Stormont had a very special visitor: Megan Rix, the children’s author. Her visit coincided with the official opening of Stormont’s newly refurbished Dyson Library funded by the amazing SPA. The room had seen better days and the original library was too small so the decision to reinstate it into the main house was unanimous. After much repair, decoration, a new heating and cooling system and lighting, the room was transformed with loving care overseen by the Head, Miss Louise Martin.
The Dyson Library will be used as a study area and a relaxing reading space with an improved stock of books for all ages from Reception to Year 6. Many of the original features have been retained and it will be a great resource for the girls’ academic learning. The vaulted wooden ceiling lends itself to the room creating drama and interest. A big shout-out goes to the librarians at Queenswood School, Manor Lodge and Lochinver House for their help in planning and implementing the changes.
To enhance the day, Stormont decided to slightly delay their World Book Day event coordinated by the Head of English, Mrs Natalie Rose. The whole school arrived in costume with an animal theme inspired by Megan Rix’s stories which are centred around animal heroes. Her two golden retrievers made an appearance on the day, Freya and Ellie, who inspire her books. She trains them to help with mobility.
It was a colourful display of costumes and not too many duplicates so the depth of knowledge of books about animals or have animal characters is brilliant. The teachers played their part and joined in the fun.
Megan Rix is an author but also is a user of sign language. She is herself partially deaf and so is one of her book characters and understands the difficulties that can be experienced. She explained how to use sign language to the girls in Pre-Prep.
On arrival, the girls’ colourful costumes created lots of ‘wow’ moments in the corridors at Stormont. From assembly, girls took away important messages about reading from MC Grammar: reading can transport you, reading can make you feel free – reading is amazing!
In class, girls shared the books and authors who inspired their costumes – as did the teachers!
At the official opening of the Dyson Library, Megan spoke about her life and how she became an author. Parents were invited who had been on the SPA Committee helping raise the funds for the renovation and Year 6 pupils to represent Stormont School.