Outdoor library at Aslockton school to boost mental health and is eco-friendly
A new outdoor reading library was created at a primary school for Mental Health Awareness Week.
Environmental and wellbeing ambassadors of the Pupil Parliament at Archbishop Cranmer Primary Academy, Aslockton, expressed the idea to staff, who made it a reality.
The outdoor library was up-cycled from a former kennel, which was donated to the school. It was repainted, fitted with shelves, wallpapered with recycled blinds and also includes a solar panel for sustainable lighting.
“We are a school that believes in the power of reading,” said deputy headteacher and reading lead Lauren Rogers.
“We can’t wait for the children to enjoy a book outdoors, reaping the benefits of the sunshine, fresh air and nature in conjunction with our outdoor learning area. It will be excellent for health and wellbeing whilst promoting growing a love for reading and helping to maintain excellent reading scores. The children are so excited about the library, they’ve already earmarked the books they want to read first.”
The library will be used by pupils across the whole school during break times and the school’s dedicated ‘reading for pleasure’ times. It will also compliment the school’s new outdoor learning area, which was created by staff, parents and community volunteers at the beginning of the pandemic.
Year 5 pupil Evie Cresswell, who is Pupil Parliament environmental ambassador, said: “I am so excited to start reading outside and proud to have created a mindful area that is eco-friendly.”
Most of the work was carried out by caretaker Allen Gibson and Rachel Kelly – a trainee teacher at the school and student at Nottingham Trent University.
The kennel revamp ties in to the students’ course project, to leave a legacy at the school.