Calthorpe Academy, Birmingham

“Ofsted loved it and so did the Lord Mayor of Birmingham I get so emotional when we watch the children enjoy the space. It is magical.”
Julie Neil
Head of Science

Calthorpe Academy, Birmingham

Calthorpe Academy is one of the largest special educational needs schools in Birmingham. The school caters for pupils aged from 2 to 19 with a range of educational difficulties.

Summary

In 2015 the Academy was awarded a Basic Skills Quality Mark which set in place a number of action plans, one of which was to focus on reading for the 400 pupils at the school, particularly reading for enjoyment. Senior managers, led by Julie Neil, Head of Science, set about looking into their current reading offer and were mindful that the recent Ofsted report noted that the provision on offer was not conducive to a positive reading culture for the pupils.

“We looked at what our pupils were getting from the current library and realised we had some work to do! The book stock itself was all wrong. The books were too ‘highbrow’ with high impact words and not at all accessible for our children. This was our starting point. We then started to look into the environment itself and watched how pupils were using the library. We could see they were uninspired. There was no awe and wonder – it was completely missing.

The challenge

BookSpace was asked to provide design ideas for two spaces; one which was to be a reading for pleasure space and one a little further down the corridor which could be used for reading scheme books and story sacks. “We were really keen to not replace like for like. This was a really big thing for us as a school and you only do this once so we wanted to push the boundaries and explore what ideas were out there. When Jane visited from BookSpace she talked of including lots of soft seating and secret reading space in the main library which was exactly what we needed. For many of our children, particularly those with conditions such as autism, having a safe quiet space to retreat to is exactly what they need. BookSpace also included a lot of tactile elements into their plans: wall trees with beads and mirrors, an audio book station and a tree canopy suspended from the ceiling providing stimulation for our pupils who are wheelchair bound and spend a lot of time looking up at the ceiling.

How BookSpace have helped

BookSpace’s designer, Jonathan was really excited to work on this project. “For me it was a chance to explore new ideas and have a play whilst still staying true to the BookSpace ethos of making the books king”, says Jonathan. “At the end of the day, we’re all about making the books look great and designing a space that makes children want to dive in and start exploring all those fantastic books out there. I decided to give the school three options, two using our classic design and one using our woodland theme, which allowed me to drop in woodland themed wall stickers, one of our Book Trees, a tree canopy and little Toadstool seats.

“We absolutely LOVED the designs from BookSpace when we saw them. They were what we wanted and more!” says Julie. “We especially loved the woodland theme. The nooks and crannies, the fact that all the books were displayed face-out, the tactile beads, the colours, the magnetic board. It was all amazing. We did change one thing from the original plan because we needed ‘flat’ trees against the wall in the corridor with no books on – just beads and mirrors. We felt that having the books in the corridor part of the space would be too much of a distraction for our pupils and cause a few issues but BookSpace quickly adapted the design, sending back a revised version within a couple of days. They were really easy to work with”.

The larger space was designed to make it as easy as possible for children to not only see the books but to reach them independently too. Given that many pupils are in wheelchairs the bookshelves were kept at a lower height and face-out shelving was used throughout to ensure that it was really easy to pick up a book. The space was essentially two corridors and a space in the middle where they met. By using the mid-floor area for some book display it now looks less like a corridor and more like a library but still retains enough access for pupils and teachers to move through the space. The smaller space was designed with a small study table in the middle for guided reading sessions and then shelving was used to partially enclose the space to provide some privacy. Storage hooks were used across one wall for story sacks to be displayed. Both spaces were coordinated in terms of colour and small wooden woodland animals were displayed on the walls in both spaces to continue the woodland theme throughout.

Results

The two library spaces were installed just after February half term in just one day, fortuitous when the next day they received a phonecall to say that Ofsted would be visiting!
The libraries have been well received by everyone including the Lord Mayor of Birmingham who visited recently. “Our pupils just love it” says Julie. “We haven’t time-tabled classes to use the library and it seems to be working really well. Teachers know that it is a new resource and are using it as and when they feel their pupils need it. Generally small groups of 3 or 4 children are coming down at a time which is great as it gives each child enough time to explore and find what they need. They especially love the quiet zones like the Picturebook Tunnel and the Hideyhole and of course the interactive TV with the headphones is real hit. Teachers are using the space a lot for their PSHE sessions which works really well. They can cover topics like sharing and respect in terms of respecting the new furniture. We can’t thank BookSpace enough for the beautiful library. Ofsted loved it and so did the Lord Mayor of Birmingham I get so emotional when we watch the children enjoy the space. It is magical.”

