West London Free School has had a library since its inception. Its first home was at Cambridge Grove and then, temporarily, Bridge Avenue. With the move to Palingwick House all the secondary school books were transferred to the library here. For those in 6th form, there is also a dedicated library at Franklin House.
The library is at the heart of the school, both literally and figuratively. It is on the first floor in the original building. This means that thanks to the row of large sash windows overlooking the front entrance, it is a bright and airy location. It consists of two main sections. The first is an expansive ‘fiction’ area, which also houses a row of desks under the window, making it an ideal area in which to work or read in peace. In the ‘non-fiction’ section, we also have access to several PCs which may be used for research or to complete homework, such as Hegarty Maths. There are several more desks here, which allow for group or individual work to take place.
The two rooms that make up the library can be separated by a flexible door. This allows use of the non-fiction section for small group work; often for language classes. It is also where the Book Club takes place. Every Thursday and Friday lunchtime, three groups of year 7 pupils - each group lead by two year 11 pupils - read and discuss a book; currently ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time’, by Mark Haddon. It is proving a very popular read with both boys and girls. Earlier this term, years 7,8 & 9 had the opportunity to experience Google Expedition in the library. With the benefit of Virtual Reality headsets, they were able to visit the Amazon, Venice and the Arctic circle.
Obviously at the core of the library are the books. We have almost 8,000 books in the library and we encourage all pupils and staff to borrow on a regular basis. We have a team of library prefects who all help to keep the library organised and are there to issue and return books. The benefit of reading for improving literacy cannot be overemphasised and the joy of reading for pleasure must be one of the most accessible forms of leisure available to all. We would also encourage pupils to let us know if there are any particular books or series of books that they would like us to obtain for the library. We would also welcome any donations of good condition books that are suitable for 11 – 18 year olds, whether fiction or non-fiction.
Each month there is a display in the library on a different theme.
WLFS Library catalogue link: https://u014595.microlibrarian.net/
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