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To provide all of our students with access to an independent learning space, an area to access both physical and digital learning resources to support their educational journey – as well as offer an environment in which to relax and socialize, to play and engage the imagination. An area for our students and guided by the needs of the children we are here to serve.


Our new library space (the LRC) was part of the CORE Trust £4 million development for Rockwood Academy, which opened to students in September 2021 – with our new Library space opening for the first time at the beginning of October 2021, offering students access to a comprehensive ‘fiction’ and ‘subject-specific’ catalogue of texts – with new materials being selected by both students and staff to create a well-rounded inventory to engage and support all with reading, both for academic attainment and reading for pleasure.  As well as offering computer access, the space also provides both workspace seating, as well as ‘relaxed’ spaces for students to rest and read – offering over 18,000 books (some signed by the authors themselves) and online materials for pupils from 8am until 4pm weekly. The space is also used regularly to host visiting speakers – from writers to careers – to meet and work with our students.


The LRC is open daily at break times and lunch, as well as both before and after school.

Morning = 8:10am to 8:30am

Break time = 11am to 11:20am

Lunch times = 1:25pm to 2:00pm

After-school = 3:10pm to 4pm.

The LRC is open to everyone in the morning and after-school, but to access the space at break and lunch time, students must apply for a pass.  Application forms can be collected from the library and need to be completed by both the student and a parent / carer.  We ask that this document is read completely before it is signed and returned (passes will be available for collection 24 hours after submitting this form).


All students receive a library account when they enroll at Rockwood Academy.  This account allows all students to take out up to four books at a time, for a loan period of three-weeks – with ‘return’ dates stamped inside the books, to allow students to know when a book is due for return.  If the student has not finished the book by the due date, they are welcome to bring it to the library, where we can renew the book a further two times (for a total loan period of nine weeks).  We also offer a selection of DVDs, linked to key school texts and student interests, which can also be loaned out for up to three weeks from our LRC.


All students are welcome to access our LRC and are expected to follow the school expectations for conduct and behavior.  If a student is in breach of these expectations, they will receive a warning.  A total of three warnings will be issued over the course of the academic year.  If a student exceeds this, their LRC pass will be withdrawn for the remainder of the academic year (students will be able to re-apply in September).

Regarding the borrowing of resources, all students are required to be responsible for any items loaned from the LRC – including the safe return of these items on, or before, the agreed return date.  In the event of loss or serious damage to any loaned item, we kindly request that is the responsibility of the parent / carer to either provide a replacement copy of the item or assist the school by covering the cost of any replacements.  Thank you.


As part of our daily running, the LRC offers our students many opportunities for support and participation – with ‘Games Clubs’ taking place during lunch times and ‘Homework Club’ after-school – these clubs are open to all students.  We also have a specially run ‘Chess Club’ every Monday lunch time, supported by our incredible PE staff.

To encourage student engagement with independent reading, we run various promotions throughout the year, linking to areas of our diverse ‘Fiction’ section:

October: ‘Halloween Promotion’ – linked to our ‘Supernatural’ genre section.

December: ‘Festive Reads’ – linking to our ‘Fantasy’ genre section.

February: ‘Valentines’ – linking to our ‘Romance’ genre section.

July: ‘Summer Adventures’ – linked to our ‘Action’ genre section.

All promotions are supported with prizes and rewards and are open to all students to take part in.  We also run competitions, such as our ‘Poetry Writing’ competition, as part of World Poetry Day, through our partnership with the National Literacy Trust.

The LRC also works closely with the National Literacy Trust as part of World Book Day in March.  As well as giving away ‘World Book Day’ vouchers to all students, the LRC also provides library visitors with free books from the NLT.  In March 2023, we gave away 150 free books to our students – with further free books being awarded as part of our regular competitions and student submission of book reviews.

We also work to support ‘Reading for Good’, a charity that helps children in hospitals with their reading – raising money for this worthwhile cause as part of a yearly readathon.


Medusa: The Girl Behind the Myth by Jessie Burton

Needle by Patrice Lawrence

Rules For Vampires by Alex Foulkes

Rockwood Reads Shadowing Group Magazine 2022

Rockwood Reads Shadowing Group Magazine 2023


As part of the CORE Academies Trust, we are keen to promote reading to all our students – outside of the key texts that make up the curriculum content.  To this end, the Trust staff have created the ‘CORE Canon’, a list of 31 book titles we recommend to students as important and enjoyable reads:

  1. Anne Frank – The Diary of Anne Frank
  2. Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray
  3. Roald Dahl – Complete Collection
  4. Markus Zuzak – The Book Thief
  5. Harper Lee – To Kill a Mockingbird
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings Series
  7. Yuval Noah Harari – Sapiens
  8. Meera Syal – Anita and Me
  9. John Green – The Fault in Our Stars
  10. Khaled Hosseini – A Thousand Splendid Suns
  11. Phillip Pullman – His Dark Materials Series
  12. John Agard – Collected Works
  13. George Orwell – 1984
  14. Simon Armitage – Collected Works
  15. J.K. Rowling – The Harry Potter Series
  16. Patrick Ness – A Monster Calls
  17. Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights 
  18. Malorie Blackman – Noughts and Crosses Series
  19. Angie Thomas – The Hate You Give
  20. Willy Russell – Our Day Out
  21. Kathryn Stockett – The Help
  22. Robert Louis Stevenson – The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  23. Benjamin Zephaniah – Collected Works
  24. F.Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby
  25. Mary Shelley – Frankenstein
  26. Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games Series
  27. Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale
  28. Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice
  29. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Sherlock Holmes Series
  30. Charles Dickens – Oliver Twist
  31. William Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet

All titles are available from the LRC and promoted throughout the school – why not loan one and write a review? (prizes available).


As part of our school ethos, we are also committed to student engagement and participation – encouraging shared ownership of the LRC space through our involvement of student librarians – or ‘Library Ambassadors’.  These students not only play a key role in the daily running of the LRC space, but also help to shape it and influence how it runs to support students – such as providing book reviews and recommendations, helping to select book titles to appeal to their peers.

“I find the library to be fun and has an enormous range of books and resources.  Personally, I enjoy helping people find the book they are looking for or giving them recommendations for books they might enjoy”.

  • Arsalan (Year 10) Student Library Ambassador.

If you are in Year 8-to-10 and would like to apply for this role, please visit the LRC and pick up an application form (new members are asked to submit applications in September, with selection and training taking place in October).


The following are useful links to encourage reading outside of school:

Birmingham Library Association:

Gutenberg Online Books:

National Literacy Trust:

BookTrust (World Book Day):

The Yoto Carnegies ‘Shadowing’ Reading Competition:

The Reader (Reading Support Organisation):