We are coming up to the end of the first term of ‘re-imagining’ our space from the Senior Library to the Reading Room. In a nutshell, we are a technology free area. Our vision was to have a space where students could step out of the school environment and feel like they were walking into an eclectic bookshop/ café. We have started to collect eclectic pieces that make our space unique and expose students to pieces that they don’t see every day.
Our students (and staff) love the space, with around 50+ students utilising our space at breaks- all off the ‘digital leash’. We have students reading, in book clubs, playing cards and UNO games and tournaments sometimes. There are chess games, Scrabble and board games and then students just meeting here and spending time catching up. It is so lovely to see a group of about 15 Year 12 students that come in every recess and take time away from work and devices to chat and play cards while eating their recess. We trialled allowing students to eat in this space and this has worked out really well. The students that don’t feel comfortable in the playground were frequently going without food just to come in. This often meant they were then having meltdowns in class as they were understandably hungry. For other students, they can eat and read or even get bookwork done at the same time as eating. So far, all have been utilising bins and leaving their space litter free.
We are onto our 4th window display. These displays are designed to encourage people to come in and to evoke positive responses in the hall that the window is in. We have been thrilled with the responses that we receive about them.
Our first one was in our last post about the VIP launch- Welcoming everyone to the Reading Room. We then celebrated the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week with an original design piece by Machaela Smith (alumni class of 2016) and links to modern fashion designers alongside the origins of making fashion with vintage sewing equipment.
Our next display was “Challenge yourself- Adventure awaits!”
This was made up of exciting outdoor extreme adventure equipment lent to us by Mr. Paul Karis (Mrs. Karis’ husband) Within these items were a number of items that have been to Base camp and up Mt Everest. We are grateful to have community that are so willing to lend us items for these displays.
Our current display is “Come on in- it’s cold outside” This is all about winter and encouraging students to come in out of the cold and enjoy our blankets and warm environment. We even have snow and a special ‘Olaf inspired’ snowman made out of books to put a smile on the faces of those walking by.
We have two jars that we are currently encouraging contributions for. One is a Community currency jar. It is for people to donate random coins (no notes) from places they have been overseas. We are hoping that we can have a full jar to show the places that our community visit outside of the Sutherland Shire. It has been very interesting to see what countries people are bringing coins from. Students frequently look to see the differences and similarities to our currency.
The other jar is a brand new one. It is to put boarding passes and boarding pass stubs in. Again, to show the places we visit and spark conversations. Both these jars sit on a bookshelf of travel guides that we have for our students and staff to borrow to learn about upcoming holiday destinations. These books love to travel with families to the destinations. If you would like to borrow a book for a specific holiday location or for your ‘wish list’ of destinations feel free to e-mail me and we can send the book home with your child (K-12).
Until the end of week two next term, if your child (or you) brings in donated overseas coins or boarding passes, please feel welcome to take a thank you chocolate from my chocolate jar.
On the day of the opening of the new building, feel free to come on in and say hello, and look around our new space. We are always looking for donations of eclectic pieces so if you think you have something that might be a conversation piece, I would be glad to chat to you about it then or via e-mail.
Mrs Kim Smith
The Reading Room- Inaburra School