The First Minister's Reading Challenge Pupil Reading Journey Awards

Our first ever celebration event for the First Minister’s Reading Challenge was held on 14th June at Edinburgh Corn Exchange and was a roaring success! Pupils from across Scotland were excited to attend and share their love of reading, as well as taking part in a reading treasure hunt! A total of 5 Pupil Reading Journey prizes were awarded and presented by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. We are delighted to announce our winning pupils:

Luke Grundy from Brisbane Primary School, North Ayrshire, was awarded the Pupil Reading Journey – Primary 4 Award for his Harry Potter themed record of his reading journey. Taking part in the Challenge has encouraged Luke to read a variety of genres and, as well as expanding his knowledge, has helped to develop his writing skills. Luke said, “To begin with it took me a long time to read anything. The Reading Challenge has changed my literacy, I am a faster writer and reader. I like Harry Potter, Bear Grylls, Steve Backshall, nature and survival books and Minecraft. After reading a book I sometimes write a story including things I liked about the book.”

Ellie Lenzi from Blackwood Primary School, South Lanarkshire, was presented with the Pupil Reading Journey – Primary 5 Award for the huge change in her reading that the Challenge has had. Before the Challenge, Ellie's teacher said she did not like to read, never visited the library and didn't enjoy listening when texts were read aloud in class. The Challenge has had a transformative impact on her, as she now takes a great interest in books, has a library card and visits the library regularly. Ellie said, “I only used to read comics because I didn't like reading. I am now collecting the Horrid Henry books and once I stop reading one I go to read another or I just read the same one again!  I have now got the reading bug especially at night time before I go to sleep."

Albey Antony from Bualnaluib Primary School, Highland, received the Pupil Reading Journey – Primary 6 Award for showing how reading is important to him. Albey has always enjoyed listening to books and, with English as a second language, listening to books has opened the door for him to be able to access more and more. After listening to a book he is keen to read it himself; having already heard it, it means he is able to access it more. Albey said, “It feels so good, because I don’t usually win prizes. I’m pleased to go down to Edinburgh to collect my prize.”

The pupils of Primary 7 at St Blane’s Primary, South Lanarkshire, won the Pupil Reading Journey – P7 Award after engaging parents and the wider community in their work. They wrote their own story, inspired by Divided City by Theresa Breslin, that reflected the theme of discrimination. After writing it in groups and illustrating it together, the class sent it to be turned into a book which they plan to sell to raise money for Nil By Mouth. When the books are printed, the class is going to host afternoon reading clubs and workshops with younger children at the school. They also hope to involve the local nursery and church groups to strengthen community links and discuss the messages in their story. Erin Gildea, P7, from St Blane’s said, “The First Minister’s Reading Challenge opened my imagination and helped me further understand religion and different cultures and know that we’re really just all the same. Working together in class on reading and writing and with people in the community to highlight important things was a really fun way to develop our skills. We love our book and hope everyone else will too!”

Thomas Macfadyen, age 9, from Lochwinnoch Primary, Renfrewshire, was awarded the Pupil Reading the Most Books Award after his amazing effort taking part in the Challenge. Commenting on his win, Thomas said, “My Gran was the person who got me into reading and I’d like to thank her a lot. I was surprised when I won, because I assumed that someone older than me would read more than I would. I would like to get everyone out there to read loads because there is so much to learn.”

We would like to congratulate our very worthy winners and would like to thank them for all their hard work!

Here is a full list of this year's First Minister's Reading Challenge winners

First Minister addressing the awards ceremony audience