School Libraries

From the Nursery School through to the Sixth Form, the libraries at Ratcliffe College offer attractive, well-resourced areas which not only meet the academic needs of students, but also encourage reading for pleasure. They offer a range of resources and provide invaluable support for students throughout their education at Ratcliffe. All students have the opportunity to visit the library areas regularly and are shown how to make effective use of their resources.

In the Nursery and Preparatory schools, the libraries are bright, lively areas which provide a focal point for group and individual reading and offer access to a broad range of information resources. In the Senior School, the Emery Library and Sixth Form Centre Libraries are open and staffed throughout the school day, and into the evening for boarding students, providing an excellent base for whole-class or small group use and independent study. Students regularly use the libraries in their free time to study, complete homework, choose resources, and to read and relax. Students are able to access and borrow over 14,000 books, periodicals and multimedia resources, and the plentiful ICT provision allows access to both the Internet and subscription-based online databases.

Library Facilities at Ratcliffe College

We offer a range of activities that support the development of students’ information skills and help them foster a love of reading.

The library skills programme starts in the Preparatory School, with each class using the library once a week to read, borrow books or look for information. Class teachers and the library assistant, Mrs Deacon, guide students in the use of these resources. From the spring term onwards, Year 6 students use the Emery Library as part of their transition to the Senior School.


In the Senior School, the importance of good practice in research skills is emphasized to students in Years 7 to 9 through a cross-curricular programme developing key skills such as planning a project, finding information, note-taking, plagiarism, and referencing. These skills are reinforced at KS4 and KS5 through the subject teachers and through study skills sessions for 6th Form students. Good practice to avoid plagiarism is encouraged from an early stage, with strict sanctions in place for instances discovered. To read the school policy on this important issue, please use this link: Ratcliffe College Plagiarism Policy


A vital role of the library is to foster a love of reading by providing a wide range of fiction to challenge and extend our students’ reading choices. To help students develop confidence in their reading choices, all students in Years 7 to 9 have one English lesson per fortnight based in the library, with activities such as reading discussion groups and individual book projects designed to help them explore their responses to a text. New book reviews are advertised via plasma screens around the school and recommended reading lists are available. Link: Key Stage 3 Recommended Reads

Extra-Curricular Activities

Outside the classroom, the library is a welcoming, comfortable and attractive space that students enjoy using in their morning break and lunchtimes. At these times, the library is a hive of activity with students using the area to study, complete homework, choose resources, and to read and relax.   It is also a focal point for a number of book-related activities such as quizzes, treasure hunts and competitions which are planned to highlight special book-related events such as World Book Day.


As part of the extra-curricular programme, the English department staff and the Librarian offer three Book Clubs across all age ranges for students in Years 7-9, Years 10 and 11 and one for Staff and Sixth Form students. These groups meet once a fortnight and give students the opportunity to engage in lively discussions on a chosen title. In addition, able students in Year 9 are offered the opportunity to become part of the Carnegie Medal Shadowing group, which meets once a week in the summer term to read, discuss and select a winner from the 8 shortlisted titles each year.

Students with a particular interest in the library have the opportunity to have an input into new ideas for activities and future direction by volunteering to become part of the library committee which meets about 4 times a year.


Mrs Margaret Williams, Librarian