Twitter Wall


Retweeted From BBC Bitesize

Stuck for things to do this holiday? Take the 💪 14 day challenge 💪 Made for teens (or adapt it for tweens). Parents, you’ll like the last one 🥰 👉


Well deserved! Congratulations from all at !


Retweeted From Stanborough School

Thank you to Mr Beevor (Stanborough’s Technology teacher) for creating face visors for the NHS and all this from his home!! Every little helps and will be a great help to so many. First batch done and more to come. Thank you so much Mr Beevor - from the Stanborough community.


Retweeted From SJLdrama

Isla Stevenson Y7 is a GCSE Drama student in the making 🎓 Some great vocabulary in this script annotation 🎭


Retweeted From Stanborough School

Thinking of all those who are working tirelessly to save lives. Let’s all do our part and keep safe during this gorgeous weekend ahead. ☀️☀️☀️


Retweeted From Rennie Grove Hospice Care

We need support from the community now more than ever. A HUGE thank you to School in for donating 70 face shields for our nurses to use. 💜


The next two weeks are officially the Easter holidays and so staff will not be setting work over that time, may we take the opportunity to wish the entire SJL community a safe and happy Easter.


After their appearance on ⁦⁩ this morning, the D&T team are working hard to break the 100 mask target. Delighted to have support from our friends ⁦⁩ today!


Joining in September 2020? Year 11 students joining Sixth Form in September, summer work has now been published in readiness for starting A Level courses


Take some time over the Easter break to read our “Learning during the Coronavirus” document for helpful resources and guidance for students and families


Retweeted From BBC Bitesize

Morning! This is your last lesson drop of term. 😃 We hope you enjoy it! 5-7 yrs: Plants 🌱 7-11 yrs: Writing ✏️ 11-14 yrs: Shapes 🔶 14-16 yrs: Electricity 💡


Retweeted From BBC Press Office

BBC to deliver biggest push on education in its history - 14 weeks of educational programmes and lessons to every household in the country - whatever your child’s age, beginning on 20 April:


Retweeted From UK Mathematics Trust

Welcome to Friday, everyone! Have fun with today's Problem Of The Day...


Retweeted From Department for Education

If you’d like to share your appreciation for an amazing teacher you know, send them a thank you card for free at 👩‍🏫👨‍🏫


Retweeted From SRA Music

Definitely not one to miss this weekend, available from Friday evening see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat production, free on YouTube link in the article


Retweeted From Sir John Lawes Art

Lockdown means Maltings Art Prize to go virtual Theme is the history of St Albans, inspiration can be taken from across the centuries, including the Romans, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance & the Victorian Age. More info in link or our Instagram feed


Retweeted From Schools Week

Schools are making use of their labs to produce protective equipment for medics amid pleas hospitals are running out of supplies to deal with outbreak


Retweeted From SRA - English

A really interesting article on how Shakespeare has been engaged with differently over time. Useful for all our students studying Shakespeare over this home learning period.


This week’s newsletter out now...


Listen out for Mr Carey on tomorrow at 8.20 - talking about the great work our D&T department are doing making for the NHS. So many schools doing amazing things to support the community in these challenging times!


Retweeted From HarpendenAcademy

Our lovely children have made beautiful pop-up Easter cards today


Retweeted From HarpendenAcademy

Reply from an NHS nurse to our year six letter thanking the NHS - stay at home everyone!


Retweeted From SJL English

Are you looking for recommendations for great books to read? Why not read the books on the shortlist for the 2020 CILIP Carnegie book award? The award recognises the very best in children’s writing from the last year. For further info:


Retweeted From rachel wakefield

The DT department at my children's school are making masks for GPs with their 3D printer. You can watch and learn how they do it and how to assemble them on their Instagram stories @ sjldt Amazing and fascinating. 👏👏👏👏


Retweeted From UK Mathematics Trust

Problem Of The Day. Have fun with it!


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

Our daffodil Christmas gifts still bringing sunshine in these strange times thanks to


A great resource from the Government about supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing during this period, including preteens and teenagers


The James Marshall Foundation do a tremendous job supporting young people in Harpenden and Wheathampsted - see below for details of how they can help.


Well done Mr Carey!


Retweeted From SJLdrama

Something for all KS 4 and 5 Drama students to enjoy and year 11 have a special theatre review challenge!#theatrematters


Retweeted From SJLdrama

What a fantastic opportunity! The SJL Drama department will be making the most of this!


Thank you to all our St Albans & Harpenden Secondary Head teacher colleagues for coming together virtually today, to discuss how schools are approaching the current difficult situation. It's great to have such a supportive local educational community!


Wellbeing Wednesday: do more of what you enjoy


Retweeted From National Autistic Society

We know for many autistic people and their families it is difficult to cope with coronavirus and the impacts that is having on our daily life. To help, we’ve created some handy tips to help you during this time of uncertainty:


Retweeted From UK Mathematics Trust

Happy Wednesday day, everyone. Here is today's Problem Of The Day...


Thank you to our D&T Faculty


Retweeted From SJL History

Year 11, a competition to keep you focused


Retweeted From SRA - English

Reading lists for all key stages. Might be helpful for anyone in need of reading inspiration! 📚


Delighted that SJL’s minibuses (along with many of their drivers) are now signed up to volunteer for the NHS!



The SJL library is a real hub of the school. Competitions, reading challenges and library parties make literacy a key focus. Information skills are critical for independent learning and research, so the librarian runs classes to promote and develop these skills. The ethos is to provide both print and electronic resources together with a welcoming and calm environment to support reading for pleasure, homework and independent study.

