Search this Site:

Library & Inquiry-Based Learning

Fostering inquiry skills and a love of inquiry is at the heart of a Blanchelande education. In each student we foster a stance of wonder and the focal point of this enterprise is Blanchelande’s Library, a place of active inquiry, as much a space for teaching and learning as the school’s classrooms.



Blanchelande’s Library is a place of active inquiry, as much a space for teaching and learning as the school’s classrooms. The Library’s Inquiry-based learning department is led by two qualified teacher-librarians who collaborate with their classroom colleagues so that students are equipped for learning both in and beyond school.

The Library is situated in the heart of the school and is open before and after lessons, as well as during break and lunchtimes. Senior students also often choose to stay on after school until 4.30 pm. All senior school students and Sixth Formers are inducted into how the library works, and each student has a library login to access books and online resources.


Only the person who has questions can have real understanding.
Hans-Georg Gadamer

The Library: home of inquiry-based learning

As well as promoting reading for pleasure and learning, the Library is the home of a highly developed inquiry programme – FOSIL (Framework of Skills for Inquiry Learning). We are immensely proud that our Inquiry department is led by the founders of the FOSIL movement – Darryl and Jenny Toerien – and they have adapted the FOSIL cycle to harmonise with the Hero’s Journey, resulting in Heroic Inqury.


FOSIL Group home page

Signature projects deliver inquiry skills throughout the Primary and Lower Senior year groups. These are further developed in Year 10 when students have the opportunity to undertake the Higher Project Qualification (HPQ) which is worth half a GCSE. The apex of this inquiry journey is the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) – worth half an A-Level – which is delivered at Blanchelande to an outstanding level of accomplishment and greatly advantages applications to leading universities.


Student responsibilities and extra-curricular activities

Students have the opportunity to take on Librarian responsibilities as part of their Blanchelande Diploma or Duke of Edinburgh Award. Many clubs and activities make the Library a fun and stimulating place of learning.

Sixth Form independent study periods

Sixth Formers use the Library for their independent study periods, and benefit from the support of a Librarian’s knowledge and guidance.

The library collection

The Library is extremely well-resourced with books and online collections. The collection of books – both fiction and non-fiction – is carefully tailored to meet the needs and interests of students at their stage of life and learning. Therefore, as well as providing books that present the right level of reading challenge and that reflect the students’ breadth of interests, the Library also stocks the required reading for each academic department. The Library subscribes to a broad range of educational, political and cultural magazines, journals and newspapers, both in hard copy and digital format. While Sixth Formers use their own device to access online resources, senior school students use the Library’s suite of PCs.


Our reading programme

Reading is the most important learning skill of all and students with a high reading age and proficiency excel in their learning, as well as being able to take delight in the world of books. In this, the Library is the centre of the school’s culture of reading. Building on the firm foundation that rises up through Primary, students in Year 7 and Year 8 design their own reading challenges from seven categories, including non-fiction.

Students’ reading ages are measured annually and are shared with parents. Years 7 visit the Library for a weekly lesson, giving teachers and Librarians the opportunity to ensure each student has a suitable book for their reading aptitude and interests. Year 8 students also have regular timetabled lessons in the library and in Year 9 students commence their Signature Work inquiries.

For more information about the Library, contact Darryl Toerien (Head of Inquiry-Based Learning) Email:

Library & Inquiry-Based Learning Department

Darryl Toerien

Head of Inquiry-Based Learning

Jenny Toerien

EPQ & HPQ Coordinator and Librarian

Heidi Garner

Primary Department Librarian