The academy has three fully-staffed libraries: the Lee library for Key Stage 3, Turing library and ICT suite for Key Stage 4, and a Sixth Form library on the third floor. All three libraries offer a wide range of resources including: fiction books; non-fiction books; magazines, newspapers and journals; PC/Mac computers for use during break, lunch and after school to complete homework.
Students are expected to have a reading book with them at all times, as part of their essential equipment. They may borrow most library books for a month at a time, and we encourage students to read at home as well as during school hours.
The academy operates an extended day for all students; the library is open both before and after school, 7.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
All students in years 7, 8 and 9 are enrolled on a programme called Accelerated Reader (AR) to improve their literacy and encourage them to read for pleasure.
At the start of term each student is given a target (e.g. 20 points) and earn points towards this target by reading throughout the term. Upon finishing a book, students must complete a short quiz and on passing the quiz they receive points for that book. Most books in the library have a points value based on their length and difficulty. Throughout the term, students take quizzes and check how many points they have using the library computers; the deadline for reaching their target is usually the last day of each term.
Students must also keep a reading log of what they are reading and how often. These are the yellow pages in the middle of their planner which are checked regularly during English lessons. We expect and encourage students to read for at least 20 minutes a day, five days a week.
Reading books for Accelerated Reader is as important as any other kind of homework. Students may be issued detentions for not reading. However, they are also rewarded with merits for excellent reading and for exceeding their target. There is an Accelerated Reader of the Week award, as well as a House Cup and a range of individual competitions and prizes to win throughout the year.