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Academy’s Spectacular Library Is Named After The Teacher Who Inspired It



Andy Clark (Pilgrim Academy Principal), Kayleigh Morley (Vice Principal and English Coordinator) and artist Lauren Irvine celebrate the opening of the Lond’s Library in memory of their former colleague, Teacher Stephen Lond.



The greatest wish of a much-loved teacher has been brought to life as Pilgrim Academy officially opened its brand new Lond’s Library.

Also known as the Aurora Room, the spectacular and vibrant space is testament to former Year 6 Teacher Stephen Lond’s love of books and his ambition to create a place where children would love to sit and read. Stephen died last year and the library has been named in his honour with a dedicated plaque on the wall. 

Pilgrim Academy staff all came together for the early morning opening of the library, which has been 18 months in the making. The library features  hand-painted, fictional characters on all of its walls, with everyone from The Cat in the Hat to The Gruffalo being recreated thanks to former Pilgrim Academy Teaching Assistant Lauren Irvine. Lauren studied Art at university and put her talents to the test to wow the children with her life-like paintings.

Pilgrim Academy Principal Andy Clark thanked everyone involved in the design of the library - a project which he said was instigated by Stephen Lond. “It seems a very long time ago when we started this library project but I think you will agree that it was worth the wait,” he said.

“Steve was so passionate about engaging children in reading. He told us that he wanted an appealing space with lots of books that pupils would want to read, and an area where they could just come and enjoy some quiet time.

“It has been a huge effort from a lot of people involved in this project and my thanks go to every single one of you. Lauren has done an incredible job on the wall paintings and I am often asked if it is wallpaper because the paintings are that good,” he said. 

“The vision and hard work that has gone into creating this library is phenomenal. Actually, it has been much more than just creating a library. It has been a personal attachment for everyone.”

Lond’s Library was officially opened by Kayleigh Morley, English Coordinator and Vice Principal of Pilgrim Academy, with Lauren Irvine, Andy Clark and other members of staff who have been heavily involved in its creation on hand to see the cutting of the ribbon.

Lauren Irvine said: “I hope Steve would be very proud of what we have done. He wanted a fun space that was bright and inviting and I think we have created that.”

After the opening, the Academy’s pupils, many of whom had not yet seen the library, got their first look and a chance to check out books to read. One of those was ‘Inti’s Gift,’ a children’s book written by Stephen Lond, which has been published after his death with a number of copies donated to the Academy. It is available to buy on Amazon.

First into the library were children from Years 3 and 4. Jacob Clark (8) said: “The library is absolutely stunning. I like the fact that it has loads of books and lots of artwork on the walls.”

Victoria Parashkevova (9) agreed: “I think that it is just mind-blowing with all the books and pictures,” she said.

Mackenzie Parker (9) added: ”It is very detailed and the walls are very creative.”

Mr Clark concluded: “I think we have created a room that will definitely be a lasting legacy for many years to come. I think it really is going to be a wonderful space, not just for our children but for the whole community.”



The spectacular Lond’s Library at Pilgrim Academy, which has been lovingly created by staff in memory of former Year 6 Teacher Stephen Lond.

Teaching Assistants, Lisa Davis-Williams and Annette Blease have created Lond’s Library’s focal display, which they will change with the seasons.

Pilgrim Academy Year 3 pupils, Tomas Anastasov (8), Daisy-Mae Easton (7), Scarlett Fleming (7) and Antonina Paczuska (8), get their first chance to use the new Lond’s Library.

Kayleigh Morley, Pilgrim Academy English Coordinator and Vice Principal, cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Lond’s Library, with Pilgrim Academy Principal Andy Clark and Academy staff watching on.

Getting their first look at the new Lond’s Library are pupils: (back row, l-r) Jacob Clark (8); (middle row, l-r) Wiktoria Gruzska (7), Poppy Walker (8) and Mackenzie Parker (9); (front row, l-r) Victoria Parashkevova (9) and Halle Boswell (8).

Above and below: Some of the vibrant artwork, including a recreation of The Gruffalo, that adorns the walls of Lond’s Library thanks to former Teaching Assistant Lauren Irvine. She returned to the school to bring some of the children’s favourite fictional characters to life.

The wall characters were painted by former Teaching Assistant Lauren Irvine.

Year 3 and 4 pupils check out their first books at the new Pilgrim Academy Library with English Coordinator Kayleigh Morley.

The Lond’s Library has a magnificent throne for group reading.

 Staff turned up for the early morning opening of the library and to toast its namesake and their former colleague Stephen Lond.

Inti’s Gift was written by Stephen Lond and has been published since his death last year. Copies have been donated to Pilgrim Academy by his family.




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Pilgrim Academy Principal

Andrew Clark BA.
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