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Allenbourn Middle School

Welcome to the Library

The library and the librarian, Mrs Jensen, support learning right across the school. English classes all visit regularly to borrow books on a two-week timetable.  Library lessons include special activities prepared by English teachers and Mrs Jensen to broaden pupils' knowledge of fiction, poetry and information books.  

All students can borrow three books, for two weeks at a time.  Small intervention reading groups meet before school and during tutor time at the end of the day.  The library is also open at break, lunchtime and after school for browsing and borrowing, and is used to support homework after school. On Wednesday we have Quiet Lunchtime, which is for silent reading only.

Our information books cover both the curriculum and individual interests, from keeping snakes to astronomy, knitting to surviving in the Sahara.  As well as fiction, recent book buying has focused on well-being and mental health and on career choice.  Conversations with pupils regularly lead to new recommendations and suggestions.

The library is equipped with Chromebooks, and the projector provides possibilities for book presentations, art and music during library lessons and in breaktimes.  We benefit from partnership with the Art Department and their large-scale creations find a welcome home on our shelves.  Giant books were created for our new shelving by the Year 8 Art Extension group, and are complemented by a display of birds created by Year 6 students last term.

We hold a Book Fair each Spring term, and parents are welcome to come after school on certain days. We aim to organise at least one author visit a year, for either KS2 (Years 5 & 6) or KS3 (Years 7 & 8). Our last visit was from Anthony McGowan, talking about Dogs of the Deadlands, and we are looking forward to a visit from Joffre White, UK Patron of Reading.

Library App and Accelerated Reader

To view the library web app, please click here.

This app is an important way for students to search the catalogue and discover books.  It is accessible on all platforms (tablets, phones, PCs), so you can easily look at it at home.  When you log on as a Guest you can see all resources and suggestions lists, but not borrow, reserve or review.

All students are able to log on using their school email address; they can then reserve and review books as well.  The app has news about new books, events like National Poetry Day, and links to websites.

All years are now following the Accelerated Reader programme, and the library catalogue shows each book's AR level.  The app makes it easier to find books at the right level for each reader.  However, it is important that students choose a book that they will enjoy, and they can always ask their teacher or Mrs Jensen for suggestions.

Allenbourn is a member of the School Libraries Association and supports the Great School Libraries campaign: 'Every child deserves a great school library!'

Book Groups and Student Librarians

Book Groups for all Years are run by Mrs Jensen:

Monday - Year 5 Book Group

Tuesday - Year 7 and 8 Book Group

Thursday - Year 6 Book Group.

Years 7 & 8 took part in WABA (Wessex Amazing Book Award). The shortlist was chosen by students across 8 Dorset schools and books are suitable for Years 7-9.  All the book groups met at Talbot Heath School in February for discussion and judging. We will now be taking part in shadowing the national Yoto Carnegie awards. Last year our book discussions included learning some Welsh and trying to learn to knit!

Year 6 are taking part in the national Poetry by Heart competition.  This is the first time we have entered, so it is exciting for all of us.  Some of the group are learning two poems and entering as solo performers, but it is also possible to form a group and learn one poem together.  They will be performing for a Year 6 assembly before we send in our entries.

Year 5 has been talking about dragons. This included making dragon models in Art Club, which are now on display in the library.

This year there are 26 trained Student Librarians, recruited from Years 6-8.  They run the library desk at break and lunchtime. This frees Mrs Jensen to talk to students who are looking for books or have other questions, and to run the Book Groups at lunchtime.  The Student Librarians have feedback meetings every term to discuss any problems they have come across.

More recently, the Student Librarians have voted to 'adopt' a red squirrel and a seahorse through Dorset Wildlife Trust.  We'll be learning more about their habitats and life cycles, and creating information displays in the library.

For World Book Day 2024, each tutor group chose their favourite books and created a poster for the door of their tutor room.