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Thomas Deacon Academy Case Study

Oliver helps the routine stuff become invisible leaving more time for the fun promotional activities and increased support for T&L (Teaching and Learning).

Sarah Masters, Curriculum Librarian
At a Glance
Chosen Solution
Core Benefits to Users
Supported Users
  • 2,700
Collection Size
  • 5,600 copies in Junior Library; 25,000 copies in Main Library
  • several online databases
  • 40 periodicals on a range of topics
  • 2 daily newspapers & weekly local paper
  • approx. 500 Graphic Novels/Manga
Library Staff
  • 3

About Thomas Deacon Academy

One of the UK’s first and largest Academies, Thomas Deacon Academy opened in 2007, merging three formerly separate secondary schools on a 43-acre campus in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. In 2014, a new Junior School building was added. As a member of the Thomas Deacon Education Trust, the Academy is dedicated to raising educational outcomes by providing outstanding teaching and learning for its 2,700 students from Year 3 to Year 13, and encouraging them to achieve their full potential.

The Academy has a range of modern facilities to assist with accomplishing their vision, including a purpose-built Key Stage 2 facility, an excellent Sixth Form Study Centre, expansive playing fields and sporting facilities, a main library and a dedicated junior library.

As part of the transition to Academy, the decision was made to implement Oliver v5 school library system, providing a contemporary central hub for the whole learning community. Oliver v5 helps Thomas Deacon Academy libraries provide seamless access to online databases and a broad variety of other resources that support both curriculum objectives and reading for pleasure across age, interest, ability and gender range.

Benefits of Oliver v5 for Thomas Deacon Academy Libraries

Curriculum Librarian, Sarah Masters, manages both libraries and appreciates the ease with which Oliver v5 allows her to curate resources from the collection and provide quick links to help students and staff find whatever they need.

Feedback Sarah has received from library users highlights the value of library services within the Academy community:

“This looks absolutely brilliant. Thank you. I’ll share these links with the team. The links are easily accessed by staff and students directly.” (Teacher, Thomas Deacon Academy)

Sarah creates resource boxes to support teaching and learning, and uses the Oliver v5 home page to promote items from the library collection, using reading lists, slide shows and book carousels that are attractive and easy for students to access.

“I love our homepage! One page with all our quick links on provides a one–stop-shop for students who don’t have the time or inclination to click more than once.”

Integration capabilities ensure the home page can offer maximum content in a single location – a real advantage when it comes to keeping today’s students engaged.

“Embedded videos and book carousels look good and the slideshow element helps to keep the page short.”

Thomas Deacon Academy - library homepage

As well as student engagement benefits, Sarah said Oliver v5 enables her to improve delivery of library services by cutting down the amount of time required to complete administration tasks.

“Automatic overdue reminders are great, and the ability to tweak the system to send reminders before a book becomes overdue is useful.”

With improved, automated administration for her library, Sarah has found more scope to show her commitment to students’ learning success.

“Oliver helps the routine stuff become invisible, leaving more time for the fun promotional activities and increased support for T&L (Teaching and Learning).”

The Academy places a strong emphasis on reading for pleasure, and students are encouraged to explore the library’s collection of more than 30,000 books (including 5,600 in the Junior Library), 40 periodicals on special-interest topics from Politics Review to Top Gear, and 500 graphic novels or manga.

Sarah said the non-fiction collection remains popular among students and one of the best parts of her role is helping connect students with reading material they really enjoy.

“I love seeing happy faces and students jumping with joy when they have found the book they want. Talking about stories, books and authors with students is a highlight of my job.”

Self-paced training and reliable support

Sarah said she found the Oliver v5 system easy to work with, and that fast access to support, as well as self-paced learning resources, helped her feel confident in using the system.

“Help Guides accessible within Oliver are useful and my first point of call – with simple instructions and screenshots to use. The ability for Support to login into our system and look around helps enormously.”

To sum up, Sarah said:

“Support is great, response time is fast. I love Oliver!”

Further Reading