Pupils at Redgate Primary Academy, part of Diverse Academies, were celebrating this week as their fabulous new accessible library was officially opened.

The Mansfield based academy, which caters for children with special needs, was successful in applying for and receiving a grant of £3,000 from the Foyle Foundation to be used specifically for this project. The funding has allowed for a complete renovation of a former classroom and a complete refresh of the library stock. Two-thirds of the funding has been used to ensure there are books suitable for children of all abilities at the academy including fiction and non-fiction, pop-up, touch and sound books, scratch and sniff books, write and wipe-clean books, and a number of picture only books.

The furniture within the library has also been updated to make the space a more comfortable environment for reading, learning and relaxing, with an IT suite of equipment available to enable interactive learning experiences.

Our chief executive officer Chris Pickering joined pupils and academy senior principal Pauline Corfield on Monday 23 September 2019 to cut the ribbon and declare the library open.

Mrs Corfield said: “I am delighted that we can now officially open the library for our children. The learning space has been completed transformed and is now a vibrant hub of accessible literacy at the heart of the academy. Pupils are able to go into the library as part of their lessons, in their own free time to sit and read, or can take books away to be read at home. It enhances our literacy offer for pupils, and I’m so pleased to launch this today.”

Jess Whitehouse, literacy co-ordinator at Redgate, added: “It has been a really enjoyable project to deliver and the pupils have responded really positively. Staff have been developing a reading spine which has informed the books we chose to purchase, ensuring we have at least one of each book and multiples of key texts. We have developed reading sets so that pupils have easy access to appropriate books to develop their learning.”

To support the literacy curriculum, the academy are also now developing ‘story sacks’ to stimulate interactive learning experiences that develop language and creativity skills, alongside creating curriculum resources to support teaching staff to support pupils’ development.