“We loved the woodland theme. The nooks and crannies, the fact that all the books were displayed face-out, the tactile beads, the colours, the magnetic board. It was all amazing.”
Julie Neil
Head of Science

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

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

Belton Lane Primary School

A new library space to changes pupil’s attitude to reading

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

Fircroft Primary School, London

“Parents and families are asking if they can have some extra time in the library at the end of the day!”
Denise York
Headteacher

Fircroft Primary School, London

The school is situated in a diverse area of London and caters for many different reading habits so the new library needed to accommodate a variety of different book formats.

Summary

Although most pupils at the school were familiar with the local public library, the school didn’t have the luxury of a lending library.

When a young pupil sadly lost her life in a tragic accident, the active PTA set about raising funds in her memory to create a lending library in her honour. The result is a much loved library which both pupils and parents are delighted with.

The challenge

The new library needed to be functional as well as eye-catching and inviting. As well as a good selection of fiction, non-fiction, picturebooks and big books, the space needed to include study tables and ICT desking.

How BookSpace have helped

BookSpace created a focal mid-floor point with the use of Mobile Curved Bookcases and maximized the available space with perimeter shelving interspersed with feature pieces to create interest and encourage children to slow down, browse and enjoy the experience.

“Choosing the colour scheme was easy as BookSpace had a beautiful range of laminates & fabrics to choose from. We decided to blend purple with grey and green” says Denise, Headteacher.

Study tables and chairs were used at one end of the space to create a more formal study area and curved desking was used to create an ICT corner.

“Our children and families love the new library. I’ve had families asking if they can have more time in the new library at the end of the day. It’s wonderful to see such enthusiasm for reading now!”

“BookSpace designers were easy to liaise with and always responded with speed to any requests we made. Final installation also took place without any hitches.”
Denise York
Headteacher

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

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

Belton Lane Primary School

A new library space to changes pupil’s attitude to reading

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

Farndon Fields Primary School

“We have seen a real difference in children’s reading habits. I can see they’re enjoying it and they’re definitely reading a lot more.”
Katie Prime
Literacy Leader

Farndon Fields Primary School, Market Harborough

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

Summary

Nikki Matthew had a vision for the school when she became Headteacher at Farndon Fields Primary School four years ago and that was to create an inspiring library which would become the heartbeat of the school. “Everything begins with reading” says Nikki. “The more reading children do, the more they learn. I wanted the school to have a library that would be the heart of the school and I’m absolutely delighted with what BookSpace have created for us.”

The challenge

The brief to BookSpace was two-fold. Create a space that children would find inspirational and where they would want to spend time reading. But also reflect the local heritage. The school is based only 15 minutes from where the infamous Battle of Naseby took place and Nikki and her team were keen to reflect this important historical event in the library design.

How BookSpace have helped

BookSpace looked at several design treatments, each of which answered the brief but in a different way. One option included ICT desking and another created a secret reading space behind an archway which the school loved and decided to go with. “Because it was a PTA funded project we were really pleased with the presentation materials BookSpace supplied. Big boards, with fabric and laminate samples meant the PTA team could use these to promote the project at their fundraising events.”
“Already we’ve seen a difference in pupils’ attitudes to reading” says Katie Prime, Literacy Leader. “They’re definitely enjoying it and reading a lot more. I think it’s a combination of having the books at the right level and having a nice space for them to be in choosing books.”

“The children love it. ‘Just wow!’ is what they say.”
Nikki Matthew
Headteacher

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

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

Belton Lane Primary School

A new library space to changes pupil’s attitude to reading

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

Family Reading Space, Birmingham

“We have a beautiful hassle-free, maintenance-free family room and our children love it!”

Lexie Gardner

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.

