Our school library offers a special and unique experience for students, one that aims not only to enrich reading for pleasure and enhance information literacy skills but also, more importantly, develop the well-being and happiness of our young people.
We have over 6000 resources stocked in the library which are available to borrow. This includes over 3000 fiction titles that cater for every taste and reading level. We are particularly proud of our information/non-fiction resources that can assist students in not only extending their knowledge of curriculum subject areas, but also help them learn about the wider world in which they live.
Our school librarian, Mr Sheehan, strives to create opportunities that make reading an exciting and rewarding possibility. All Year 7 and 8 students receive a fortnightly library lesson where they will be immersed in the realms of classic and contemporary fiction. Mr Sheehan enjoys recommending book titles for those unsure what to read next. Events and activities are scheduled throughout the year, not just to celebrate World Book Day!
Mr. Sheehan has over twenty-five years’ experience in libraries. He is educated to post-graduate level in all areas of librarianship, in addition to this he is a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). In recognition for his outstanding provision in librarianship he is a past recipient of the School Library Association Librarian of the Year Award.
The library offers 20 networked computers that are available throughout the school day. Mr Sheehan is very passionate about enriching students’ information retrieval skills and their critical literacy skills, to assist students in their academic studies and to help them engage ethically in the information society. Sixth Form students are given comprehensive instruction and guidance on how to access, use and evaluate printed and electronic resources; essential skills for current and future studies.
The Library is open Monday to Thursday 8.00am to 4.00pm and Friday 8.00am to 3.30pm. Students are actively encouraged to use the Library throughout the school day, for both pleasure and research.
Year 7 and 8 library lessons enable students to initiate, cultivate and sustain a love for reading. They draw students into the world of stories, both classic and contemporary, spanning the various genres. Over the year students will produce work that creatively explores and responds to aspects of the fictional works covered during the lessons. Alongside this, students are given opportunities to share and express opinions on what they have read to their peers. An essential part of library lessons is to promote the element of choice in reading as it allows students to take control of challenging themselves and their reading abilities. The library lessons will provide students with the ability to be, and to feel, empowered as they progress on their reading journey beyond Years 7 and 8.
Below are some of the books we have focussed on during library lessons:
And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie
Mary Poppins – P.L Travers
Poet X – Elizabeth Acevedo (alongside other titles from the Carnegie shortlist)
Tales of the Unexpected – Roald Dahl
The library has a central role in equipping students with the practical and theoretical knowledge to access and exploit information via the internet. Mr. Sheehan has done extensive work across the whole school so to encourage students broaden their literature searches beyond Wikipedia.
The library offers and delivers referencing sessions to all curriculum subject areas. They provide students with practical knowledge as to how they can construct reference lists and bibliographies for their work so to avoid plagiarism.
Finding Electronic Resources
Extensive work has been delivered across the sixth form curriculum areas to encourage students to be critical on the quality of resources they use in their work. A range of printed resources have been created, specifically catered for PHS, that students can access to assist with their research.
It is appreciated that all student’s research needs are different according to their individual topic areas. A weekly surgery is held for students to access one-to-one guidance that will assist with their research process.
The librarian currently delivers two weekly book clubs after school, these are as follows.
- LGBT+ Book Club
Specifically focusses on LGBT+ themed book titles. This club is open to students in year 9 and above.
- Book Worms
This whole school book club, open to students in year 7 and above, focus on titles that have been shortlisted for the numerous children’s national book awards, including the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway prize.