8 September 2017
From the very beginning of the project our vision for the Library was to lovingly create a space that shows Inspiration, Innovation, Creativity and Resourcefulness for all our students to enjoy and learn. And over the summer the Library space has been transforming into just that.
The PTFA have been heavily involved in the fundraising for our Library refurbishment and without their fantastic fundraising over the last two years (and of course everyone's support!) this project may not have been possible. Debbie Fox, the Secretary of the PTFA, said "The PTFA are thrilled with the progress of the library and delighted that all the fundraising that has been done over the last couple of years has been put to such a worthwhile cause and one which will benefit the whole school. We are very much looking forward to the finished product."
Before any work began, staff and students were surveyed and interviewed to devise a new model for the Library to encompass all the features needed. Meetings with students showed us that a new approach was needed to meet all the separate demands on the space by users: Making homework projects, reading, revising for exams, working in groups and preparing presentations. The design concept aimed to achieve this by separating the Library into three areas "Make", "Present" and "Reflect" as identified by wall graphics. Over the summer the work began and the library space had the addition of a small amphitheatre for formal presentations and recitals with some clever tech on the way that will allow us to broadcast podcasts and films through 3D headsets. This will better help us to meet the needs of the large numbers of students that have always used the space without interrupting each other. The MakerSpace is for students to express their inner creativity by building models, using textiles, making videos with mobile phones, working with robotics and coding, and will have 3D software and printing capabilities.
A small separate study space has been developed that will be bookable by groups of students who are doing committee work or projects and will also work as a totally silent study space at lunchtimes and after school near to exam times. The newly laid out space will be available to rent out to external groups and companies at evenings and weekends.
Everyone has been working so hard and we are starting to see it all the areas coming together! This being said, there are still several weeks to go until the project will be completed.
Gerald Bruen, The Library Team Leader, said "Even though the project isn't finished yet, there is a buzz of excitement in the air and the students are really enthusiastic about the development of the space. Not only does the project highlight the students ideas and concepts but it is an amazing space which they can appreciate.In order to fully complete the project as imagined and get the resource fully functional, the school is seeking matched funding from educational foundations and charities to match the huge amount already achieved by our PTFA and the school working with the wider community."
In 2016/17 we have piloted a Parental Engagement Programme reaching out to build relationships and support our Pupil Premium parents and children. This has taken place off-site and the goal would be to broaden out this provision, starting off-site and then move the venue for these projects into a newly designed library. Running Parental Engagement Programmes in such a positive, non-formal space, where family reading and wider learning can be encouraged, is key to drawing people back into the heart of the school. This will be very important for parents and the school.
With such massive support from the PTFA, students, faculties and the School Leadership team,we're very close to realising a concept that will inspire current and future students for many years to come. Students can support and contribute to the Library refurbishment by buying a small Library pin badge. These will be available to buy for a few pound from the Library and will go on sale shortly.
Please be patient with us whilst the work is going on. Don't forget to regularly check for updates on the Library refurbishment.