Summary

Reading and books dominate this beautiful space with colourful and accessible shelving giving plenty of face-out display for a range of books. Built-in storage was an important aspect of the brief to ensure the space was kept tidy but equally important was a large table for the children to come together to share crafts and jigsaws. A two-tier Hideout House and an integrated hideyhole seat have been used to create cosy corners for the children to curl up with their favourite books.

The brief

The brief was to create a family space that catered for the needs of four children of different ages. “I really wanted to create a space that would encourage my children to read and immerse themselves in quiet activities” says Lexie.

The results

Lexie was keen not to overfill the room and to maintain the spacious feel but at the same time she wanted to create exciting cosy reading corners that the children, who are different ages, could all access. “I wanted a design that worked for us a family and fitted our lifestyle. But I also wanted to future-proof it. We included features that the children will hopefully still want to use when they’re older. I’m delighted with the result. The children spend a lot of time in here and despite there being a TV in there, it’s rarely on. They spend their time reading, doing homework, creating & painting – they love it.”

“If anyone else is looking for a similar space, I’d say draw up a wishlist of products that you like and consider how you operate as family unit and you’ll hit the ground running. For us the process was seamless!”

Lexie Gardner

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

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

Belton Lane Primary School

A new library space to changes pupil’s attitude to reading

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

St Patrick’s CofE Primary School, Solihull

“The two new library spaces have transformed how pupils are engaging with books. They love coming to the library and spend much longer periods of time here reading than they ever did before”
Lisa Howe
School Business Manager

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

Summary

When part of the school building was flooded, the school decided to take the opportunity to create two new reading spaces for KS1 and KS2 pupils.
The school created their own library design using free-standing furniture from BookSpace. “The service was excellent” says Lisa Howe, School Business Manager “It was really easy to order the products we wanted from the BookSpace website and catalogue. All the information we needed was there. We could even see from the website what number of books and what type of books (paperback or picturebook) each unit would hold which really helped us to plan out what furniture we needed.”

Delivery

“The delivery team unpacked everything, positioned the furniture where we needed it and also took the packaging away with them! They even spotted a small manufacturing fault on one unit, wrapped it back up and had organised a replacement before we’d even noticed.”

Results

“The children love the new libraries. We never saw children in the old library unless it was part of their weekly timetabled class visit. Now children come here during break and lunchtimes. It’s their happy place. They’re definitely spending more time reading because of the new libraries” says Lisa.

St Patrick’s CofE Primary School, Solihull

“If any school wants to create a quick and easy library by designing it themselves, I’d certainly recommend the BookSpace range of products.They’re really good quality, clever designs (we love the curved shelving) and the service was top class”

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

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

Belton Lane Primary School

A new library space to changes pupil’s attitude to reading

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

Norwich High School for Girls

“I am a stickler for detail & was looking for a company that shared my values. BookSpace provided a service from design through to snagging that was second to none.”
Makhan Singh, DFO

Norwich High School for Girls

One of the most prestigious independent girls’ schools in the UK wanted a library that they could be proud of and which pupils would genuinely want to spend time in.

Summary

Following the 2016 renovation of the Senior School library, refurbishing the Prep School became a priority for the school. BookSpace was given a blank canvas to create a library which put the fun back into the space.

“I wanted to create a library which the girls would love to go into and one which we could be proud of” says Makhan Singh, Director of Finance & Operations. “I had a set budget to work with – and what BookSpace achieved with this amount, all I could say was ‘wow!’”.

Challenges

The Prep School had a library that did not match the high level of education being offered throughout – it wasn’t enriching the educational experience for pupils. “I wanted a space which the staff and girls of the Prep School could be proud of.” says Makhan. “I wanted our pupils to choose to spend time in the library, and for it to incorporate some of the core school initiatives such as our Believing in Butterflies and Qualities programmes.”

How BookSpace helped

BookSpace were given a blank canvas with regards to design but knew that the school wanted to incorporate elements of school initiatives, as well as lots of fun features and comfortable reading corners.

