The Library at Beechwood
The Main Library at Beechwood Park School is housed in a wonderful room designed by Thomas Cundy for Sir John Saunders Sebright (1767-1864).
It currently holds over 10,000 modern books, ranging from classics to the latest releases, in addition to hundreds of books dating back to the room’s pre-school origins. The room has evolved to become a centre for digital learning with the addition of Chrome books and interactive screens. By combining traditional book-centred research methods alongside digital literacy in the Library, pupils are encouraged to use literacy skills and resources in a meaningful way and with purpose to broaden their knowledge and nurture different approaches to learning
Junior Department pupils visit their own Library in the Junior Department at set times with their class and are supported by Librarians who help them choose age-appropriate books.
In the Middle and Senior Departments, each pupil has at least one session in the Main Library every week; these sessions are supported by our School Librarians who advise on next reads, assist with issuing and returning books, and listen to pupils read.
From Year 6 onwards, pupils may volunteer to become Librarians, and one or two Top Form Librarians are appointed Head Librarians, who help with many aspects of running the Library.
Throughout the school week, the Main Library hosts a number of break time and lunch time reading groups. These start with Busy Bookworms in Year 4, through Literary Lions and on to Roaring Readers for Year 6 and above. These small groups operate on a rotation basis allowing all pupils the opportunity to participate. Each group enjoys an age and reading level appropriate Group Reader text which is read out loud by the pupils and avidly discussed amongst the group.
In January 2018, Jonathan Stroud was appointed the first Patron of Reading for Beechwood Park School, for the year. Jonathan is a well-known children’s author and he embraced his role as our first Patron, working with the English department and the Main Library to encourage and promote a culture of reading for pleasure at Beechwood Park School. In Jonathan’s words:
“Books are a vital part of every childhood – for the doors they open, for the worlds they unlock, for the new dreams and possibilities contained on every page. They send the imagination soaring and they help us forge an understanding of who we are”.
The Main Library runs regular literary-inspired and topical competitions, which are very popular with the pupils. We also arrange various author visits and hold a huge book sale on World Book Day each year, which involves the entire school. We also hold a huge book sale on World Book Day each year, which involves the entire school.
The Main Library has many other functions, and is used for exams, lessons, assemblies, rehearsals and competitions. Whilst it is a busy place, with a constant buzz of activity, it is also an inspiring and beautiful room, with vast windows offering stunning views over Beechwood’s sports fields.