A Local Authority Approach

Knightsridge pupils reading outside

Building on Success at Knightsridge Primary School

We have been working hard in Knightsridge Primary School to promote our reading culture, and were delighted to win the West Lothian Stellar Award for Literacy. Our Junior Librarians are taking a leading role, from talking to visitors about our reading culture to organising the libraries and encouraging readers to try new books by hiding golden ticket recommendations around the library. They also created a book personality quiz. to help come up with recommendations for classmates. The Junior Librarians are also responsible for our Literacy Shed in the Infant playground, displaying books each playtime to ensure the reading area is attractive for the younger children. This outdoor library is proving very popular and children love to sit and listen to books being read to them. 

Literacy Shed

Our Author in Residence from last year, Christina Banach, is supporting us for a second year with our reading and writing culture. A different cohort of learners are working with her this year in partnership with the local library. Our own authors will be writing their stories and reading them aloud in our local library to the wider public. We are so excited about this work and we recognise the importance of giving writers an audience and purpose.

We are also writing a school newspaper, with a section for pupils' reviews and recommendations, a reading quiz and poems to celebrate National Poetry Day.  We cannot wait to publish our first edition and put it into our libraries.

"We have been on this reading journey for three years now and we are amazed at the difference the First Minister's Reading Challenge has made to our young readers. This year, we launched our own Community Library. This small initiative is growing, and parents are taking more ownership of the library. We include a wide range of books and magazines and some of our parents are currently creating and writing their own recipe book. We are very excited about our book launch in the community library, and look forward to building stronger partnerships with the community." Allison Kennedy, Head Teacher, Knightsridge Primary School

Lifelong Readers at West Lothian Council

In West Lothian, we have been running training sessions on how to build a reading culture in every school in the local authority. We were very proud to win the School Reading Journey award and we want to build on this success and engage every school in West Lothian in this initiative. Literacy Champions from each school are encouraged to register for the Reading Challenge and share best practice. We are planning a marketplace event for teachers to talk to each other about their ideas and support people who are just starting out.

We are very excited about this work and have already seen some innovative practice and creative ideas!  Lots of schools are including comics, blogs, digital literacy and a wider range of non-fiction texts. Other schools are appointing Junior Librarians and Reading Ambassadors in each class to help enthuse the children and come up with new activities. Schools are building relationships with local libraries, and we've even seen a pop-up outdoor library! 

"In West Lothian we are passionate about creating lifelong readers. We recognise that we must focus on developing strong literacy skills in order to improve children's life chances and equip them for the world of work. We want to promote this work at a Local Authority level, and the recent appointments of Literacy Champions from each school will really help us to enthuse and inspire our school communities to further promote and foster a love of reading." Donna McMaster, Head of Service, West Lothian Council

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