School’s library an inspiration to pupils

A south east Northumberland school reached the final of a national competition to find the most inspirational school library in the country.

Ashington Central First School took part in the competition organised by the School Library Association, where they went up against others from around the country to reach the final shortlist of four schools.

The school narrowly missed out on the top spot at a ceremony in London on Monday, but headteacher David Godfrey said it was a huge achievement.

“We are over the moon. It is a big honour for the school to have made it through to the last four,” he said.

“It is quite a prestigious competition, so it was an honour to take part in the event, and to have our library shortlisted is excellent.”

For the final, the schools had to produce a short film showcasing their library.

The three-minute film includes clips of the children and staff talking about their library and describing how it has been transformed from ‘boring and dull’ to what it is today with zoned areas for different genres of books like the jungle zone, space zone, under the sea zone, medieval zone.

“We had to submit a video to show the library working and to give the kids a chance to explain it,” added Mr Godfrey.

“It is in different zones, so it is quite a different school library.

“The kids absolutely love the library.

“We have costumes and musical instruments as well, so it’s a really interesting space.

“Before we created that space it was non-existent and it wasn’t really used at all, but now it is a regular part of every child’s week.

“Our loan figures from last September to June were over 10,000, prior to that it was virtually none.

“Kids are actually wanted to borrow books, and they are really looking after them as well. It is phenomenal, they want to be reading, and it has a staggering impact on the reading results at the end of the year.”

“We will constantly update our library so that we keep it interesting and exciting,” he added.

“To keep the magic there we don’t want them to get used to it, we have to completely change the zones and reinventing it.”

The video, made by Year 4 pupils at the school, is available to view online now at