The library is open from 8.40am – 5.00pm and is run by our librarian Mrs M Prickett and the other members of our library team who provide a wide range of resources, information, activities and support for students in all year groups. We are also helped by our student librarians who run the issue desk at breaks and lunchtimes and by our parent volunteers.

The school has invested in the library, with a major refurbishment in summer 2014, including a new library system which includes e-book loans, reading lists, a subscription to quality controlled websites for schools and integrated (federated) searching of electronic resources.

The physical library

Books and DVDs

The library has a spacious area which holds 16,000 books. Fiction is organised in separate children’s/young adult and adult sections.  Some is arranged by author and other stock by genre to encourage browsing. Spinners provide quick/easy reads.

Non-fiction or information books are bought to support the curriculum and to complement what is available electronically, often with the advantage of books being targeted at a particular key stage group. Non-fiction is arranged by subject, using the most well-known library system – Dewey.

DVDs based on books are bought together with factual DVDs to support the curriculum.

‘New books’ are displayed in the library and also on the catalogue home page. Students are encouraged to make suggestions of books that they would like us to buy.

Study space

Our newly refurbished library has study tables and chairs for independent and small group study. There is comfortable seating beside the newspapers, magazines, and other resources which are popular at break and lunchtimes, for example graphic novels.

The library has 39 computers, of which 30 are in the library computer room, together with 2 printers.   This room is used for independent study, classes and homework club.

There is a quiet study room which also holds a range of careers books, leaflets and university prospectuses.

The library catalogue

The library catalogue - my portal and the library app

The catalogue

All resources are searched for on the library catalogue:

  • through dedicated catalogue terminals in the library,
  • on the desktop of all PCs in school,
  • at home, through the school website,
  • using an app, on a mobile or ipad.

The catalogue includes books, e-books, DVDs, websites, and access to search a range of electronic resources available on subscription.

The catalogue also has book reviews written by students and reading lists.

My Portal

Students are given an individual login which corresponds to their library card. This gives access to their Portal and enables them to:

  • Search the catalogue
  • Check library loans
  • Renew items
  • Make a reservation for an item which is on loan
  • Write a book review
  • Read and borrow an e-book

Instructions on how to set up your portal

Library Link

This is the library app. Using the app, students can do the same things as through their portal, with the convenience of access through their mobile or ipad.

Instructions on how to to set up your app

Borrowing books and DVDs

All students are given a library card when they join the school and set up their own portal on the library system.  They can borrow four books and one DVD for two weeks by bringing them with their ticket to the counter.  After two weeks they can then renew them if no one else wants them.

They may 'borrow' e-books to read online or download them to a range of personal devices.

Electronic books, journals and databases

Our collection of e-books includes some popular fiction authors as well as non-fiction. The system provides instructions for downloading books to ‘borrow’ using digital rights software for laptops, PCs and mobile devices.

The electronic journals and databases are particularly targeted at older students, but are available for all to use. SJL has a selection to cover the range of curriculum subjects. The literary reference centre is available to search as a combined (federated) search with our book stock and the other resources may be accessed from the library system home page.

  • Complete Issues
  • Geography in the news
  • Issues Online
  • Literary Reference Centre
  • New Scientist Archive
  • Newspaper database
  • Philip Allan Journals

Challenges, competitions and activities

Challenges and competitions

There are a variety of challenges and competitions for students.

The BIG Challenge

Every other year we challenge you to try to read as many books as you can in one year. In 2012, 39 students, staff and governors completed our gold award by reading 52 books.  Another 10 achieved bronze or silver.

Year 8 M25 Challenge

This is for Year 8 students. You go on a virtual journey around the M25. The idea is to read five books especially selected for YOU to encourage you to read a variety of different and challenging books. There are prizes at the end for those who finish the challenge and write good reviews.

Extreme Reading

Come back from your summer holiday with a photo of you reading in some ‘extreme’ situation. Don’t do anything really dangerous!


SJL did Readathon in 2011. It is a national sponsored read in aid of selected charities for sick children. SJL raised over £1,000..


Reading groups

Reading is a very popular pastime for SJL students and we have a number of Reading Groups.

Junior Reading Group for Years 7, 8 and 9

Meets every Tuesday in the Library.

In some meetings we do activities such as researching books and author sites and doing quizzes. In other meetings we read and discuss books.

Children's book awards

Students can sign up to be a Red House judge or a Sir John's Shadower.  They read and write reviews for shortlisted books and then we hold an SJL event to promote these titles and the SJL favourites

Senior Reading Group for Years 11, 12 and 13

Meets once a month in SF2 at 13.00 to discuss a title the group has chosen.

Homework Club

When is Homework Club open?

Homework Club is open every night after school, from 3.30-5.00pm. Just drop in; you do not need to book.

Where is Homework Club?

Homework club is in the library and resources centre.

Who will help me with my homework?

Our library assistant or our teaching assistant.

Do I have to do homework?

No, you do not have to do homework. You can come to read, chat or use the computers but we give priority in using computers to students who are doing homework.

Ideas for reading

Browse SJL library catalogue:


Or try one of these sites:

Achuka Children's Books

Lively and interesting site about children's books and authors:

Reading Matters

Includes Bookchooses, to help you pick books you will enjoy:

Love Reading

Lots of book lists: 

Hertfordshire County Library

Search the County Library catalogue

Amazon Books


The Guardian

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