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Re-designed school library with children reading books

Case Study: Kensington Community

The new library is the beating heart of the school now. It’s now a vibrant, active part of the school and has successfully brought both the infant and junior schools together.

Kensington Community Primary School is a new school which opened in 2010, built to amalgamate the old Kensington Infant and Junior schools.

The school is located in an economically challenged area of Liverpool and despite a fall in Liverpool’s population in recent years, the school is still a popular choice with parents.

The new school reception area was designed to link the new infant and junior schools together but after a few months it became apparent that it was largely an unused corridor. Head Teacher, Kitty Davies was keen to put the space to more use and create an area within the school which would bring the whole school together.

Mrs Davies wanted to create a library in the space which would appeal to all year groups and decided to approach BookSpace after previously purchasing a Reading Hideaway and being really pleased with the quality of the unit. She talked to the BookSpace team about her vision for creating a ‘hub of the school’ in the in the central reception area.

“We wanted to create a space which all ages would feel welcome in. As well as bookshelves and space for children to sit and read we also wanted to have a few study tables for children to use.” Says Mrs Davies.

The biggest challenge for BookSpace was the number of doorways leading off from the space. Being a corridor it had access into the space from either end and there were two sets of doorways leading into the main assembly hall and fire exit doors too. Also, along one wall was a bank of windows which restricted the height of anything we put in front of them. The BookSpace team worked closely with the school, producing a number of different concepts, together with costings until the final design was agreed.

“The beauty of BookSpace shelving is that it can be adapted to almost any space” says Helen Thomas, Director of BookSpace. “For Kensington School we were aware of the need to create a space which would look integrated but at the same time have separate elements which appealed to the infant and junior children. BookSpace shelving is very adaptable and can be built to different heights depending on the age of the children which means the books are always displayed at the right height for the young reader. The BookSpace range also includes fun pieces such as archways, playboards and displayboards and we were able to use these elements to make the space exciting and different for the children.”

The result is a complete transformation of the space. “The new library is the beating heart of the school now” says Mrs Davies. “It’s now a vibrant, active part of the school and has successfully brought both the infant and junior schools together. It’s a well used space by everyone in the school and the children are thrilled with it”.

Young children using their school library