DGS Library is a vibrant and stimulating space which is used regularly both for research and independent studying, as well as for relaxed and enjoyable reading. It is a welcoming and safe environment used by the whole school community on a daily basis, for teaching, learning and academic achievement.

Follow the DGS Library on Twitter for more book related content and opportunities.

Opening Hours: 8:30 - 4:15

Students can use the library before and after school, and during their lunch and break times.
The library is closed on Tuesday lunchtimes Week A for the Reading Ambassadors club.

Library Catalogue

Click here to browse the Didcot Girls' School library catalogue.

RET Reading for Pleasure newsletter

Reading Round-Up Issue 1

Year 9 permission

If your daughter is in Year 7 or 8 and you would like to give them permission to read books from the Year 9 section of the library, click here to email Mrs Barnes.

Author Visits

Talks and workshops from published authors have a huge impact on students' attitude to books and reading. Research by the National Literacy Trust has found that students who attended author visits are more likely to read at a higher level, to enjoy reading, and to have greater confidence in their reading.

Every academic year, students in Years 7, 8 and 9 enjoy at least one author visit. Over the past few years, we have been pleased to welcome Holly Bourne, Pam Smy, Virginia Bergin, Sally Nicholls and Jo Cotterill, among others.

Reading for Pleasure

Reading posterAs well as boosting literacy skills, Reading for Pleasure has proven mental health benefits. Each class in Year 7 and 8 will spend an English lesson in the library once every two weeks. The focus of this time is to establish and nurture a culture of reading for pleasure.

Students should come to their Reading for Pleasure lesson with a book to read. This can be brought from home or borrowed from the library prior to the lesson.

The library provides a wide range of literature including novels, plays, poetry, graphic novels, short stories, and quick-reads, which includes a dyslexia-friendly collection, and non-fiction. Students will be given an induction during their first library lesson of the year to help them to navigate the books. Mrs Barnes will be available throughout library lessons to help students find books or to make recommendations of what to read.

Students spend up to 45 minutes reading a book of their choice in silence.

Reading Aloud in Student Guidance Time

There is a great deal of research that suggests there are unique benefits to young people being read to, compared to reading independently. This includes helping students to develop their vocabulary by hearing unfamiliar words being used in their appropriate context and supporting students to navigate challenging text or themes in a group setting. Introducing students to a wider range of books than those read independently also facilitates gains in cultural capital by exploring notable texts that will help them to make sense of the world around them and play an active part in society. Listening to a story is also a relaxing and bonding experience for the group.

This year, we are making some changes to our Reading Aloud in Student Guidance Time scheme across Years 7 to 9. Led by tutors reading the text aloud, Year 7 students read 'Alices' Adventures in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll and are supported with definitions of key vocabulary and images of particular settings or objects to help them to access, process and understand the novels.

Students in Years 8 and 9 will read 2-3 novels from a selection of books over the course of the academic year. 

Year 8 Reading Aloud texts

Year 9 Reading Aloud texts

For more details, please see the DGS Reading Strategy.

What should students be reading?

Our focus in the DGS library is Reading for Pleasure, by which we mean giving students the freedom to choose books they enjoy reading.

Our Book Bingo, found in students' planners, is a great place for students to start if they're looking for a book to read. Each bingo card lists books that we think are important contributions to children's and Young Adult literature, in terms of content and language. The difficulty of these books increases as students progress from one bingo card to the next. More details about the Book Bingo can be found below.

Rewarding Reading for Pleasure - Become a Reading Champion!

We are challenging as many of our students as possible to become Reading Champions! A Reading Champion is a student who reads a wide range of books, including fiction and non-fiction and covering many different genres and authors. They are also prepared to push themselves to read more challenging books, both in terms of language and content.

The first stage to becoming a Reading Champion is for students to complete the Reading Apprentice Bingo Card of their choice from the three pathways.

We now have three pathways - Bronze, Silver and Gold - so that students of all reading abilities can choose the right level for them. 

There are differentiated cards for Years 7-8 and 9-11 to ensure the books are of interest and suitability for all students as they progress through the school.

7&8 book bingo poster for website

9 11 book bingo poster for website

Supporting students with their studies

In addition to a wide range of fiction, the library is stocked with text books and revision guides, as well as calculators, that can be borrowed from the library. Click here for a quick view of some of the text books and revision guides available.

Reading Ambassadors and clubs

Reading AmbassadorsThe Reading Ambassadors are a group of the school's keenest readers, who meet once every two weeks to discuss their favourite books and current reads. The Reading Ambassadors actively promote reading in every part of the school by helping to plan and run events, assemblies and author visits. 

With the aim of nurturing a love for reading in younger students, the Reading Ambassadors have been taking part in paired reading with Rowling Class at Manor School. Previously, the Ambassadors have also paid regular visits to the Didcot Health and Wellbeing Centre to read with the clients there.

Patron of Reading: Mary Stevens

We are thrilled that Mary Stevens will continue her tenure as DGS Patron of Reading into 2023-24!

Mary has lived locally for over twenty years, although was born and brought up on the Isle of Wight. She studied Modern History at Oxford University, and later took a part-time MA in English Language and Literature at Oxford Brookes University while her children were young. Mary karateShe left classroom teaching in order to specialise in martial arts education and manages a project which uses karate to empower vulnerable young girls in India. She writes children’s fiction for Oxford University Press as MC Stevens. Her series 'Warrior Monkeys’ blends martial arts philosophy, traditional Asian mythology and fast-moving adventures. She is delighted to be working with DGS students to share and promote the benefits of reading.


The Lit Explorers book group is open to students in Years 8 to 11 will be and focus on the most challenging of Literary Classics from the 18th Century onwards. 

The Leap Ahead book group (open to Years 8 to 10) will focus on Young Adult literature.

The first meeting will be on Thursday 12th October, where the groups will be introduced to their first read: Madame Bovary for the Lit Explorers and The Wall by William Sutcliffe for the Leap Ahead group.

Other book group opportunities for Year 7 students will be available later in the year!


Page Downloads Date  
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Readin... 02nd Mar 2022 Download
Back to Top