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Thinking and Learning Centre

Our Thinking and Learning Centre (TLC) provides first class learning support for students and staff at the academy.   The TLC is based on the second floor of the main building, providing stunning views of the academy’s greenfield site and a calm atmosphere conducive to study, research and a place to enjoy recreational reading. 

The TLC boasts an extensive range of fiction and non-fiction covering adventure, the animal kingdom, crime, fantasy, family history, humour, law, mystery, romance, science fiction, short stories, sports, geography, languages and, material for the burgeoning young adult.

We plan to rotate our offering of literature on a regular basis and have several new titles this term.

Several PCs are available for use by students to create, research, access Show My Homework and take further study.  A small ‘shop’ offering stationery and resources is available.

At St Marks we strive to enrich and contribute to the academic careers of all of our students and therefore have recruited student helpers / librarians, established book and reading clubs – parents welcome – competitions, quizzes as well as other fun yet educational clubs and activities. 

By the time students leave the academy, we  want to ensure that they are ready to tackle life’s rich tapestry of opportunities and, most importantly, can draw upon their academic learning as well as drawing on the skills and foundations established by progressing through the year groups and in other areas of the academy, including the TLC.

The Thinking and Learning Centre is open during term-time:

08:00 - 08:30 (pre-coaching time)

10:30 – 10:50 (Break)

12:30 – 1:05 / 1:20 – 1:55 (lunch 5a & 5b)

2:45  – 4:00 (after school)

4:00 – 5.00 (Year 11 independent study)


The TLC interacts with all areas and participants in the academy from expectant year 7s, teaching staff, the Senior Leadership Team to year 11s and 6th formers preparing to leave and take up their chosen fields of further learning or moving into the employment market.

A brand new 6th form reading area has been established showcasing recommended fiction, non-fiction and serial publications – the New Scientist and Time Magazine – to support further learning.

Diversely we have set up a number of after school clubs, based in the TLC including book clubs pitched by year group, anime appreciation and chess.

Our 4-strong team of 6th form volunteers are invaluable in keeping the TLC ticking over, taking on a range of jobs, including processing new literature, assisted reading with younger years, returning books to the shelves and, generally keeping the library operational and accessible for all.


At St Marks, it is important that we give widespread support to the entire alumni and additional support to those who require it.   As one of the additional support services offered, the TLC participates in the academy’s Shared Reading programme, encouraging students with need to read in small groups in a relaxed atmosphere during coaching time, providing an excellent start to a day of study.

Library Lates in the TLC sees invited speakers coming into the academy to run workshops with the students and staff.    Our most recent offering included a workshop and after school presentation with Yolanda Mercy, London based actor and playwright. We plan to extend this offering as the term progresses.