Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Tardis is just what the Doctor ordered for our library

By Gemma Fraser
Getting teenagers to read a book instead of sitting in front of the TV or playing computer games is not an easy task.
But one secondary school has come up with a novel way of encouraging youngsters to read more – with a little help from a Timelord.

Holy Rood High has created a life-size version of the Tardis in the school library to encourage pupils to climb inside and choose from a collection of science fiction and Doctor Who books.
The creation – which plays music and has a flashing light when the door is opened – is so realistic that former Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy has written to the school congratulating them on their efforts.
The inspiration came to school librarian Rachel McCabe three years ago when she encountered a group of Doctor Who fanatics who loved watching the TV show but were not interested in reading.
After consulting with the technical department and the pupils, they came up with the idea of creating a replica of the Tardis, kitted out with bookshelves.
Ms McCabe said: "These kids were very creative and enthusiastic but just weren't great readers. I would have probably lost them as library users if I had insisted they sit down and read so I had to come up with something a bit more creative for them.
"The whole project was really pupil-led, which is very important, and they got involved in making the Tardis right from the start.
"At first I thought it would be a little one I could put on my desk, but it's 8ft tall.
"It took three years to make and most of the original pupils who were involved have left now, but new pupils have come into the school and want to find out what's behind the door.
"It started off as a small project for a group of pupils and it's become something much larger.
"I invested money in a new Doctor Who collection that has now been read by lots of pupils."
She added that the project fits in with the Scottish Government's vision for "A Curriculum For Excellence", with pupils incorporating literacy into numeracy and design.
The new science fiction library which is based in the Tardis has become hugely popular with pupils from all year groups and is inspiring children to read more.
Third year pupil Claire Sweeny said: "The Tardis is an exciting and creative way to store books.
"Some of the first year pupils are convinced it really is from Doctor Who and that if they step inside, they'll be transported to another time and place."
Education leader Marilyne MacLaren, who officially opened the Tardis this week, added: "The pupils have really excelled in this project, which obviously has been great fun to create and use. I am sure it will encourage reading."

- This is one fabulous project. I'd go to that library every single day of the year!

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