Self-evaluation Model

Resources for Middle School Libraries



We suggest that Middle schools with a 9 to 13 age-range will find the Secondary Model and Support Materials more appropriate than the Primary Model. (If your school has a younger intake, please look at the introduction to both Primary and Secondary Models and decide which will work best for your school.) You will need to decide just how relevant particular elements of the Secondary Model are for your school. If you decide that anything is not relevant or requires modification because your library serves a Middle School, please note this under Evidence in the summary sheet provided.

Specific guidance

The following comments may help you in navigating through the Secondary Model.

The Secondary Model is based on a series of Key Questions, sub-divided into Strands, which together cover all the main areas of library work in schools. You will probably find it helpful to read the rest of this guidance whilst looking at these Key Questions and Strands. The easiest way is probably to print off this guidance note and then click on this link to the secondary materials.

For 'LRC' read 'Library' throughout.

Key Question 1 Strand 1a

This is a good question for middle school seeking to improve pupils' research skills and encouraging them to be independent learners. You will have to modify the Tools for collecting evidence (questions, observation checklist, written work checklist — these can be found after the Level Descriptors that follow each Strand) for the younger pupils.

Key Question 1 Strand 1b

Assessment of reading is clearly very important in middle schools. The Tools (suggested questions) should be appropriate.

Key Question 1 Strand 1c

Again, the Tools will need to be modified for younger pupils. For 'primary school' read 'first school'.
There will not be the variety of subjects to observe in a middle school.

Key Question 2 Strands 2a and 2b

Appropriate questions, but if the library is only open and supervised for short times during the day, some may be difficult to answer. Some of the suggested questions in the Tools will have to be simplified for younger pupils.

Key Question 3 Strand 3a

Appropriate if library staff are involved in teaching.

Key Question 3 Strand 3b

Appropriate if the library is staffed on a regular basis (whether by paid or volunteer staff).

Key Question 3 Strand 3c

Appropriate questions, but only if the library is only open and supervised for significant parts of the school day.

Key Question 4 Strand 4a

Question vi is not relevant to Middle Schools.
The other questions are appropriate, but if the library is only open and supervised for short times during the day, some may be difficult to answer. The User Survey of Pupils (Tools) will have to be modified to reflect the range of activities in your school.

Key Question 4 Strand 4b

Only relevant if the Library is sufficiently well developed to be managed as an entity within the school.

Key Question 4 Strand 4c

This question will work for middle schools that have space to have whole classes in the library for lessons and are able to timetable library-based lessons.

Key Question 5 Strand 5a and 5b

Appropriate, although smaller schools may find it difficult to separately identify the library contribution to some of the areas addressed. If the library is not staffed on a regular basis, it may be appropriate to ask the LRC staff questions about teaching staff.

Key Question 6

Only appropriate for schools with well-developed and staffed libraries. Several of the areas covered by this key question may be subsumed within the overall role of the school. For 'FE/HE Institutions' read 'High Schools'.

Key Question 7 Strand 7a

Appropriate, but the questions relating to the LRC (Library) Manager will only apply to schools with a Librarian.

Key Question 7 Strand 7b

Appropriate for more developed school libraries. Some areas covered here may be handled more informally in smaller schools.

Key Question 7 Strand 7c

Questions i-iv will only apply to schools with a designated librarian. Questions v-vi should be appropriate to all schools.


We would like to offer our special thanks to Enid Bell (Christ Church Middle CE (A) School) for help in preparing this guidance and to Sallie Cornes, Brewood CE(C) Middle School and Alex Heaton, Oundle and Kings Cliffe Middle School for trialling the Secondary Model in their schools.