Resources and Support
The Library is an important and valuable resource at St John's. It aims to:
- support the whole curriculum by providing a balance of book and non-book resources and software appropriate to the School’s needs
- support and develop information literacy and research skills
- facilitate and promote reading for enjoyment and pleasure
- provide an atmosphere in which private study, group research and personal enquiry can flourish together.
Library lessons are timetabled fortnightly for Fourth Form pupils in conjunction with the English Department. Other subject teachers across all year groups are encouraged to bring their classes to the Library to use the resources. The Library also offers guidance on research strategies for the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). Open Monday to Friday (8.30am to 5.30pm), library staff are available throughout the day to provide help with information, reading suggestions, online resources and research.
Whilst technology does not replace traditional teaching methods, when used intelligently it can complement and enhance them in exciting and innovative ways. There are many ways in which technology can be added to lessons to develop critical thinking, enhance pupils’ content knowledge and enable pupils to learn in a self-directed way. The key to the successful use of technology in teaching and learning is to integrate any new tool with good pedagogy, ensuring there is real educational value and not just novelty value.
We have invested significant time and planning in to the use of technology at St John’s and have introduced a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy so that every child has their own device in school. We recommend all pupils to have a Windows 10 touch screen laptop, such as the Microsoft Surface Go 2. Our pupils utilise Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and Class Notebook in lessons and SharePoint as their virtual learning environment. Pupils are given lessons on the use of all major Microsoft programmes and also in digital citizenship. When combined with single-sign-on solutions and cloud computing, we have established a firm foundation for using technology effectively. Having one-to-one digital devices at all times allows for greater flexibility in teaching and improves continuity beyond the classroom for our pupils.
There are three significant points of feedback that pupils and parents receive each year: two in the form of a full written report from all subject teachers and another through a parents' evening that pupils also attend. The timings of these vary for each year group and are staggered across the academic calendar to best fit with the curriculum being delivered. There are also shorter interim reports at certain times of the year for certain age groups.
There is a strong emphasis at St John's on the rapport between parents and each pupil’s tutor. To that end, informal feedback will be received from the tutor and the House team throughout the year.