Welcome to the Jean Duffield Library – our vibrant hub where learning meets fun and students are encouraged to embark on exciting literary adventures surrounded by an incredible collection of books and digital resources.
The ground floor of our library is a haven for recreational reading enthusiasts where readers can immerse themselves in a world of contemporary and classic fiction titles, graphic novels that ignite their imagination, and a treasure trove of journals and magazines.
Upstairs on the first floor, we have a bright and spacious area where over 80 students can be accommodated in a tranquil space to work on projects and homework. Our extensive collection of non-fiction books spans a wide range of topics and students can choose to work at individual workstations or take a laptop and settle at a study table. The first floor is also the perfect place concentrate on reading around academic subjects or indulge in researching personal interests and hobbies.
Throughout the day students can take advantage of printing, copying, scanning and even 3D printing. Students in need of essential stationery can purchase items from our shop using the school-wide cashless payment system. Our library management system, eBooks and digital magazines are easily accessible from iPads and workstations within the library during school hours, as well as from the comfort of home on any web-enabled device.
"The Library staff are always kind and easy to talk to. They make the library welcoming and a brilliant space for to enjoy books and reading."Year 8 student
Our library is run by Mrs Pocock-Bell and Miss Chriti who are always ready to answer your queries, provide research advice, and recommend captivating books. They run and support an array of clubs and activities to keep students engaged and entertained throughout the year. There are lively book clubs, tailored for different year groups, where students discuss their favourite reads and participate in fun activities and games. These clubs are perfect for forging friendships and sharing literary passions with like-minded people. There are also adventurous roleplaying sessions and a weekly board games club that caters to all year groups as well as drop-in craft sessions for knitting, crochet and origami.
"I really enjoyed dressing up for World Book Day. The activities were fun and I can’t wait to see what the librarians plan for next year!"
Year 6 student
"It was fun to test my reading knowledge during the quiz. I loved the wide range of questions and working together as a team."
Year 7 student
Throughout the year the department organises thrilling author events, enlightening talks, and exciting competitions. We celebrate national Poetry Day and World Book Day and mark important occasions like Black History Month, Stephen Lawrence Day, Disability Awareness Month, and LGBT History Month.
Over the past two decades St Helen’s has joined with secondary schools in the Abingdon area to shadow the Carnegie Medal for Writing, a prestigious award honouring the best writing for children and young people in the UK. Students in Year 7 and Year 8 come together to read and discuss the shortlisted books during Trinity term with weekly meetings and three joint events with partner schools, including a fun Carnegie Tea, a challenging quiz, and the Joint Abingdon Schools’ Forum. The scheme encourages students to discover new authors and broaden their reading horizons whilst and making friends along the way.
Finally, there is an annual opportunity for talented readers in Year 7 and Year 8 to showcase their reading prowess in the National Reading Champions Quiz and students in the Junior department are encouraged to take a part in national literary competitions such as the 500 Words competiton and the Wicked Writers Essay competition.