The library, which has been fully refurbished including carpets, bookcases, tables, and chairs, was developed alongside Norfolk Children’s Book Centre, which provided advice on library environments and quality children’s books, to enable the children to now have access to one of the best-stocked school libraries found in the country.
Following a significant financial investment of over £12,000 for the library from the St Benet’s Trust, pupils will foster a ‘love for reading,’ which is a key focus for the school.
The library remains open at lunchtime for pupils to read and parents visited the library after school when it opened for a week to share books with their children.
Mrs Natalie Hunt, a parent from the school said: “The parents got the opportunity to visit the school’s library. My son was very excited to take me in to have a look. It is such a nice inviting space. There is a wide range of books for the children to choose from and a nice seating area for them to enjoy their book. There is an online checking system to see who has what book, so they don’t get lost. It’s all looking fresh with all the new built-in bookcases. It was really nice to see all the children excited about reading. I think reading is such an important part of children’s learning. It encourages the imagination, helps grow their vocabulary, and improves spelling. The library is a great place to encourage a love for learning. Thank you to the schools CEO Richard Cranmer for providing the school with its new library.”
Richard Cranmer, CEO of St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust said: “This is another milestone in the journey that St. Mary’s Junior Academy is on to become an excellent school. The fact that the library sits at the very heart of the school says a lot about the emphasis placed on reading. My thanks to all who have enabled this to happen- the impact on the children will be more than most of us can imagine.”
The library, run by School Librarian and Teaching Assistant, Mrs Elvin, along with Year 6 Reading Prefects, was formally opened by local children’s author, Katie Kinsella, Executive Deputy Headteacher, Laura Richardson and English Lead, Jamie Roberts.
Head of English, Mr Roberts said: “Reading is the cornerstone of pupil development in education and an essential life skill to develop. Our aim at St. Mary’s is to foster a ‘Love for Reading’ in all, and our new library is key in realising our aims. It is wonderful to see the library become the heart of the school, in use throughout the school day, and driving reading in the school. With so many new, exciting books, it is allowing children to a range of new authors and high-quality texts, that were only previously accessible in bookshops or the Norfolk Library Service.”