Zoë Wanamaker opens Burbage Primary School library

Zoë Wanamaker CBE, who’s known to millions as Madam Hooch in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, visited Burbage Primary School to officially open the new school library. Parents/carers, staff, volunteers and the school’s PTA have funded new shelving, sofas, books, handmade cushions and beanbags to create a new library and cosy reading haven. The lucky Year 6 competition winners were treated to hearing Zoë as Madame Hooch read a Harry Potter extract.

Teacher and reading leader, Emma Miles, masterminded the library project. “With our focus on fluency and our determination that every child should be a confident reader, we are delighted to have had this wonderful opportunity of Zoë being our first guest reader. She shared how to work on our performance voice.

“Zoë was captivating, she took time to answer questions about her career and encouraged the children to read and go to the theatre as much as they can so they can enjoy using their imagination. She also explained that even the best story-tellers have to practise and have to understand that we all make mistakes and that is ok.”

Members of the school council were keen to show Zoë all the wonderful new books and cosy reading areas.

Zoe Garbutt, Principal said, “The school has been very proactive about creating a special reading space having noticed that the library had become tired and unused. We realised that our children prefer to read in cosy spaces when at home so wanted to create a calm place where reading for pleasure can take place. We have been blown away by everyone’s generosity and willingness to help out. I am so proud that our school community has worked tirelessly on this project; to have such a special resource for the children is just fabulous.”

The school is running a series of ‘guest readers’ over the coming months which it hopes will be enjoyed by everyone.