The library at St Mary’s is based at the front of the school and provides students with an excellent and supportive learning resource. It is a thriving place which welcomes up to 50,000 individual visitors in an academic year.
The facility can comfortably accommodate up to forty students at a time, holds more than seven thousand printed materials (books, journals, magazines and newspapers), has an interactive whiteboard for use in lessons, and a bank of computers. It is staffed by a full-time, qualified librarian/teacher who is helped by a team of library monitors.
The library is open every school day between 8.00am and 4.00pm. Students are actively encouraged to use the library outside of lessons for private research, homework and leisure reading. They can also take part in a highly successful, library-run chess club, which gives students the chance to compete in a number of regional and national tournaments, as well as buy school equipment from its stationery store.
The library plays a prominent role in developing literacy and promoting reading for pleasure. Throughout the year, it gives all students at St Mary’s a range of opportunities to join reading groups, take part as judges in local book awards, compete in the Kids’ Lit Quiz, and to enjoy author events. Students are also able to borrow books from the library and several thousand items are issued in a typical year.