Each year, we look for somewhere we can support a whole school reading project – a school which is proactive in promoting reading and wants to increase reading for pleasure throughout the whole school.
In 2019, we began working with Brimsdown School in Enfield. Over half of the school’s children were eligible for pupil premium (i.e. are on free school meals) and often had little or no access to books at home. The local library had recently closed and the nearest bookshop was some distance away from the school.
The library then…
When we visited the school we found that there was no library space, and the only book selection was a trolley or two of books. Having expanded the school from 3 to 4 form entry and with very little budget, there had been no library space for some time.
The school was striving to create an inclusive and aspirational curriculum to improve the life chances for all pupils and we wanted to help create a new library space to read, leading to more reading happening both at school and subsequently in the home environment.
While we began planning how to create and stock the new library, we helped set up a Breakfast Book Club and a reading club at the school to provide opportunities for pupils to access books as part of their school day.
“Previously, our Breakfast Club’s books were dated and children were not enthused to pick up a book to read. Since receiving a fantastic, relevant and up to date list of books from Give a Book, we have noticed that the children enjoy reading a range of titles in the mornings. For us, one of the main school development areas was to raise the profile in reading and providing high quality texts into Breakfast Club has done just that!”
The library now….
A former classroom has now been turned into the school library, a bright, imaginative space, full of colour and, of course, wonderful books!
“The former classroom is now unrecognisable. It is filled with hundreds of books for the children to choose from, as well as comfy spaces for them to sit and read. There is also a whiteboard for the children to leave feedback on the new space. Comments include: “it’s aspirational”, “I feel really optimistic” and “It makes me calm”.
Although we managed to get the library fitted a few weeks ago and the school was able to open it up to the children, due to the current crisis we have not yet been able to go and visit. We continue to support the school and hope that we can visit again once schools reopen properly.
“Children, parents and staff have all been really excited to come and see the new reading space and the fantastic range of books. We are absolutely delighted with our new library and incredibly grateful to Give a Book for making it happen.”
We are so pleased to see that Brimsdown is now a reading school – with a regular Breakfast Book Club, lunchtime reading clubs, a year group reading club, author visits, book sales and now a wonderful, calm, relaxing, imaginative new library space.