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Southbrook Case Study

Southbrook School is a special educational needs (SEN) school in Devon. Following an inspection in 2013, the school was set a challenge to improve its literacy and reading attainment. Alan Tilley, Assistant Headteacher of Southbrook School, explains that "reading and enjoying books is not always easy if you have a learning difficulty and often pupils have a very negative view of reading which was not helped by the school library being outdated".

Determined to provide a solution to the challenge, the school bought an old double decker bus and set about converting it into a fantastic library. They enlisted the talents of a local graffiti artist who was given free rein to transform the outside with his designs. Inside there are spaces to sit and read, while upstairs there are audiobooks and bean bags for pupils to quietly escape.

Following the introduction of the new library, the school has created a pupil librarian programme, which has seen a dramatic increase in all pupils' reading ages at Key Stage 3, and launched termly book competitions and book fairs. Most importantly, Southbrook School now has a library full of pupils. The value of the project can be seen in Lewis, now in Year 8, who would not read at home or school before he joined the school. He has since received an award for reading 100 books this year and has shared his love of reading at home.