Hand sanitiser, gloves and face masks: three of the defining items of this year.

Following the huge impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, schoolchildren in County Durham have created a lasting reminder of these unprecedented times.

Pupils at Oakley Cross Primary School in West Auckland have made a time capsule reflecting on life amid the pandemic, sharing their thoughts and feelings about 2020.

The idea came about after an old, forgotten window was uncovered in one of the classrooms during the installation of interactive panels.

Children put together a number of pictures, letters and posters describing what it has been like to live during the pandemic. Alongside these, they added some of those key items helping to keep everyone safe, such as hand wash, sanitiser, gloves and a facemask. Finally, they also added their hopes for the future.

The time capsule was then put in the place of the old window and boarded up, leaving it for someone to find in years to come.

Oakley Cross Primary School Time Capsule

Rachel Brannan, Headteacher of Oakley Cross Primary School, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone in some way. While this year has been one we’re unlikely to forget in our lifetime, we wanted to leave a lasting reminder of its impact on our pupils and their impressions of it, for future generations.

“I’m sure the time capsule will be a brilliant surprise for whoever discovers it in the future. I wonder what they will make of our experiences in 2020. Hopefully, they won’t have to go through anything similar, although with our hopes for the future included as well as our accounts of the pandemic, I hope the capsule brings them some cheer too.”

Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “Making a time capsule of such an extraordinary year is an excellent idea. Not only will it be an interesting find for someone in the future, it is a great project to help children share their own experiences of the pandemic and listen to those of others.


“I’d like to thank all of our school staff for their creativity in responding to the challenges of this year and for helping our children to develop their resilience in how they approach such challenges. They are having such a positive impact on their futures.”