Subjects: Scotch College, Western Australia

Library and Information Services

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Overview

Scotch College is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school that delivers the PYP, MYP and Diploma to students from years 1 – 12. It is important that we as a IB library fulfill the requirements of the curriculum and ensure that we map directly to those frameworks the curriculum areas are using to guide their programs.

The College also delivers the Australian National Curriculum for students to obtain a ATAR score for entry into Australian Universities.

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Primary Years Program (PYP)

In our primary school (years 1 – 5), the library acts in very particular ways to support the Units of Inquiry (UOI). Significantly, the Dean of Teaching and Learning has a 0.5FTE Teacher Librarian role, meets with teachers in collaborative planning sessions and assists directly in the classroom for at least 12 periods in every two-week cycle.

It is important to highlight this part of the library function. Direct links between the classroom teachers and library play a fundamental role in ensuring that teachers are supported and students have the means to explore the various units with academic resources of the highest quality.

In addition to the 0.5FTE role above, another 0.5FTE is allocated to a second Teacher Librarian to promote the love of literature and reading. In partnership with the UOI, this role is critical to the formation of a productive relationship between students and library, as it is often during this time that students engage in reading for pleasure rather than academic necessity. This position and its subsequent influence also serve to drive diverse development of the book collection and electronic resources.

The role of the library in this facet of the PYP is also to educate students on the conventions and practices of research. The ability to find information; to explore different genres; to play with games/LEGO/makerspace items is where the library continues to redefine resource usage to underpin the learner profiles. It is through these programs that the library is integrated into the PYP structure and finds its place both in support of the academic curriculum and in providing a welcoming facility for students to explore their imaginations.

Reading Programs

The library also coordinates and operates the guided reading and home reading programs. This is a very large and tangible part of the service provided in addition to normal library operations, with students being provided reading materials at varying levels throughout the week. Further information on this can be found under the Junior School page.

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Middle Years Program (MYP)

The MYP builds on the foundations of the UOI that explores the personal aspects of students through the PYP. The Middle Years Program begins to lead students beyond the personal to local and international communities and it is the library's role to maintain links to resources delivering differing levels of complexity.

At Scotch, the MYP runs from years 6-10 with years 6-8 located in Middle School and years 9-10 in our Senior School. As such, while it is a continuation of the MYP, the fundamental approaches in terms of library support are slightly different.

In the Middle School (years 6-8), a 0.9FTE teacher librarian is allocated to support the integration of library resources directly into curriculum programs. Like the PYP, the teacher librarian meets regularly with the curriculum leaders and teachers to provide support to those classes via research guides and direct instruction. The forms this support takes are detailed below:

Direct Instruction

Students in years 6 and 7 have in their timetable a library period directed by the teacher librarian and the classroom teacher. Both are present in the library while the lesson is delivered and play co-operative roles in the delivery and support of the lesson content. These lessons are based on the scope and sequence to teach students research techniques while encompassing the general competencies that are a part of the Australian curriculum.

Year 8 students do not have a dedicated library period, rather the library is involved in lessons by accommodating requests for research guides which the teachers deliver inside their normal classroom. It is this defining change that begins preparation for their transition to the Senior School programs.

Elements critical to the library's support of the MYP program are that:

  • Students understand the difference in primary and secondary sources.
  • Students understand how to evaluate sources of information and ensure that only academic sources are used in assessments.
  • Students learn how to navigate the various resources provided at Scotch College in the form of books or academic databases.
  • Students - by year 8 - can create a report/essay using correctly formatted APA referencing.

Love of Literature

An important role of the library in addition to the purely academic is to ensure that students do not see reading as a chore. As the boys progress in age, their commitment to co-curricular programs increases and reading time comes under pressure, so library programs have time built in to ensure they are given both occasion and encouragement to read fiction. This is not a waste of time, since students who are not readers by the end of year 8 are less likely to read for pleasure until later in life. It is our role as the library to do all we can to ensure that students continue to read on a progressive scale and are given the opportunity to do so.

The MYP program also continues until year 10 in the senior school where 1.5FTE Teacher Librarians are allocated to support all students from years 9-12. As in the middle school, no direct teacher time is provided except where departments have determined that library input is desirable. The English Department often works co-operatively with the library to deliver curriculum to students and allow time to read outside the required texts.

Teachers are making increasing use of the library by requesting support materials in the form of research guides for students preparing for assignments. As teachers make requests of the library, these research guides are created to help direct students in researching, qualifying and gathering  content. Teacher Librarians often work with the classes for the first and last lessons to optimise their use of the research guide's content and to ensure that referencing is completed correctly.

In addition to this, Teacher Librarians often act as supervisors for the Personal Project and the library provides assistance to all students to a limited point.

The final two years of students' lives at Scotch are usually divided into two programs. The following is a breakdown on how the library interacts with each:

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Diploma

The complexity of the diploma program is clearly illustrated by the requests of the teachers and students for resources in the various subject areas. Students studying this pathway request help for very specific and particular contexts, placing significant demands on library resources every year.

Support for the diploma program is co-ordinated between the teachers and the library, purchasing particular resources each year to support the diversity of students' fields of study. Often students will request help directly in the form of proof reading or initial guidance on a particular area of research, but in general, our primary goal is to ensure they know how and where to start their research.

Resourcing for the diploma is always framed in a global context with primary resources from across the globe acquired to promote the greatest possible depth and breath of study. Specific databases are purchased and journal articles purchased to support students studying this area.

WACE/ATAR

The WACE program is supported in a similar way to that of the Diploma with students encouraged to access individual help. In addition to this, the library ensures purchased resources are mapped to the syllabus and that databases are regularly reviewed in light of content changes. Research guides are often requested with mapping of resources to the academic databases and proof reading accessible upon request.

All Libraries

For all areas of study it is important to understand that common philosophies and resources are maintained within all libraries.

  1. Each library has a mother tongue collection that includes books and texts in the 44 other languages spoken by our community. These are resources generally available upon request and students understand that many popular fiction titles will have either a Spanish, French or Indonesian version within the libraries.
  2. The library in the Senior School contains a defined collection for Theory of Knowledge/Extended Essay and Personal Project. This is because resources for these three key programs are often very specific and as a library we identify and highlight these resources by adding an IB logo to book spine labelling.
  3. The learner profiles are fundamental to our role and maintaining displays demonstrating how they are applied in everyday situations is a constant role of the library.
  4. The library provides guidance with copyright and ensures that academic honesty is maintained—in a supportive rather than punitive sense—by providing information to assist all teachers in the application of guidelines as they teach.

Finally, the library has a range of roles across the sub-schools. Direct integration with subject areas is a must but because not every program can be supported all the time, integration is provided on request or when an enhancement can be made with library participation.  A clear illustration of this philosophy exists in the subject research guides that have been created as part of the library's service throughout Scotch College.