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Photo by Andrea Cosgrove

Learning Commons

Nicole Sowman/Melissa Olliver —

It would be fair to say that 2020 has been a real roller coaster of a year, not only for our akonga (students), but for everyone within our wider community.

The Learning Commons continues to be a popular place for the students to create, learn and share. There is a mad rush at lunchtime for the issuing desk. We have purchased a wide variety of books and reading resources to support the curriculum and reading for pleasure. Our library class bookings this year have far exceeded any other year. We have also noticed a real increase in the number of books that students are reading and requesting. Our school librarians (Nicole and Melissa) enjoy purchasing new books on a regular basis as well as keeping up to date with what is popular amongst everyone. We are also very fortunate to have a large number of student librarians who also help to keep this area tidy and well run. Their input into the 'author of the week' and displays showcasing New Zealand curriculum events are eye catching and informative.

Our literacy and board/card games continue to be well used. It is wonderful to see the students using these resources positively as an alternative to burying their heads in devices. Due to the high demand and volume of use, we have recently added to this collection. We often witness quite intense competition, chess and scrabble challenges.

Later in the year we had the privilege of participating in the WORD Read Aloud Festival. This was an inspiring event with the opportunity for 2 groups of students to experience award winning authors and illustrators reading out loud. The authors and illustrators explain their journeys and processes in creating award winning stories and graphic novels. This experience was insightful and inspiring for every student that attended.

We also had an award winning author and illustrator, Dr. Gavin Bishop visit in the last term of this year. What a mesmerizing experience for our students. His visit had a huge impact on many students, inspiring and encouraging them to create their own books.

Our fortnightly book club meetings continue to be a success, with numbers increasing year on year. Students come to share their love of reading and there is a real sense of excitement and enthusiasm when they can share their latest reads. We also get an insight to what is popular and this helps us to purchase new books that keep these passions and interests alive. A large number of titles have been added to the graphic novels section and the general fiction has been expanded with more titles to support NCEA reading requirements. Extra fiction on a theme such as utopian/dystopian societies or fiction from a different cultural viewpoint has also been purchased. Next year the library will have a variety of magazine subscriptions available to encourage reading engagement.

We are so fortunate here at Hornby High School to have a library/learning commons area that is the central hub for supporting every student. This area brings people and information together and helps to improve student outcomes. Students have the independence to choose their own reading material and to find resources that help them to develop their interests and strengths at their own pace.