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Our aims

  • To promote a love of reading in all our students.
  • To create effective independent learners and researchers.
  • To encourage students to pose questions and find answers for themselves.
  • To provide a dynamic environment in which students can become both readers and researchers.

Keep up to date by following the library on our twitter feed @gbhs_library

GBHS Library offers

  • A wide range of fiction for all ages and abilities to promote literacy and create an enthusiasm for reading
  • An extensive range of information books, plus computer access to support all areas and levels of the curriculum and stimulate individual interests
  • A Sixth Form gallery for private study which has subject-based resources, computers and University and College Prospectuses.
  • An outdoor seating area for reading when the weather permits.

Items of particular interest

To encourage a lifelong love of reading, the Library holds regular clubs and events for the students.  These include:

  • Holding regular lunchtime book discussion groups for students and staff, a debating club and a scrabble league for the students.
  • We hold one off events promoting books such as ‘book launch’ events for new books, Harry Potter Night, Cafe Starbooks and more.
  • Participating in the Essex Book Awards.  This year we have over seventy students taking part.  We invite the shortlisted authors to speak to our students and often invite other schools to join us.
  • Every year the school takes part in World Book Day, a day aiming to celebrate reading and encourage others to read more books, here in the library we provide a range of activities for the occasion.  All years are welcome to take part in these contests or quizzes.  One of the most popular competitions with the students is the ‘Decorate your tutor door as a book’ competition.
  • The Sports Readers Breakfast Club has been running since 2013 and is designed to allow older leaders in the school to work with carefully identified young pupils on their literacy skills through reading, spelling and comprehension tasks. Sports Readers takes place Monday to Thursday mornings before school, where pupils have breakfast together before working together to improve their literacy skills. Sports Readers has shown consistently, over the time it has run, to increase reading, comprehension and spelling ages of pupils taking part significantly.
    If you would like to find out more about Sports Readers please contact Mrs C Hawkings, Senior Librarian on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To help with curriculum development:

  • We organise author visits giving students the opportunity to listen and talk to successful published authors.  Having question and answer sessions with the authors, and attending workshops led by them, encourages students to read more books and help them with their story writing skills.  Recent authors include Marcus Alexander and Dan Smith.
  • We have inter-curriculum events where we bring speakers in to talk to students about topics covered in more than one subject.  We will shortly be having a visit from a representative from the Chelmsford Mosque and the Reverend Dave Tomlinson to talk to students in R.E.  Dave is a vicar from Saint Luke’s Church, Holloway. He has also written books including; The Post-Evangelical, How to Be a Bad Christian, and Black Sheep and Prodigals. He is also a regular guest on the BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought on the Chris Evans Show. We have also had John Townsend visit, author of science books.
  • We lead lessons to introduce students to the library, introduce students to Eclipse. NET and also a variety of lessons to develop research and independent learning skills.

Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education through the Library

The Library are proud to offer a range of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural experiences through a wide variety of extra-curricular activities.  Competitions and clubs are offered to allow students to develop and showcase their skills, knowledge and experiences through SMSC in the Library.

Social Development

  • At our lower school and upper school book groups, students can express their opinions about books and have to listen to others.  They also decide the book(s) to be read for the next meeting.
  • Pupil librarians help with Chatterbooks (a primary school age book discussion group) developing leadership and communication skills.  They also devise, create and lead lunchtime activities once a term as promotional events for the Library.

Moral Development

  • Our pupil librarians have to deal with their peers on a daily basis to advise about correct library usage, resources and expectations.
  • Pupils have access to a range of daily newspapers and magazines allowing them to keep up to date with current issues and foreign affairs.

Spiritual Development

  • We purchase a wide variety of fiction and information books for the Library, including books with a multi-cultural and current issues focus, eg ‘Hidden’ by Miriam Halahmy a book dealing with asylum seekers, and ‘Wonder’ by RJ Ralacio, about a boy with a severe facial disfigurement starting school and how others relate to him.
  • Displays in the Library are used to create a positive approach towards issues, eg for anti-bullying week we had a display on developing relationships and how to deal with potential situations.
  • During anti-bullying week, students wrote poetry dealing with this topic.

Cultural Development

  • We arrange visits for students to give talks and workshops on a wide variety of issues.  We have recently had the poet Adisa visit who talks about multi-cultural Britain and Jamaica.
  • We also have the Holocaust Education Trust visit to give talks about the Holocaust and its effects, students have also been lucky enough to have had talks from a Holocaust survivor.
  • We occasionally invite local secondary schools to join us for events, e.g. Dave Cryer came to launch this year’s Essex Book Awards and we had three other schools join us.  This allowed our students to see other students’ attitudes to reading and work collaboratively to produce drama playlets.