The libraries at Clifton College play a crucial role in supporting academic success and encouraging reading for enjoyment throughout the school. The libraries form a vibrant and highly valued part of school life; the librarians seek to foster curiosity, inspire pupils and provide a welcoming space for all.
The Percival Library is staffed by three full-time professional librarians who support teaching and learning, encourage reading for enjoyment and provide a relaxed, creative and welcoming space. The library is open from 8.00am to 9.00pm during the week and from 8.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays.
Housed in a beautiful Grade II building that dates back to 1874 (and is often compared to Hogwarts), the Percival Library contains 15,000 books, magazines, DVDS, graphic novels and manga as well as access to audiobooks and online databases. The library also contains a computer suite with a mezzanine study space. The librarians run an inspiring and engaging programme of activities, competitions and author events throughout the year as well as many co-curricular clubs and societies. Creative Writing Group, Pride Society, Board Game Club, Film Society and the Clifton Herald student newspaper are facilitated by the librarians. A team of dedicated and enthusiastic student librarians help to make the library a fun, creative and vibrant space for all.
The Upper School also has its own dedicated maths and science libraries, the latter of which contains 5,000 scientific books and periodicals and is home to some rare books and manuscripts, including a first edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
The Preparatory School Library is packed full of fiction, non-fiction, comics, DVDs and magazines for our pupils to enjoy. The Library is a lively hub in the centre of the main Prep School building and is often referred to as ‘the heart of the school’.
Every English class has at least one Library lesson a week where they read and select new books but the Library is always open at break times and lunchtimes too when you will find pupils doing prep, independent research, curled up in blankets reading, watching the BBC news on our TV using wireless headphones or just enjoying the space. On Fridays we run a hugely popular informal Book Club where book lovers can share a packed lunch and chat about their recent reads or just settle down quietly to read at the end of a busy week.
We run a lively programme of competitions, events and author visits throughout the year including a Book Week across the Prep School and Pre-Prep, National Poetry Day and World Book Day. Recent visitors to the school have included Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, poet Karl Nova and thriller writer Chris Bradford. We often host authors on national tours to which we invite children from other local schools. A commitment to celebrating a love of reading runs through everything that we do!
The Pre-Preparatory school has a library dedicated to our youngest pupils run by a professional school librarian who specialises in finding the very best books and resources to encourage and spread a passion for reading right from the start. The Library is a bright, colourful space which was especially designed for our pupils to enjoy. Reading cubby-holes and tunnels, beanbags and soft seating combine with lots of front-on low displays so that pupils associate reading and books with fun, excitement and pleasure even before they can read for themselves.
Every child in the Pre-Prep, from Nursery upwards, visits the Pre-Prep Library at least once a week with their groups or classes and they are encouraged to take books home to share with their families. The Library opens after school once a week for families to come and enjoy the Library together and the Librarian runs lunchtime drop-in clubs for pupils.
Visiting authors and illustrators bring books to life and our lively Book Week is one of the highlights of the year.