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Howard Junior School

Inspiration Award 2015: Judges' Citations

Howard Junior School
King’s Lynn, Norfolk
Headteacher: Gregory L. Hill

Finalist in the SLA Inspiration Award, 2015

Howard Junior School is a school of 193 pupils in King’s Lynn. Although located in an area of Norfolk with a high level of social deprivation, pupils at Howard Junior School excel in reading. Together, head teacher Mr Hill and Literacy Leader Ms Hopkins have immersed pupils in reading throughout the school, whether they are in the playground, in their classrooms or walking down the corridor.

At the heart of the school’s reading culture are the fiction and non-fiction libraries. The fiction library started out as a simple castle theme but a visit to Harry Potter World captured the children’s imaginations and they wanted to adapt their library to reflect this. The shelving is framed with castle panels covered in specially sourced brick wall printed covering for authenticity. Books in the fiction library are banded allowing pupils to choose books independently. The neon lighting and glow in the dark genre stickers are both attractive and practical. The non-fiction library has been designed with a space/spaceship theme. Wall-mounted shelving has been covered in interestingly shaped metal panels with a porthole highlighting the ‘non-fiction book of the week’. Here the library uses the Dewey Decimal System. Additionally two banks of iPads are available for research and use with interactive books.

Regular author visits provide further inspiration for pupils and pictures from these visits are displayed on the wall opposite the non-fiction library entrance. Pupils are encouraged to share their joy of reading by creating book reviews using the Aurasma app and presenting book reviews in assembly.

Reading is not restricted to indoors. Children can embark on reading adventures outside in the fort. Here, children can read in one of two Tee Pees, individually or in small groups. Further reading provision is made around the reading chair with two long logs and in the reading canopy where class reading sessions regularly take place in the shade.
This immersion in reading has brought about a positive change in attitude amongst children who have previously disliked reading whilst allowing those who already enjoy reading to continue to flourish.
With inspirational leadership in the form of Mr Hill and Ms Hopkins, Howard Junior school has succeeded in raising reading standards and creating a reading culture throughout the school that will benefit pupils present and future throughout their educational life and beyond.

Further information about the SLA School Library Inspiration Award.