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Gallery: Martlesham youngsters caught by reading bug

14:29 01 October 2012

Birchwood Primary School has a new library.

Birchwood Primary School has a new library.

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TEACHERS and children are celebrating the launch of a new school learning resource.

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Birchwood Primary School in Valiant Road, Martlesham Heath, now has a fully-stocked, brand new library at its disposal.

The completion of the library was part of the school’s atrium development project.

Headteacher Steve Cloke, who officially unveiled the library last week, said: “Three years ago the school’s atrium had a leaking roof, unbearably hot in the summer, had temperatures of 0.5C in the winter and had concrete tiles on the floor.

“Over the last two years the roof has been totally replaced with thicker glass that is UV repellent, so books do not get damaged, and they automatically open and close depending on the temperature and weather.

“The second stage has literally just finished with the floor being replaced with Birchwood blue carpet and the icing on the cake was my vision of books being brought in for the library.”

The work has been funded by saving the devolved school capital budget for the past five years and by the school’s Parent Teacher and Friends Association through various fundraising events.

Mr Cloke added: “On top of that, the work was carried out by the Community Payback Scheme.

“The team have been at the school pretty much every weekend of the school year and I’d estimate that their labour instead of paying for builders, has saved us around £6,500 which I have been able to spend on books.”

The new library, which is the first at the school since it was built 22 years ago, is stocked with shelves upon shelves of both fiction and non-fiction books for children to choose from.

The pupils have been given their own library cards and will be able to borrow books from the library to enjoy at school and at home.

Youngsters from each year have had a hand in adding to the library area by writing book reviews of their class books for this half-term.

Reviews have been written for fiction books including Elmer and Michael Recycle as well as non-fiction texts such as Sea Turtles.

Mr Cloke said: “The parental support has been phenomenal and people couldn’t believe how much the atrium space had been transformed from the inhospitable space it was before.

“It’s not just a new library, it’s a space for assemblies, dance classes and many other activities.

“Staff are thrilled and can’t wait to get in there from today.”

The grand opening was combined with a Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning fundraiser with cakes and coffee sold in aid of the cancer care charity.

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