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Case Study on Raising Attainment through the School Library – The Mary Erskine School

The following case study was provided by Rebecca Christine, Librarian at the Mary Erskine School, an independent school in Edinburgh

The Lauriston Library sits firmly at the centre of teaching and learning at The Mary Erskine School. This has been achievable through the support of the Principal and the Senior Management acknowledging the importance of reading in raising attainment.

Reading is no longer seen as the sole preserve and responsibility of the English department but as a whole school concern. To demonstrate to the pupils that one’s academic discipline need not preclude one from enjoying a good book, we instituted the ‘Assembly Book of the Week’. Over the years members of both teaching and support staff have stood on the stage and have recommended books which they have enjoyed. I know in advance what the books are going to be so I make sure that they are in stock and on display.

This is one of the many schemes run by the library in partnership with the wider school community in which we seek to make the act of ‘reading’ the norm rather than the exception. In doing so we encourage the pupils to build their vocabularies, their empathy, their imagination and their experience of different places and peoples. This in turn will benefit their attainment in all their subjects.


“Libraries matter because they are powerhouses of information in a tangible form which act as the intellectual hub of any school.  They provide a distinct location at the heart of school life for research, study or reading for enjoyment, and as a venue for visiting authors or school debates.  They help to promote a culture of inquiry and learning quintessential to a meaningful education.”

Mr Gray, The Principal of Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools


“Libraries help us expand our vocabulary. I love gathering information about other people’s lives.”

Catherine Smith, S3


“A school without a library must be a cold and desolate place where the pupils cannot explore their world outside of what they learn in the classroom.”

Rebecca Christine, Librarian



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