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The Varndean School Library, known as the Reading Room, provides students and staff with a calm, comfortable and welcoming environment.

Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood.

John Green

We foster a love of reading and library usage by offering a diverse range of books and resources to suit all interests and abilities. It is a supervised meeting place and social area for students to read, work or relax with friends during break and lunch-time, and students are encouraged to take an active role through volunteering as Student Librarians.

The Reading Room also supports and promotes a love of reading through regular whole school Drop Everything And Read sessions.

The Reading Room is a purpose-designed, eco-friendly space. It includes a smartboard-equipped classroom area, individual tables for small groups, a comfortable soft-seating area and, of course, books, books and more books. There are 10 fixed computer workstations for student use, as well as printing, photocopying and scanning facilities. The lighting and space make it an ideal venue for displaying student artwork and outstanding coursework.

Students enjoying 'Hamish'The Reading Room is available to support the curriculum and subject departments across the school in a variety of ways:

  • providing a range of new fiction, keeping up with trends in young adult fiction and being an available safe space where students can find answers to nearly any question;

  • accommodation for intervention groups;

  • encourage students to be independent learners when they are here carrying out research;

  • book boxes to directly support classroom learning;

  • a bookable space for exclusive or shared use;

  • oversee the running of a literacy-based event for any department.

I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most.

Margaret Atwood

You can find useful links and information in Books and more.

Children's Laureate Chris Riddell visiting students in enrichment weekThe Reading Room also hosts its own events, including:

  • The Inter-school Spelling Bee competition, which last year was attended by over 800 students;

  • Varndean’s own Artists Open House, every May, during the Brighton Festival. We provide one of the largest galleries in the Fiveways area for this highly popular element of the Brighton Festival;

  • A mock general election (last time won by a very enterprising independent candidate!);

  • Author visits - recent guests have included Bali Rai and Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell. 

The Team 

Dylan Owen     Teacher Librarian

Beth Shanahan       Librarian

Judith Hodson  School Archivist