Jenyns Library

Jenyns Library

“We encourage our students to read for academic success, everyday life and for pleasure. Zoe's, phenomenal, tireless work to enthuse, engage and motive children to read, has aided us significantly, in delivering this message
to our students.”

Anne Plimmer, Pool Hayes Academy

Over the last nine years, Wolverhampton Grammar School has been inspiring a love of reading amongst the young people of Wolverhampton. During that time, over 82,000 children have been engaged both in-person and virtually, across more than 216 events. 

This year the work of Head Librarian, Zoe Rowley and the Jenyns Library was recognised with a shortlisting for an Independent Schools of the Year Award for Outstanding Educational Partnerships.

A chance to express their views

Zoe has given children a voice and chance to express their views about books by introducing the Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award now in its 5th year and voted for by young readers aged 9 – 13. Introduced last November, the Two Cities Award extended this to teenage readers. The Wolverhampton Young Authors’ Prize, now in its 3rd year encourages pupils in Years 3 to 11 to enter their stories into a competition. This year the winners had their stories recorded by author Cliff McNish. The library is currently running The Bennett Story Garden Writing Competition, offering the opportunity to have your story recorded and added to the garden.

The work of the Jenyns Library is very much at the heart of the School and has touched the lives of so many in our school community but Zoe’s work is known and loved by those far beyond the school walls and has had a far-reaching impact on young lives.

“The links with Zoe and Wolverhampton Grammar School, are enabling greater literacy access and support for our school community. We are a local special school, with students age from 5 – 19 years from across the City with a ranging degree of cognitive, communicative, emotional, and social needs.

The opportunities, Zoe has offered support our curriculum and assist us in raising the profile of reading within our school environment.”

Nicky Payne, Deputy Head, Penn Fields School

Duncan McAllister and Zoe Rowley
WGS Librarians

“WGS are always reaching out to a broad range of schools in our city to offer opportunities we would not normally benefit from. Zoe organises these with passion, inclusivity and care. It is always a wonderful celebration when all schools (not just feeder schools) come together to raise aspirations.” 

Stacy McHale, Principal, St Teresa’s Primary School

“The community work led by Zoe and WGS, plays an essential role within our community. Events which have involved bringing reading and stories to life, such as the Reading Discovery Days, have inspired our children to read for pleasure and empower others to do the same. Many thanks for your continued commitment to inspiring a community of young readers across Wolverhampton.”

Emily Birch, St. Bartholomew's School

 Discover Reading Project
Our Discovery Reading Project is a transatlantic partnership brought about through links with Old Wulfrunian, Dr Stephen Hegedus, Dean of Southern Conneticut State Univeristy. The project began in Summer 2022 with the aim of reinforcing the importance of reading for young children of primary school age.
The project was launched with help from What the Ladybird Heard illustrator, Lydia Monks and  award-winning author and illustrator, Peter Horacek. Our visitors really enjoyed visiting the 'Farm on Wheels' which brought the books to life and they met many of the animals featured in the books. Following the launch event Sixth Formers were trained to teach reading skills and families visited on a weekly basis to enjoy book-themed activities. Parents received free books and resources designed to support the development of reading skills at home. We have recently said goodbye to our first set of families who have gone through the programme and shown remarkable improvement in their literacy skills. A celebratory event centred around the book We're going on a Ghost Walk and there were lots of Halloween-themed activities and a chance to meet more animals! This time a frog, owl and hedgehog were brought in by Chris, the Animal Man.
“The Discover Reading Project was a wonderful way of engaging disadvantaged pupils and their families in reading and developing a love of books through varied and engaging events.
Zoe’s dedication, passion, and hard work have made a real difference to the reading culture at Merridale and beyond.”

Laura Towle, Headteacher, Merridale Primary School