Belton Lane Primary School

Library Layout at Belton Lane Primary School

“ Our old book corners needed replacing but we didn’t want to simply update them; we wanted to give the children a real treat – something which would change their attitudes to reading and hopefully get them reading for life ”

Case Study: Belton Lane Primary

In February 2012, Belton Lane Primary School embarked on an ambitious project. Some would say too ambitious, given that the school had only recently come out of special measures and still had many challenges ahead.

However Headteacher, Mr Mason and Deputy Head, Mr Grossmith were determined to teach pupils at the 192 intake school about the fun of reading.

A ‘reading audit’ conducted amongst pupils and parents at the start of the project provided grim statistics. Almost every pupil in the school had many more computer games than books in their home and they were certainly far more likely to spend their pocket money on games not books. Few pupils could name a favourite author, in part down to a lack of access to books in their home but also in the school. A Surestart Library which had been in operation next to the school had quickly closed due to a lack of use and of the school had few books of any quality to offer the children.

Designing the new space

BookSpace was asked to come up with several designs for the space, each to incorporate the Reading Hideaway as well as to provide plenty of spots for children to have some quiet reading time. Jamie had some ideas of how he could see the space working and the year 5 children also had lots of suggestions. BookSpace took these ideas on board and provided the team with a few different options for the space including some 3D plans so that they could be presented to the board of governors.

BookSpace were keen to provide Belton Lane with a space which worked for all ages from KS1 to KS2. Each of the options incorporated a small area accessed through a little archway for younger pupils which included soft seating and shelving specifically designed to display picturebooks. In the space for older children, different shelving was used for fiction and non-fiction books to ensure that they were displayed in the best way and the shelves were interspersed with Display Frames where children can display artefacts relating to topic work, a study table, plenty of soft seating and of course the Reading Hideaway! The school team were really pleased with the designs and decided to look at adding some further shelving to another area of the school to display reading schemes and more non-fiction stock. After just a few weeks, the plans were signed off and a date had been set to install the new library.

The transformation

Just 8 weeks after first contacting BookSpace, Belton Lane Primary School were watching their new library being installed. “The onsite team were excellent” says Mr Mason. “We were very impressed with their professionalism and courtesy, even arriving before the pupils did on the second day to minimise disruption for us”.

The Year 5 pupils who had been involved in the whole project were eager to start stocking their new space. The day after BookSpace library had been installed the team were straight into the space, unpacking boxes of books and enjoying displaying the books in their new home! And the enjoyment hasn’t stopped since it seems.

The Results

We asked Belton Lane’s pupils what they thought of their new space. We think their comments speak for themselves…

“Amazing. The best library I’ve ever seen
It makes you want to read everything in here
It’s like magical now
I used to read 1 book a year. In the last month, I’ve read about 15
The books beckon you in
I want to snuggle up, next to a book shelf and read
It’s like loads of books…which one shall I pick?
It’s quiet. You can come and sit down and read to yourself ”

But it’s not just the pupils who are happy. The staff, governors and even future parents are all delighted with the new reading space.

“The library calms the children down” Headteacher, Mr Mason says. “We haven’t imposed this; the space just naturally brings a calmness to the children which they themselves are relishing.

The space has provided a much-needed resource for us. We are able to use it to back up the hard work our teachers are doing in the classroom in trying to change pupils’ attitudes to reading and it’s paying off. Many of the children are reading far more than they were a few months ago. Most can name several favourite authors if you ask them and the new reading space has a big part to play. It’s made reading and books fun in their eyes.”

The new space is now a showpiece for Mr Mason and his team, particularly for prospective new parents. The school is now nearly at capacity – something that he could only dream of when he first took over the school a few years ago.

“It’s definitely a deciding factor for new parent’s thinking of sending their children to Belton Lane” he says. “We’re really pleased with everything and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend BookSpace to any other school thinking of creating a new reading space”.

Kicking starting the project

The staff weren’t surprised by the results of the audit but it did prompt them to develop plans to address the problem. A key element was the need for a dedicated reading space. Jamie Grossmith brought together a team of Year 5 pupils to help manage the process, an unused classroom was earmarked for the new space and the team set about looking for a company to help them achieve their dreams.

