Irchester school’s cosy cottage a novel idea

Pupils at Irchester Community Primary School had a VIP - very important poet - to cut the ribbon of their new ‘Story Cottage’ library extension.

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 6:00 am
Poet and author Valerie Bloom offcially opened the 'story cottage' on her visit to Irchester Community Primary School

Poet and novelist Valerie Bloom officially declared the new reading space open during her visit to the school, assisted by a group of competition winners.

The Jamaican-born performer inspired budding writers throughout their school assembly and with two creative writing workshops.

School librarian Viv Hall, who masterminded the Story Cottage project, said: “Valerie was amazing. She did a presentation to the whole school and they all sat there rapt.

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Special guest Valerie Bloom

“She then held two poetry workshops for our Year 6 children who have produced some amazing poetry.

“Valerie was also interviewed by our reading ambassadors where she revealed that it can take her up to four years to complete one poem.

“Afterwards she opened the new Story Cottage along with our competition winners.”

Mrs Hall has overseen the transformation of an area off the existing library with help from colleagues and funding from the school’s Parent Teacher Association.

The Story Cottage is furnished with sofas, cushions and curtains

She added: “The Story Cottage is an area where children can go to listen to stories, or quietly read.

“It is more like a lounge than a classroom with wallpaper, sofas, curtains, cushions and a rug - and bookshelves.

“We’ve got a really good site supervisor, Craig Allen, who built the partition walls and put in windows for us.

“The children love it. They can go in the library and choose a book then settle down to read it in comfort.

“It will increase their enjoyment of reading and engage children of all abilities.”

Mrs Hall hopes also soon to introduce audio books to enable children to listen to audiobooks.

To find out more about Valerie Bloom go to