One of the things we were really keen to develop at Loseley Fields was the library. The book stock was very dated and shabby, the murals were lovely but had been there a long time and it all just felt rather sad.
Over lockdown, one of our parents, Mr Simon Murray, offered his services so we jumped at the chance to get him to redecorate the library! We started by painting it pale grey, then (with Mr Yordanov’s help) put up a really striking 3D origami effect wallpaper mural, which really brightened up the space and made it feel much more ‘grown up’. Mrs Palmer painstakingly scrubbed all the old labels off the non-fiction shelving & cleaned the remaining books to rejuvenate them, whilst tree stump & pebble cushions, rugs and new shelving completed the makeover – I’m sure you’ll agree it looks fabulous and inviting!
At the same time, Mrs Pedder secured a large grant for the school to buy in the Accelerated Reader system. This enabled us to completely restock our shelves with brand new, up-to-date stories from brilliant children’s authors such as Vashti Hardy, Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom Palmer. The books are a range of picture books, early readers, short chapter books, graphic novels and more challenging reads. There is also a selection of fabulous non-fiction books. We have also ensured that there are books reflecting the diverse society that we live in. Choosing the books was a dream come true for Miss Leah!
During the summer, Miss Leah and Mrs Cook (and her two daughters) had the huge but thoroughly enjoyable task of unpacking the 38 boxes of books that we had ordered, and putting them on the smart new shelving in their AR reading levels. Altogether, we unpacked, organised and shelved over 2500 new books!
We also bought in a library management system called Libresoft so that we could keep track of all these lovely new books. Whilst we are operating in our COVID-19 bubbles, and can’t visit the library as a class, we have set it up so that each teacher can take a trolley full of the new books to their classrooms and scan them in & out using the class iPads so that we can still operate as a library.
It has been lovely to see the children’s enthusiasm for reading sparked by the new books – they are keen to talk about what they have read and to recommend books to their classmates! The teachers are also keen to borrow the books and use them in class, either in English lessons or just to read as stories. Our fabulous new library, in conjunction with Accelerated Reader, is really helping us to build a strong culture of reading at Loseley Fields.