Headteacher, Mr Mason had seen The Reading Hideaway from BookSpace and knew it would provide the ‘wow factor’ the pupils desperately needed to draw them into the space and begin to see books and reading as fun.

Children's Reading Space at Belton Lane Primary School
Children's Library Space at Belton Lane Primary School
Children's Library at Belton Lane Primary School

“ The onsite team were excellent. We were very impressed with their professionalism and courtesy, even arriving before the pupils did on the second day to minimise disruption for us. ”

Children's Library Bookcases at Belton Lane Primary School
Children's Library Furniture at Belton Lane Primary School

Library Design Service

At BookSpace we love helping to design reading spaces no matter how large or small. Our experienced team of designers, in-depth knowledge of primary schools and superb range of contemporary school library furniture combine to ensure that BookSpace is the ideal choice. Whatever the size and shape of your space, whichever the year group taught, we can create your dream school library.

FREE, no obligation design service
Call 0121 246 2777

Find out more

More Case Studies

North Denes Primary School, Norfolk

A brand-new school with a modern, child-friendly library designed to promote reading for pleasure at every opportunity.

Bonnygate Primary School, Essex

A new school library created for an expanding community where children don’t all have access to books.

Calthorpe Academy, Birmingham

Calthorpe Academy is one of the largest special educational needs schools in Birmingham.

Fircroft Primary School, London

The school is situated in a diverse area of London and caters for many different reading habits.

Farndon Fields Primary School

A PTA /SSIF funded library installed to provide a much-needed resource for a school that is doubling in size.

Family Reading Space, Birmingham

A family room, situated on the ground floor for easy access, is designed to encourage quiet time for four young children.

St Patrick’s CofE Primary School, Solihull

Using free-standing furniture from BookSpace to create two new libraries.

Norwich High School for Girls

A forest and castle themed library designed to enrich pupils’ educational experience

Elsley Primary School, Wembley

An amphitheatre design where speaking, listening & reading come together

Kingsley School

Turning one Head Teacher’s dreams for a treehouse in the library into reality

Woodfield School

“The customer care was brilliant – equivalent to the John Lewis experience!”

Great Ouse Primary Academy

A purpose-built new school in Bedfordshire with an amazing Learning Street running from one end of the school to the other.

Pimlico Primary School

An exciting, vibrant jungle-themed library which has transformed how pupils engage with books.

Troedyrhiw Community Primary School

A school council project resulted in pupils driving the installation of a new library in their small Welsh village school.

St Mary’s Bryanston Square School

A colourful, creative library created using PTA & private equity funding

Teagues Bridge Primary School

A brand new woodland-themed library has got pupils at Teagues Bridge Primary School buzzing with excitement

Berkhamsted Prep School

A Prep and a Pre-prep Library. Both designed to get pupils curious about books.

Norwood Primary School

We’ve just designed and installed a magical woodland library for pupils at Norwood Primary School and they love it

Waterside Primary School

It’s one thing to have a vision and a dream. It’s another to have it turned into reality

Aston Community Education Trust

An integrated approach offering best value across three primary schools

Barrowby CofE Primary School

A library designed to focus on reading for pleasure, driven by guidelines laid down in the new National Curriculum.

The Manor Prep School, Oxfordshire

Pupils are borrowing 64% more books than before

Birmingham Children’s Libraries

Issue rates have increased by 19% with the installation of 5 brand new children’s libraries

Trumpington Meadows Primary

Literacy, Numeracy, Science & History ‘Curiosity Shops’, where children extend their learning, follow their instincts and above all explore

Purley Oaks Primary School

An inviting space with a focus on reading for pleasure

Oliver Goldsmith Primary School

16 classroom reading corners throughout the nursery and school

Kensington Community Primary School

Creating a reading space to bring the whole school together

Eagle House Independent School

A new library designed to become integral to the way pupils learn

The Queen’s C of E Primary School

A PSA funded library space

Roger Ascham Primary School

Transform a mobile classroom into a stunning library

Buckingham Park Primary School

A fun and vibrant library for a new school