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.
Some images of our library are included in the gallery below:
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.
Dear parents and carers,
Following the Government announcements, we've taken the decision to close the school until further notice. We appreciate this is a difficult time for everyone as we all make personal sacrifices for the greater good of the nation. Where possible, we've tried to contact parents and carers who registered as Key Workers, those with vulnerable children, or who collect Free School Meals. If we have not managed to contact you, here is some further information:
Children of Key Workers
If you need support with childcare because both parents of the child(ren) are critical key workers, then we will do our best to support you while you're on the frontline. This school is now closed, however, we have designated schools within the White Horse Federation that are still operating as hubs. We will organise childcare for your child(ren) at one of these locations. Please contact one of the White Horse Federation Coordinators using the chat facility on the website. You can launch this by clicking the ? in the bottom left of the screen.
Children who are Vulnerable
The White Horse Federation has deemed vulnerable children to be those without adequate care or protection at home or with significant health needs. Given the current Government guidance at this point in time, we deem the safest place to be at the parent's or carer's home. If you believe this is not the case for your child(ren), then please contact one of the White Horse Federation Coordinators using the chat facility on the website. You can launch this by clicking the ? in the bottom left of the screen.
Children who collect Free School Meals
We are making every effort to ensure children who collect Free School Meals have access to food. To that effect we will be supplying parents and carers of children who collect Free School Meals with vouchers to cover the cost of 20 days’ worth of lunches from Tuesday 24th March through to Monday 4th May. The vouchers are ordered and we are currently awaiting receipt of them before the end of the week. We have contact details of those who are registered as receiving Free School Meals and will contact you directly. If you're concerned that we don't have your details, then please contact one of the White Horse Federation Coordinators using the chat facility on the website. You can launch this by clicking the ? in the bottom left of the screen.
We will endeavour to continue the learning for all our children despite these setbacks. You should know that the teaching staff at your school have worked tirelessly both day and night to manage this situation to the best of our ability. Our nation is triumphant against adversity, and we have every confidence we will return to our normal lives as soon as possible. Please take care of yourself and loved ones while we all work through this together.
Dr Nicholas Capstick, OBE
CEO The White Horse Federation