We are proud to say that Forest Hill is first and foremost a reading school.

Our School Librarian, Mrs Hans, is assisted by Mrs Gooding and Mr Budd. Everybody associated with the school is encouraged to read and share their literacy experiences: students, staff and parents. Our Library sits at the heart of the school and everything it achieves.

From day one in year 7 every student receives an additional period in their timetable dedicated to a reading session in the Library.

Opening Times
Opening Hours Before school Lunchtime After School
Monday 8:00 – 8:20am 12:55 – 1:25pm Homework Club – closes 4:30pm
Tuesday 8:00 – 8:35am 12:55 – 1:25pm Homework Club – closes 4:30pm
Wednesday 8:00 – 8:35am Yr7 & 8 Reading Club Homework Club – closes 4:30pm
Thursday 8:00 – 8:35am Games Club Homework Club – closes 4:30pm
Friday 8:00 – 8:35am 12:55 – 1:25pm Library closes 3.40 pm


Reading Club for Years 7 and 8 meets every Wednesday lunchtime and is for everyone who enjoys reading – why not come along and try it?

Or, if maths is more your thing and you enjoy the challenge of chess try the Games Club on Thursday lunchtimes.

Homework Club is open to all students after school Monday to Thursday, with books, computers and staff available to assist if required.

Book Awards Worth Knowing About

Book Trust Book Awards

Book Trust Book Awards QR Code

Scan the QR code above using your mobile phone or tablet to access the Book Trust website.

Alternatively, click here.

Here are links to more book awards we think are worth knowing about:

Carnegie Medal for Children’s Literature & Greenaway Medal for Best Children’s Picture Book

BookTrust Teenage Book Prize

Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize

Author Visits and Events

Puffin Classics Club

Puffin Classics ClubForest Hill School boys and Sydenham School girls came together this week in the Puffin Classics Club, with Puffin editor Alex AntScherl.

This is a club that the school libraries have been running in partnership with Puffin for two years. The students had all been given free copies of Beverley Naidoo’s The Other Side Of Truth to read and review.

The Puffin team wanted to find out from the students their opinions of the story and  characters,  if this book counts as a classic in their eyes and if it is as relevant today as when it was written in 2000.  There was a lively discussion of the novel and the students did feel the book was still relevant and they related it to situations occurring today.

The Other Side of Truth is a novel about Nigerian political refugees.

Caine Prize – 29 June 2016


We welcomed the Caine Prize for African Writing shortlisted writers who read from
their stories and answered questions from year 9 and year 12 students, including
some from Sydenham School.


Ambrose Merrell – 16 June 2016

Ambrose Merrell_Sword that saves

How could an orphan living in Vancouver end up in 16th Century Japan, fighting against the
terrifying forces of darkness in a battle to save the world?

Author Ambrose Merrell gave his first ever school talk, meeting some Readers’ Club members
and Year 8 classes.


Sara Grant – 9 May 2016

Sara Grant visitOur Key Stage 3 boys and some girls from Sydenham School enjoyed an excellent talk from Sara Grant about her new book, Chasing Danger, and the creative writing process.  All that attended will hopefully have been imbued with the desire to write their own masterpiece!


M.G. Leonard – 22 March 2016

MG LeonardThe whole of Year 7 enjoyed finding out about beetles as well as getting a glimpse into the pages ofBeetle Boy, the new novel by M.G. Leonard.  We also invited pupils from the nearby Adamsrill Primary School who were enthralled and asked great questions.

Copies of Beetle Boy are available to borrow from the Library.



Andy Mulligan – 15 October 2015

Library_Andy Mulligan Liquidator

The award-winning author of Trash, Andy Mulligan, visited us on Thursday 15 October to provide a session for all Year 8 students.  Andy discussed his latest book, Liquidator, an action-packed thriller.


Catherine Johnson – March 2015

  Library_Catherine Johnson_studentsCatherine Johnson, writer of children’s novels, radio and TV shows (including Holby City) spent the day with us.

The day began with a session in the atrium talking to Year 8 students about her latest book Sawbones.  This is a mystery story set in Victorian times whose main character, Ezra, is an apprentice doctor.  Ezra must not only solve the murder of Charles Loveday but must also contend with the racism he encounters because of the colour of his skin.

Sawbones is one of our Year 8 Reading Challenge books.

Catherine also ran two writing workshops for Year 7 and Year 8 students; their work is on display in the library.

Forensic Science Event Dr Malcolm Rose – March 2015

Library - Forensic Science Y7 2015

The Library hosted a day of forensic science investigations by Year 7 pupils from Forest Hill and Sydenham Schools, presided over by (Dr) Malcolm Rose, prolific author of crime fiction for young people. 


Shane Hegarty – February 2015

Library_Shane Hegarty Library_DarkmouthWe were extremely fortunate to host a visit from best-selling Irish author Shane Hegarty during his recent book tour, the only school in London to do so.

Shane gave a theatre performance for our Year 7 students and pupils from St. Barts primary school and spoke about his book Darkmouth.

Poetry Jam

protest poetry - FHS poetry jam

We hold Poetry Jam in the Library every half term where students and staff get together to share their experiences of poetry through readings and performance.  Click on the video for a flavour of the event, and maybe even get inspired to come up with your own contribution for the next Poetry Jam.

Our regular half termly Poetry Jam included the theme of Protest Poetry. Ms Iyeke’s class (H8F) performed some of their own pieces they had been working on in their English lessons.

We are proud of our budding poets and it proved to be a dynamic and entertaining session with a supportive and collaborative atmosphere!

Thanks to Ms Murphy (Eng. Dept.) for helping to lead the lunchtime session and to those who shared their work, including Mr Oche’s (P.E. dept) powerful and understated performance of his poems.

Library_Poetry Jam Dec 2014

Library_Poetry Jam Mar 2015