The Personal Learning Centre

The PLC (Personal Learning Centre) is managed by Mrs Ellsmore with the invaluable help of a team of fully trained, dedicated and enthusiastic Pupil Librarians. We aim to provide a safe, friendly and welcoming environment in which pupils are given the space and materials to read, study, research and learn.

The PLC is open throughout the school day and is well used by teachers who book the facility for lessons.  The PLC can be used as one whole room or completely sectioned off to separate the computer area and library area as necessary. It is designed to meet the needs of each individual child and is open to all with lift accessibility if required.

This is a lovely facility, it is very popular, enjoyed by all and is also open to pupils for their independent use:

  • Before school: 8am - 8.40am
  • Morning break: 10.45 - 11am
  • Lunch: 1pm - 1.40pm
  • After school: 3pm - 4pm

When pupils enrol at Dormston they automatically become members of the PLC which offers them the following facilities

  • 36 computers which are all connected to the school’s network
  • Large selection of non-fiction books which supports the curriculum
  • Large selection of fiction books which is continually updated with the latest new releases. Books are available for all secondary school ages and reading abilities, in a selection of formats which include audio, large print, dyslexia friendly, graphic novels and quick reads.
  • A selection of daily newspapers is provided each day and a host of educational games for recreation are well used and enjoyed.

We passionately strive to encourage reading and provide a wealth of book promotion, activities and opportunities, not only to engage and enthuse pupils to enjoy books but to nurture a lifelong love for reading.


Book Clubs

Joining a book club gives you the great opportunity to try different types of books you might not have chosen for yourself. Together with group discussions and sharing viewpoints and opinions about books it’s  a wonderful way to broaden your reading and expand your horizons.

There are four separate books that are open to all pupils and new members are always welcome at any time:

Monday:          3pm – 4pm: Currently attended mainly by pupils in Year 9

Tuesday:          3pm – 4pm: Currently attended by boys in Year 7 & Year 8

Wednesday:   3pm – 4pm:  Currently attended by girls in Year 7

Thursday:        3pm – 4pm: Currently attended by pupils in Year 7

We also have a staff book club that meet once a month.


Cheltenham Literature Festival

Established in 1949, The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival is one of the oldest literary events in the world.

This year we were delighted to offer 30 pupils from Years 7 and 8 the opportunity to join queen of historical fiction, Emma Carroll to hear about her wartime adventure book Letters from the Lighthouse and learn about facts from WW2 from painting camouflage on lighthouses, to evacuation, refugees and code breaking. We all enjoyed finding out about the process of writing a book from idea to publication and how Emma became a writer and what inspires her.

Author Visits

Dave Lowe visit for all pupils in Year 7 on Thursday 5th October, 2017

He once dreamed of becoming an author while sitting as a student in the classroom at this Black Country school. Now Australia-based author David Lowe has returned to Dormston School, in Dudley, to share top tips with writers of the future.

Born in Dudley, David taught English for four years in a high school for disadvantaged youngsters in Istanbul, and has also worked in Malaysia and Australia. The father-of-two is known for his books about his grumpy pet hamster, Jasper Stinkybottom.

My Hamster is a Detective, My Hamster is a Pirate and My Hamster’s Got Talent have lit up the children’s book charts in recent years.

David said: “I don’t think I’m naturally talented at writing – I just practised a lot. Since I realised I would never play centre-forward for West Bromwich Albion, I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

“I had a pet hamster when I was younger, but he didn't talk so much.”

He spoke to the whole of Year 7 pupils in the Mill Bank theatre, encouraging them to follow their dreams and write more often.

Book and Reading Sites