The HCS library

Our active school library is at the heart of the curriculum. It is well stocked and staffed by professionals. We believe the library should support and assist staff and students in their work and in their leisure, wherever they are, so we also offer online e-resources. 

Library skills helping pupils to learn independently and conduct research effectively are delivered during subject lessons, with the librarian and teacher working together, as well as via independent modules led by the librarian.

"It has been demonstrated that, when teachers and librarians work together, students achieve higher levels of literacy, reading, learning, problem solving, and information and technology skills." 

UNESCO/IFLA School Library Manifesto, 2000, 'Mission of the School Library'

Years 7-9

In Year 7 pupils will receive three independent modules to introduce them to the physical library and the virtual library. Two modules are delivered during PSHE time, the third in an IT lesson. Skills are then reinforced throughout the year as they visit the library in other subject lessons.

In Years 8 and 9 pupils will have one module per year delivered in PSHE lessons to refresh their skills and introduce them to new resources. Again, skills are reinforced throughout the year as they use the library for research in a wide range of subjects.

GCSE and A-Level support

During Year 10, one independent refresher module is delivered during PSHE. This looks at coping with coursework, beginning GCSE courses and specifically how the ‘virtual library’ can make studying easier. Other skills are delivered in the library in the context of subject lessons, booked on an ‘ad hoc’ basis by teachers.

All pupils in Year 12 have an initial induction session with the librarian. This looks at studying in the 6th form and how the ‘virtual library’ can help. Most Universities now require students to be able to manage all the features of online library use, and this is a good time to become familiar with how such systems can be manipulated for the student’s benefit.

All students undertaking the Extended Project Qualification receive specific lessons in the library to help them use the virtual library effectively. Other subjects will book these lessons when required. The librarians are always on hand to assist pupils on an individual basis.

Outside the classroom

Book Clubs: an important role of the Library in school is to encourage literacy, and we run two Book Clubs for Years 7 to 9. They meet regularly and are involved in the National Carnegie Medal Shadowing Scheme each year.

The pupils thoroughly enjoy the social interaction and the cultural education that the Book Club offers. Through the Book Clubs they are set challenges, meet other school clubs and take part in external events when possible.

Homework Club: the Library is open at lunch time and after school until 5.30pm when pupils may choose to do their homework. The librarian is always on hand to help.

Events: the Library runs an extensive programme of events throughout the year. This may involve visiting authors, other schools both Primary and Secondary, internal initiatives, competitions and school-wide challenges.

Trips: Trips are usually connected to literary or cultural events, to enhance the social skills of pupils or to link with outside organisations. In the past they have involved trips to the theatre, cinema, literary discussion days and visits to other school book clubs.

Book club