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Dixons Allerton Academy

Inspiration Award 2014: Judges' Citations

Dixons Allerton Academy

Allerton, West Yorkshire

Principal: Rachel Kidd


Winner of the Secondary School Category, 2014

Dixons Allerton is a non-selective, co-ed, multi-ethnic all age school: a new build academy, larger than the average secondary school.

The previous school library had to house buckets to catch the drips in the leaking ceiling, so the new space is a complete contrast.

Located centrally over the school entrance, adjacent to the Atrium, the library space links to the expanding primary school on the same campus and part of the same building – bridging the transition from primary to secondary, as well as the physical building.

Consultation between the school and architects was truly a two-way process, with the school holding back on other areas in order to increase the library space.

The school is keen that the Bridge supports learning – the priority of the school, and helps to raise attainment. Its activities and links to curriculum are excellent. It is a ‘Learning Commons’ offering an effective support to the curriculum and independent learning, whether that is in small groups utilising the collaborative workstations or as a class at the study tables or sprawled across the floor of the Portal, the space within the space, an immersive, interactive multisensory area where flexibility is key.

The Bridge has the highest concentration of technology in school, utilised not as an end in itself, but applied to enhance learning. Seen as integral to school aims by all and appreciated by teachers and students alike, the Bridge is equally as important to develop literacy – Reading for Pleasure not being forgotten with a diversity of areas for private or group reading.
This is a larger than usual flexible and exciting space. Furniture is able to be constantly moved about to suit learning/teaching situations. The lack of fixed IT work stations with mobile technology future-proofs the space and the whole centre gives the appearance of being ahead of the game.

Further information about the SLA School Library Inspiration Award.