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School children on lets get on the bus and read bus used for encouraging reading

Children take the bus to a world of literature and imagination

A double decker bus is transformed into a magical library in this gripping tale of a school’s plan to encourage reading with the help of Tesco funding...

Staff at Robert Kett Primary School in Wymondham, Norfolk wanted to give children more things to do at lunchtime, especially those children not so into the usual playground games. Some teachers had the idea of a ‘Quiet Zone’ for reading – but that wouldn’t be so great on rainy days. What was needed was an area that was both inside and outside – and the answer came in the shape of a double decker bus, paid for by Tesco!

The bus was parked on a little-used area of the playground. A gang of volunteers – parents and staff – got to work on a major makeover. The bus would no longer transport people to places, instead it would transport children to imaginary worlds. The seats were removed and shelves lined the walls, thanks to donations of wood and materials. Parents made beanbags and seating and bright murals were painted inside. 

Now at playtime, children can visit the bus and sample the books. The bus is a popular corner of the playground, allowing children to enjoy a break from the usual classroom environment.

“It really comes into its own at playtime” says Karen Hurst, School Business Manager. “Some children don’t always want to run around and play games – they’d prefer to sit quietly and read. It’s a real community spot for the children.”

A space for friendships to grow

“The children often sit and read to each other and invent stories, and go into their own imaginary world which is beautiful to see.”

There’s a ‘friendship corner’ where children feeling lonely can sit and find a friend. The bus is also used a lot for various clubs and activities including lego, painting and even knitting.

A second part of the project also encourages reading. A wooden throne and mushroom seating forms a ‘poet’s corner’ in the school field. Storytellers and poets occupy the throne to introduce children to the magical world of literature. During breaks, it’s become a place to play and be creative, says Karen:

“The children often sit and read to each other and invent stories, and go into their own imaginary world which is beautiful to see.”

The ‘Bags of Help’ funding was essential in getting the project off the ground:

“We wouldn’t have been able to do it without Tesco!” 

What’s more, the impact on the children has been huge, according to Karen:

“It’s helped the children with their learning, but the biggest benefit has been in their social development. The bus and the poet’s corner allow our children to use their imagination in playing together. They get absorbed in it, it’s really lovely to see!”

Your community can also benefit from a Bags of Help grant. 

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