Because literacy levels are low at my school we make a great effort to ensure that reading materials are attractive. For example, we look for covers that are appealing as well as subject matter that interests pupils.
Recently I encouraged 14 Year 7 students to devise a questionnaire to find out about pupils' favourite pastimes, such as music. We will look at the answers together and see how they can be reflected in the school's book buying.
I had previously compiled a questionnaire of my own and found it created more interest in the library, so I hope the students' one will create even more interest as well as providing them with a stimulating exercise.
Certainly they are very enthusiastic and are spending a lot of their tutor periods designing and discussing the questionnaire's content. The questionnaire will also draw pupils' attention to facilities offered by the library. For example, two of the questions are: "Did you know there is a homework club in the library?" and "Did you know we have magazines?"
Our storytelling sessions have also been very successful. We have been getting between 20 and 40 students - mainly Year 7 and 8 but even have some Year 10 and 11s - attending nearly every week.
Dan Corcoran, librarian, Addington High School, Croydon