School turns Airbus 319 fuselage into library

Section of the Airbus 319
The Airbus 319 is the retired Antonio Sergio aircraft which flew with Air Portugal [BBC]

Children at a special needs school will be able to take off with their reading in a library created in the cockpit and fuselage of an Airbus 319.

A 10-metre aircraft section has been delivered to the Loose site of Kent's Five Acre Wood (FAW) School, and will eventually sit on a mock runway, complete with airport lights.

The latest in the school's "FAWbulous" projects - which previously included a train carriage used as a cafe - it has been nicknamed the Seven "FAW" Seven.

As well as books, the library will have audio stations, comfortable areas and a mocked-up cockpit with buttons and flight panels, and will be decorated with inspiring reading quotes.

Lifeboat and plane being delivered at school
The aircraft was delivered with a lifeboat that used to serve offshore rigs [BBC]

Alongside the aircraft, a freefall lifeboat has been delivered and will be used as a counselling space for staff and pupils, said head teacher of the Loose site, Tim Williams.

"We like to be innovative. We like to do things differently. What's more inspiring and what creates more awe and wonder than having these different spaces?

"And these aren't just amazing spaces - these are inspiring, phenomenal, pioneering spaces," he said.

'Nothing is impossible'

The lifeboat was previously used by offshore rigs in the north sea as an evacution pod for workers in the oil and gas industry, Mr Williams said.

Dubbed the FAWtilus, the vessel will be sunk into the ground and surrounded with blue concrete to represent the sea.

School principal Peggy Murphy said: "It will be somewhere that is relaxing, somewhere safe that they can go, to be counselled by our counsellor, and isn't that what a lifeboat is? It's somewhere safe."

Lifeboat arriving at school
The lifeboat will be sunk into the ground and surrounded by blue concrete [BBC]

Five Acre Wood School serves around 850 pupils, aged from two to 19, described as having profound, severe or complex learning needs.

The school is still turning its train carriage into a community cafe, where some pupils will learn how to work in hospitality and others will learn how to use money and visit the cafe - now known as the FAWrient Express.

The school looked at hiring or buying office pods but found they were not as cost-effective - while the plane and boat were "inspiring" and "quirky".

"One of our mottoes is 'nothing is impossible'," Mr Williams said.

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