Barrow Hills library refurbished to ignite ‘lifelong passion’ for reading

The prep school's head said the school will do everything in its power to ensure children grow up recognising the 'significant value of books'

Barrow Hills School has refurbished its library, which it opened at the beginning of its autumn term.

The original library, ‘Great Roke’, which is situated in the main school building, underwent the refurbishment during the summer holidays, assisted by Envoplan. The work was made possible through a £10,000 donation by the Barrow Hills Community Committee.

Great Roke was built in 1909 by architects Herbert Tudor Buckland and Edward Haywood-Farmer, who were best known for their arts and crafts houses. Of these, Great Roke was the “largest and most ambitious”, the school said.

The new library features William Morris blinds and a colour scheme sympathetic with this era.

At Barrow Hills, our pupil profile encourages children to be scholarly, curious and responsible and it is hard to imagine how to hone these attributes without easy access to books

Philip Oldroyd, head of Barrow Hills School, said: “The Department for Education has acknowledged the vital role that school libraries play in encouraging children to read widely. However, with a recent report commissioned by the Great School Libraries campaign run by CILIP revealing that 13% – or one in eight schools – don’t have access to a library space, a designated reading zone is not something that is always available.

“This is especially true in primary schools where finding a dedicated library space is even less likely. At Barrow Hills, our pupil profile encourages children to be scholarly, curious and responsible and it is hard to imagine how to hone these attributes without easy access to books.

“Our children are not just encouraged to read per se, we want them to enjoy reading and for it to become a lifelong passion. We want to do everything in our power to ensure our children grow up recognising the significant value that books can bring to their lives – and to their overall wellbeing.”

Lou Emmett, a former Barrow Hills parent and teaching assistant, has taken up the position of librarian.