Seven Stories welcomes first local primary school for a First Class visit.

St Mary’s RC Primary, North Shields were the first school back to Seven Stories since its grand reopening courtesy of First Class Supply – the North East based sponsors of the National Centre.

Year 5 at St Mary’s RC Primary were the first class to experience Seven Stories’ revamped learning programme, explore their brand new exhibitions and be inspired by the dazzling refurbishment since the National Centre reopened in July. 

The primary school won the coveted prize from ongoing supporters of Seven Stories - First Class Supply - who ran the competition as part of their sponsorship of the National Centre.  

First Class Supply is a leading independent teaching supply agency in the North East which provides invaluable support for Seven Stories through an exclusive education sponsorship programme and with a commitment to continue to broaden engagement with children in the region.

Pupils from St Mary’s RC Primary met their Professor of Possibilities at the doors of the Visitor Centre and were taken on a unique tour of Painting with Rainbows – A Michael Foreman Exhibition.  The class pored over the intricate illustrations, poignant stories and powerful messages of conflict, friendship and conservation on display in this fully immersive exhibition through drama, storytelling and discussion.

Hannah Burridge, Recruitment Consultant at First Class Supply said,

What a fun day out we all had. The children’s faces were full of excitement all the way through and they were all very well behaved! I am so pleased that I was able to accompany them to be the first school visit after Seven Stories’ refurbishment.”

 Seven Stories’ refreshed learning offer gives teachers the choice between workshops specifically  designed to bring stories to life or exploring the inner workings and processes behind the creation of  books.  Both promote reading for pleasure with the aim to inspire a new generation of authors,  illustrators and publishers.   In a bid to bring the archive, exhibitions and focus on original material to  the forefront of the learning programme, Seven Stories’ learning offer continues to demonstrate how it is  a vital educational resource unique to the North East.

 Seven Stories’ Fundraising and Development Manager, Amanda Beckham said,

We are delighted to work with First Class Supply to welcome schools back to enjoy our extended learning facilities and brand new education offer.”


Seven Stories closed its doors for the first time in 10 years this April to embark on a £750k refurbishment scheme.  The overhaul of the organisation’s popular Visitor Centre also marked Seven Stories’ 10th birthday celebrations and enabled the National museum opportunity to listen to and implement key feedback from its school groups and public drop in visitors from the past decade.

Returning school visitors will note the improved school visitor experience, enjoy greater flexibility on their visit and benefit from a dedicated term-time learning and picnic space as well as increased toilet facilities.  The learning offer spans all ages and is specifically tailored to suit the requirements of each Key Stage.  


For images and enquiries please contact:

Hannah Lambert, Marketing and Programming Assistant


T: 0845 271 0777 ext 223

Notes to Editors 

For more information about First Class Supply, visit their website

For more information about Seven Stories’ education programme visit

Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books

Seven Stories is The National Centre for Children’s Books – the only place in Britain dedicated to saving, celebrating and sharing our rich literary heritage for children.

Seven Stories’ home is a carefully converted listed warehouse in Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England. The centre opened in 2005 and visitors can explore seven floors of galleries, creative spaces, a specialist children’s bookshop and a café. It strives to encourage people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to enjoy a lifetime of reading for pleasure through inventive and immersive exhibitions and lively events and learning programmes.

•  Seven Stories has built a comprehensive children’s literature archive from the 1930s to the present day.  It collects all that goes into the making of a book – first scribbles, dummy books, roughs, final artwork, letters and correspondence, drafts and finished manuscript. The work of over 200 British authors and illustrators, including Judith Kerr, Enid Blyton, Philip Pullman and David Almond is cared for in our Collection – and it is still growing.

•  Over 80,000 people visit us every year, including 12,000 visits from school children.  In addition, Seven Stories works with children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds through outreach and participation work. In 2013/14 over 18,000 children and carers took part in activities to build book and story sharing confidence and enjoyment. Since 2005 over 650,000 people have visited Seven Stories.

•  Seven Stories is part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio and is an accredited museum with National status, recognising the national and international significance of its collections and the quality of the work in sharing these treasures through its exhibitions and its public and learning programmes.