Children’s author at opening of Antingham and Southrepps School’s new library

Opening of Antingham and Southrepps Primary School library. Author Alexander Gordon Smith with pupil

Opening of Antingham and Southrepps Primary School library. Author Alexander Gordon Smith with pupils Stanley Cartwright, 9, and Katie Martin, 10.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A 'tired and unloved' area has been transformed into a colourful and exciting reading space for children at a rural north Norfolk school.

Opening of Antingham and Southrepps Primary School library. Author Alexander Gordon Smith talking to

Opening of Antingham and Southrepps Primary School library. Author Alexander Gordon Smith talking to the pupils.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

All 78 pupils at Antingham and Southrepps Primary celebrated the launch of their new-look library with a day of book and writing-related activities.

Head teacher Julia Howse said the event had been a great success.

'I hope it will inspire and encourage the children - boys in particular - to read and write more,' said Miss Howse.

Guest of honour was Norwich-based children's author Alexander Gordon Smith who spoke about how he became a writer.


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Miss Howse said he had brought along the first book he had ever written, about monsters, at the age of six.

UEA graduate Mr Smith also gave the older children writing tips on building tension and suspense.

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He is resident author and patron of writing with the North Norfolk Academy Trust which Antingham and Southrepps Primary School joined last month.

Sheringham High School is also part of the trust which Stalham High is poised to join in January.

The trust had allocated up to £1,000 for the library project, according to Alex Steward, library manager at Sheringham High.

She worked with a teaching assistant and a parent over the summer and in term time to find and remove outdated books from the old Antingham and Southrepps library's stock.

They had been replaced with good new ones, plus favourite classics such as stories by Roald Dahl. And there were floor cushions for the children to use while reading.

'The library was a dead, unloved, tired and neglected space,' said Ms Steward.

'Now it's bright, colourful and vibrant. It's also open at lunchtimes so that the children can spend time enjoying themselves and browsing.

'Reading is such an important skill. It opens doors into other worlds for the children.'

Parents were also invited in on Tuesday to take part in a reading café with their sons and daughters, sharing books and art activities over food and drink.

And the Alby-based North Norfolk Children's Book Centre was in school all day selling books.

? Has your school completed a successful project? Contact alex.hurrell@archant.co.uk

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