• Reading is a key part of school culture.
  • The library includes banks of PCs to aid independent study and classroom learning.
  • Meet the Author events, such as this one with Anthony McGowan, are very popular!

“You want weapons? We’re in a library. Books are the best weapon in the world. This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!” — The Doctor, ‘Doctor Who’

At Isleworth & Syon, we feel that reading regularly is crucial for our students’ continued and all-round development. As such, it is vital that we have top-class facilities. The library consists of a well-stocked collection of books and digital resources, with 56 computers for general use located in two distinct areas, a soft seating area for silent reading and 2 areas of tables for individual or quiet group study.

The library is open to all students before school, during break and lunchtime, and after school. Please check the home page of the library catalogue for specific library opening times as this may change over the course of the year. During opening times students can exchange books, use the comfortable seating area for silent reading, complete accelerated reader quizzes or use the computers or table areas for PPA, coursework and independent study.

All staff and students automatically become members of the library when they join the school and may borrow up to three non-fiction and three fiction books at a time, for a loan period of two weeks. Books can be renewed after two weeks if not reserved by another person. Fines are not currently charged for late-returned books but email reminders will be sent out and students will not be able to make any further loans until books are renewed or returned. If the book is not returned after a certain period of time, there will be a replacement charge.

As a library, we aim to:

  • Provide a wide range of information in text and electronic form as a support to teaching and learning;
  • Provide a safe and comfortable learning environment in which students can deepen their knowledge, carry out independent study and develop their information and research skills;
  • Foster a love of books and a positive attitude to reading.
“Ready, Respectful, Safe”
The library operates a code of conduct to ensure that the space remains a conducive environment for productivity and learning. Students must:

  • Put their bags in the racks provided;
  • Not consume food or beverages anywhere in the library;
  • Use the ICT facilities for study only, not for playing games or leisure purposes;
  • Remember that the library is a quiet area to work;
  • Respect other users at all times.

Those not following the Library Code of Conduct will be asked to leave and failure to do so will lead to sanctions in line with the school’s behaviour policy.

The Accessit Web App enables students to view our library catalogue online.

Students are encouraged to use this to search for books and websites which will help them with their PPA, coursework and independent research, as well as finding books to read for pleasure, including a large collection of e-books.

Accessit also enables staff and students to reserve books which they can then collect from the library; watch author videos; catch up with library news; view dashboards for different subjects with related books, articles and videos; access reading lists; read and write their own book reviews; and create wish lists. To do this, students must login using their school username and password through the SSO bar (single sign on). At the top of the landing page, students will find a video which gives simple instructions as to how to get the most out of our library website.

Accelerated Reader 2

Click on the button to login to Accelerated Reader.

Isleworth & Syon School uses the Accelerated Reader programme as part of its mission both to improve literacy and promote reading for pleasure. Students in Years 7 and 8 take an online reading test at the beginning of every term to establish their reading level and are encouraged to read books they will enjoy. After finishing a book, they can do an online quiz which checks understanding and gives them points towards their individual reading target. Staff monitor their progress throughout the year and reward students who meet their targets.

We expect students to read for at least twenty minutes a day, and encourage parents/carers to support their child by showing an interest in what they are reading.

The library organises regular visits from authors and storytellers, under the ‘Meet the Author’ banner. These visits are designed to promote the importance of reading within the school and inspire the students to undertake independent reading outside of the classroom. Through the Hounslow School Library Service, we also meet authors and attend workshops along with other Hounslow schools at a central location.

So far, the school has been visited by Irish horror author Darren Shan; explorer, adventurer and writer Matt Dickinson; the thrill-seeking author of the ‘Keeper in the Realms’ series, Marcus Alexander; celebrated author Nigel Hinton; writer of the ‘Young Sherlock Holmes’ series, Andrew Lane; winner of the 2000 Blue Peter Book Award, Alan Gibbons; and esteemed writer Anthony McGowan.

During these sessions, students are given a talk by the author, who describes their writing process and their careers, often giving the students helpful tips. The boys are then allowed the opportunity to ask questions. Often, the authors also take part in a book signing.

These events have thus far proved very popular amongst students, who love hearing about the process of crafting a novel. We look forward to inviting more authors into school over the coming year.

Staff and students are now able to borrow a wide range of ebooks through our digital platform in addition to physical books from our school library. They can borrow 2 ebooks at any one time, and these will automatically return after 2 weeks unless renewed or returned sooner.

There are also settings that can be customised to enable students who suffer with reading difficulties to enjoy reading without specialised equipment or books.

To download the App, search “ePlatform” in the App store and download. Click on the app and then you will then need to search for the library which will be Isleworth & Syon School. Once you start typing it will bring up the school on the list.

Click the 3 little lines in the top left corner and select sign in. Enter your school username and password to sign in and then search for a book to read. Using the App, the books will be temporarily downloaded to your device so an internet connection is not needed once the book has been loaned to read, great for travelling.