We knew we were incredibly lucky when our brand new, purpose-built library opened in November 2017: schools were extremely short of funding at that time and a project on this scale might have been unimaginable to others, but at Robin Hood we were not put off! With Mrs Broers’ vision, Mrs Cookson’s thriftiness and a MOMENTOUS effort on the part of our children, we raised the funds to build and stock it. It is now a well-established part of our school and we are proud that all children have easy access to a wide range of books.
Since January, we have been running a year-long reading challenge to extend the children’s repertoire too. ‘20 in 20’ gives them twenty different reading challenges to accomplish during the year from ‘Read to a younger child’ to ‘A book written before you were born’. One positive of lockdown is that they have had plenty of time to devote to this!
Our passion for reading extends beyond the four walls of the library and we want that for our children too. Reading features in all areas of our curriculum because we believe it is the key to successful learning and a joy as well as a skill to take forward with them in life.
How the pupils use the library
Every class has an opportunity to visit the library each week with their teacher and to enjoy the space and the books. Children can browse and borrow, listen to their teacher read to them or participate in a scavenger hunt to help them build their familiarity with the layout of the library and the books on offer. The library is also open every lunchtime for children to visit in a more informal manner.
Although Mrs Benjamin is the lunchtime librarian, she is ably assisted by a team of extremely helpful Year 6 children who work tirelessly to support children in finding books as well as performing the thankless task of keeping the shelves in order.
We have a Reading Express tube map with themed lines (such as Classics, Detective and Mystery, Fantasy, Morpurgo and Dahl) and we feature a different one each half term to encourage the children to branch out into a new genre. The specific line books are displayed separately for easy access. We highlight new books and award-winning books on separate displays, as well as a Popular Authors area and a ‘Lucky Dip’ for those who find it simply impossible to choose! We have recently run a ‘Young Carers’ feature with fiction to support our young carers in realising they are not alone.
Attached is our Reading Express train map and Key. As you will see, each line has a different colour and a different theme. The 'lighter' end of the line are books aimed at children with a Year 3 and 4 reading age, the 'darker' end of the line is for children with a reading age of Year 5 or 6. The Reading Express should help you to understand the types of books you like to read and help you choose books which are right for you. For example, if you have enjoyed a book on the Poetry line, why not try another one!
Mrs Bond has created a fantastic library orientation activity for all the children to help explore some of the new books we have in stock in the library! There is also a fresh pile of book review forms ready for the children to create a folder of book reviews, to help other children chose from the range of books we have.
Our school has now got a wonderful, new and beautiful Library and we are continuing to stock it with enjoyable and inspiring books for our children, staff and eventually parents too.
The shelves have filled up with donations that have been sorted and catalogued and we did reach our target of 1000 books before the grand launch of our Library on 30th November 2017.
A Robin Reports update and details of the "Bookvember" challenges are shown below and here are our updates on the journey to fill the shelves with books...
18th October 2017 update: We already have 150 books donated and equivalent to 72 books to purchase from the book lists...we are well on our way...thank you!
2nd November 2017 update: We now have 400 books - 600 to go. Watch out for news on our Bookvember events coming soon.
10th November 2017 update: What an amazing Bring and Buy sale - everything sold out in just 20 minutes and we raised an incredible £459.25! We now have almost 850 books (including those on order from the donations received via ParentPay). Fabulous effort from everyone who either brought or bought from the sale.
17th November 2017 update: Our Book Character Mufti Day was another success with a fabulous effort from staff and children who came to school in the most weirdest and wonderful costumes. We raised £332.43 from all the generous mufti donations so a huge thank you to you all. We are getting there!
23rd November 2017 update: Our new library venture has made the local press! We are very excited to shout about this achievement and what it will bring to the children in our school, read all about it here:
30th November 2017 update: OUR LIBRARY IS NOW OPEN!
Thank you to all the parents who attended the grand opening of our new school library and to everyone within the school community who supported this exciting new addition to our school. Joining us today was the Mayor of Sutton Jean Crossby and Author/Illustrator Jane Ray, both of whom agreed that the library was a fantastic resource for the children to enjoy. Our Champion Readers, as voted for by their classmates, were the first to select and borrow books from the library and we are delighted to be able to offer this beautiful and peaceful space to the children and to encourage their love of reading.