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Citation for Ingrid Hopson

INGRID HOPSON

  • George Abbot School, Guildford, Surrey
    Nominated by Lucy English, Head of English Faculty

George Abbot is a large 11-18 comprehensive school with 2000 students, including 400 in the sixth form, and two libraries. The Upper School Library, for Y10s upwards, offers a university-type library experience, has a massive study area and a compact curriculum based book stock. Timetabled KS3/4 classes are present most of the time, and the library is packed at lunchtimes. The Lower School Gallery Library incorporates many of Ingrid’s design and layout ideas and comfortably accommodates whole classes, 16 PCs and a good looking bookstock. The fiction collection illustrates Ingrid's policy of allowing younger students to discover their own reading level. The library opens at 8.15am, and sixth form students help at the busy lunchtimes.

Ingrid is line-managed by an Assistant Head with ICT responsibilities. She enjoys Head of Faculty status and manages four staff. She has produced a thorough Library Policy and contributes to School Development Plans, and is an active member of Heads of Faculty meetings. Ingrid uses every opportunity to take the initiative to ensure the library impacts strategically on management and on teaching and learning. The Deputy Head of Curriculum told us that Ingrid "asks difficult questions and stimulates teachers". She sees her role as teacher/facilitator, information specialist, children's literature specialist, and administrator/manager, and is comfortable working at all levels – with students, staff, managers, and parents. Ingrid obtained funding to lead a group on a visit to a twin school in India, and has recently obtained a Learning Technology degree, much of the research for which has been applied to good effect in the library. The library features strongly in the school's termly newsletter, and Ingrid puts weekly information on the staff bulletin board.

All new students have a morning in the library before leaving their primary schools. The Gallery Library is where most of Ingrid's work as a facilitator takes place. Each Y7 student has a half term of induction, and Ingrid has produced Reading for Learning modules, on finding, applying and using information for Y7's and Y8's. She works with teachers on cross-curricular skills, such as note-taking and effective Internet searching. She excels at class teaching and we observed her superbly leading a Y7 History lesson on the fall of Rome, where students worked on key words and the organisation of information. We were told of many other curricular projects where library skills are taught – including a European picture book module for Y7, where foreign language books are used to make dictionaries and look at story construction. She has also created a wholly electronic materials module for Y10. Effective Internet skills seminars include a project on plagiarism in an effort to curb the cut and paste. Ingrid has produced fiction teaching modules, and reading development is enhanced by reading challenges and recommended booklists for different reading levels. A Book Wizard Group undertakes Carnegie shadowing and has a party for parents after the winner is announced, when students give presentations. This led to the formation of a parents' reading group. There are "lunchtime extravaganzas" with food and activities, and "Fluffy Fridays", when children from the local primary school come for fun research sessions. Ingrid has also done work for outside bodies including the SLA.

Ingrid is an outstanding librarian, passionate and focused. She is bursting with ideas, and says she is constantly learning. She doesn't wait for things to be offered or suggested, but is an instigator of change. She is looking forward to the completion in 2008 of a new performance arts block, which she says will offer a new vision of independent learning. According to her nominator, if Ingrid were to leave, "the energy for growth would be missing". That is the measure of Ingrid's contribution to the school.