An integral part of Ark’s school-wide focus on reading and literacy, the library supports students’ academic learning, their extra-curricular interests and is a safe and inclusive place for all students to spend time. We have a well-stocked, up-to-date range of books, including fiction, information books, graphic novels, manga and magazines, to encourage students to foster a love of reading for pleasure. We believe strongly that reading gives our students power, and the library has several initiatives to support these school-wide aims.
We run competitions on a half-termly basis; recent competitions have included poetry slams, a Roald Dahl day quiz, a creative writing competition and a design your own manga strip. The highlight of our year is the Literary Festival, in which we, as a school, devote an entire week to all things literary! Past events have included ‘Ark’s Lit Quiz’, Ark’s audiobook recorded by staff, spelling bees and young writers workshops. Added to this, we have our Reading Canon, which details wider reading suggestions specific to each year group, and for every curriculum subject. The Reading Canon is used throughout the school, for example, as the basis for holiday homework reading, where students are expected to complete a various tasks related to what they have read.
We have been fortunate to welcome many authors and poets into school over the years, which have included Adisa, Harry Baker and Ruth Eastham, to inspire our students and help to foster a lifelong love of books and learning. We have a team of 20 hard-working and enthusiastic student librarians from key stages 3 and 4, who attend a weekly duty, and sixth formers have the opportunity to work as reading mentors with our year 7 students. We currently run 1-2-1 reading sessions with targeted students to help them with their reading journeys and their confidence. We celebrate the reading successes of our students with a ‘Reader of the term’ award, again illustrating the importance that literacy and reading for pleasure have within the school.