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Introducing the Somerville Library

Date Posted: Tuesday 09 November 2021

For over a decade, Ashford School’s Learning Resource Centre provided a wide range of material to support teaching and learning and stimulate intellectual curiosity.  Situated at the very heart of the School, it was a place every pupil passed through at some point each day.  But time takes its toll, and the LRC, though still as full of useful resources as ever, had become tired and (dare we say?) rather drab.  So we regenerated.  The Learning Resource Centre has become the Somerville Library.

Over Summer 2021, our amazing maintenance team set to work to transform the three-storey space into a light, bright and vibrant study area.  Informative signage directs pupils and staff around the collection, from fiction and media on the ground floor to non-fiction on the first floor.  The Sixth Form study area on the second floor has been completely redesigned, with individual carrels replacing the old tables.  Pupils have welcomed the change, saying that these high-sided desks have improved their focus as they work.

Infographics highlight Ashford School’s Learning Habits, while the building’s heritage as a former boarding house is celebrated by a blue plaque and a portrait of the mathematician and scientist Mary Somerville, after whom the building is named.

Class visits occur regularly as teachers harness the expertise of the Librarians.  Pupils are encouraged to explore the collection and deepen their understanding beyond the basic requirements of the curriculum.  Yet the Somerville Library is more than a place of academic study.  Reading for pleasure is crucial for wellbeing, and pupils and staff make good use of our extensive range of books, graphic novels, audiobooks and ebooks.

Libraries are living learning environments, always developing, and the Somerville Library is no exception.  We build and improve the collection continuously, adding books recommended by teachers to support the curriculum, books requested by pupils and staff, books which entertain and books which intrigue us and challenge us to think for ourselves.

The Somerville Library is still at the very heart of Ashford School.  Every pupil passes through it at some point each day.  We hope they will be inspired.