Cowell and Duchess of Cornwall launch flagship school libraries project

Cowell and Duchess of Cornwall launch flagship school libraries project

Waterstones Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell and the Duchess of Cornwall have visited a school in Wandsworth, south London, to open a "life-changing" library.

Griffin Primary School is one of six pilot primary schools selected to take part in Cowell’s flagship Life-changing Libraries project which is designed to showcase the transformative impact a well-resourced primary school library has on a child’s opportunities in life.

The Duchess cut the ribbon to open the new library officially and read The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr (HarperCollins Children's) to a class of Year 2 pupils, and then took part in a "draw-along" session led by Cowell, the internationally bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series (Hodder Children's).

Cowell will now embark on a tour to visit the other schools taking part in project, meet the teachers and pupils, and open their new facility. Each is stocked with a specially curated book list of approximately 1,000 titles, selected by BookTrust’s expert book selection team with guidance from the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), to inspire and engage children. 

At Griffin Promary School staff are being provided with professional training and mentoring from specialists at the School Library Association, with access to CLPE training. The project will monitor students' engagement, attitudes and reading behaviour across 12 months, collecting qualitative stories and case studies.

Cowell said: "The response to Life-changing Libraries has been incredible, and the formal opening of these beautiful new library spaces is a very exciting moment in the campaign. I am honoured that the Duchess of Cornwall was able to join us at Griffin Primary School for the first of these special occasions, and I’m looking forward to visiting the other pilot schools across England over the next few days to celebrate the magic of reading and the transformative power of literacy and libraries."

Karen Bastick-Styles, executive head teacher of Griffin Primary School, added: "It was a privilege to welcome Her Royal Highness and Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, to Griffin this morning for the official opening of our wonderful new library. Having seen the space transform over the past few weeks with mysterious deliveries, our students are excited to explore their new library and share all the shiny new books. This initiative will be invaluable in bringing new opportunities and inspiring our Griffin students, and to have the Duchess of Cornwall formally launch our Life-changing Libraries journey is an experience that our young people will never forget."