At Kettlefields Primary School in Dullingham, we fundraised to build our very own school library!
We had an area on the school grounds that had been fenced off and was very over grown, it had been like this for many years. We asked the children to come up with ideas around how to use this space. The children took part in a competition in May 2021, they entered designs for ‘The Big Project’. We then shared their ideas with the rest of the school community. We had a range of ideas such as a wildlife garden, school farm, swimming pool and our favourite idea – a school library!
We are lucky at Kettlefields that we have extensive school grounds with lots of wildlife and although we loved the idea of a school farm, we wondered how we would care for the animals in the school holidays.
Reading for pleasure has been shown to have many non-literacy benefits and can increase empathy, improve relationships with others, reduce the symptoms of depression and improve well-being throughout life. Children who read for pleasure make significantly more progress in vocabulary, spelling and maths than children who read very little. So having a school library is very important!
We have been busy raising funds for our school library. We had a target of £40k. By September 2022 we had raised £33 through capitalising some of the schools own money and through PTFA fundraising. So in the autumn term we had our last fundraising push so that we could start building our library in November 2022. The building was completed in December 2022 with finishing touches such as painting and furniture fittings in January 2023.
We had lots of events planned by the PTFA such as: fireworks night, break the rules day, bake sale, dodgeball tournament, quiz night, just giving page and a school disco which all helped to raise further funds.
We have also been lucky to have obtained donations from Tesco, Godolphin, Mr Gredley, Tattersalls, The Newmarket Charitable Foundation, Cambridgeshire Local Authority and Thomas and Young Chartered Financial planners.
On Friday 27th January, we had the official handover from Cambridge Garden Studios who built our library. We then set about building furniture and filling the library with books. We started using it just in time for National Story Telling Week on Monday 30th January. We then planned the area around the library to provide a reading garden. Landscaping the area with bark, picnic benches and raised flower beds.
We trained some of our year 4 pupils to be librarians so the library can be open at lunchtimes. All classes also have a timetable library slot each week.
Mrs Gadsby, the staff and the children of Kettlefields Primary School