Who are Gillingham St Michael’s Primary School?
Gillingham St Michael’s Primary School are a tiny school with only 68 pupils aged 4-11. It is located on the border of Norfolk and Suffolk. The school has experienced vast changes in the last six years; changing from a school for Reception to Year 4, to a primary that now accommodates pupils until the end of Year 6. They have more than doubled in size in the last six years. In 2010 they had only 32 pupils! Until 2015 there were just two classes but, due to the growth in pupil numbers, an extension was completed in December 2016 to provide them with an additional classroom and a small library. Although they received funding to build the library, they didn’t have the funds needed to furnish or fill it.
The rural location of the school means that children are often unable to visit local libraries. The new space has provided them with a ‘fresh start’ and an opportunity to to develop a love of reading that transcends the walls of the classroom. A true library space would enable the school to target children who experience reading difficulties by providing ‘special’ reading clubs that would accommodate their needs.
What does a donation mean to them?
The difference a library would make to our school cannot be underestimated. Of course we are overjoyed that so many children want to come to our school, and this is partly why we are full to bursting, but we do need to ensure that the needs of all of our children are being met! We want our students to blossom in an environment that is rich in books. A special room where children can choose to come and explore both independently and with adult support would really enhance reading independence and develop life-long reading habits. Following an audit of the school’s current books it was found that there was a large gap for books that met the totally new topics introduced in the new Curriculum in 2014.
As a small rural school, fund-raising is a challenge for Gillingham St Michael’s. Most local businesses in Beccles tend to support only the Beccles schools. While the ‘Friends’ of the school have worked tirelessly to raise funds for the school through a vast array of initiatives, Eastpoint wanted to be part of this too. by giving a donation that would help Gillingham St. Michaels towards achieving their goal of providing a fully stocked library for their children, Eastpoint have helped to create a space where students can enjoy reading and learn.