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Hermitage Primary School

Type: State
Age groups: Primary
Number of pupils: 320
Head teacher: Zoe Howe

Hermitage School
Vaughan Way
London E1W 2PT

Phone Number
020 77021037

Selected Fundraising

Hermitage library and cultural space

Hermitage Primary school is a one and a half form entry Primary school in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It has 325 pupils on roll aged 3 to 11.

Hermitage has 41% of its pupils entitled to free school meals against a national average of 25.2%. 94.2% of its pupils are from minority ethnic groups, the majority being from a Bangladeshi background. 77.8% of pupil’s first language is not English. There is a pronounced gender difference in school in three year groups with 70% of the pupils being male.

 The children come into the nursery with very low starting points, particularly in speaking and listening and early literacy skills, but make very good progress through the school, and by the end of key stage 2 achieve above the national average in reading, writing and maths.  

Hermitage lost its school library in May 2012, in order to accommodate an additional class for September 2012. A temporary fiction and non-fiction library were set up in two very cramped converted cupboards. They are well used, hosting a library club every lunchtime and the facility for pupils to select their reading books to take home. The previous library was open afterschool to members of the school community to choose books with their children and also offered stay and play story time for pre-school children. This is no longer possible due to lack of space. The nearest public library is the ideas store in Watney Market, Shadwell, but the majority of our families find this difficult to access.

 The school has been fundraising for the past four years for a new building, reserving money from the school budget .The PTA has raised £3000 towards the library and at the end of the last academic year the school was in the position to commission the provision of a new library to be built offsite and installed in December 2016.

 However, at the end of the last academic year the school had a large number of transfers of children into the school. These children required intensive specialist support . The financial situation the school found itself in meant that in order to meet its staffing commitments for SEND children, the library would have to be abandoned. The project is now on hold until additional funding is secured.

Description and purpose of the project

Creation of a school library and reading resource space. The library would offer access to reading resources and ICT access to the school and wider community through extended opening times and the possibility of community access from Vaughan Way.

The library would be accommodated in the “Container City” system, utilising recycled shipping containers. The proposal would be looking to convert 2x 20ft containers into the library space.  In initial conversations, it was proposed that there would be a horse shoe shaped design with bi fold doors opening out onto a decked area. This would be facing an existing grass bank, which could form a mini amphitheatre style seating. The decking would form the small performance space.

 It would house the library resources and the reading resources used to support guided reading and phonics within the school. It would also offer space for parent workshops currently run collaboratively with other Wapping schools. It would include internet access for the parent community

It would offer Increased access to reading activities throughout the school day,  ensuring children read age related ,appropriate books independently for pleasure and through personalised reading interventions, including ELS, Reading recovery, and gifted and talented reading groups.

This will enable us to ensure that our younger pupils make rapid progress in acquiring phonic decoding skills as well as introducing them to reading for pleasure, and to continue that progress in attainment in reading at Key stage 1 , finally ensuring that our pupils exceed national average at key stage 2.  This will ensure that they are well prepared for secondary school and beyond.

The provision of a bespoke reading resource area will improve accessibility to appropriate resources for staff ensuring well planned, quality guided reading throughout the school.

The library will be sited on ground level ensuring accessibility for all pupils including the EYFS. Its site, adjacent to Vaughan Way will provide community access to the library after school. The additional space would enable the school to deliver additional parent workshops collaboratively with Wapping Children’s centre and St Peters. The current workshops are constrained by the full timetabling of shared spaces.

It would also deliver internet access to the parent community. Focus groups and parental questionnaires have identified that Bangladeshi mothers have little access to internet facilities and have identified IT skills as an area they see as key in gaining access to the employment market.


Target: £30000
Raised: £13730