Downside School Libraries

The libraries are a vital part of the academic and cultural life at the School. They seek to provide equal access for all pupils to:

• engage with information and materials in text and electronic form as a support to learning and teaching in the School

• develop information and study skills

• extend reading for pleasure

• become involved in the running of the libraries

The Petre Library is the principal school library.  It is open each day as follows: 
Monday – Friday 9am – 9pm
Saturday 9am – 12:45pm
Sunday 1pm – 5:00pm
During the Summer Term, evening times are extended for later prep and there is an additional Sunday evening session.

Library highlights

World Book Day
This year’s theme was Books From Around the World.  Pupils and teachers shared their favourite books in translation in a whole-school photo. 

Author Visits
Tracy Darnton and Phyllida Shrimpton took part in a ‘Question Time’ session when Downside hosted the 10th Centurion Book Awards involving schools from across Bath and Somerset.

Poet Toby Thompson gave a moving performance of his piece ‘A Day to Remember’ as part of the Remembrance Day commemoration.

Audio books
Pupils take part in school-wide recordings of classic books – so far we have recorded Treasure Island and Anne of Green Gables.

Books to Africa
Library volunteers help to pack unwanted science books for schools in Kenya.
Plus a number of other literary competitions and events throughout the year.

Book Clubs
Library prefects run regular sessions for the First and Second Forms in which pupils create blankets out of books, select six-a-side teams made up of fictional characters and devise trailers for their favourite books.

To learn more about the academic life of Downside, click here.