Mrs Fenton is our school librarian. She can tell you about the library service and the importance of reading at Cheney School.
Email our Librarian, Mrs Jill Fenton
“The library makes me feel welcomed and comfortable”
Cheney Library plays a central role in the life of the school and is a vibrant, friendly facility that enhances and supports learning across the curriculum. It also offers a welcoming environment for students who are looking for a place to read, or work quietly or to retreat momentarily from the rigours of the school day.
The Library has over 9,000 books and online resources, a total which is constantly growing and evolving. We offer a diverse range of fiction, nonfiction and graphic novels, and offer computer access. Board games are also available during break times and there is stationery and maths equipment available to buy.
The full collection of books and resources can be searched and reserved by using the library catalogue.. Students can borrow up to three books at a time for two weeks in years 7 and 8 and for three weeks for older students. Up to date reading news and reading lists can be found on the library app.
“You have extended my love of books and know exactly what books I will like”
The library is staffed by a full time experienced librarian alongside a team of student librarians and other Cheney staff.
Monday to Thursday 8am - 5pm for year 9+
Monday to Thursday 8am - 4.15pm for years 7 and 8
Friday 8am - 3.30pm for all students.
Student librarians are appointed during the autumn term each year for students from year 8 and above. They follow a rigorous application process and once appointed work behind the desk on a rota. They are rewarded with house points as well as taking part in book buying and other library activities. This is a fun and educational position and they play an important role within the library.
Year 7 students have bi-weekly lessons in the library during which they follow the Accelerated Reader scheme.
Older students have scheduled access to the library for supported reading lessons each term. The library also holds research lessons on specific strands of study from throughout the curriculum.
Reading for pleasure
Every student is expected to have a reading book with them at all times. There are a wide variety of rewards and initiatives to encourage a love of reading and students are encouraged to write reviews on books they read to gain house points.
“The library is my favourite place in the school and it has some interesting books, some of which have become my favourites”
We expect all learners to be reading for 20 minutes every day. Not only does it have huge benefits in preparing learners academically by developing concentration, growing memory, and improving analytical skills, but it also is an excellent way for students to reduce stress and relax after a long day of learning.
"There is a range of different activities which support pupils who join the school with weak literacy skills" - Ofsted 2018
Sometimes students can be reluctant to read; if you find your child becoming a reluctant reader, try these three steps to help re-instate their love of reading.
1) Make sure they catch you reading - This is particularly pertinent for boys: they need to see male role models reading if they are to become successful readers.
2) Read with them - Learners will really enjoy discussing with you what they have read. It also gives you opportunity to talk to your child about unfamiliar words, or any important information that arises from the book. By doing this, you will model that reading doesn't have to be taken too seriously. You can have fun and read at the same time.
3) Get creative - Learners do not need to be reading big Victorian tomes. Some students want to read the classics, and that is absolutely fabulous. But if you find yourself with a reluctant reader, try engaging them with an ebook, or a graphic novel, or even news articles on the internet. All reading is beneficial, especially if it gives students the opportunity to come across new words. It's great to read!
If you have any questions about reading or want guidance on how to read with your children, engage them in reading, or re-enthuse them please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Rebecca Taylor, Head of English
Literacy and the wider curriculum
Students at Cheney school are encouraged regularly to check their work, using purple pen, using the layers of the onion as a guide. This is to help students become truly reflective when it comes to the accuracy of their writing. There is an Onion poster up in every classroom in the school.
Encouraging boys to read
There is a known challenge within Schools relating to encouraging boys to read more. The National Literacy Trust has noted that girls continue to outpace boys in their enthusiasm for reading for pleasure. Their latest study also found that nearly twice as many boys as girls said they do not enjoy reading at all, by 13% to 7%. The Guardian published a great article this week, and we have pulled out some key points here:
- Find writers boys can relate to - finding local writers online, with ideas they will relate to, worries they will share, voices they can recognise and characters that they understand.
- Get Dad reading - The best role models seem to be dads, sports coaches and athletes, men the boys aspire to be. If they experience these men reading and sharing their love of books (any kind of books) then reading is not seen as a female occupation.
- Inspire boys at home - It is often hard to find texts that both parents and teenagers can enjoy together. Reading a series of themed ‘classics’ such as all the James Bond novels, coupled with a weekly pizza and film night is a great way to create a scheduled time in the week without distractions when everyone in the family reads.
- Think about it like sport - Explaining to boys that improving their reading is like sports training or playing an instrument can do the trick: they acknowledge the effort that needs to go into these kinds of activities; knowing the brain is like a muscle that can be trained can often help. The advice I give to parents for reading at home is to find factual subjects boys might be into: sport, cars, music, computers, science; then buy a broadsheet newspaper on the day they read their specialist pull-outs. The interest in content will drive the reading which is often lengthy, with sophisticated levels of vocabulary and sentence structure.
- Build trust - Throughout the year, choose one of your reluctant readers every week and find a book or magazine or newspaper article about one of his interests. Read things that tap into their interests and, most importantly, be patient.