Big red bus brings ‘joy of reading’ to pupils

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Pupils at Knowle DGE Learning Centre now have a brand new library  – in the shape of a double decker bus.

Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson officially opened the new facility at the end of January – which  will provide much needed space for the school. The project was funded by Bristol City Council to help develop literacy and promote up-cycling during the Green Capital year.

Knowle DGE – which educates children from across the south of the city who have social, emotional and learning difficulties, – used student suggestions alongside a local designer and a team of tradespeople to make best use of the unique space.

After almost a year of planning, design and up-cycling the former  big red double decker is now a space for students aged five to 18 to enjoy lessons, quiet study and recreational reading.

The new Big Red Library Bus, holds thousands of books, magazines and journals and has WiFi capacity for online reading.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: “This is an excellent example of how old objects can be given a new lease of life with a bit of imagination. The bus provides an unusual but inspiring environment for learning outside the usual classroom setting – making it somewhere that students want to spend time.

“As a Learning City we are committed to improving opportunities for everyone to learn and I am confident that this library bus will help to change some lives by inspiring pupils to read and learn.”

Deputy Headteacher Murrough McHugh worked with students, the Knowle DGE English department, the designer and tradespeople on the project.

He said: “It has been a long aspiration of the school to have its own purpose-designed library and we think we have created a uniquely inspirational and attractive library to open young minds not only to the purpose of reading but to its joys…”