It offers a welcoming, attractive and comfortable environment for pupils to work or relax with a book, magazine or newspaper and is staffed by a professional librarian to help and encourage pupils. Reading for pleasure is a key part of the Belmont ethos and the Librarian works closely with the Head of English (Upper School) and Lower School English Co-Ordinator to support this.
We stock a wide range of fiction and factual books, including graphic novels, pop-up and picture books, short stories and quick reads. The Library subscribes to daily and weekly newspapers plus a variety of magazines to support pupils’ learning and interests.
The current book stock numbers about 10,000 and is constantly developing to meet the changing needs of the curriculum and pupils’ recreational reading tastes. The library caters for all reading ages within the school, and a wide range of tastes and abilities. A separate collection of fiction is offered to Upper School pupils; an extra self-service collection is housed in the Jubilee building and all form rooms are supplemented with additional stock. Year 7 pupils are welcomed to school with a free book from Bookbuzz, an annual scheme run by the charity Booktrust (paid for by the Library).
Pupils in Years 3, 5 and 7 have timetabled Library Skills lessons as part of their House Carousel, learning how the library is organised and how to find books.
Upper School pupils have the opportunity to become Library Assistants, becoming part of a team of helpers who help to keep the library running. These pupils learn basic library skills such as shelving, issuing and returning books, as well as customer service skills. They learn how to share information and computing skills with other pupils and develop teamwork skills with each other. Successful applicants are given full training and maintain a skills portfolio, which enables them to earn certificates from the School Library Association.
Desktop computers are available in the Library, enabling pupils to practise their skills with a variety of software, conduct research online and search the Library’s database. The Library is used as an additional computing classroom, with a newly-expanded capacity of 21 machines.
Across the year the Library supports a range of extra-curricular activities to promote reading for pleasure, such as National Poetry Day (September), Harry Potter Day (February), Reading Week (March), plus competitions open to all pupils, including Readathon.