The Library Space at Chisenhale
The library is at the heart of the school, reflecting the huge importance we place on books and reading. It welcomes people into our school, surrounding us with lovely books and giving us an inspiring environment. The library was launched officially by the local author David Lucas in March 2012.
The library space was designed by a parent volunteer (Jessica Grainger), with help from School Council and the funding came from the Worshipful Company of Weavers. The innovative furniture was created by Aldworth, James and Bond – see their website for more pictures: http://www.aldworthjamesandbond.co.uk/project/chisenhale_school_library
There is a Story Curtain which can be pulled around to give a special area for reading and storytelling in the library. It enables a whole class to have a story time hidden behind a vast panel of pictures, drawn and sewn by children and parents. The story curtain was designed by two ex-parents who are artists (Sara Heywood and Louise Nolan). Each child chose a book they loved and drew it. The pictures were then turned into sewn panels by hours of work from children and in particular parent volunteers – many of our Bengali mums turned out to be experts at sewing!
The library space has colourful curved shelving, book display boxes and reading steps which have been carpeted. There is carpet in bright colours on the floor. There are also wall displays for books and information, which are changed regularly by the School Librarian in order to reflect whole school topics or other relevant themes.
The library is open to children every lunchtime, as well as being used for story times and small group work.
The library is also used as a very impressive display space, including recent sculptures of volcanoes. More than 5,000 books have been catalogued on to the Junior Librarian system. This includes all PHSE books (we have a large collection of “real books”, marked with red dots, addressing important issues, which are used in our PSHE teaching) and 237 big books. For primary schools CILIP recommend an average stock of 13 books per pupil, with a replenishment rate of 10% new stock each year. This gives a recommended size of 4,000 books which we have now reached. We put budget aside each year for new books, as well as getting donations of books from parents and a donation of money from the Worshipful Company of Weavers.
All children can borrow books from the library. There is also a weekly family library club Wednesdays from 3.30 – 4.30pm, where families can come and read together, as well as change books.