Our Learning Resource Centre (LRC) is a vibrant and exciting space. It is run by our wonderful librarian Debbie Kennedy, who brings with her 17 years of experience in schools across Essex and Kent.
From comfortable seating to bean bags, there are plenty of spots for students to relax and unwind with magazines, books, and newspapers. We currently subscribe to 15 different magazines including Top Gear, Match, Lonely Planet, Good Food, and Gardener’s World (many chosen by faculty members to support learning within their subjects). We also have almost 9000 books on our catalogue, including fiction and non-fiction titles. We have a policy of ensuring new books are constantly purchased to expand the range on offer.
Technology is not forgotten either, with computers and iPads available so that students can complete their Accelerated Reader quizzes, work on homework, and play educational games. There are also a number of titles available on our Kindle e-reader.
The LRC is also the centre of major literacy and cultural festivals across the academy. In previous years, the LRC has played host to the Chinese New Year Festival, Diwali Festival, Read-a-thon, and Create-a-thon. Additionally, a Christmas Market was held in December 2011, complete with Santa readings and different faculties creating items to sell.
In December 2012, the LRC was host to the Tolkien Festival to celebrate the release of ‘The Hobbit’ in cinemas and the life and work of J.R.R. Tolkien. There was a ‘Big Read’ of ‘The Hobbit’ with over 100 students participating, quizzes and games in the LRC at break times with 16 teams competing for movie vouchers, a ‘Hobbit’ inspired menu in the restaurant, and Tolkien inspired activities happening in every subject. There was also a Fan Fiction Competition for KS3 and KS4, with over 30 entries. The stories ranged from a tale of a fairy trying to gain her wings, to a novella based on ‘Zelda’.
In March 2014, the LRC played host to a week-long festival called Comic Con, which included tutor time quizzes, comic art competition, and comic book workshops with professional artist Kev Sutherland, famous for his ‘Beano’ comic strip. The event concluded on World Book Day, which saw many members of staff and students dress up as iconic superheroes and famous literary characters.