Information for secondary schools

Jump to: About | Benefits of registration | How to take part | Secondary school Challenge | Resources and inspiration | CLPL | Books | Technical support

We believe that reading has the power to change lives and that developing a love of reading in childhood can have a huge impact on educational attainment and future wellbeing. 

The First Minister’s Reading Challenge aims to help children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18 develop a love of reading. We’re supporting schools, libraries and communities across Scotland to develop reading cultures and give very child in Scotland the opportunity to experience the benefits – and the fun – of reading for pleasure. 

See what your school could achieve with the First Minister's Reading Challenge.

Who can take part

All secondary schools in Scotland can register to take part. You can take part as a whole school, or as individual classes or groups. The Reading Challenge is also open to primary schools, community groups and public libraries. 


Benefits of registration

Registration for the First Minister’s Reading Challenge allows you to:

  • order group passports for your classes or groups, which are wall charts that pupils can use together to log their reading
  • access our huge range of downloadable learning resources for use in the classroom. From activity sheets and interactive games to lesson plans and videos, these resources will really help you to bring books to life in the classroom. You can preview all of the resources here, and log in to download them
  • apply for Creative Workshop funding 
  • submit your Reading Challenge stories to us for a chance to win awards and attend our Celebration event


How to take part

  1. Register your school
    A key contact should register the school for the challenge, and order any group passports. Registration is quick and easy. If you have any issues with registration, please contact us.
  2. Ask staff to sign up
    Once the school has been registered by a key contact, all staff can register for staff accounts with your school and register their own groups. 
  3. Get reading!
  4. Enter the Challenges
    We want to hear all about your school and pupil reading journeys!


Secondary school challenge

Secondary schools can enter the Reading Inspiration Challenge

Challenge submissions will be open on the website very soon, and you can enter any time before the closing day on 1 May 2019.

Reading Inspiration Challenge

This Challenge celebrates the progress your school has made in building a reading culture. Read our Building a Reading Culture in Secondary School resource for practical ideas and advice to get you started. 

To enter, we'll ask you to show us how the First Minister’s Reading Challenge has inspired your pupils to read for pleasure. Your entry can focus on an individual pupil, small group of pupils, class, year group or the whole school.

Let us know: 

  • a description of where you started, what you did and where you ended up
  • how you’ve been successful
  • lessons you’ve learned along the way to help sustain your reading culture

Your entry can be in any format, from a written document, to a PowerPoint presentation or a video made by your pupils, it’s up to you. You can find more information on entering in the Submission Guide for Secondary Schools. 


Resources and inspiration

In our resources section we have a variety of downloadable and adaptable resources available for staff and pupils, including guides to building and sustaining a reading culture, quizzes, Powerpoints to use in the classroom and activities you can do with your class. Resources can be filtered by type and theme, making it as easy as possible to find something that works for you.

Everyone who registers for the Challenge will also be sent regular email updates about taking part, full of support and ideas. You may unsubscribe from these emails at any time without affecting your participation in the First Minister's Reading Challenge.



There are a number of opportunities available to connect with other learning professional from schools across Scotland. You can book a place on one of our regional events taking place across Scotland, and local CLPL sessions are available by arrangement.


What should pupils read?

Anything! The Reading Challenge puts a focus on reading for pleasure and children will be more excited about reading if they're reading something that motivates them. 

The Scottish Book Trust website has hundreds of books lists for teenagers of all abilities.

Our blog also features book lists submitted by pupils and classes - why not work with your class to write your own book list and send it in to us to be featured on the blog?

Technical support


Reading passports

Key contacts will have the opportunity to order group passports for their school when they register for the Reading Challenge. Individual reading passports are not available for secondary school pupils.


Changing your school's Key Contact

If you need to change your school's Key Contact, please just contact us and we will be happy to help you.


Challenge submissions

The Reading Inspiration Challenge will open for submissions soon, and will be open until 1 May 2019.

There is no set format to submit to the Challenge, and we encourage you to tell us your school and class stories in the way that is best for you.

Get the resources and support you need to promote reading in your school or community

Access Resources