About Oturu School
|Just out of Kaitaia in Northland
||Not at the moment — closed as part of the school rebuild plan
We recently caught up with Deputy Principal Heather Greaves from Oturu School to see how her school is managing its loans from National Library.
Heather, tell us a little bit about your school...
We have a really nice school with lovely kids, 95% are Māori and we have a great network of supportive families. We run authentic learning programmes with chooks, olives, a garden, the kitchen etc, which is one of the reasons parents like to send their kids here.
What about your library?
We don’t have a library. We closed our old one at the beginning of last year because our school is being rebuilt and we wanted to use the space in the interim as a classroom. We put our books in boxes and put them into storage down the road thinking it wouldn’t be for long. However, the build hasn’t started yet and the library is going to be some time away.
Our community problem-solving group got together and essentially decided that we couldn’t survive without our library so they have set up a ‘pop-up’ library in the old resource room.
We’ve scrounged books from everywhere. We have no systems other than the books are on the shelves. The kids come in and write their name in a book and it’s working really well. Loads of our books are Duffy books, donated books or surplus books from other libraries.
How do you use the National Library service to schools?
As one of the National Library's service design schools we helped by giving feedback on the service changes. I am currently the loan coordinator for our school, which works well as I don’t have a class of my own so I can fit it in with my other duties.
I showed our teachers the website, printed off a screen shot of the loan request form and then worked with them to put in our requests for our whole school loan.
How did you manage the inquiry loan?
I talked to everyone and we decided to do a whole-school topic for term 1. It was: "How do we use the gardens to produce healthy food for the Kai Festival in the last week of term?"
We used all 7 of our inquiry contexts to support this 1 topic. For example, we got some traditional Māori gardening books, books on cooking and different aspects of growing.
These books are upstairs in our staff room, so that teachers can come and take them and then bring them back. We’ve made time in a staff meeting to browse the books and share ideas and comments inspired by the books.
What about the reading engagement loan?
For our reading engagement loan, we were able to choose 4 focuses, so we got 2 for the junior school and 2 for the senior school and we are just going to see how that works out.
In terms of distribution of this part of the loan, I gave 2 boxes to the juniors and 2 to the seniors and they need to bring them back to me at the end of the term.
I sent the boxes out with a copy of the list of titles and stuck the label that came in the box with the topic and number of books to the outside of the box.
We got a really good selection and, because we could say that we wanted all of our books on different aspects of the same topic, we got a really good amount of books and DVDs.
We will need to change and adapt as we get a library so we will probably do things quite differently. At the moment, we pretty much operate on trust because we are a small school and can do this but we might need to look at some more formal processes in the future.