Children's TV stars open library at Basingstoke school

Special guests Knife, Duncan McCoshan, left, and Packer, Jem Packer, open the new school

Special guests Knife, Duncan McCoshan, left, and Packer, Jem Packer, open the new school Buy this photo

First published in Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A TV duo did the official opening honours as a new chapter began at a Basingstoke junior school.

Knife and Packer, who appear on CITV’s Fleabag Monkeyface, were the guests of honour at Marnel Junior School, where they officially opened the new £18,000 library facilities.

Duncan McCoshan (Knife) and Jem Packer (Packer), who are also children’s authors, spent time with pupils at the Popley school and talked to them about the new books in their library.

Two new learning hubs were built at Marnel, to be used as a library and flexible learning space.

The building project cost £8,000 and the new supply of books was around £10,000, paid for using school funds and money from fundraising.

Vicky Grayson, an English leader at the school, said: “It’s been a project since September to open a new library. We haven’t had a library space.”

Interviews were conducted with pupils at Marnel for librarian roles, and these children then helped to choose furniture for the space and select books.

The school has also employed a librarian to help maintain the library and keep books restocked.

Mrs Grayson said: “The children are absolutely wowed by it. They have got a new attitude to using it – we can’t get them out of the library.

“The main drive was to engage the children in high-quality text, and we have the best on offer now – it’s very up-to-date. They are desperate to take books home and share them with their families.”

Knife and Packer officially cut a ribbon to declare the new facilities open.

Mrs Grayson said: “They were amazing. They talked to the children and spent time with them in the library.

The pupil librarians met and greeted them. They also held workshop sessions.”

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