We were pleased to award Redbourn Primary School (St. Albans) a grant to buy a huge range of library books for their younger children*. This purchase is a distinct part of an ongoing creation of a new library as Amanda Bowran (School Business Manager) explained:
“Following the successful merger of Redbourn Infant & Nursery School with Redbourn Junior School in 2018 to form Redbourn Primary School - we would like to create a whole school library which would enable children from across the whole school come together, to enjoy story time, borrow books and create a love of reading.
We completed the first stage of the project through the creation of a library in the old junior school (funded by our PTA). This included repurposing a disused classroom, painting and furnishing the room as well as an audit of the books and purchase of new books to ensure our collection was relevant to the curriculum and up to date. We are now at the second stage of the project where we wish to extend the provision to include the infant aged children.”
Amanda strengthened her bid by showing how committed the whole school community is to the project and how well previous phases have benefited the children:
“We are lucky to have a small group of willing volunteers who open the school library before and after school to enable all the children and their families to access the school library, ensuring that the benefits are not just restricted to school hours.
…Following the completion of the KS2 library area, which has been very well received by the children in years 3 to 6, we want to be able to offer the same experience to our younger children. This is especially relevant at the current time as the local village community library has been closed since March.”
Amanda then went on to explain other benefits of the books she wished to buy:
“There will be many benefits of a whole school library including: fostering a love of reading and appreciation of books from an early age, reinforcing the curriculum and school's approach to English/literacy, providing a range of books and reading materials to those who do not have access to books outside of school, providing a variety of non-fiction books to encourage research and problem solving skills, encouraging children to develop their reading skills by providing books on subjects which interest them and providing opportunities for parents and older children to be trained and to take responsibility as volunteer librarians.”
* As EdufundUK don’t grant awards for a “general resources” or departmental funds, we have to know the specific items (or training etc) that schools are bidding for. Redbourn has good links (and discounts!) with a children's book centre which compiled a recommended list of fiction, poetry and non-fiction books for this age group. The school approved the list and emailed it in with Amanda’s application.