Library update September 2020

Please ask your child to return any outstanding library loans to the boxes that are situated in each of the year areas. There are still over 1400 library loans outstanding and in order for Cheney library to function properly in the new school year, it is vital
that every book is returned.

If any students have lost their book, please ask them to send an email to Mrs Fenton. During September there will be no replacement charge but Mrs Fenton is keen to know that a book is lost so that it can be removed from the system.  Thereafter, a replacement charge will be payable.

In the short term, the library shelves will be closed for browsing and students will need to reserve their books online using the new online library portal. Full inductions on how to use the system will be given during English lessons, including the associated mobile app. All students will be expected to have a book to read at school and Mrs Fenton will deliver all books reserved online to students in their classrooms and is available to help with book recommendations

Students can now access e-books and audiobooks, find out more here.

Students will need to reserve library books online via the portal on RM Unify.  Below, you will find a short film by Mrs Fenton on how the system works.

Remember, Mrs Fenton is also always available by email to advise on book choice or to help in any way.

The Library

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.

Opening Hours

8.00am to 5.00pm Monday - Thursday

8.00am - 3.30pm Friday

The library remains open beyond the end of the school day to support students with revision and homework.


During lessons, the library is used for reading lessons and for sixth form study.

The Library Team

Mrs Fenton, Librarian

Student librarians (appointed each September)

What you will find in the library
Fiction books

We currently have approximately 9500 fiction books, catering for a wide range of reading abilities. The selection includes the latest teen fiction, quick reads, Manga/graphic novels, classics, a selection of older fiction books and all set texts. Mrs Fenton has an extensive knowledge of teen fiction and is on hand to help students with their book choice.

Non-fiction books

There is a wide selection of non-fiction titles, which support every subject on the school curriculum, with a particular emphasis on extended study projects. For Sixth Form students, there is a complete selection of A’ Level and BTEC textbooks and the librarian can enable access to the library at Brookes University. There is also an extensive selection of revision guides available for use in the library.


We have around 150 age-appropriate DVDs available for students to borrow. The selection includes DVDs supporting the curriculum (Shakespeare etc.) as well as many films just for leisure.

Computer access

We have 42 computers for student use at lunch and break time. There are two black and white printers/copiers.

Stationery to buy

We have stationery and maths equipment to buy

Library catalogue

Students can access the library catalogue through RM Unify. This enables them to search the shelves, choose and reserve books.

New Stock and Donations
New Stock

We are always delighted to receive recommendations for new stock and students should email Mrs Fenton with their suggestions.


We are often asked if we accept donations of second hand books and DVDs. The answer to this is "it depends what it is". We have to be careful to make sure that books donated are ones that the students will actually want to read. If you have a book you want to donate, the best judge of whether it will be used is your own child, so ask them.  Below is a list of popular authors and titles that will always be well-received.  If you have DVDs you wish to pass on, it's best to email Mrs Fenton to check whether she already has them in her collection. With DVDs, they have to be in good condition, rated no more than 12 and preferably with a book tie-in.

See below for a suggestion of books:

  • Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman
  • The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
  • The Cherub series by Robert Muchamore
  • The Once series by Morris Gleitzman
  • The Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens
  • Any teen romance books published in the past few years (we can’t catalogue these quickly enough!)
  • Anything by Holly Bourne or Cat Clarke
  • Recent biographies (bear in mind the target audience – footballers, boxers, you-tubers, celebrities that might appeal to teenagers)
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – the most popular book in Cheney library!
  • Any recently published young adult fiction – email Mrs Fenton to check
Cheney Book Canon

The aim of the Cheney Book Canon is to raise the profile of reading across the school and to encourage a common culture and dialogue through books and reading. This is a long term initiative and the intention is for everyone in each year group to read the same book – staff included.

At the beginning of January 2020, students voted on their favourite book for their year group to adopt and the results were announced on World Book Day in March. Each of the chosen books has a strong supporting message that lends itself to further analysis and discussion in class – the themes range from empathy for others to appreciation of the refugee crisis. A lot of thought was put into the short list in order to ensure that the books that were chosen are representative of Cheney’s diverse culture and we are confident that the final list achieves this aim.

There are multiple copies of each of the books available through the library.

Accelerated Reader and reading sessions in the library

In Year 7, all students have a dedicated fortnightly reading period in the library. Students’ reading is supported by the Renaissance Place Accelerated Reader (AR) system. AR is a computer programme that measures each student’s reading ability and helps them choose and read books at a suitable level.  The AR system categorises books into levels of difficulty, based on the complexity of the text. This enables teachers and library staff to match books to each student’s individual reading ability, ensuring they make the greatest progress with their reading skills. The programme offers a comprehensive catalogue of book quizzes which measure a student’s comprehension and allow us to monitor their independent reading practice and progress. There are lots of reward schemes to encourage and recognise students’ reading progress and activity, including the AR Millionaires’ Club.

At KS3 all other students are encouraged to use the library to support their weekly reading lessons, which happen in the classroom.