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Battyeford Primary School

Inspiration Award 2014: Judges' Citations

Battyeford CE (VC) Primary School

Mirfield, West Yorkshire

Headteacher: Diane Pyatt


Finalist in the Primary School Category, 2014

Battyeford Primary School is a vibrant, larger than average 4 to 11 school with approx. 450 children on roll situated in the small town of Mirfield, equidistant between the West Yorkshire population centres of Dewsbury and Huddersfield. Its staff, led [at the date of the judges’ visit] by acting Headteacher Phil Sunter, is very keen to raise aspiration and achievement, develop effective independent learning and use of IT and inspire a love of reading in all their pupils and of course raise literacy levels across the school. This drive led them to Accelerated Reader and through this to develop their exciting new library.

Inspired by a school they visited in Sheffield they decided to revamp, reinvigorate and generally develop an exciting school library/learning centre – very much with a Learning Commons of collaborative and small group ethos to it.  Having the opportunity to expand their existing library space, they wanted to reinvent their ideas of a school library and turn it into the Allan Lawton Learning Centre, in memory of a previous Headteacher and benefactor. Now they have the combined space of two adjoining classrooms, rather than just the previous one. The working group quickly made plans for their new library space that would incorporate different areas for group/research work characterised by special tables for collaborative learning, for IT, and for reading/story telling area, also an exciting  hobbit house, designed for small group reading. The bespoke shelving and seating used in the library has been used to create these various zones. Several groups can therefore work within the library independently of each other. The library also has lots of shelving for books, two runs of kinderboxes, some wall murals with a historical theme painted by a talented member of staff, several interactive white boards and some useful spaces for class display, that include a national timeline.

Collaborative learning is the name of the game and it was good to learn about and see children focused and engaged in group work around their dry wipe tables or working at the numerous IT work stations with touch screen technology and with some of the many iPads located in the library. There is also a large green screen in a small room just adjacent to the Learning Centre. The school wants to go further yet – plans include the purchase of a large flat screen television and some webcams and in time a library management system to computerise the stock. There are also further ambitious plans to create an Early Years Library nearer to the classrooms of these younger children. Here is a school with ambitious plans for learning, for reading for pleasure and for information, for project working and for its school library. It’s keen to think in terms of 21st century learning and links with emerging technologies, raising aspiration and literacy levels. Good luck to the school, its staff and its most interesting Learning Centre.

Further information about the SLA School Library Inspiration Award.