Cliftonville Primary and Pre-School is an excellent school the children are happy and thriving. Brilliant school, fabulous staff, great senior leadership team = a happy child! The dedication and hard work from the entire school team is outstanding and clear to see. I think you've all been amazing throughout the years, just want to so say thankyou & we appreciate everything you do for all of us . We love the school and are so impressed with all of the staff who work so hard constantly it is greatly appreciated by the children and parents and carers thank you. Presence of Teachers and caretakers at pick up and drop off really help you feel safe. The well-being of the pupils is outstanding. It is a lovely school with a welcoming feel and a positive atmosphere. Highly visible leadership team. A feeling of pride in the school. Supportive school for both parents and children. As parents we feel really proud that our son comes to such a great school, which we knew was fabulous whether OFSTED told us o

Cliftonville Children Celebrate New School Library

Cliftonville Primary and Pre-School was a buzz of excitement on the afternoon on Friday 12th January as the official opening of the new library was celebrated. The event had been eagerly anticipated since the renovations had begun during October half-term. The school, which is 4 form entry, had outgrown its existing library so had located a new space to house its wonderful collection of books and be an inviting and inspiring place where children can develop and indulge their love of reading.  However, the new space was rather drab and boring and needed bringing to life! With the help of a team of generous volunteers, this was more than achieved.


The project was co-ordinated by parent Leona Baker who managed to source free paint materials from Lovelys Art Gallery and persuade some artistic fellow parents to donate their time. Back at school, the KS2 Reading Ambassadors created a shortlist of book characters and quotes for possible murals which were put to the vote by the rest of the children.  The artists then worked with this brief to create some stunning murals incorporating the children’s interests.  Over half term, a few staff members got to work painting the walls with the chosen colours ready for the parents to work their magic.

The children and staff were in awe of the amazing designs that soon lit up the walls with a KS1 mural by Amber Harrison celebrating many of the children’s favourite picture books, a KS2 mural by Catherine Chinatree honouring one of their favourite novels – “Malamander” by Thomas Taylor – and a non-fiction mural by Louise and Janet Mackie embodying a quote from “The Secret Garden” by Frances Burnett.  A much-loved canvas including over 30 book covers created by Year 6 teaching assistant Lucy Mills was also hung in pride of place.


School librarian Dale Hedges arranged the bookcases to create three distinct spaces and money raised and donated by the PTFA was spent on bright and comfortable furnishings that complemented the artwork. 


The final touch was the replenishing of the book stock to ensure that the children are able to access a wide variety of reading material with books that match their interests and spark their imagination.  The Reading Ambassadors created a wish list of books and research was conducted into high quality children’s literature published in the last five years and those that promote diversity to allow children “mirrors to their own lives and windows to the experiences of others”.  The Margate Bookshop kindly donated £2500 worth of books following their successful crowdfunding campaign to raise money for books for local schools and a further £1600 was raised in school via an Usborne readathon event and £245 from a Scholastic book fair.


On Friday 12th January, the Reading Ambassadors gathered in the library with senior leaders, governors, representatives from the PTFA, the parent artists and owner of The Margate Bookshop Francesca Wilkins.  Also in attendance were two local authors – Carnegie nominated Sam Gayton and ex-pupil Paul Deslandes.  Both authors had previously attended the school to work with children and met many of the children again at the 2023 Margate Bookie Festival.


During the afternoon, speeches were made by some of the children to thank all those involved and share what it means to them to have a working school library before bouquets of flowers were presented to the volunteers. Kate Greig, the CEO of the Coastal Academies Trust of which Cliftonville Primary School is a proud member, cut the paper chain and declared the library officially open. The guests then spent time enjoying cake and chatting while admiring the artwork and perusing the books.  The children especially loved choosing their cupcake via their favourite book and acted as hosts handing out cake to the guests.


The library is open all day to children and each class visits at least once a week which is always a highlight for them. The school hope to be opening the library after-school to families soon and also have plans to run a Story and Song group for parents with babies and toddlers.  They are currently participating in the Tesco Stronger Starts scheme to fund this and customers can vote for their project with a blue token instore at the Tesco stores on Northdown Road, Margate and Canterbury Road, Westbrook until mid-March.


Assistant headteacher and English lead, Julie Mayhew, shared, “We are very proud of our new library which is now the heart of our school. We are so grateful to all the talented and generous members of our community who have contributed to creating it. It is brilliant to see the children enjoying the space and the impact it is having on children’s love of learning and reading.”