Twitter Wall


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

County Cup Football hots up next week: Yr9 play Monks Walk School on Monday 4pm KO at SJL; Yr7 play Monks Walk on Wednesday 3pm KO away.


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

Saturday Rugby results: Yr7 won 85-0; Yr8 drew 25-25; Yr9 won 40-5; Yr10 won 24-19. Thanks to for the games.


Congratulations to the Rugby teams this morning. 3 wins and a draw v Nicholas Breakspear.


Retweeted From SJL Geography

More year 13s completing river fieldwork!


Retweeted From SJL Geography

Year 13 completing river fieldwork today to prepare them for their independent investigation.


Over 120 students from Yr7 and Yr8 out playing Netball on a Friday night. Perfect way to end the week.


The hall was a hive of activity this lunchtime, as Head of Austen, Mr Evans kicked off the Austen House Quiz


This week's newsletter is out today...


Retweeted From SJL Geography

To celebrate World Food Day we tasted food from different countries today at Geography club! Thank you to all the students who brought in delicious food to try! 🌍


Well done all!


Retweeted From SJLdrama

Year 13 devising their socks off this pm!#theatreinschools


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

Great stuff happening in club today! Loads of fantastic food brought in by our students at showing how impacts our lives on a daily basis.


Vacancy: we are seeking a passionate mathematician to join our innovative Mathematics department. Great emphasis on CPD and benefit from the many opportunities for collaborative work that come from our membership of the . Apply now


Monday evening saw the pleasure of the Y11 music Showcase. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to allow our students to perform in front of audiences once again. Thank you Y11 you were phenomenal


Thank you from Mrs Power to those students who have already secured a work placement. Further information regarding the work experience process will be provided later this term for both Y10 and Y12


Well done - so many great performances!


INSET reminder: students are reminded tomorrow, Tuesday 12 October 2021 is staff INSET and school is closed.


Thought for the week: challenging discrimination. Why shouldn't you stay silent?


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

Excellent set of rugby matches v Yr7 won 40-20; Yr8 lost 40-5; Yr9 won 35-25; Yr10 lost 40-5. Great to get Saturday Rugby back underway. Next week


Thank you to all the families that came along to our open evening and allowed us to share just how proud we are of our school. All our virtual resources are now available on the school website including our school video and speeches


Additional daytime tours available! Due to an overwhelming response, additional daytime tours are now available to book via our website


This week's newsletter is out now...


Those carrots are amazing!


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

2/2: We picked some of our Purple Carrots and Rhubarb as well as some more flowers for the reception desk. We will soon be able to pick the Parsnips too. Living life on the Veg!


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

1/2: Today in our EcoGarden our green-fingered gardeners did an amazing job of clearing beds & picking the purple carrots 🥕 & Rhubarb! Next week we should be able to start planting Elephant Garlic 🐘 and winter veg!


Retweeted From SJL Geography

Open evening well undernway and the Geography department is a hit! Really enjoying meeting some of next years' Year 7s! So many of them are talented Geographers already!


An immense range of activities on show and for our Year 6 guests to participate in


Students across the faculties are proudly showing Year 6 families their school


Executive Headteacher, Ms Robins and Head of School, Mr Newbery begin the first of the headteachers’ speeches


SJL sax ensemble entertaining the guests as they arrive


Sir John Lawes School looks forward to welcoming prospective families to our open evening


A message from Mrs Power, Careers Lead - registration is now open for the virtual UK Higher Education Expo. Registration link in tweet below


Immense thanks to for coming and giving a talk to our to raise awareness for climate change and collating student messages for world leaders as he walks to Glasgow for COP26


Retweeted From John McLaverty

After meeting with yesterday, an student had this message for World Leaders at : 'tell the world leaders to tax the rich to raise the money needed to tackle the climate emergency' in action - the


Thought for the week: self-esteem. "Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love" Brené Brown


SJL Open Evening notice: school will close early to students on the day of the SJL Open Evening, Wednesday 6 October, and open slightly later the following day, Thursday 7 October. Thank you for your support.


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

Great work by the team who cleared the remaining beds, we are almost ready to replant for the new season. They also cut some fresh flowers and delivered them to staff Have a nice weekend living life on the Veg!


This week's newsletter is out now...


To start off Black History Month tomorrow, the library Book of the Week is Ghost Boys. They also have a display in the library featuring a range of books for Black History Month, so please encourage students to take a look.


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

Last week, yr 7 & 8 pupils were a great help with clearing weeds & last seasons veggies (including corn) from the beds, ready for this seasons plans & veggies! We are looking forward to seeing more keen this week as part of our group!



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 Miss James 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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