'Books are brilliant. . . Reading rocks!': an FMRC-funded workshop at Golfhill Primary

Stuard Reid on a stage striking a pose

Their reading journey 

Golfhill Primary are back for a new year of the First Minister's Reading Challenge, and their current P5 and P7 classes have taken over a leadership role to celebrate reading journeys across the school – creating certificates to award fellow pupils when they finish a book and sharing school reading progress with staff and families on a large wall display in the foyer.

After receiving a grant from the FMRC Workshops Fund to support their reading journey, they were excited to book author Stuart Reid for a whole-school creative writing workshop – which created a real buzz with pupils, parents and teachers alike!  

A pupil artwork display on a school wall about 'Author's alliteration attracts an audience' and examples from 'gorgeous george'


Big screen, big stage

Stuart has over 2,000 performances under his belt, but this was his biggest-ever creative writing workshop – delivered to over 150 pupils from P1–7 from the stage of their school auditorium.  

His session had the audience laughing within seconds, and this energy carried throughout the hour as he interactively explored the process of crafting a story from plot, setting and characters through to awesome alliterations, genre types and discussing empathy in first-person viewpoints.  

From their insightful questions and answers throughout and clear victory in the pupils vs staff book quiz, Golfhill pupils confidently demonstrated their commitment to, and enthusiasm for, reading and writing.

A monstrously-exciting school writing project 

As part of wider work developing their writing curriculum, classes across the school are also writing, creating and sharing their own books. Our Outreach Co-ordinator was treated to a first reading of these stories from the P5 FMRC Leadership Group, who had 'written' to the Scottish Government requesting assistance with a major problem – they've discovered a monster loose in their school! 

Their books will be read to other classes across the school and shared with families at a showcase event, and between Stuart's writing workshop and the creative enthusiasm of teachers across this school it is sure to be a roaring success!  

'I had such a brilliant time visiting Golfhill, both to participate in Stuart's creative workshop and to explore the brilliant books written by P5. It was fantastic to see the whole school creatively engaging with the workshop, enthusiastically exploring concepts such as alliteration and character development, and I particularly enjoyed reading – and impromptu performing! – their One Day A Monster Came to School stories.' Clara Owen, FMRC School Outreach Co-ordinator

'It was lovely to see the boys engage so well with the drama you led. They haven't stopped talking about how much fun they had! We will definitely be doing much more drama in our P5 class.' Samantha Munro, Principal Teacher 

Funding and opportunities 

The First Minister's Reading Challenge has a yearly Workshops Fund available to support primary and secondary schools, public libraries and community groups to develop a love of reading, offering grants of up to £500 to invite an author, illustrator, storyteller or poet to work with children and young people in your setting. 

Applications for the 2023–24 round will open in Autumn for all registered organisations. 

If you'd like to invite an Outreach Co-ordinator to visit your organisation and explore reading journeys with the children and young people, get in touch with us at readingchallenge@scottishbooktrust.com

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