At Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, we have two libraries, both filled with age-appropriate books to foster a lifelong love of reading. The junior school library is available to pupils from Nursery to Year 6, whilst the senior school library is available for Years 7 to 13 pupils.
Together, our libraries hold over 25,000 titles of both fiction and non-fiction, which are continually reviewed. New publications are added throughout the academic year to support the school’s curriculum, and to fulfill the needs and interests of our pupils. Our libraries also carry a growing collection of Arabic language and other foreign language titles. The collections can be accessed and searched, using online catalogues, which are accessed through the VLE, the school’s online learning platform, or through the use of dedicated tablets and computers at each library. The libraries subscribe to various magazines and online databases, which help further extend the collections, giving senior school pupils access to a wider range of subjects to help with research projects and their Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), an important part of the Sixth Form curriculum.
Pupils in Pre-Prep and Prep School attend timetabled lessons in the junior school library, every week, as part of the schools’ curriculum and can visit the library in their free time throughout the day. Pupils in Pre-Prep have story time with the librarian, which may tie in with a topic they are studying or simply to help instil an appreciation of literature or promote one of our schools’ values. As pupils progress into the Prep School, they are supported and encouraged with their reading choices. This allows them to become more knowledgeable about the topics covered in their classes and gives them a chance to discover their own personal interests. The libraries are staffed with full-time librarians that are available to make sure that the pupils get help in choosing and finding reading materials that are appropriate to their ability. They are ably assisted by our team of pupil Library Assistants, who are on hand at break times to inspire their peers with their enthusiasm for reading. Pupils in Year 3 to Year 8, take part in Star Reading assessments, which is part of the Accelerated Reader programme (AR). The AR program is designed to help students become stronger and more confident readers and uses a quiz, taken periodically, to determine the “just right” text difficulty level for each pupil.
Pupils in Years 7 and 8 visit the senior school library every two weeks to select books of their choice for leisure reading and are encouraged to choose books within their reading range using the Accelerated Reader program. Pupils in Year 9 and above have access to the senior library throughout the day. They often visit during break periods to do prep work, check out books, or read in the library. Additionally, basic research skills are taught by the senior school librarian, in conjunction with the EPQ team, to the Sixth Form pupils. This is designed to help them efficiently and effectively search for and evaluate online resources, in order to identify reliable information and differentiate that from misleading information found online.
Librarians also organise various programmes throughout the school year, among these are The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals shadowing scheme, the Awesome Book Awards Reading Challenge, the Ramadan Reading initiative to celebrate Arab and Muslim authors and culture during the holy month of Ramadan and our annual World Book Day celebrations, when all pupils and staff come to school dressed as characters from their favourite books and the day is spent on activities related to children’s literature. The school librarians are often involved in organising author visits and, throughout the year, host book fairs to keep our readers well-stocked and happy during school breaks. All of these events and more help our pupils find pleasure and excitement in reading.