Main library

The main library at Ripon Grammar School is large and well resourced to support the highest possible standards in education by providing information resources, delivering and supporting information literacy skills, as well as promoting and encouraging reading for pleasure.

As well as supervising lessons in the library, staff also organise a host of activities and competitions ensuring the library is a vibrant place that encourages students to get involved.

Our library staff – Mrs Dring and Miss Hutchinson – are there to help students who need assistance in searching for, or using, any of the library resources.

Opening times

The library is open every school day, normally Monday-Thursday from 8.30am-5pm, and from 8.30am-4.30pm on Fridays.

During busy lunchtimes (especially in the winter months) there is a rota for use of the library with students given priority for working in the library as follows:

Mondays – first, second and third forms
Tuesdays – first, fourth and fifth forms
Wednesdays – second, third and fourth forms
Thursday – first, third and fifth forms
Fridays – second, fourth and fifth forms

The Library by key stage

Lower school (KS3)

During Key Stage 3 we build the foundations for a lifetime of independent learning. All first form students have a weekly lesson in the library during which they learn how to use a wide range of information resources effectively to undertake research in a variety of cross-curricular projects. They learn how to use both book-based and online resources to build on their own prior knowledge to create new meanings. These introductory skills are then built on during second and third form, when students complete research projects in a range of curriculum subjects.

Upper school (KS4)

The skills that were developed at Key Stage 3 are revisited but this time as aids to curriculum topics and revision. Students learn how to modify the research skills they learned at Key Stage 3 in a new way, discovering for themselves which techniques work best for them.

Sixth form

Sixth formers use the library facilities independently throughout the day for private study and to obtain assistance with their academic work. The librarians work with students in class groups, and on an individual basis, to direct them towards the most appropriate resources for their individual academic and personal needs.

There is a dedicated learning centre within the sixth form centre where students can work in silence and access A level resources. The learning centre is open from 9.15am-4pm every school day.

The library also hosts a sixth form reading group, and runs a wider-reading challenge, both designed to help sixth form students develop as readers.

Library resources

We don’t just have books! Academic journals, audiobooks, careers resources, DVDs, e-books, encyclopaedias, newspapers, magazines, maps, playscripts, websites, librarians…. these are just some of the resources to which students have access to help with their schoolwork, and to read and research for pleasure.

In addition to the books and journals that you will find on the shelves, the library also subscribes to a number of excellent online resources, which are really useful if you are doing research for a project, or want to read around your subject. You can find out about all the resources we have in the library by searching our catalogue (Oliver)

General reference resources

Credo Reference - an online reference suite including an encyclopaedia, images, e-books, and more.
Encyclopaedia Britannica - another excellent online encyclopaedia.

Complete Issues - includes articles, opinions, statistics on a variety of current affairs topics.

News and current affairs

Newsbank - an online database which allows you to search thousands of digital articles from the biggest UK newspapers, with over 20 years’ worth of archived copies including The Guardian, The Times, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph.

The Day – an online newspaper written in a way that makes them easy to understand, with all the background information you need to make sense of what’s going on in the world.

The Week - compiles the weekly highlights of British and international news.

Remember that many news organisations also have excellent websites: examples include BBC News, The Guardian and The Times.

Subject-specific resources

Philip Allan Magazines & Archives – access to the back copies of all the Philip Allan Review magazines which cover most curriculum topics 

E-mag for A level English;
Geo-active and Geofile for geography;
Starlearner for GCSE astronomy.

Books and reading

Reading Matters has an interactive book chooser;

Love Reading 4 Kids for readers of all ages;
Teen Reads;
Spinebreakers for older readers;
Pottermore, for fans of the Harry Potter series.

Library clubs and activities


A club for first and second form students who love reading, books and words, which meets every Friday lunchtime.

The Pageturners

This is a book group for third-fifth form students. We meet every fortnight in the library to discuss our chosen read and to take part in book-based activities. New members are always welcome. See Mrs Dring for more information.

Sixth form reading group

The sixth form reading group meets once a week during Enrichment. See Mrs Dring for more information.

Further information

How many books can I borrow?

Students in the first to fifth forms may borrow up to three library resources (including books, DVDs and other items) at once, each for a period of two weeks.

Sixth form students and staff may borrow up to ten resources at once, also for a period of two weeks.

Students who wish to keep a library resource for longer than the two-week loan period, can ask a librarian to renew it for you. There are no fines for overdue items, but we ask students to consider other library users and return their loans to the library in good time so that other students may read/use them.

Where can I get more help?

Lots more information on the library’s resources can be found on the library section of Sharepoint, or ask a member of the library staff.

Inter-library loans

Library staff may be able arrange an inter-library loan from the British Library or North Yorkshire County Library Service for students who wish to read a particular book which the school library doesn’t have. Contact Mrs Dring. There is normally a small charge to cover the cost of postage.