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Primary school launches ‘lockdown libraries’ to promote literacy

Old Oak Primary School in White City has launched a new lockdown library during the pandemic, to encourage pupils to continue reading and writing at home throughout the coronavirus crisis.

At the start of May, the school organised a book exchange in the playground called the Book Trust Pyjamarama Day Lockdown Library. Families were invited to visit the school gates wearing their pyjamas to collect new books to help them through the lockdown. The majority of the books were donated by members of the community or taken from the school library. 

Since then the school has turned it into a regular event, which will continue after children are brought back to school. “What started as a one off celebration of reading proved really popular and the parents were very grateful,” explains Lizzie Hepworth, English co-ordinator

at Old Oak Primary School. “A few minutes of socially distanced human interaction, even through a playground fence, meant a great deal to some of the parents who came to see us.”

They are now working with Doorstep Library, a children's literacy charity. “We have invited their families along to borrow books too, and to welcome them into our Old Oak family.” The school has also been keeping children engaged through story writing, poster making, art and lego competitions throughout the lockdown period.

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