Stromness Academy Library

Books, reading and life in a school library

A Plethora of Lunchtime Activities


The school library at lunchtime has become a place where pupils can do a variety of different activities whether it just chilling out on a bean bag, doing homework, or playing board games. It can be busy with sometimes between 40 and 50 pupils in the library, averaging around 25-30 most days. Most of the activities are pupil driven – they can choose what they want to do within the bounds of what is appropriate and as long as they are not rowdy or disruptive we offer great flexibility within the bounds of a 40 minute lunch break.

What do pupils do:

  • Computers for leisure (games or browsing) or work – work always has priority. Pupils may book PCs in advance if they know they need to do work.Pupils manage to find plenty of games to play, however they are restricted to those that are of appropriate age range and to the school setting (same with general internet browsing). Often they are ‘competing’ against each other in a game on an individual or team basis. Most of the time the atmosphere is of happy cooperation.

  • Board games (as listed below)
  • Reading for pleasure

  • Writing for pleasure
  • Drawing
  • Homework
  • Study & revision
  • Research
  • Chilling and chatting (hopefully relatively quietly) on bean bags and soft seating
  • Dungeons & Dragons character creation, game preparation and design

  • Pupil Library Assistant jobs

  • Occasional pupil working group meetings (Upper Library)
  • Magic the Gathering and other trading card games such as Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh)
  • Nintendo switch games – often in groups with individuals or teams going against each other
  • Colouring-in – a recent addition with a view to being a fun activity, yet also as a relaxing one to help relieve anxiety and stress. This is tied in with a display of books on mental health awareness.


We have some more formal activities on set days although these can be done on any day:

Monday – Miniature Painting: Mrs Sinclair, the Librarian, ‘teaches’ pupils the basics of miniature painting, and even pupils teach Mrs Sinclair. The library, due to generous donations over the years has a variety of miniatures pupils can choose from, which they can paint for the library collection, or keep for themselves, if they so wish. Some will paint up one to represent their character in Dungeons & Dragons activities we run on Tuesday after school and Friday activities period.

Tuesday – Chess & Board Games: We have several chess and draughts boards as well as Connect4, Mastermind, Topple Blocks, Ker-Plunk, D&D Board Game and Lord of the Rings Risk available. The ‘official’ session is on a Tuesday but pupils will play them most days as they are on an easily accessible shelf.












Wednesday – Magic the Gathering: MtG is a strategy (collectable) fantasy card game which has been played in the library for many years. Individuals and teams can play against each other with cards that represent monsters, spells and other effects and equipment with the aim to reduce each other’s hit points from 20 to 0.

We always welcome recommendations for activities, especially if pupil led, or suggestions for new board games – of which donations would be gratefully received. Might even look into having a few jigsaws available too.


Curriculum for Excellence

Health & Wellbeing

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

I know that friendship, caring, sharing, fairness, equality and love are important in building positive relationships. As I develop and value relationships, I care and show respect for myself and others. HWB 3-05a / 4-05a

Social Wellbeing

As I explore the rights to which I and others are entitled, I am able to exercise these rights appropriately and accept the responsibilities that go with them. I show respect for the rights of others. HWB 3-09a / 4-09a

I recognise that each individual has a unique blend of abilities and needs. I contribute to making my school community one which values individuals equally and is a welcoming place for all. HWB 3-10a / 4-10a

I make full use of and value the opportunities I am given to improve and manage my learning and, in turn, I can help to encourage learning and confidence in others. HWB 3-11a / 4-11a

Through contributing my views, time and talents, I play a part in bringing about positive change in my school and wider community. HWB 3-13a

I value the opportunities I am given to make friends and be part of a group in a range of situations. HWB 3-14a


I understand and can demonstrate the qualities and skills required to sustain different types of relationships. HWB 3-44b / 4-44b

I am aware of the need to respect personal space and boundaries and can recognise and respond appropriately to verbal and non-verbal communication. HWB 3-45b / 4-45b


Listening & Talking

When I engage with others, I can make a relevant contribution, encourage others to contribute and acknowledge that they have the right to hold a different opinion. I can respond in ways appropriate to my role and use contributions to reflect on, clarify or adapt thinking. LIT 3-02a


I regularly select and read, listen to or watch texts for enjoyment and interest, and I can express how well they meet my needs and expectations and give reasons, with evidence, for my personal response. I can identify sources to develop the range of my reading. LIT 3-11a


I enjoy creating texts of my choice and I am developing my own style. I can regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to suit the needs of my audience. LIT 3-20a


I enhance my learning by applying my ICT skills in different learning contexts across the curriculum. TCH 3-04a

By considering ways to protect technological devices, I can act safely and responsibly when selecting and using different technologies to communicate and collaborate. TCH 3-08a


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