The Vineyard School library

We aim to re-imagine the school library. Join us!


NEWS SEP 2018 - the library has now a part time staff librarian! Mrs Viv Cross will work as teaching assistant for Y6 and her role includes 1h/day of library work. A crucial step in the direction envisioned. Congratulations Viv!

Photograph: Benedetta Johnson

Why are we doing this?


We believe each of our children has an unbounded potential. We would like to help them fulfil it.

By looking at the needs and wants of our children, families and staff we aim to co-create a library service that transforms the school learning, teaching and social experience and enables a richer reading culture.

Our library should inspire, encourage self-learning, enable discovery and feed curiosity. Read more here.

Image courtesy of IDEO

How are we doing it?


We are using world class design thinking to re-imagine our children’s new library.

Working in small teams, we are following a curriculum developed by the innovation consultancy IDEO and +Acumen, a global learning community for social change-makers with 300,000 students from 190 countries working to move the world forward.

Watch this 90" video to learn about the process three phases: inspiration, ideation and implementation.


Photograph: Benedetta Johnson

Who is involved?

Project lead: Maria Emilia Dutto (Millie) is a design thinking expert who has used human centered design to transform services at the British Library and libraries for Camden Council.

The extraordinary team of parents and teachers includes,

Design thinking (research): led by Dennis Flood

Space design: led by Viv Cross

Content: led by Margherita Trotta and Alex Rofe

Technology: led by Colin Shaw (Y3), Edu Garcia Carreras, Zsofia Dedinszky

Book sales: led by Zoe Stuart.

Lunchtime volunteers: Carol Staple, Joana Rizzo, Vihba, Hiromi Yioshoka and Sophie. Join them!

Contributors across teams: Aashima Sharma, Amy Salem (Y6), Beth Glaves (Y1), Daisy Dempster (Y1), Aidan Bruynseels (Y6), Helen Darling (Y5), Carolina Annand, Ebru Fuller, Tamara Cilliers, Sandy Cassandro, Catrin, Vildan Torun, Pooja, Lana, Cath Cook and Sophie.

Former lunchtime team: Heba El-Rimali, Barbara Santana, Rebecca, Anu Lal and Carmen.

And finally Kamna, Evelyn Yung, Carmen Tang, Benedetta Johnson, Risa Okuyama, Alexandra, Martha Querishi and Michele Triegaardt-Cook are among parents who have helped to progress the library to where we are today. Thank you!

Photograph: Benedetta Johnson

Two goals - First one successfully achieved


Goal I : to understand through the design thinking process the needs for the library, frame a new vision, translate the findings into designs, produce costings, assess viability and create an implementation plan. Done at minimum cost and feeding into Goal II.

Time frame: 2018. Status: ACHIEVED (Jul '18)

Goal II : to build a re-imagined library service indoors and outdoors based on the learnings from Goal I. Implementation will include construction work.

Time frame: Fall '18 to 2019. Status: STARTED Sep '18.

We have seen what is possible!


In May and June, we tested library experimental areas with all children. KS1 children enjoyed the library for the first time.

Based on the results from the inspiration research phase, we tested different activities and layouts:

  • an overall more minimalist and relaxing environment,
  • two new outdoor areas,
  • a playing space,
  • storytelling in a layered seating,
  • exciting magazines to flick at lunchtime,
  • Younger and senior classes visiting the library together (eg Y1 with Y5),
  • mindfulness activities including meditation and yoga. One Friday we even had hidden birds singing!
  • families with siblings could also enjoy the library together on a weekday from 3.30 to 5pm.

This fun phase of testing ended. We have learned what a re-imagined library could do for the entire Vineyard community.

Enjoy the experimental library photo gallery!


Photograph: Benedetta Johnson

Next step: implementation in three phases


We evaluated the experimental stage and defined how we can take the best ideas forward. This involved a close look at the cost, effort and sustainability.

We developed a three phase implementation plan and refined it with teachers, children, parents, PTA committee, governors and school leadership.

Phase I: a library for all which extends to the classrooms, home and the neighbourhood

Phase II: the library extends outdoors

Phase III: library completion.

The summary plan will be published here shortly. The process towards realising it will continue from Fall 2018.


Core priorities agreed


  1. Increase the footprint of the library, both indoors and outdoors, and create a space that enables multiple zones and supports individuals, small groups and entire classes (something the current library doesn’t do)
  2. Have a person who is responsible for developing and maintaining the library as a vibrant space and relevant service; a partner for teaching staff and a friend and mentor for students. First step achieved - 1h/day part time librarian started in Sep 2018.
  3. Extend the library beyond the physical space to allow families to bring the library home and into the neighbourhood (a new IT system and a partnership with a local bookshop)
  4. Have content that motivates and inspires every child, and supports the curriculum (7,000 great books, each one with a clear reason for being on the shelves. We will get there by auditing the current library, recycling out-of-date content and acquisition).


Photograph: 'as is' KS2 library, Feb 2018


Implementation Phase I: a library for all


Learn more about the nature of the changes here and come back this autumn 2018 to get a flavour of the new layout we are planning.

From the image above, to a new layout, illustration coming soon (Sep 2018)

Thank you for the for the great support the library team has received! Join the fun with us!