Melksham Oaks Discovery Centre is a spacious, vibrant, welcoming part of the school which is always a hive of activity.
Comprising of an upper and lower floor which is full of big sofas and bean bags, we hold approximately 13,000 books which include reference, non-fiction and fiction. Our fiction books, which include the majority of those that can be found in the national top 20 reading lists, cover everything from adventure, humour, teen reads to horror. This has had a massive impact on literacy across the school with loan statistics above 6,000 books a year.
We take great pride in our displays that are always seasonal or topical. We also have a big theme and deck out the whole library once a year!
The Discovery Centre’s extended hours provide our pupils with a safe, welcoming place where they can:
All year groups are welcome before school from 8am and after school until 4.30pm. Year groups have their own specific days that they can use the Discovery Centre during both break and lunchtimes, sometimes as many as 100 students choose to visit us!
We have had visits from some amazing authors in the past including Cathy Hopkins, Joffrey White and David Gatward.
Year 7 and 8 enjoy timetabled English lessons in the Discovery Centre with their English teacher, where the students develop their reading skills through the Accelerated Reader program and enjoy focussed, quiet reading time.
In 2014 we introduced Accelerated Reader to our Y7. Its success has prompted us to continue using the program for the current Y7 as they move to Y8.
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a powerful tool for monitoring and managing independent reading practice. With AR, teachers can create a reading programme to meet the needs of every student. AR produces an average of two years reading age growth in just one academic year.
Using information generated by the software in the form of a Star Test, teachers and our school librarians can help students select books that are difficult enough to keep them challenged, but not too difficult to cause frustration.
In addition, it helps teachers to monitor students’ vocabulary growth, literacy skills development and reading skills taught through other reading schemes.
Find out more about Accelerated Reader here.
I joined the school in January 2003; and feel very privileged to have been part of the design of our new Discovery Centre, which I manage daily. I love my job, there are many days that I go home and something during that day has made me chuckle! Teenagers are a challenge, but it is a challenge that I thrive on!
I have three grown up children, my 2 boys are involved in motorsport; and both have race cars. My daughter is horse mad and manages her own yard, which involves hiring horses out to the local hunt. I also have a beautiful little granddaughter who is the apple of my eye!
I enjoy walking, chocolate and of course reading, not necessarily in that order!
I work in the Discovery Centre as a Learning Resource Assistant and really enjoy my job because I love working with the students and helping Mrs Conbeer to create a vibrant learning space where everyone can come and enjoy learning. Before joining Melksham Oak Community School, I worked as a primary school teacher but have also worked as a teaching assistant and specialist teacher. I have adult triplet sons and really value my time out of school; spending time with my family, walking, gardening and playing the piano.
At the heart of The White Horse Federation is a belief in using collaboration to provide a first-class education to a wide range of children. This means that every child understands what they are capable of, and can collectively strive for excellence.