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 Palingswick House all the secondary school books were transferred to the library here. For those in the Sixth 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 PCs which may be used for research or to complete homework, such as Hegarty Maths. There are 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. It is also where our lunch-time Book Club, run in conjunction with Book Clubs in Schools (www.bookclubsinschools.org), takes place.
Book Club is a cross-age, peer mentoring scheme, where pupils from Year 10 and Year 12 (‘Book Club Leaders’) are trained to deliver a weekly Book Club to our younger Year 7 (‘Book Clubbers’) pupils. Being a ‘Leader’ is a wonderful opportunity to develop leadership skills and to a play positive role in introducing new Year 7 pupils to the school and to a love of reading for pleasure and being a ‘Clubber’ is a great opportunity to make new friends across the year group and to get to know older pupils in a calm and quiet environment in the library. It is also a wonderful way in which to discover and explore a new book with peers.
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. During Libraries Week, teachers posed with their favourite library book for a poster campaign to encourage pupils to take out a book.
Pupils can come to the library to read or to work quietly before registration from 8am to 8.30am and after school from 3.40pm to 5pm. They can come to the library during the school day at first break and at lunch-time and can borrow up to two fiction and two non-fiction books.
We have a team of library prefects who all help to keep the library organised and who 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.
If you have any good quality books that are suitable for 11–18-year olds, whether fiction or non-fiction, which you would like to donate to the library, please email our Librarians:
Mrs Eastwood, Librarian, Palingswick House: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Duggan, Senior Librarian, Franklin House: email@example.com
WLFS Library catalogue link: https://u014595.microlibrarian.net/