Rustington school’s library revamped with help from local businesses

Staff at Georgian Gardens Community Primary School are grateful to local businesses and the PTA for help in putting together its wonderful new library.

Having been installed at the school in Rustington over the summer holidays, the library is now proving popular with the children, who had been able to have their say on what they wanted.

Miss Amie Bowers, head teacher, said: “We were lucky to have a good sized and well cared for library but it really needed rejuvenating.

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“After discussions with pupils, we came up with a plan for a complete revamp incorporating bright, age-appropriate fittings.

The new library at Georgian Gardens Community Primary School in Rustington

“We are so incredibly grateful to our PTA and local businesses for their financial support as without their help, this fantastic new space wouldn’t have been possible.”

Research by the Schools Literacy Trust shows school libraries have huge benefits for children, including motivation, attitude to reading and self-esteem, as well as impact on general academic attainment.

Miss Bowers pointed out that schools are not required to have a school library and squeezes of finances can mean such areas can get overlooked.

She added: “We are determined to do everything we can to improve the lives and learning of all our pupils and the library is just one aspect of this at Georgian Gardens.

A lovely place to sit and read

“We realise just how difficult things have been for local businesses and are so grateful for their support, which will benefit current and future pupils at the school.”

Laura Godley, chairman of the PTA, is a parent and member of staff at the school.

She said: “I have a real passion for reading, so to be able to play such an integral part of rebuilding the library was amazing.

“Our school community is astounding, everyone comes together for our events. I want to thank all the adults that support both within running and attending them and hope to be back to running events again soon.”

Paul Wojcik, of Advanced Ventilation Systems in Ford, co-ordinated the business response, as a PTA member, parent and local businessman.

Laura said: “We are so grateful to him for both his donation and also the huge amount of work he put in speaking to local companies about the project.

“We would like to name the library after sponsoring companies but ‘the Advanced Ventilation Systems, HD White, SPS Louvre Systems Ltd, The Admin Tree, MHA Carpenter Box, Sally Scott Bookkeeping Services, Waitrose and Booths Ltd library’ is probably too much to remember! Instead we are working on various virtual ideas to publicly thank companies for their support in these Covid times.”

Measures have been put in place to ensure the library can be used by all children, safely and within Covid-19 guidelines. Key to ensuring this works in practice is the school’s much-loved volunteer librarian Grace Simms, who runs Chatterbox reading groups and helps with the accelerated reader scheme.

Nurturing green-fingers is another important part of life at Georgian Gardens and the school has been taking part in Rustington Parish Council’s annual gardens competition since 2007.

This year, due to Covid-19, the judges could not visit the schools to meet the children and see their beautiful planting projects, so entries were submitted using a series of photographs.

Georgian Gardens was thrilled to be named the schools winner, after highlighting its year-three eco garden, the newly-planted sensory garden, woodland walk and the high hollyhocks at the front of the school.

The year-three vegetable plot has been developing since 2018 with various produce.

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