Inspiring Classrooms and the Local Community in Canonbie

Tony Bonning

Our second round of Inspiring Classrooms funding closes for applications on Friday 16 February! To show the fantastic impact that Inspiring Classrooms funding can have and encourage you to apply if you haven't already, we spoke to Canonbie Primary School about how their funding helped them to engage their local community around the joy of stories.

Canonbie Primary School

Canonbie Primary School in Dumfries and Galloway received Inspiring Classrooms funding to launch their lunchtime reading club with an exciting author visit! This reading club is linked to the senior citizens lunch-time club in their local community, making this event a great opportunity to bring people together around the joy of storytelling. Canonbie Primary got off to a flying start with their funding and hosted their author, Tony Bonning, in January.

Mrs Butler, P6-7 teacher said:

“Both children and adults got into the stories and enjoyed the songs most of all!”

Carol Wilson, Deputy Head Teacher said:

“We are thrilled to have received our funding from the First Minister's Reading Challenge. The author visit has enhanced our learning in the community and continues to have on-going impact extending the reach of the school.

We are now hoping to enhance our storytelling focus further by linking to our Bookbug work with our nursery and our local toddlers group with monthly storytelling sessions in the community for the younger generation. The first one is in line with World Book Day on the 1 March, so all the children are dressing up and bringing stories to life through drama. This would mean we have linked all the generations in our locality from 18 months old to at least 91 years! Hopefully we can continue to build on these links and try to record local stories by local people as part of our topic work on our local area and plan shared events.”

The lunchtime reading club has gone from strength to strength, with pupils enjoying games, poems and songs together:

"We got to read a pirate story and had to find a tail from a sea monster. We then had to dress up as pirates and find treasure to put the story back together again." Libby P3

"We learned a lot of Robert Burns poems." Sophie P3

"I liked the treasure hunt the best. We got to open treasures with a P7 helper and then use them to put into our stories. The stories were good fun and we made them real." Chloe P2

To help you build and sustain a reading culture in your school, make sure you apply for Inspiring Classrooms funding by Friday 16 February 2018! Follow this link to find out more details on how to apply and download an application form. If you have any queries about Inspiring Classrooms, please email 

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