Years 7 to 13

Supporting Learning & Teaching

Swallow Librarian, Mrs Sara Bloomfield, works closely with subject departments to ensure the non-fiction stock is up to date and supports the students through each stage of their studies. The fiction section continually evolves and includes a balance of modern writing and classic fiction.

Students in Year 7 and Year 8 have weekly reading lessons in the Library, and several reading groups run throughout the week.

Swallow Library

An inviting, safe space for both students and staff

The Swallow Library is at the heart of the School now as it was in the seventeenth century, when it formed the original school room of Harsnett’s foundation.

Now this venerable building houses the main school library, a place where students from Year 7 to year 13, as well as staff, can study, read quietly and access digital resources and printing facilities.

Innovation and Initiatives

Reading for Pleasure

Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) is an initiate in which form groups are booked to spend their allocated, ‘DEAR time’ in the library. Mrs Bloomfield has made reading fun by running themes such as ‘National Non-fiction November’ and ‘Blind Date with a Book’. In 2019, pupils took part in the Excelsior Award and the Redbridge Book Award.

Author Visits

Guest speakers and authors regularly visit the School - providing pupils with the chance to meet their favourite authors and receive signed copies of books.

Reading Champions

Run with the Head of English, Reading Champions encourages collaboration of the most able readers across year groups. Pupils really enjoy reading with older pupils - it stretches their thinking and how they reflect on their reading. The older pupils gain a sense of responsibility as role models to the younger pupils and it encourages them to think more deeply about the book in order to ask questions.

Reception to Year 2

Pre Prep Library

The Pre Prep benefits from a specially designed library which stocks a wide variety of both fiction and non-fiction books, especially aimed at developing essential literacy skills and an enthusiasm for reading in our youngest pupils.

Weekly storytelling sessions are delivered by trained staff and all classes have regular times to visit the library in order to browse and choose books to take home to share with their families. Pupils also have opportunities to visit the library to support their work in all areas of the curriculum. The library is equipped with resources for role play and for retelling stories to allow pupils to engage in imaginative and creative activities.

Years 3 to 6

Junior School Library

The Junior School has its own library for the exclusive use of children in years 3 to 6. This cheerful, brightly lit space also has weekly library lessons and its own set of tablets for students to use.

The Swallow Library and the Junior School Library share a Library catalogue which is searchable on-site and at home. Both also have their own librarians and library assistants.

As part of the school’s literacy programme, the librarians organise regular visits by popular writers of children’s fiction.

Recent visitors have included Alex Wheatle, Chris Bradford, Adisa and Ali Sparkes.