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Project information

The Lost Lending Library (LLL)

Punchdrunk’s flagship literacy project for primary schools, The Lost Lending Library, is a high-impact theatrical experience that transports schoolchildren into the inner world of a magical Library that travels the world, searching for stories, and story-writing apprentices...

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: Punchdrunk

Punchdrunk logo
  • Need


    How well a child can read and write are crucial to future life prospects. A child’s vocabulary at age five is a key indicator of the qualifications they will achieve upon leaving school. Punchdrunk’s school projects visit deprived areas where attainment is lower than average and young people are less likely to be able to access arts and culture.


    Our work transforms the life chances of disadvantaged children by giving them the opportunity to achieve their potential, as well as igniting new creative learning approaches for teachers.

    The Lost Lending Library (or LLL) has an impact on every child in each school it visits. An unforgettable theatrical experience in a richly detailed sensory library installation, the project acts as a hugely effective catalyst for reading, writing and speaking exercises back in the classroom.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To increase pupils’ engagement in writing


    » The library experience will ignite pupils’ sense of awe and wonder; they will believe in the magical experience, taking their roles very seriously.
    » Pupils will be tasked as ‘apprentice story-writers’, giving them unique agency and encouraging them to recognise their responsibility to the Library.
    » After the LLL experience, with imaginations prime for producing stories, pupils will conduct related, follow up exercises back in the classroom.

    What success will look like

    Building on previous evaluative proof of LLL’s impact, we’ll measure engagement levels by way of sample pupil groups across key stages and attainment levels.

    Aim 2

    To develop pupils’ speaking (oracy) skills


    » LLL encourages pupils to vocalise and describe ideas before sitting down to write - skills the National Curriculum emphasises as crucially linked.
    » Pupils will ‘decompress’ in a dedicated space straight after the LLL experience - providing an opportunity to talk about and describe their adventure
    » Pupils who tend to be quieter in the classroom will be particularly encouraged to articulate their experience

    What success will look like

    Post-project focus groups, teacher interviews and questionnaires will allow us to collect feedback and data about the development of pupils’ oracy skills.

    Aim 3

    To raise the standard of pupils’ writing


    » ‘Peabody’, the character pupils meet in the library, will enthuse and motivate them by challenging them to write a new story for the library.
    » As observed by past teachers, pupils will be motivated to develop new skills (eg reaching for more sophisticated vocabulary) to impart their stories.
    » Pupils will take pleasure and pride in sharing their written stories with their teachers and peers, striving to create the very best work they can.

    What success will look like

    We will gather attainment-based statistics from teachers, post-project, to measure the progress of all pupils’ writing following their experience of LLL.

    Aim 4

    To equip teachers with a range of new creative techniques to engage students in future learning


    » Punchdrunk’s team will deliver two bespoke INSET (creative professional development) sessions for teachers at each school hosting LLL.
    » Teachers will be supported by Punchdrunk to embrace and take on active roles within the project and plan lessons around its delivery.
    » At the end of each project, teachers will choose legacy tools and props to use to integrate dramatic play into their future everyday teaching.

    What success will look like

    We aim to gather more longitudinal feedback from teachers about the legacy elements of the project, to build a picture of the project’s ripple effects.

  • Impact


    We help sustain the longer term impact of our schools projects by offering ‘legacy’ options such as bespoke Punchdrunk INSET sessions for teachers and practical follow up activities designed to extend the project’s narrative beyond the time Punchdrunk is physically present in schools. Tools include specially designed physical assets and props that act as creative prompts to build on (or to spin off from) the project’s themes in order to motivate and maintain the energy of further learning.


    All arts provision is at risk in the current educational climate, but Punchdrunk seeks to address this by maximising the impact of our work across the curriculum. By consulting closely with teachers and using their input to develop this project, its techniques can be utilised in approaches to teaching any subject. In this way, our work and the resources we provide are as relevant and meaningful as possible, and bring as many longer term benefits for teachers as they do pupils.


    Donors to this project will receive written updates on the project’s impact over the course of the year, and for donors giving at a higher level, we can also offer the opportunity to visit the project in action, seeing its effects first hand, from a child’s-eye point of view.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 LLL provision in Two Schools £10,000 will subsidise two LLL projects -part of a programme that will deliver to a total 12 schools
  • Background


    To date, The Lost Lending Library has been delivered in 50 state primary schools in five London boroughs. In 2019 we will be delivering it in under-served areas of south-east London, in communities with high numbers of children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are often less engaged with learning and at higher risk of failing to achieve academic qualifications.


    Every child in each school we visit will benefit from The Lost Lending Library. We’ll continue working in schools in the most deprived areas, targeting schools with high percentages of pupils whose first language is not English, and with high proportions of eligibility for free school meals. Evaluation of LLL attests to its benefits for pupils across Key Stages and attainment levels, and as it is fully accessible for disabled and SEN pupils, it also engenders cohesion in school communities.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Punchdrunk is the UK’s leading producer of world-class immersive theatre, developing and staging unforgettable theatrical experiences that place audiences at the centre of a narrative. Punchdrunk Enrichment has established an excellent reputation for taking the company’s practice into schools, care homes, hospitals and museums, empowering participants through rich interactions with the magic of storytelling and the same exemplary design and performance that distinguishes all Punchdrunk’s work.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Peter Higgin, Enrichment Director:

    Founder member and joint CEO of Punchdrunk, Peter conceives and oversees the Enrichment programme.

    Tara Boland, Associate Enrichment Director:

    Tara works with Peter to develop and deliver schools projects to the highest possible artistic standard.

    Elin Moore Williams, Enrichment Projects Manager:

    Elin manages and ensures the successful delivery of all Punchdrunk’s primary schools programmes.

    Michael Cusick, LLL Assistant Director:

    Michael supports Tara in recruiting and training performers and supporting them on the ground in schools.

A short film about Punchdrunk Enrichment's The Lost Lending Library

"I can’t remember seeing anything quite like it and I can understand why the children – and teachers – are mesmerised. We don’t always see the arts, creativity and schools working together well but this is a good example of how it can be done effectively. I can understand why you are in demand!"

Baroness Estelle Morris, former Education Secretary, visiting The Lost Lending Library, 2017