Pupils found themselves entering the magical world of Hogwarts this week after their school’s refurbished library was unveiled. The library at St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School has been transformed into a Harry Potter-themed wonderland, complete with enchanted forest, and it’s been restocked with over £1,000-worth of new books.

Gryffindor Common Room is the inspiration for the design, with its comfy seating and large fireplace,” said English Lead Rachael Murray. “We also have another area in the library which is themed like the Forbidden Forest, with a large, whole-wall mural and artificial trees. The new space is inspiring and comfortable, with multiple seating areas and cushions for the children to relax on. It is a safe and calming place for the children to relax and let their imagination take them into the magical world of books.

Formerly located in a corridor, the library now has its own dedicated space in the school, which is a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust.

Before, the library was located in a small corridor near the back of the school,” Miss Murray continued. “It wasn’t somewhere children would pass on a daily basis and was quite hidden away and uninspiring. Now all the children use the space multiple times a day and it is very central. The library is open to all children daily, and the children often spend their break times and lunch time breaks relaxing in the library and reading some of the fabulous books.

The library is home to over 200 books, and received some welcome additions to its shelves, thanks to a scheme run by publisher Usborne in association with Mini Macs Magical Bookshop in Newcastle.

Mini Macs works in partnership with Usborne,” continued Miss Murray. “Our Usborne partner, Vikki, organised a whole-school sponsored read, where children would gather sponsors for either reading or listening to stories over the course of a week. We then gathered the money we had raised, and Usborne Books gave us 60 per cent extra, on top of our funds, to buy new books from their range. This was incredible, as we really needed some high-quality books that the children would enjoy, to help promote reading for pleasure.

As well as choosing the theme for the new library, the children were involved in selecting the new books, with £1,000 to spend on their choice of fiction and non-fiction titles.

The new library is incredibly important,” added Miss Murray. “We now have a space where children can choose to read and spend their time looking at books that interest them. The profile of reading has raised massively across the school, and the children often stop me in the corridors to tell me how much they love our new library or about books they are currently enjoying. It has been a fantastic addition to St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School.

The images from the exhibition below are all reproduced with the kind permission of Kate Buckingham.

St Catherine's Magical School Library

Article created on behalf of Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust by Barking Dog Media. For more information email: david@barkingdogmedia.co.uk or call 07754 271086.