student develop key employability skills such as problem solving, leadership, teamwork as well as increasing self-esteem and confidence.
There is an active all year reading group that shadows the prestigious Carnegie Medal for Teenage and Young Adult Fiction. It is great fun and the students willing give up their time to read a number of books, discussing their experiences along the way. The group are also allowed to watch the results live during their own awards celebration.
A new addition for 2017-18 with be the Comics and Cookies Club for students interested in Graphic Novels, Comic Books and Manga. The club will meet once a month, initially to shadow the Stan Lee Excelsior Award from December. It will then carry on for students to discuss and analyse everything to do with comic books, manga and graphic novels.
Academy Librarian and Literacy Adviser: Mrs Debra Godrich BA(Hons) DipIM MCILIP