Media Release: Author opens Glasgow school’s £5,000 learning lounge

SCHOOL days at Shawlands Primary will get a lot more fun after the official opening of the new £5,000 ‘Learning Lounge’ today (May 20).

Occupying a spare classroom, the new learning lounge, which has taken two years to create, has a library of some 1,500 books, comfy sofas, beanbags and even a piano.

Opening the learning lounge will be the award-winning children’s writer and illustrator, Ross Collins, who attended the school in the 1970s, and Councillor, Irfan Rabbani.

Collins said: “Libraries are great places to fire children’s imaginations and introduce them to the rich world of literature. I think the design of the new library, the fresh colours and the great light and natural wood will make it one of the pupils’ favourite places at the school.”

The opening ceremony will be the culmination of many months of work by parents, teachers, pupils and volunteers who have been busy raising the money and refurbishing the room.

Lesley Turan, chair of the parent council, said: “We were concerned that there was a no library in the school so two years ago the parent council, the school and the pupils themselves, decided to focus efforts on delivering a library, and creating a warm and welcoming and learning space for the children.

“With so many distractions we feel children need to learn to love books, to relax and to really enjoy them. And this will be just the place to achieve that.”

The cost of refurbishing the room was £5,150, raised by the parent council along with a grant from Pollokshields Area Committee. Old school bookshelves were restored and painted by volunteers to tie in with the stylish new furniture and décor in the room and professionals were called in for the final touches.

One striking feature is a series of inspirational sayings such as: “Every journey starts with one step” and “Every expert was once a beginner”, which have been chosen by the pupil council in consultation with their classes and painted onto the walls in stylish lettering.

Head teacher, Elaine Hutton, said: “I am very proud of this as it has been a fantastic effort by everyone involved. I am quite sure that this unique space will enhance many aspects of learning here at the school for years to come.”

At the opening ceremony, there will be a short speech from Councillor Irfan Rabbani from the Pollokshields area Committee, after which Collins will be asked to cut a cake made specially for the occasion.

There are plans to use the space for activity clubs, pupil council meetings, music and drama classes.

Nicola Easton, from P5 at Shawlands Primary said: “It will be fun. I am looking forward to relaxing in here with a book and with my friends. We are going to do choir practice in here sometime so that will not be like a normal library where you have to be quiet all the time.”



For more information contact:

Elaine Hutton, head teacher, on 0141 632 1840, mob 07977172741
Lesley Turan, Parent Council, 0141 632 9198,

Editor’s notes

The lounge will be opened by Ross Collins cutting a cake, instead of a ribbon, on today, 20 May at 1.30pm in Shawlands Primary.

Attending the opening ceremony will be councillors, parents, pupil council members, staff, Shawlands Academy (secondary school) head teacher Ann Grant, local librarians, and the designers and decorators who created the lounge.

So far, 2,000 have been labelled and classified for the library, many of which were in the classrooms before, but 500 have been donated by parents, carers and staff and by Ross Collins.

The school’s website is

Ross Collins biography is available at

Collins said of his time at Shawlands Primary: “I enjoyed being at Shawlands Primary. I remember the quickest way to the chip shop was through a hole in the fence that the coal was delivered through! But I also remember being read Fantastic Mr Fox and The Hobbit in installments by my teachers, which made you very excited at what might happen next.”

The pupil council features two elected representatives from P4 to P7.

Reference and reading books can be donated at any time to the parent council via the school office.

The learning lounge will be used for such things as drama, circle time,  research, violin lessons, peer mediation, choir practice, pupil council meetings, staff meetings, exhibiting school work and much  more.

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Contact: Elaine Hutton
Phone: 0141 632 1840