IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

School in Barnsbury hopes for happy ending to library appeal

22 June, 2018

Kate Slotover and Buffy Sharpe raising money by selling books at Cally Fest

A PRIMARY school is looking to build a new library to fill its students with “awe and wonder” and instil a lifelong love for reading, despite not receiving any government funding for the £100,000 build.

Parents and teachers at Thornhill Primary School in Barnsbury have launched an ambitious fundraising appeal to raise the money to create a new reading space at the school.

Headteacher Jenny Lewis, who took over the management of the school in Thornhill Road two-and-a-half years ago, said she was looking to create “something spectacular”.

“There is a desire and need for having a library,” she added. “It’s about the children reading for pleasure but reading is important across the whole curriculum. It’s not just about them passing SATs exams but lifelong skills, and I want them to explore books.”

Ms Lewis said the new library will give children space to relax and explore books.

Pupil Maia with her idea of how the new school library could look

“Some of our children have older siblings and don’t have that space and quiet to read at home. We want to provide a space where children can get back to reading,” she said.

Pupils helped architect Gareth Marriott, from local architecture firm Jan Kattein, to come up with the plans for the unused building in the playground which will be transformed into a library. Town Hall planners granted permission for the conversion last month.

Ms Lewis said: “The design is not adult-dominated. One of our governors has helped secure lots of magnifying classes so the children can create something spectacular out of them. The library will be captivating and will fill the children with awe and wonder.”

A group of dedicated parents even gave up their Sunday to sell second-hand books at Cally Fest, in Caledonian Road, to help raise money towards the school’s goal.

Parent Kate Slotover said: “With cuts, the school can’t fund the library from their own budget and we really want to help them. It’s really important for younger children to have access to a good library.”

The school has raised around £20,000 of the £100,000 target. To find out more about the various fundraising events including an upcoming sponsored run and a student-run pop-up restaurant, visit: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/runthornhillrun/465471

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