Big literacy push at Cooks Spinney Primary

TRANSFORMING a library with floor to ceiling book characters has heralded the start of a literacy push at a primary school.

Cooks Spinney Primary Academy, in Harlow, is pulling out all the stops to ensure children have a love of books and read as much as possible.

A graffiti artist has given the library a more exciting feel by covering the walls with giant Jungle Book characters and a new library system is encouraging children to read more.

The school has signed up to the Junior Librarian scheme which gives pupils more ownership of their reading.

Whereas the old paper system meant pupils could only borrow one book from the library at a time, a new digital scanner enables them to take far more books home.

The system, which sees children scan their book and a bar code next to their name to log what they are borrowing, can also recommend books to pupils based on what they are reading.

Headteacher Neil Stirrat said: “Junior Librarian means the pupils can run the library themselves during their lunch breaks. Older pupils can scan the books, whereas before they could only borrow books if they had an adult to help them with the process.

“The whole school is having a big push on vocabulary and reading this year, both inside and outside school. We can make sure children are reading when in school, but we want them to also be stuck into books when at home.”

A recent book fair raised more than £1,100 which converts into new books for the school and a book swap is being set up to give families free access to more reading books for their children.

Luke Wildig, assistant headteacher, said: “We have a number of disadvantaged families and so are always keen to find ways of providing them with books free of charge. It is another way of encouraging our pupils to read at home.

“Once it is set up and loaded with books, the book swap will run itself as pupils will be free to donate and select books themselves.”

The school is appealing for donations of children’s books to be taken into the school reception to be added to the swap.

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