“I kept an open mind with the design” says Makhan. “I wanted to see what a professional company could create. BookSpace didn’t disappoint. As soon as I saw the castle and cubby holes I was very excited – but I was given plenty of time to consider several options. In fact BookSpace were true professionals from the initial designs through to final snagging. Everyone in the whole team remained flexible the whole way through the process. Even the installation team took any stress off my shoulders and in my experience that’s the most stressful part!”

Results

“Our new library is being used lots and everyone loves it. For me it was money well spent and is a reflection of the professionalism and quality which obviously drives BookSpace”

“If you’re a school with a fixed budget and want a library that everyone will love, my advice would be to give BookSpace a chance and see what they can create for you.”
Makhan Singh, DFO

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

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

Belton Lane Primary School

A new library space to changes pupil’s attitude to reading

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

Elsley Primary School, Wembley

“We chose BookSpace because they are experts in this field. They only supply primary school libraries and their knowledge and expertise was evident right from the initial meeting.”
Shabiha Sayed
Deputy Headteacher.

Elsley Primary School, Wembley

A school expansion project enabled Elsley Primary School to create a multi-functional school library for its pupils and the wider local community.

Summary

A new wing was constructed in 2017 to take Elsley Primary School from a 2-form intake to a 4-form intake school. The new school library was designed to be at the heart of the new building and to maximize the learning and teaching opportunities for staff, pupils and local community groups.

The challenge

Many pupils at Elsley Primary School have limited access to books at home and often English is not their first language. Keen to encourage pupils to read, Headteacher Mr Moss and Ms Sayed saw the new library as a good opportunity to develop pupils’ speaking and listening skills which they hoped could in turn improve their reading abilities.

How BookSpace helped

BookSpace visited Ms Sayed and her team to listen to their requirements and plans. It was evident the school had a clear focus and knew what they wanted from the new library space.

This included an amphitheatre to encourage speaking and listening but they were also keen to create a space which brought the ‘outside inside’.

“Helen understood what I wanted right from our initial meeting” says Ms Sayed. “But she wasn’t afraid to question what we were asking for at times. Everything that BookSpace suggested was evidently readerfocused and we’re so pleased we chose to go with a specialist library design company. We had a number of contractors who could have built a library for us but the results would not have been the same.

We have a unique school library here which we’re really proud of. It’s the focal point of the school and has learning opportunities for our pupils built into every corner. We’re even encouraging local community groups like our local Mother & Toddler group to use the space as they’re potentially our pupils of the future.”

“For any other school thinking of designing a new school library, I would say, start with a purpose and what you want to achieve and from that your library design will grow. ”
Shabiha Sayed, Deputy Headteacher

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

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

Belton Lane Primary School

A new library space to changes pupil’s attitude to reading

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

Kingsley School

“The whole process was unbelievably easy! I would definitely use BookSpace again.”

Allison Whittaker, Head Teacher

Kinglsey Community School, Liverpool

An open-plan library sited in an old classroom and extending into the corridor has provided Kingsley School with a much-needed borrowing library for its pupils.

Summary

When Headteacher, Alison Whittaker, realised that the school library was trying to be too many things but sadly wasn’t getting children interested in reading, it was time to rethink the space.

BookSpace turned the headteacher’s vision for an open plan library (complete with treehouse) into a reality and they now have a borrowing library which pupils are eager to spend time in.

The brief

The brief was to create a family space that catered for the needs of four children of different ages. “I really wanted to create a space that would encourage my children to read and immerse themselves in quiet activities” says Lexie.

The challenge

It may be a large school but Kingsley Community doesn’t have a lot of rooms so they tend to become multi-purpose. Over the years the library had become a storage area and not the nurturing, quiet space they dreamed of.

How BookSpace helped

The Deputy Head had previously worked in a school where a BookSpace library had been installed. “My deputy said several years later their BookSpace library still looked as good as new, so BookSpace were my first choice for a library supplier” says Alison.

“I had always wanted to create a treehouse inside the library and BookSpace turned that vision into reality. The whole process was unbelievably easy. And we really liked the way the plans were presented to us. It wasn’t just an email; we were given fabric swatches and samples of the laminate colours – everything we needed to visualise what our new library would look like.

I’d definitely use BookSpace again – they were brilliant! We finally have a wonderful borrowing library for our children instead of a dumping ground!”

