Front Lawn Junior School
Front Lawn Junior School is situated on the Leigh Estate in Havant, just north of Portsmouth. Located in an area of high social deprivation, this 7–11 junior school with approximately 180 children is keen to raise aspiration and achievement, develop progressive teaching and learning, modernise its curriculum and improve its literacy levels – hence its excellent new library. Their investment, hard work and exciting library is inspiring the children, teaching and support staff in school and the wider community of parents and supporters.
Occupying a central position just beyond the main foyer and in a main thoroughfare, the library is twice the size and perhaps ten times more exciting and stimulating than the previous one. Tina Newman, the Head Teacher and driving force, has been keen to create a colourful, creative, stimulating reading and learning centre that partly mirrors a public library in ambience and organisation. She and her team and children ably supported by the school’s site manager, staff from Hampshire Schools Library Service and Derek Langford who previously worked for IBM and is now the library project manager, have created a real little gem of a library. The vision emerged in late 2010 with the bulk of the work being achieved over the early months of 2011.
Neatly split into two sections by dividing walls and an archway… the reading area is attractive and stimulating. With its black book shelves, dark study tables and chairs, comfy furniture, numerous gold fish tanks, exciting book and wall and map displays and mood lighting it has much to offer the young reader and researcher. The ICT area is equally as stimulating. The range of ICT workstations, the low storage units, the DVD player with a large screen, low seating, displays of rocks and crystals, the clocks showing times around the world, inspiring quotes and labels and strategically placed children’s stuffed animals make this a real learning and thinking area. It has a very homely feel to it.
The judges were perhaps a little disappointed to see adult size IKEA-type furniture in use for study tables and chairs and the circular ICT workstation but the overall atmosphere of the library was excellent. The two distinct areas, the cream/beige walls, dark grey carpet, black shelving, the colourful magenta, blue and orange circular mats, good use of mood lighting, excellent displays/captions on walls and inspirational quotes make this a ‘stand out from the crowd’ primary school library.