Students at St Ignatius College Primary School in Luqa can now enjoy a modern reading room alongside a fully renovated playground.

The improved facilities were inaugurated on Thursday by Education Minister Clifton Grima, who explored the Luqa primary school’s new areas as pupils attended their early lessons.

The first renovated room is a literacy room – a colourful space that strays away from the stock-standard library of boxy shelves and bland desks. Instead, leather beanbags litter the room for kids to lounge in as a teacher reads from the front of the room, showing pictures from the book to the class.

Books are stored on a bookshelf shaped like a tree which hints at connections between trees giving life and nourishment and the abstract idea that knowledge and reading are food for the brain, a ministry spokesperson said.

St Ignatius Primary students listening to a story as others create an interactive and visual narrative. Photo: Jonathan BorgSt Ignatius Primary students listening to a story as others create an interactive and visual narrative. Photo: Jonathan Borg

The teacher, equipped with a microphone connected to speakers in the room so no one misses out, is accompanied by other members of staff who pantomime the narration with props and sound effects. Occasionally, the teacher prompts students to interact with the story, each pupil fixed attentively on the action.

“I need the teacher’s number to babysit – the kids didn’t even notice we were there!” Grima joked as he left the reading room, commenting on their unwavering attention.

The school’s other new area is its playground. What used to be an empty lot has been transformed into several open spaces, including a seating area fitted with shady trees, a football turf and a small area with budding saplings.

“I should start all my days like this,” Grima said with a smile as he walked past students enjoying a P.E. lesson.

Organised by Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools, everything in the outside area was renovated including piping for drainage and large wooden benches that can fit multiple students which promotes reading during break time, a spokesperson said.

Combined, the two projects cost around €200,000. They form part of a larger scheme with a €1,000,000 fund that aims at renovating other schools, Grima said.

Such projects give educators the resources they need “to show children the beauty of education”, he said.  

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