Great Ouse Primary School, a brand new school in Bedford, due to open its doors in September 2017, approached BookSpace looking for more than just a library. They wanted to create a whole-school learning environment, packed with inspiration and buzzing with experiences which could stimulate their pupils’ minds.
Designed to be the central feature of the learning street, the library offers pupils plenty of opportunities to browse the collection of books, curl up and read for a while or even explore the in-built Writing House, one of 7 ‘curiosity shops’ packed with original artefacts carefully chosen to delight young minds and prompt further exploration.
Designing the library around one of the ‘curiosity shop’ style houses was intentional. The houses inspire children, feed their imaginations and raise questions and the library, with its mix of fiction and non-fiction books, answers questions, provides further information and delivers a rich environment which children can tap into.
The school embraces a creative approach to the curriculum and their objectives for their new school library are testimony to this.
The Writing Shop with genuine objects for pupils to discover such as an old typewriter, writing bureau, quill pens and other items carefully chosen to get children looking, touching, experimenting and asking questions.
Book Swaps are everywhere it seems, springing up in disused telephone boxes, on street corners and in restaurants so it seems only natural that a thriving primary school should have one. There’s nothing better than peer-to-peer recommendations when it comes to getting children to pick up a book so we think this is going to be well used and loved by the pupils at Great Ouse.
The Environmental Shop allows teachers to explore this subject from any of the core foundation subjects; literacy with maps and weather charts, maths with a thermostat and clock or for younger years simply exploring shapes and volumes using recycled packaging and of course science with plenty of opportunities to get hands on planting seeds, creating a weather station or experimenting with windmills.
Even pupils who normally find science dull or boring will be inspired here. A life-size skeleton, telescope, microscope and many other objects are there for pupils to dive in and investigate.
History can be a hard subject to teach to young pupils who naturally find it difficult to comprehend how life was years ago. Packed with genuine old artefacts from across the years, the History House is a wonderful resource for teachers to draw up. The items from World War II, the Victorian era and even through to ancient Egypt can be used to discuss history and really bring it to life for pupils.
Makerspaces are the next ‘big thing’. They’re already a big hit in the States and are starting to make their mark here in the UK. These MakerSpace Cart allows pupils to explore their creativity with a lego version and a craft version providing all that pupils need to design, create and explore!
Pupils at Great Ouse School come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. This Market Cart provides the perfect platform for pupils to ‘show and tell’ entities from home which might reflect their cultural or religion. The objects can be used to stimulate round-carpet style discussions as a precursor to a particular topic or can even be used to support core curriculum work – counting, measuring, weighing etc.. for maths for example. It is pre-set with a variety of wares already but can easily be added to and is a wonderful celebration of multi-cultural UK life.