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Making the most of your primary school library

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Making the most of your primary school library

  1. 1. Tools and information to help Useful contacts Making the most ofplan or improve your library your primary school libraryAdvice and resources from Booktrust Advice and resources from other organisations Association of Senior Children’s and Education The Reading Agency ‘Our library looks small, but it is powerful.’• Book recommendations • Good school libraries: making a difference Librarians (ASCEL) Works with public libraries to encourage reading for Pupil, Yeading Junior School, Hayes, MiddlesexFor help with a project or choosing books. to learning National network and peer support group available pleasure. Runs the Summer Reading Challenge andFree database of over 2,000 independently selected Draws on data from Ofsted inspections at to members; also a point of contact for Schools other initiatives.and recommended books, searchable by age range, 32 schools. Library Services. and theme, plus the Editor’s Book of the, author interviews and features. Reading • Improve your library: a self-evaluation process Booktrust A DCSF initiative aimed at building whole-school for primary schools Provides resources for teachers, parents and reading communities.• School library guidelines and resources A model to help the school library meet the needs librarians. Administers the Children’s Laureate, book more information on recommended spending of the school. prizes and book gifting schemes.and stock levels and what makes a good School Library Association (SLA)school library. For anyone interested in the development • Primary school library checklist Chartered Institute of Library and Information school libraries. Produces useful guidelines and Adapted from materials for the 2003 DfES campaign Professionals (CILIP) booklists and sponsors the School Librarian of• Children’s Book Week School Libraries: Making a Difference. Offers training and development courses and the Year Award.Free activity pack for teachers including lessons and guidelines on school libraries. related to books and reading. • Primary school library guidelines UK Literacy Association (UKLA) A CILIP publication offering practical support to Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) Promotes good practice in literacy and• Booktime everyone concerned with establishing, maintaining Educational centre working in language, literacy and language teaching and research both nationallyFree books for children entering Reception and and developing dynamic primary school libraries assessment. and internationally.resources for librarians and teachers. across the UK. National Literacy Trust ‘I am grateful that we have a library in our school.’• Children’s Laureate • School Library Association resources Promotes literacy in the wider community through Pupil, Blue Gate Fields Junior School, Tower Hamlets,Ideas and resources to promote a love of reading The SLA has a series of publications offering a focus on empowering learners, supporting Londonin your school. practical help available for sale, as well as professionals and influencing policy and downloadable resources available to SLA members including a Pupil Librarian Toolkit. • Teachers as readers: building communities of readers This leaflet is based on quantitative A report on a project aimed at promoting reading for research into school library provision and pleasure in primary schools by developing teachers’ qualitative research into the factors that knowledge of children’s literature and the use of make a successful primary school library, children’s literature in the classroom. including case studies of good practice. Both reports are available online. Booktrust would like to thank the staff and pupils at Blue Gate Fields Junior and Infant Schools, Elland C of E Junior and Infant School, High Ercall Primary School, Stow Heath Junior School, Yardley Hastings Primary School and Yeading Primary School for participating in the research.
