The atmosphere was positively buzzing on Monday 10 June at the Hilton Doubletree Hotel in Glasgow. Children and young people from all over Scotland had gathered to celebrate and share their passion for reading at the First Minister’s Reading Challenge celebration event.
Schools, libraries and community groups put on show-stopping showcases, with spectacles ranging from drinks inspired by favourite stories to book-prescribing doctors. After exploring the showcase, posing in the photo booth and getting stuck in to our Scavenger Challenge, our audience took their seats for the awards ceremony. Author Ross Mackenzie presented nine awards to recognise some remarkable reading achievements.
The P1 Pupil Reading Journey award was given to Oakgrove Primary School in Glasgow. Their fantastic entry showed how the pupils had engaged in their shared reading project and visited their local library. The judges were impressed by pupil-led videos about their favourite books. Headteacher Ms Cerexhe said, “we want all our learners to read for enjoyment and for us in Oakgrove, it all starts in Primary 1”.
The P2 Pupil Reading Journey award recipients were the P2/1 class from Westquarter Primary school in Falkirk. Their Headteacher Ms Collins said that “a good book can take you on the most amazing adventure”. When the pupils said they never wanted class story time to end, their teacher created QR codes so they could listen to the stories at home. The judging panel loved seeing the pupils’ journey and there was a real sense of change in the class’ reading culture over the course of the year.
The receipt of the P3 Pupil Reading Journey was Margherita from Notre Dame Primary School. Headteacher Ms MacDonald said that the award was a “fantastic achievement for Margherita” and that they were all so proud of her. The judges could clearly see how Margherita’s love for reading had taken off in the last year and inspired her to write books of her own. Her writing and drawing illustrated her reading journey beautifully and we were thrilled to be able to present her with this award.
The panel loved the infectious enthusiasm from Bo’ness Public Primary School, which is why they were the happy recipients of the award for P4 Pupil Reading Journey. This Primary 4 class have become Reading Champions for their school, and took part in activities ranging from a cosy Christmas read to a school wide book-swap.
The P5 Pupil Reading Journey awardee was a wee gem in his own right – Gus from Echline Primary School in Edinburgh. While headteacher Ms Purcell said that “this will inspire more children to embark on their own reading journey”, the judges also hope that Gus will continue to be the great reading ambassador he’s been over the last year.
Front-runners for the P6 Pupil Reading Journey award were the children of Mossend Primary School. Headteacher Mrs Paterson told us that pupils "have been working extremely hard on the First Minister’s Reading Challenge since August". The pupils’ journey was reflected in their close relationship with the local library, as well as their experience with a visiting author and their ‘fruit and a story’ event.
Rebecca from St George’s School for Girls in Edinburgh was the recipient of the P7 Pupil Reading Journey award. Rebecca overcame the challenge of learning to speak English as an additional language and found a haven in her school library, where she made great friends with both books and pupils.
The Pupil Reading the Most Books Award was won by Kari from Bishopton Primary School in Renfrewshire in the lower primary category and Thomas from Liberton Primary School in Edinburgh in the upper primary category, recognising their commitment to setting aside time each day to read.
Three cheers for all the winners and, as always, happy reading!