An ambitious plan to develop the library at Hampshire’s largest junior school into a ‘hub of excellence’ moved a step closer to reality today when the Abbotswood School Library project secured a fantastic £20,000 Community Award from the OneFamily Foundation.
A recent Ofsted inspection concluded the improvement in pupil’s reading wasn’t as rapid as in other subjects. The school, situated in Totton, Southampton, is determined to turn this around by enriching the reading experience for pupils by modernising their library and making it a place where children thoroughly enjoy learning in a great environment.
As a successful winner of the OneFamily Community Award, the school plans to invest in new furniture and facilities to create a comfortable and welcoming learning space. Technology will be introduced to encourage pupils’ engagement with storytelling and information gathering. In addition, a range of diverse materials, to stretch readers and assist those still developing their reading skills, will be made available.
Kristin Hounsell, OneFamily customer and librarian at Abbotswood Junior School, said: “This funding award is amazing news for the school. We want to become a hub for excellence and for our community to feel proud, not only of our results, but of our reputation for providing great and engaging education. Investing in modernising our library will accelerate our progress and children in our area can become even more excited about reading, raising expectations for their futures.
“It’s very exciting that the first phase of work can now start. We want to say a huge thank you to both the OneFamily Foundation for their generosity and the public for voting for our project!”
OneFamily is a mutual organisation providing investments, savings, health and life insurance products to help families work together to meet the financial demands of modern life. As a customer owned business it is run for the benefit of its customers. The OneFamily Foundation redistributes a portion of the organisation’s profits, and aspires to make £5 million available to customers over the next five years to help them, their families and their local communities. The Foundation has already helped hundreds of customers with personal grants since its launch in 2014, and its funding pot is made possible due to the financial stability of the customer-owned organisation.
OneFamily customers have been busy nominating community projects for funding and the public have been encouraged to show their support through an online vote. The Abbotswood School Library project was nominated by Kristin, and is one of four UK projects announced today as a winner of an award.
Anna Drabble, Head of Community at OneFamily said: “We are delighted to award our largest amount of funding to Abbotswood School. We applaud the ambition to engage pupils in reading in a way that will stimulate their learning and create a fantastic resource for the benefit of the whole school.”
For further information about the OneFamily Foundation please go to https://foundation.onefamily.com/