  2. 2. Why invest in the What makes a successful Ten tips for a goodschool library? school library? school libraryA good school library is an excellent way to give all Over and over again, research has found that the 1. Subscribe to your Schools Library Service 8. Manage your library Booktrust is an independent national charitychildren the opportunity to enjoy reading and one of same key components add up to a successful SLSs are great value for money, particularly if you Gathering statistics about library usage can help dedicated to encouraging people of all ages andthe simplest and most effective ways to get books school library: can’t afford a qualified librarian of your own. The with decisions about stock selection and can also cultures to engage with books and the written word.into homes. SLS will work with you to ensure that the library help identify children who are not using the library. The written word underpins all our activity and helps • Strong leadership by the supports the aims and ethos of your school. us to fulfil our vision of promoting a lifelong love of‘Before, we didn’t have a working library. Now it’s Headteacher 9. Make the best use of your space reading for all.there, being used. One hundred percent of pupils 2. Allocate a proportion of the school budget to Pupils benefit from having a dedicated room forare accessing the library and more books are getting ‘I am proud of the library. It echoes the ethos of the the library each year the library, but few primary school libraries are biginto homes.’ school – we want children to love learning and we A small amount is better than nothing. Ask parents enough to accommodate a whole class. Careful Book HouseFreda McGowan, Headteacher, Elland Church of want it to be fun.’ to donate a book to the library on their child’s timetabling of small group visits, and opening 45 East HillEngland Junior and Infant School, West Yorkshire Jill Gardner, Headteacher, Yardley Hastings Primary birthday if they can, and raise additional funds the library at break times, can help to get around London SW18 2QZ School, Northampton through book fairs and PTA fundraising events. this problem. t +44 (0) 20 8516 2977Children who read for pleasure benefit both socially f +44 (0) 20 8516 2978and academically. Research shows that enjoyment • Designated, knowledgeable 3. Expand your knowledge of children’s books 10. Take it one step at a time reading is a more important indicator of academic library staff Browse the Booktrust website, read reviews in Building a good library takes planning, flexibility, than family background. the Guardian or the Times on Saturday and in the patience and time. ‘One key thing you must do to promote literacy specialist journals Books for Keeps and Carousel. Registered charity 313343‘The best thing about the library is the amount of through the library – know the books and know Consult your SLS – they are experts in children’s ‘We have a comfy cushion snake to sit on and it isbooks that it has, because they’re both helpful for the children.’ literature. Give staff the time and training to develop quiet. I love reading!’homework yet they’re still fun to read at the same Pam Girdwood, Librarian, Blue Gate Fields Junior their knowledge. Pupil, Yardley Hastings Primary School, Northamptontime because they’re good books all the same.’ School, Tower Hamlets, LondonPupil, High Ercall Primary School, Telford 4. Open the library before and after school and • A wide range of good quality at break timesA good library can also help to improve a school’s stock Give pupils access to the library for a range ofoverall standards. activities such as book clubs, board games, • Collaboration between library independent research and, of course, reading and‘The library has had a real impact on standards and staff and teachers book borrowing. Longer opening hours can allow forthe confidence levels of children.’ activities that encourage family learning.Lin Jackson, Headteacher, High Ercall Primary School, • Maximised opening hoursTelford 5. Make use of pupil librarians ‘The best thing about the library is you can read in Apart from the obvious practical benefits of havingSchools often have to cope with limited space, the library at dinner time and you can borrow one or pupils help in the library, the status that comestime and funding. In such circumstances it can two books.’ with the job builds confidence and developsbe a challenge to devote resources to the library. Pupil, Stow Heath Junior School, Wolverhampton valuable skills.However, Booktrust research has found that withcommitment and creativity, obstacles can be • Pupil involvement in the 6. Let children choose their own library bookssurmounted and schools can build a thriving development and running of the and take them homereading community. library Independent use of the library leads to independent learning. Letting children borrow books means more‘The library doesn’t have to have a lot of money. You • Good management and regular books get into more homes and can help families tocan overcome space and financial considerations.’ evaluation of the library’s support children’s reading.Jill Gardner, Headteacher, Yardley Hastings Primary effectivenessSchool, Northampton 7. Make the library fun • Creative use of space Schedule author visits, have competitions and“School libraries should be a focal point for a themed book events, make story sacks, get theschool. In a school library there should be the ‘It’s a small space, but an exciting space.’ children to dress up as characters. Have a commentresources to support every aspect of school life: Carole Jones, Headteacher, Yeading Junior School, box and a recommendations board, and maintain anevery project, books to support sport, dancing, Hayes, Middlesex up-to-date pupils’ wish list. Operate a library buddyart, music; and it should also be the place system. Paint the library in welcoming colours,to go for stories and poems. It should be an hang pupils’ artwork on the walls and get someunmissable, unavoidable place.” comfy cushions. Rosen, Children’s Laureate 2007 – 2009 Illustrations