At Ridgewood, we consider ourselves very lucky to have a fantastically resourced library and an outstanding librarian. Our library, which acts as a hub of activity and learning in the school, is always popular with both students and staff, and offers far more than simply books.
It is available to students during break every day, on Wednesday and Friday lunchtimes, and after school until 4pm Mondays and 4.30pm Tuesday to Friday. All students need a library card to access the facilities.
The library is a busy and lively place where we endeavour to provide a warm and inviting atmosphere to support students in their development of their curriculum subjects. We strive to create a reading environment, inspire independent readers who read for pleasure, and ultimately promote literacy in school. There are a wide range of non-fiction books specifically chosen to support the curriculum, in addition to the books available for general interest and all abilities.
Classes are also held in the library, and there are 15 computers available for research and homework.
Our library’s fiction section is well established with a wide range of titles available, including those by the most popular authors. We promote themes based on these authors or new books through bright and colourful displays, and students may enter quizzes and competitions related to these themes.
Our knowledgeable and enthusiastic library resource officer is available throughout the day to provide help and support to our students. There are printing and photocopying facilities too, as well as careers kiosks and information regarding Sixth Form for students to access.
What makes a truly great book?
Following the nominations for two of the most prestigious prizes in writing and illustration for children and young people, we established two new reading groups in our school library.
The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually for the most outstanding book written.
Our students have explored new genres and unfamiliar authors, embracing the challenge of reading books which range from very poignant stories with meaningful storylines, to those filled with humour and adventure. The merit of each book has been debated on a weekly basis and our students selected their winner as ‘Salt to the Sea’ by Ruta Sepetys, which was also the actual winner of the Award.
Charley in Year 8 would recommend this read. She wrote “The plot is exceptional, you could feel the emotion at every twist and turn, the drama was amplified as the four characters relived their secret past. A great piece of historical fiction”
The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually to the most outstanding illustrator from the nominated books.
The students were delighted at the opportunity to explore illustrated reads, choosing a different book every week. They marvelled at 'The Marvels' by Brian Selznick, but their eventual winner was the illustrated version of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' by Jim Kay.
Every week the group were set a creative task and asked to write a review of the book. Everyone welcomed the challenge and produced some exceptional artwork which is displayed in the library.
The winner of the Award was the book entitled ‘There Is a Tribe of Kids’ by Lane Smith. Bradley in Year 8 had his review of the winner published in the 'WRD about Books' magazine published by Peters Books. He wrote “The mottled effect of the pictures are beautiful and the book is made to such high quality… the book is very emotional and expresses the struggle to fit in. It is truly a great book.”
All students in Years 7, 8 and 9 are expected to read for at least 20 minutes every day as part of their English homework. Accelerated Reader is the software provided by Renaissance Learning which is specifically designed to help students learn to read.
There is an assessment process, Star Reading, which provides a starting level at which to read and enjoy success when completing a comprehension-style quiz on each book.
Students earn points as they achieve success. Each book has a points value and students are credited pro-rata on their score. These points are based on the substance of each book; a quick easy read may have 0.5 – 1 point, a more substantial read may be worth 10-15 points. We find that this helps engage the reluctant reader who may be daunted by a lengthy book, and it encourages a reader to gain more points.
Personal targets are often set and rewards are given for achieving these. Rewards are available for the students who achieve their personal points target and a raffle prize is available for every class, with tickets allocated as students complete their reading record and pass a quiz. We find that the competitive element of the programme engages and motivates students and our readers grow in enthusiasm, confidence and reading skill.
You can access Accelerated Reader here: https://ukhosted16.renlearn.co.uk/1938297
Please click on the documents below to learn more about engaging your child as a reader, and to read a fantastic book review written by one of our students!
The Last Word
The Doncaster Book Award was a great success and students from The Last Word reading group thoroughly enjoyed this event. You can read students' comments about the event below.
The guests on the sofa are The Mayor of Doncaster, Liz Million (illustrator) and Philip Ardagh (author) with our students from Year 7 and 8 who are members of The Last Word.
Liz Million on stage
Olivia asks Liz to sign her shaker!
Grimm and Co.
Our thirty top Accelerated Reader students were recently rewarded with a trip to Grimm and Co., a magical apothecary in the heart of Rotherham. They attended a comedy writing workshop and had a fabulous time.
Eleanor wrote of the experience:
Magical mystery swept through me as I discovered this amazing new place!
Every step I took and corner turned I embarked on a new adventure.
Grimm & Co is the top place to discover your inner love for books and the writing workshop gave me new inspiration for comedy writing.