Double-decker bus to be unveiled as new school library and learning zone
Children at a Sudbury primary school will soon have a very different place to read books and learn with the unveiling of a new library – inside a double-decker bus.
Pot Kiln Primary School will officially open its brand-new library on Monday, which has been built inside a retired double-decker bus from Hedingham’s Tollesbury bus depot in Essex.
The depot closed down permanently in 2016 and the bus will serve not just as a library, but also as a therapeutic environment for pupils.
From September, the school will be engaged in an approach called ‘Thrive’ – which provides a way of working with children to support optimal and emotional development.
In addition, the approach can enable staff to work with children who may have struggled with difficult real-life events.
Toni Kittle, headteacher, said: “We wanted to create an additional multi-functional space for pupils and families to include an inviting library/reading area and ‘Thrive’ room that would both engage readers and provide space for therapy.
“As we know, life is a journey and not all parts of that journey run smoothly.”
The project was made possible thanks to the generosity of many individuals, groups and companies who pulled together to bring the bus to life.
The school’s PTA group – the Friends of Pot Kiln – initially sourced the double-decker and donated a large amount of funding.
The Sudbury Rotary Club and the Arts Society of South Suffolk provided further funding and children from the school were involved in the design of the outside of the bus, as well as pitching their ideas for the ‘chill-out’ areas inside.
Mrs Kittle said: “The children were so excited. We had a competition to come up with a design for the outside of the bus and after receiving so many entries, we incorporated many of the winning designs.
“These were applied using a graffiti artist who worked with our older children. The overall slogan was ‘The journey of a lifetime starts with the turning of a page’.”
The primary school then enlisted the help of KLH Architects, based in Ipswich, who offered its services and materials for free.
Alan Wilkinson, senior architect, said: “This project provided us with an exciting opportunity to do something a bit different to our usual building projects and the idea that we can create an environment that will benefit the young pupils is such a positive thing to be involved in.”
The school also worked with Phelan Construction, from Clacton, who specialise in refurbishment projects and also offered its services for free.
With KLH Architects, the company also managed to get donations of materials for the project from their supply chain.
Droves of volunteers from both firms were sent in to help complete the project ahead of the grand opening on Monday.