We’ve arrived at the end of the school year, and what a year it has been! Schools, libraries and community groups across Scotland have built and sustained fantastic reading cultures this year, and staff have tirelessly championed the power of reading for pleasure. Even when we entered lockdown, many groups continued to adapt and encourage reading for pleasure in new ways.
In May we invited groups to submit their entries to the Reading Challenge and share their stories of promoting reading for pleasure with children and young people. We were impressed and delighted by the responses we received, and are pleased to present our winners with this video from the First Minister. Scroll down to find out more about each winner and the highly commended entries too!
School Reading Journey
Beancross Primary School in Falkirk is our national winner for School Reading Journey. Beancross took a creative approach with activities for everyone to get involved in. Their beautiful class libraries, pupil author project, Library Leaders Group and community partnerships were inspiring to hear about!
We were so impressed with the entries for School Reading Journey that we also selected two highly commended schools.
Castle Douglas Primary School in Dumfries & Galloway focused on pupil voice, with an impressive review column in their local newspaper and pupil involvement in choosing new books. The feedback from pupils and their parents was very positive.
Findochty Primary School in Moray have managed to sustain and build on their reading culture. They tried out new ideas like Reading Dogs and a local Findochty Reads campaign to help engage even more readers.
Gaelic Medium Education Reading Journey
Sgoil Stafainn in the Highlands is the winner for the Gaelic Medium Education Reading Journey. This Gaelic school takes such a creative approach to reading for pleasure, putting fun at the centre of their activities while pupils gain confidence with the Gaelic language. Our judges thought that their project exploring a story for each letter in the Gaelic alphabet was innovative, and the continued engagement with reading during lockdown was great to see.
Pupil Reading Journey
We were pleased to award four prizes in the Pupil Reading Journey category.
Rory from Eastertoun Primary School in West Lothian is our P1 winner. He created a fantastic comic strip to share his reading journey, which really showed how much he loves reading.
Pupils and their families from Blackwood Primary School in South Lanarkshire are our P2 winners for their inspiring Rainbow Warriors Story Project. This project saw pupils writing a collaborative story online during lockdown.
Amy from Kirknewton Primary School in West Lothian is our P4 winner. Her presentation about how the author Lari Don has inspired her in her reading and writing was heart-warming and showed just how much authors can impact young readers.
Our final winner in this category is the P7 class from Bankhead Primary School in Glasgow. After a year of trying new books, the pupils used their time at home to make lockdown book review videos which showed a great passion for reading.
Reading Inspiration Challenge
Arbroath High School in Angus was selected as our national winner for the Reading Inspiration Challenge! Arbroath have made great progress with promoting reading for pleasure this year. They made sure that the whole school community felt involved and included, with impressive events involving departments across the school, a weekly reading group for pupils with additional support needs and a new Manga club.
Prestwick Academy in South Ayrshire also submitted a fantastic entry to the Reading Inspiration Challenge and was highly commended by the judges. The school library played a key role in their reading culture, along with a range of creative clubs and challenges to engage different pupils.
Community Reading Culture Challenge
In the Community Reading Culture Challenge, the judges highly commended Heriot Mini Book Bank in the Scottish Borders. This project has enabled children in the rural community of Heriot to access a great range of books, and the pupils love to visit it and discover new stories.
Congratulations to all of our winners and highly commended schools and groups. Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry to the challenge, we thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your reading journeys and look forward to showcasing more of these in the coming months. Registration for the First Minister’s Reading Challenge 2020-21 will open in August, and until then, happy reading!