Library inspires pupils’ love of books

Published on: Tuesday, 02-February-2016

Nurturing a lifelong love of reading was the inspiration behind the revamp of the school library at Whiston Willis Primary School.

As part of the school’s commitment to reading, the library has undergone a dramatic transformation with bright, welcoming colours, relaxing seating areas, tunnels made out of book shelves and a wide variety of reading material from comics to classics.

Last year 100% of pupils in Year 6 reached or exceeded the expected level in reading and the school is committed to maintaining their focus on making reading fun, enjoyable and exciting!

Scarlett, Year 4, said: “I think it’s a lot better because more people are coming into the library and actually liking it and having fun in here. When you step in here it’s like a magical world.”Pupils at Whiston Willis enjoy a story with writer Anne Dalton at the official opening of their new school library.

The new library was officially opened by Anne Dalton, writer of the Her Benny musical, along with a cast of characters from her latest show the Pied Piper.  It was also a chance for pupils on the school’s Reading Council to hear Anne read them a story and ask her questions about her work as a writer.

The bright and inviting new library is one of a number of initiatives used by Whiston Willis to promote reading. Baskets of books are located around the school, even in the playground, and every classroom has a reading area. The school is currently working hard towards its Reading Quality Mark and constantly developing new ways to make reading fun for all pupils. They are also working with Everton in the Community on a 10 week Premier League Reading Stars programme, and have recently started an ‘accelerated reader’ programme where pupils rate their latest read using a tablet computer to complete a quiz about the story. The app then logs how many words the child has read and lets them know their total so far.

The new school library, where children can check in and out their own books to make borrowing items even easier, is also being used by a local mums and toddlers group to instil a love of books even before children start school.

Helen Baxendale, Literacy Leader at Whiston Willis Primary, said: “The children absolutely love the new library. It’s really child-friendly with a reading chair, tunnels to explore and cosy spaces to sit and enjoy a book.

Now they can’t wait to come in here and read something new. 

“Reading is a really high priority for us at Whiston Willis Primary and we’re hoping to gain our Reading Quality Mark accreditation later this year. We want to make our children lifelong readers and to give them a love of books by teaching them to read for pleasure.”

Cllr Gary See, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services in Knowsley, said: “There is so much good work going on in schools in Knowsley to ensure that every child gets to experience the joy of reading and can learn and improve this important skill throughout their school career.

“Children learn best when they’re having fun and with everything Whiston Willis are doing to make reading enjoyable, as well as this fantastic new library, the pupils there are off to a great start!”

And you can watch Hannah, Callum and Scarlett talking about their new library on the Council’s YouTube Channel.

Photo: Pupils at Whiston Willis enjoy a story with writer Anne Dalton at the official opening of their new school library.