Our library is a National Literacy Trust Flasgship Library. As part of our engagement with the NLT's Love Our Libraries programme, Spa's library was renovated by the National Literacy Trust. Sitting in the heart of our school, our open-plan library inspires and is the beating heart of our reading culture.
We recognise that our library houses the reading diet of our pupils. This cannot be left to chance. Every book in our library has been carefully chosen for its contribution to our curriculum and/or its contribution to developing high-quality literacy.
Our library is organised to develop our pupils as readers. Shelves are organised by genre or authors so that pupils can develop their own unique interests and can easily access literature they want more of.
Reading Ambassadors refresh our library weekly, responding to the interests and trends of our pupils.
Throughout our library, the books studied through our Literature-Led Curriculum are prominently displayed and used as signposts for those pupils wishing to explore similar reads to the literature they have enjoyed in class.
Up-to-date related non-fiction and fiction texts linked to the literature being studied that half-term in classes is always displayed, allowing pupils to explore the concepts being taught in class further, through reading for pleasure.
Every day ends with 20 minutes of uninterrupted story time at Spa. Throughout the day, there are many opportunities for pupils to read.
In the final twenty minutes of the school day, our focus is on modelling reading. This time provides an opportunity for teachers to share and model their enthusiasm for reading, as well as being models of prosody - intonation, phrasing and expression.
Story Time together events are held in school, with pupils invited to join their child in a range of creative activities, linked to their current literature study. Our latest event had over 120 parents attend!
Throughout the year, Spa pupils take part in a range of carefully-chosen events that contribute to our curriculum intent and developing our reading culture.
Visits throughout the year build on and contribute to our Literature-Led Curriculum. This includes visits that support building the cultural capital and prior knowledge required to fully understand a text or visits focused solely on developing lifelong readers.
Our corridor environment ensure that not only is reading highly visible but that it is proudly displayed through high-quality displays. Story corners within classrooms provide opportunities again for a class community of readers to be built, designed as tools to inspire book talk and develop our pupils as readers.
Our Reading Newsletter, available via social media, the school website and sent via text to parents, includes:
This aims to not only support the reading culture we are fostering with pupils, but also supporting parents in finding their next read!
We are determined to ensure all our pupils are able to find a route in to reading. We carefully choose the books that pupils choose from in classroom (as part of our reading scheme) and ensure high-quality literature is available in our library.
We regularly conduct pupil voice, identifying trends in pupils' reading habits and respond to these with the books that we add to our reading collection.
It is important that every child at Spa can see themselves in a book; equally, books are windows to communities beyond Askern. Supporting our No Outsiders ethos, we ensure that the diversity of our pupils is reflected in the books available to pupils. At the same time, the books our pupils read as part of the Literature-Led Curriculum and available in our library support teaching of the Equality Act and the protected characteristics, providing windows to diversity within and beyond Spa.
We are delighted to be participating in ‘Doncaster Stories’, a 10 year community driven campaign to boost literacy skills in the town. It is delivered by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Doncaster Opportunity Area.
Each term, we take part in a DEAR day - a Leger Education Trust celebration of reading.
Our Virtual Library provides parents/carers and pupils with access to digital storytelling videos. These can be used to support storytelling at home and is regularly updated with new finds. Books chosen for the Virtual Library, as with our in-school library, align with our curriculum aims.
During lockdown, we were determined to ensure that books made their way in to the hands of our pupils. In January 2021, Spa led the launch of the Leger Library Bus. Every Wednesday, the Leger Library Bus travelled across Askern, delivering books to the pupils of Spa Academy and its two feeder infant schools. Our idea even caught the eye of the Department for Education!
We know how important reading is for children— Department for Education (@educationgovuk) March 4, 202
It’s why we love this idea by @SpaAcadAskern+@DringhousesPS to run reading buses (and campervans) to give pupils access to the school library during lockdown, bringing books into the heart of their local communities 📚#WorldBookDay pic.twitter.com/Oz5Lf0sQ9i