New chapter opens at St Nicholas Junior School’s £28,000 new library in Dereham

Author Brian Ogden with pupils at the official opening of the new library at St Nicholas School in D

Author Brian Ogden with pupils at the official opening of the new library at St Nicholas School in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A new chapter opened at a Dereham school as a £28,000 library was unveiled.

After more than a year of construction, youngsters at St Nicholas Junior now have a transformed reading space boasting 7,000 books.

With the help from local author Brian Ogden, best-know for his Maximus Mouse tales, the literary area filled with books, comfortable bean bags, a reading mat and more was declared open.

And hundreds of the children at the school celebrated their reading space with dressing-up as their favourite book characters for the day, from a magical Harry Potter and a shepherd from the bible, to The Cat in the Hat and Where's Wally?

Headteacher Neil Toplis said the importance of reading cannot be underestimated.

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He said: 'The library is not just a room. It is about reading, which makes such a difference.

'Part of this project was to make the library as comfortable as possible.

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'If we start to think about the library as a book store then we have missed the point.

'Reading and writing underpins everything we do.'

The plan to refresh the school's old library spaced began in September 2012 after former headteacher Any Milbourne found the space to be too tired for the pupils to read and learn in.

Around £18,000 was used to gut out the old library space while a further £10,000 bought and updated books to make sure the 410 children at the school have the best reading material.

Brigitte Morton, from Dereham library, helped with the selection of new books and was at the library opening encouraging the young people to sign up to the library service.

She emphasised the importance of children getting into books and the positive knock-on it can have on learning.

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