Teacher and young boy standing outside library

Libraries Week took place all over the UK this October. Our tutor Lynn visited Leamington Library with her group from St Patrick’s Primary as part of a course on Raising Early Achievement in Literacy.

This Family Learning course examines ways in which parents and carers can enhance children's engagement with and learning from early literacy experiences, using the ORIM framework (Opportunities, Recognition, Interaction and a Model of literacy) pioneered by Professor Nutbrown at Sheffield University. It includes activities like an environmental print walk, where the families examine lettering and logos they find around them. Lynn’s walk became an autumnal stroll to the library where the groups were welcomed by staff to learn about what the library offers, and to share a children's story.

The host, Jane, made everyone welcome in the cosy reading area, and explained that families can take out up to ten books at a time, for free, over a three week period. Some were familiar with the process, and others were keen to take Jane up on the offer of a library card (especially if they could find dinosaur books - filed under number 568.19, if you want to know!). 

Jane chose John Kane’s story 'I say OOH you say AAH’ to read so that everyone could react to prompts like ‘when I say red, pat your head!’ It’s a great book for an interactive session, and the adults seemed to enjoy joining in as much as the children did. After the story, Jane gave each family a book bag and sticker, and arranged for those who did not have a library card to sign up for one. Jane says her own favourite book as a child was ‘Wind in the Willows,’ and that her Mum would always tell her off for borrowing it because ‘you had that one last time!’

The children’s favourite things:

  • Dinosaurs!
  • Superheroes!
  • Unicorns!
  • Jungle animals!
  • Space!

Some of the things the adults liked best about the trip:

  • "Seeing the children’s strong friendships outside school, and how they engaged in the story."
  • "We are new to the area, so exploring the park and the library was great."
  • "Spending quality time with my son."

As the adventure drew to a close it was a pleasure to see the children choosing books with their adults and checking them out on the machine, full of excitement. The little boy who liked dinosaurs was delighted to find a book called ‘Little Dragon’.

The trip created a real buzz around books and stories.

Thank you to Lynn Hussain from ACL’s Family Learning team for letting us join her, to the staff of Leamington Library for a great welcome, and to St Patrick’s Primary School for promoting this opportunity to their parent and carers.

Published: 15th October 2021