Tel: 01993 823303

The School Library

The School Library is run by qualified librarian Mrs Count (MSc LIS)   

and by Assistant Librarian, Mrs Howard.  It is open at the following times during term-time:

Monday – Thursday:  8.00am – 4.30pm

Friday:  8.30am – 3.15pm

The Library is open before school from 8:00am (Monday – Thursday), at break, at lunch, and after school to all students, and to Sixth Form students for independent study during undirected time.

Library Mission Statement

Burford School Library is a welcoming, positive, and dynamic space where pupils are encouraged and empowered in their reading and learning. We aim to serve students and staff at Burford School with fiction and non-fiction for reading for pleasure, as well as materials for wider reading, curriculum support, skills-building, and professional and personal development.

Research skills are actively promoted with support provided for independent research and the Extended Project Qualification. Beyond reading, we aim to build community and promote student and staff well-being through special programs, clubs, and events. We are an inclusive space where all library users can feel safe to read, learn, relax, and explore their interests.


‘Oliver’ Library Catalogue

Students are currently able to request library items using the ‘Oliver’ Library Catalogue at:

Username: Students should put in their username: Student’s computer login number (e.g. 20519)

Password: First four letters of surname (first letter capitalised) + first two letters of first name

+ the two digits of the day of the month the student was born (e.g. 03 or 27)

For example, the password for Hermione Granger, born 19 September, would be Granghe19

Once items are pulled from the shelf, students will receive a notification e-mail with instructions for collection.

Library Resources

There are three main areas of the Library set up for reading, research and revision sessions and class sessions. We have a huge variety of fiction for everyone from Year 7 to Sixth Form and Staff, and a vibrant Non-Fiction section packed full of information and fascinating resources for reading for pleasure, skills-building, and wider reading. There is also access to texts on Kindles, magazines, and newspapers, which are kept in support of curriculum topics as well as for general interest.

Students may search for books or information via any computer using the ‘Oliver’ library management system. They are also able to check their own records for current loans and both reserve and renew books this way. The Library also has its own computer area with access to 21 workstations.

Library Activities and Events

We encourage students to join in our many reading-related events and lunch-time activities.  These include:

  • Regular author visits
  • Book-based competitions
  • A range of clubs including:
    • Creative Writing Club
    • Student Librarian Training
    • Chess Club
  • Burford Short Story Competition
  • An annual Reading Week filled with an array of fun book-related events, including a World Book Day celebration.
  • Participation in the Oxfordshire Book Award, which runs from September to August, with attendance at the OBA ceremony to meet many top UK children’s authors.
  • Participation in Shadowing the Carnegie Medal with attendance at Carnegie Day – a day of reviews, presentations, discussions and celebrations with students from other West Oxfordshire secondary schools.
  • Book fairs and book sales


Accelerated Reader

Seven years ago the school invested in the Accelerated Reader program.  This is a proven reading program to help progress students’ literacy level and an incentive to encourage reading for Year 7 and 8 students.  Burford is targeting Year 7 students, who will be reading for 20 minutes each day at school.  Students sit a short quiz to establish their reading level and then select a book from the Library which is at the right level for them; something that challenges their current skills, but not to the extent of being off-putting. Whenever they read and finish a book, students sit a test to assess they have understood what they have read.   If they achieve 85% or above, they can then move on to the next level.  Their names are displayed on the Star Reader board and entered into a draw to win an Amazon token. Forms compete against each other to win the Accelerated Reader Cup.  Each year, the top 30 students who have read the most words for their level are invited to a pizza party in the library. This has proved to be a great motivator.


Library Skills Lessons

Year 7 Library Lessons

Library skills lessons are offered to all Year 7 students by the Librarians.  Students learn about fiction and non-fiction, as well as how to use the Dewey Decimal System and our Library Management System, ‘Oliver’. Lessons are normally completed before the October half term.

Year 8 Library Lessons

Each year we hold monthly library lessons for Year 8 students to continue to foster the enthusiasm for reading and the Library that started in Year 7.


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