A lesson in how to get books off the shelf

STOW HEATH junior school in Wolverhampton has transformed its library after concern was expressed that, although its shelves were full of books, children were not reading them.

Over three years, the school has transformed a drab cloakroom into a bright, spacious library with soft chairs and colourful books. And the children are reading more and choosing a wider range of reading.

The library has been singled out for special praise by Ofsted inspectors. Jean Edge, the headteacher, made it her mission to improve the library since becoming acting head in 2002. "I was determined we had to move to improve the amount of reading," she said. "We are also bucking the trend and managing to get boys to be keen readers of fiction. The inspectors were particularly impressed with the highly developed research skills of children as young as eight, skills you learn by being comfortable with using a library."