Skills for life

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


The Ridge Junior School is a 2 form entry school for children in years 3 to 6. We currently have 240 children at our school.

Our project's aim is to develop our library space into a more pleasing and child friendly area which all our children will enjoy using. We benefit from having a small but dedicated FoS who have worked really hard to raise money for the school. They have been able to contribute towards our books stocking the library and we have been fortunate enough to be able to use some of our school budget to invest further in new books. However, new books are only part of the story. What we really need to do now is improve the actual library environment for our children.

Our school library is currently in a very small room. It was moved there a few years ago after a reorganisation of our school but we did not have the funds available to develop it the way that we or the children would like. We have tried to make it into a pleasing environment but feel that it is not child friendly enough nor a place that children like to go and read for pleasure. Our school has identified reading for pleasure as an important aspect for us to develop this year, and a newly revamped library would, we feel, help towards this.

After taking suggestions from the children, we would like to redecorate the room by taking down the cupboards and having pictures of book characters painted on the walls. We would also like to take out the table and chairs which take up too much room and replace them with a more comfortable seating area where children can read and talk to each other about their books. We would also like to provide a lower table and chairs more conducive to children sharing books.

Our library shelves were repurposed from another area of the school and we feel that they are not suitable for children, who have told us that they don't want to borrow books from the bottom shelves as it involves getting right down onto the floor in an uncomfortable position. Our fiction books are also on the same type of bookcases as our non-fiction, making them too deep to be suitable, and also taking up more room than necessary. We would love to be able to purchase specially designed school library furniture where every book is visible and accessible and space, as it is limited, is not wasted. As we were able to buy quite a few books recently, we now don't have enough space on the shelves to fit more in and it would be a shame, having spent money on new books, not to have them on display for the children to borrow.

Currently, we only have a few volunteers who help run the library, making sure children are able to borrow and return books without problems, tiding the bookshelves and adding new books to our system. Sadly, this means that the library is not open as often as we would like it to be. We believe that if it was a better environment, more people would be willing to spend time helping in it.

The author Michael Morpurgo said 'The library is the heart of creativity at any school'. At the moment, we feel that our library is not a place that encourages creativity in our children. However, we believe that all these improvements to our library would really benefit our children by providing them with a better space which will encourage them to visit the library more often and read more books for pleasure. and develop their creativity. Our children's current attitude to our library is 'It's alright'. We don't feel that this is good enough for our children - they deserve an area that they enjoy visiting and spending time reading in.

The RIdge Junior School

Moment of Pride

Our children are fantastic - they have never complained about the library environment but do not really enjoy using it. They work so hard in their lessons and deserve a more pleasing area that is more conducive to them being able to relax and enjoy selecting and discussing books with their friends.

Location: Yate