After a fantastic year of reading for pleasure, we held our annual First Minister’s Reading Challenge Celebration Event on 20 June 2018 at The Hub in Edinburgh – and what a day it was! We had schools from across Scotland showcasing their best practice, a treasure hunt and photo booth to keep our young readers busy, a draw-along session with illustrator Tom Morgan Jones, along with our very special awards ceremony. At the ceremony, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon presented 6 School Reading Journey prizes and announced 2 Highly Commended schools. We are delighted to announce our winners:
West Lothian council was awarded a School Reading Journey - Local Authority Award in recognition of the unified and collaborative approach which the authority took to the Reading Challenge, highlighting in particular Bankton Primary, Knightsridge Primary, Letham Primary, Simpson Primary and St Ninian's Primary. The schools demonstrated a varied, exciting and creative set of initiatives led by their pupils and showed a real commitment to developing and maintaining a successful reading culture in their schools.
Annette Street Primary School in Glasgow won our School Reading Journey – National Award for their innovative and practical approach to creating a reading culture around reading experiences for their pupils and families. Pupils got involved in picking new books for the school, started their own book club, adapted their favourite picture book into a play which they performed for other schools, and went on trips around their local community to read in context and create books about what they had learned, plus much more! Commenting on their award Sam Howorth, Acting Principal Teacher at Annette Street Primary said: “We are delighted to have taken part in the First Minister's Reading Challenge and it is wonderful to see the hard work of our children - many of whom do not speak English as their first language - recognised publically.”
Kilmaurs Primary School in East Ayrshire was highly commended for their School Reading Journey, which involved the creation of a great film to illustrate the change in pupils’ attitude to reading.
Goodlyburn Primary School in Perth & Kinross was presented with the Gaelic Medium Education School Reading Journey Award for the fantastic work of the GME unit to embed a reading culture within the school and community. Through their ‘A Book a Day’ initiative, they have brought stories to the centre of the school day and seen a great impact on their pupils’ interest in reading for pleasure. Commenting on the award Christina McGregor, Gaelic Teacher said: “Our reading journey has involved much more than just reading – trips to local libraries, developing links with Croileagan (Gaelic Playgroup), author and singer visits, learning new digital skills, competitions and so much more. It has had a positive impact on more than just literacy within our classroom.”
Stirling council was awarded a School and Community Partnership Reading Journey – Local Authority Award for the brilliant work of Kincardine-in-Menteith Primary and Thornhill Primary. These schools worked together, along with their local library bus, to set reading challenges for the other schools in their cluster, bring rural communities together around books.
Caol Primary School in Highland won our School and Community Partnership Reading Journey – National Award for their far-reaching Reading is so Caol campaign. This campaign took their reading culture out into the community, involving families, local businesses, their local library and authors in their reading journey. Commenting on the award Kerry Lamont, Literacy Coordinator at Caol Primary said: “We were delighted to take part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge and have been busy promoting reading for enjoyment in a variety of ways with support from staff, pupils, families and the wider community. We’ve noticed a huge improvement in many of our pupils’ attitudes to reading and hope this continues in the future. We’ve all had so much fun working together on our shared goal, to make reading ‘So Caol’ for our pupils.”
Newtongrange Primary School in Midlothian was highly commended for their School and Community Partnership Reading Journey which involved an inventive Book Fairies project with books hidden around the local community for people to find and enjoy.
St James’ Primary School in Renfrewshire was awarded the School Reading the Most Books Award at the event. The school managed to read 19,528 books during the Reading Challenge (averaging 33 books per pupil), and the P7s were involved in visiting the classes to keep track of how many books had been read throughout the year!
We would like to give all of our winners our warmest congratulations and thank them for all of their fantastic work this year.