Twitter Wall


Good luck to our Yr 11 and Yr 13 students who this evening undertake their Devising Drama examinations


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

Congratulations to the Yr7 netball team. Their win tonight v NBS puts them through to the next round of the district cup. They will go on to play Loreto.


Retweeted From YC Hertfordshire STA

We are getting ready for the Wellbeing Conference this Thursday! Organised by the young health champions and


Retweeted From A Caring Mind

Hertfordshire campaign encourages St Albans pupils to talk about mental health


Diary reminder: Y10 London Central Mosque visit next week Tuesday, 26 November. Requirements for the day can be found on letters home


Diary reminder: Christmas Lunch will be held Wednesday, 11 December. Lunch must be paid by Wednesday, 4 December via ParentPay


This year's sensational Upper School Musical - Chicago


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

Great win for the Yr 11 netball team 28-22 against Sandringham. Well done all!


Retweeted From SRA Secondary


Last few spaces remaining for Thursday's Safetalk Training in association with . Please email to secure a place . . Tell Ask Listen KeepSafe


SJL are hosting their first Wellbeing Conference. The conference will include workshops related to health and wellbeing, parents are invited to come along 11.40am - 12.30pm. Please confirm attendance by end of today Monday 18 November to


Thought for the Week: Prevent bullying Word of the Week: Hypo


Good luck to our students who are undertaking their GCSE performance exams today.


Retweeted From Robert Barclay Academy (RBA)

We will be hosting our annual Awards Evening, Wednesday 18th December. We are looking forward to celebrating the achievements of our former yr 11 & yr 13. Guest Speaker, Michael Owen, former Welsh International Rugby Union player. Please email


Retweeted From SJLdrama

If any of our lovely ex SJL Drama students who have gone on to follow drama degrees or training we are having an alumni and industry lunch on Friday 13th December and would be most welcome! Please message us if you’re interested?#dramAmatters


We are pleased and proud to announce that Simon Mundy, our Chair of Governors, has won outstanding governor of the year from the Hertfordshire Association of School Governors! Well deserved indeed!


Retweeted From SJLdrama

Chicago is happening soon with lots of dazzle dazzle, cell-block tango and all that jazz! Tickets available on parent pay!#theatreinschools


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

Great morning of competitive rugby v Yr7s drew 15-15 in their first ever full game, Yr8s drew 20-20 in a thrilling & Yr9s won 41-5.


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

A massive thank you to all the wonderful SJL parents who kindly turned out to provide transport and support this morning! . Sorry to drag you all out of bed! But thanks again your support and efforts are greatly appreciated.


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

URGENT RUGBY ANNOUNCEMENT: After last minute problems with Minibuses and Staffing please can as many Year 7, 8 & 9 players make their own way to Dame Alice Owens tomorrow (9am meet) Please spread the word and offer lifts to those in need, limited bus space (SJL 8.30am meet)


Reading Week 2019: We hope this week has presented an opportunity to engage with your child, to discuss your experience of reading from different perspective


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

The garden team hard at work planting daffodil bulbs today - pots and bulbs kindly given to us by a big thank you to them.


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

Our winter lettuce and kale are coming along nicely, the garlic we planted in October is peaking through. Thanks to the site team for adding the leaves from around the school to our leaf composting bin.


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

A good win for the Year 9 rugby team, a 43-0 win against NBS. We can still develop our ball handling skills further


Well done all!


Year 9 practicing their memory techniques during Learning to Learn day


Yr 11 learning performance and futures fair, as they compile their toolkit to support them in the important year ahead and gain valuable insight into future options


Retweeted From YC Hertfordshire STA

We had a great final session with the Young Health Champions today before the SJL Wellbeing Conference next week! Looking forward to seeing so many amazing services at the school it's going to be a great day!


Yr 10 learning performance and revision skills, investigating the power of positivity


Reminder: Y11 reminder for Morrisby assessments, deadline for registration and payment Monday, 18 November 2019. See letters home for further information


Diary reminder: Ski trip equipment meeting with visit to Mountain Warehouse in Harpenden Monday, 18 November 2019 5-6.30pm


Yr 9 putting newly gained memory toolkits into practice with poem recitals


Yr 8 investigating developing growth mindsets, exploring how the brain works


Students across the school are participating in Learning to Learn Enrichment activities. Yr 7 overcoming barriers to learning, exploring the learning pit and creating their super hero selves


Yr 7 Kingswood lost property left unclaimed tomorrow, Friday 15 Nov, will be disposed of. First pic (yellow bag) from boys dorm; Second pic from girls dorm. Students can retrieve items from Reception.


Reading Week 2019: A love of reading can support you through lifelong learning, supporting independence and general wellbeing


Diary reminder: Students are engaging in a variety of activities today as part of Learning to Learn Enrichment Day


Retweeted From Dominic Vallier

A great few days in supporting the delivery of thanks for your kind hospitality and obvious passion for delivering qualifications to your 6th formers👍👍👍👍👍


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

Excellent debut performance for U13 rugby girls. Won Drew Lost their 3 games.


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

Well contended netball match tonight. Yr 10 beat SRA 20-17. Well played all.



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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