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Our brand new Junior School Library is unveiled

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The Junior School was proud to officially open its highly anticipated new fiction library recently, together with the pupils, staff and wider school community, with the help of a surprise special guest!  

Bristol-born Naomi Wilkinson – children's television presenter, entered the Junior School hall, full of excitement, as our pupils were clearly delighted to see her. The girls enjoyed an inspiring talk from her about her career highlights whilst overcoming her own fears as part of the daring challenges she has undertaken. Naomi also shared her personal love of reading and her favourite childhood book The Faraway Tree.  

Naomi and Lisa Brown then gathered outside the new library, alongside a handful of pupils and school community members, to cut the red ribbon and officially open it. The library has been almost two years in the making and accompanies the existing non-fiction library to provide a thoughtfully designed new space for the pupils. 

The interiors are based on a nature theme, which girls across Years 3 - 6 helped choose through Pupil Voice (ideas given by representatives from every class). Green walls, a stunning bird design on the blinds, abstract clouds from the ceiling and tree seating all provide calming and subtle references to nature.  

We worked with an interior designer who specialised in school library design and made sure the layout really reflected how the children used the reading space. We observed how they wanted to sit, with a combination of cozy nooks and social spaces. There is a separate area for graphic novels and picture books, with corner seating for working in small groups. 

Our event also revealed the final room in the library, that has been kept under-wraps from the pupils, as a well-being and sensory room, which allows girls to access stories on iPads or listen to audio books. ‘The Midnight Garden’ provides a unique breakout space with the moon and northern lights projected on the ceiling, a wooden bench, plants, comfy beanbags and a deep pile rug to resemble grass. 

We feel very fortunate to now have a bigger physical library space that reinforces how reading is at the heart of learning at the Junior School. Not only do teachers inspire children to read in weekly library lessons, but the girls are encouraged to use the space more widely, sharing books with their peers, understanding what is on offer via the Oliver computer system and on the shelves themselves (books are displayed alphabetically by genre) and exploring their own tastes in reading. 

From its inception to the official opening, the new library project has been a true community initiative that would not have been possible without the help of the Friends’ of the School including current and ex-Junior School parents, the governors, countless volunteers and key members of staff. Lisa Brown, Headteacher of the Junior School says “The wonderful library space epitomises the value we place on literature and books. Here, you can travel the world, visit different cultures, discover friendships and enjoy humour. We are privileged to have created a bespoke space dedicated to reading.” 

 

Date Posted: 29 January, 2024

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