The SJL Library is a popular and busy space within school. We run competitions, events and reading challenges throughout the year, contributing to a whole-school reading culture. Library lessons support all students to develop independent learning and research skills, as well as giving students dedicated time to read. We have around 16,000 books in the Library, along with 41 computers and 15 iPads, a large selection of DVDs to support the curriculum, and accessible reading material to support struggling readers (including audiobooks, large print and dyslexia-friendly formats).
The Library is open from 8:40am until 5:00pm every day and is run by our Librarian, Ms James, and Library Assistant, Ms Wildsmith. We also have a fantastic team of student Library Assistants who run the desk at lunchtimes, in addition to parent volunteers who assist with shelving and administrative tasks.
Students are at the centre of all we do in the Library – from suggesting new resources and manning the desk at lunch, to our termly Library Users’ Group meetings.
Students are able to borrow up to four books, and one DVD or audiobook, for two weeks at a time. We have dedicated sections for children’s/young adult fiction, adult fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels. We also have regularly changing displays throughout the year to showcase books on different topics.
Challenges and competitions
Every other year, we challenge students and staff to read as many books as they can in a year – certificates are awarded for anyone who reads 52 books (gold), 39 books (silver) or 26 books (bronze)!
Year 7 challenge
We publish a ‘Twelve books to read before you’re twelve’ list annually.
Year 8 challenge
We challenge Year 8 students to participate in Book Bingo during spring term, pushing them to read outside their comfort zone.
Year 9 challenge
To support the curriculum in English, we challenge Year 9 students in autumn term to read a dystopian novel, a ‘real society’ novel, and a novel of their own choice.
We also run regular themed competitions and quizzes for students throughout the year.
We provide access to a variety of electronic resources, such as JSTOR, Newspapers for Schools, and Dynamic Learning A Level magazines.
Homework Club runs every day in the Library after school from 3:30pm until 5pm. Students are welcome to drop in – there’s no need to book, you do not have to go every day but you can if you want. There are always plenty of staff around to help students with their homework, including the Librarian, Library Assistant, and Teaching Assistants. This is a great opportunity to use the computers and printers and to get advice from staff on how best to complete your homework.