A school library that was shut donw during the pandemic has reopened after pupils gave up their lunch breaks to sort out the book shelves.

The project at Wessex Gardens Primary School in Golders Green was started by English teacher Kaz McDuling, who joined the school in September.

“One of my priorities was the school library,” she explained. “I have a real passion for reading and wanting to share it with our pupils.

“This once-loved reading space fell out of use due to the pandemic and had become more of a book storage area than a library. We hope to restore the space to its former glory.”

The main task was to find out what the children wanted to read, then check and reorganise the stock, which meant having to discard out-of-date books and order newer, more relevant titles.

“I had imagined relaunching a library would be a fairly quick job,” Kaz admitted. “But it’s taken six months.”

It slowly took shape with the young volunteer librarians giving up their lunch breaks to help sort and label hundreds of books.

They included Year 6 pupil Max Arbuzov, Year 4’s Suha Noori, Holly Walicka and Sumiya Latifi and the youngest librarian, Brooke Lernihan in Year 3.

The school decided to reopen the library on World Book Day on March 7, when pupils and even teachers dressed up as story characters or “interesting adjectives”.

One teacher, Dylan Roberts, dressed as “fatigued” by wearing a dressing gown!

Superman ‘flew in’ as well — and turned out to be headteacher Alexander Banks, having inspired the idea of reviving the library.

He said: “It is vital that our pupils have access to books and are motivated to read. Our library is playing an important part in this.”

Two former pupils from way back in the 1950s also turned up for the library reopening, Chairman of Governors Jill Summers, who was at the school until 1952, formally cut the ribbon to declare the library open alongside Helen Roberts, who began at Wessex Gardens that same year.

Helen recalled: “We never dreamed of such a welcoming space for reading when I was at the school.”

All the children watched the ribbon being cut and couldn’t wait to start using the library on World Book Day.