“Think about the types of books you want in your new library. You might want to have a separate area for fiction & non-fiction but think about it in relation to the design.”

Alison Whittaker, Headteacher

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

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

Belton Lane Primary School

A new library space to changes pupil’s attitude to reading

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

Woodfield School

“ Between my ideas and BookSpace’s expertise and knowledge, our new library came together perfectly ”
Beverley Hamilton, Deputy Head

Woodfield School, Hertfordshire

A school for pupils aged 3-19 with severe and complex learning difficulties.

Summary

Woodfield School caters for pupils with a variety of different learning difficulties.

The existing library was not fit for purpose so using PTA funds, the light, bright ICT suite was transformed into a safe haven for pupils of all ages to access. The focal point in the new library is a reading den nicknamed the ‘igloo’. It’s large enough to contain a few beanbags and provides a cosy sanctuary for pupils.

Challenges

The biggest challenge was in providing a reading space which was not only practical for pupils with severe learning difficulties but also appealed to the wide age range (3-19 years).

“When we’re designing a new library we are always mindful of how children will move around the space. It was essential with this library that we carefully plotted the layout to allow enough room for pupils, including some wheelchair users, to be able to move freely and comfortably”. Michelle Tomlinson, BookSpace Designer

How BookSpace helped

“There were 3 things that set BookSpace apart. Firstly they really listened to our needs from the start. As a result, the designs were exactly what we’d envisaged & based specifically on our needs. Secondly the customer care from start to finish was top-class. Lastly the fitters were really professional –nothing was too much trouble” says Beverley.

Results

“All children throughout the school are benefiting from the new library, despite their differing abilities.

The children particularly like the Reading Hideaway which we have used for audio books so the children pick their story and then climb in to curl up and listen. It’s a much more pleasant environment to learn in and they are making more progress as a result.” Beverley Hamilton

“ For any school who is thinking of refurbishing their library, do your research and look at which products you want to include in your library. For us this was then shaped very nicely by BookSpace! ”

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

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

Belton Lane Primary School

A new library space to changes pupil’s attitude to reading

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

Great Ouse Primary Academy

“The ideas we received from BookSpace were above and beyond. From start to finish the design, communication, service and more importantly the finished product were just BRILLIANT!”
Paul Ives, Principal
Great Ouse Primary Academy

“A significant percentage of our pupils’ learning now happens outside of the classroom!”

Great Ouse Primary Academy

A purpose-built new school in Bedfordshire opened in September 2017 with an amazing Learning Street running from one end of the school to the other.

Summary

The Learning Street comprises 4 ‘shops’ which use genuine artefacts & props to bring various aspects of the curriculum to life: Writing, History, Environment and Science. In addition, a maker-space, a book swap cart, market stalls and a fabulous new school library have been created to provide a rich, engaging way of pupils experiencing
topic-based learning.

The challenge

BookSpace were asked to create a Learning Street which would deliver a hands-on experience for pupils. Principal, Paul Ives, wanted pupils to spend time outside of the classroom every day and needed the Learning Street to help deliver this vision for kinetic style learning. BookSpace worked closely with Paul and his team to conceive a creative space which provides an extra dimension to pupils’ learning. The new school library, a Learning Resource Centre, was installed in the centre of the school and features a Writing Shop filled with an old writing bureau, vintage typewriters and various writing tools, as well as high quality bookshelves and curved soft seating. “I wanted the Writing Shop to sit within the library as they naturally go hand-in-hand” says Paul. Two corridors extending either side of the LRC are teaming with inspirational stopping points – perfect for topic-based learning. From an Environmental Shop featuring a weather station to the Science Shop with a life-size skeleton and the History Shop filled with all manner of genuine historical artefacts. Dotted amongst the ‘shops’ are various carts where children are encouraged to stop, touch, investigate and ask questions.

Results

“Children are like sponges” says Paul. “We have created an environment where they can soak everything up and a significant percentage of our pupils’ learning now happens outside of the classroom. This shows how passionate we all are about the Learning Street.”

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

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

Belton Lane Primary School

A new library space to changes pupil’s attitude to reading

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