Exciting new library at Middleton Primary School opened by Mayor and top author

10 Dec 2015
Middleton Primary School library

Middleton Primary School’s new library worth £15,000 has been officially opened by the Mayor of Peterborough and celebrated with energetic storytelling from top children's author, Guy Bass.

The library is now an outstanding space for the school community to enjoy after the school won a competition run by the National Literacy Trust Hub in Peterborough, the School Library Association as well as furniture company BookSpace, which designed and funded the renovation.

Middleton Primary School’s original library was located in a busy thoroughfare with three classroom doors leading directly into it, and also housed the photocopier and group work space. Seating was limited, younger children couldn’t reach the higher book shelves and there was no space for parents to explore the library with their children.

Now, the library is located in a room which welcomes children and parents through double doors that open onto the playground. An couldn’t reach the higher book shelves and there was no space for parents to explore the library with their children.

 bright and colourful community hub where a love of reading can be nurtured, it is filled with exciting new books for pupils, pre-school children, parents and staff to discover together.

The new library will welcome many different groups over a typical week to interact with exciting features including:

  • An audio area where children, teachers, children and grandparents can record and listen to traditional and original stories.
  • A special area for pre-school children from the nearby playgroup to enjoy storytelling sessions and read books in.
  • A ‘Vintage Reads’ section where parents and staff can recommend books from their own childhood for the pupils to borrow.·       
  • An adult micro-library for parents and staff to borrow from
  • A mini book recommendations‘tree’ to which pupils clip on short book recommendations they’ve written.

To celebrate, award-winning author, Guy Bass visited the school and inspired pupils to pursue creative writing with his lively storytelling and readings from his book ‘Stitch Head’. Later that afternoon, The Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor John Peach cut a ribbon to declare the library officially open. Parents picking up their children were welcomed into the new space so they could browse the adult books and become members of the library too.

Sally Hudson, Lower Key Stage 2 lead at Middleton Primary School said: "We’re so proud of our new library. We are opening our doors to the school community so a love of reading can be celebrated by all. Schools need to reach out to families and work together to help a generation of children to succeed, so it’s great we can engage with parents within this inspiring library and we hope many of them will become proud members of it”

The National Literacy Trust’s Peterborough Hub Manager, Sally Atkinson said: "BookSpace and the School Library Association have provided Middleton Primary School with a welcoming and inspiring library which is so important for instilling a love of reading in children. The importance of literacy skills and a love of books need to be promoted outside the school gates too, so Middleton Primary School’s dedication to engaging with the local community is fantastic.”

Junior Librarian, Lena, aged 11, said: “We’re so excited that the library is now open! We’ve had lots of fun setting it up and I can’t wait to recommend books to my schoolmates.”

Mother of two children at the school said: “The new library looks really fun and colourful. It’s great to be able to do things in the school with my children. The shelf with books for adults is a good idea too- I’ll explore it when I’m more confident reading books with my sons.”

BookSpace Managing Director Helen Thomas said: “This library we’ve created with Middleton Primary looks fantastic and we’ve been impressed with the innovative ideas staff and children have for their new space which support the key communication skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The aim of the project is to create a centre of excellence within a school where a reading culture can thrive, so we’ll be monitoring and evaluating developments and documenting best practice which will form the basis of a blueprint for primary school reading spaces that will be shared with schools across the country.”    

School Library Association Director Tricia Adams said: “The School Library Association is delighted to be working with BookSpace and the Peterborough Literacy Campaign to create this wonderful library at Middleton Primary where children and their families can develop a lifelong love of reading and literature.

The school has lots of exciting ambitions for the project so I’m looking forward to supporting Middleton Primary School to develop a model of excellence for other school libraries to learn from.”