An Angus primary school has won a national award from the Scottish Book Trust for its innovative reading projects.
Teachers and pupils at Grange Primary School, in Monifieth, impressed judges with their fun ideas to encourage reading for pleasure, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Their creative solutions earned them the top spot of the School Reading Journey Award, in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge 2021.
Children’s Laureate and author Cressida Cowell made the announcement today online – which the pupils watched live in their classrooms.
Fiona Anderson, 2A class teacher, said: “This award means a lot because we’ve had such a difficult year and it’s something to lift our spirits.
“We worked on it together – the pupils and the staff – so it’s something we can all be proud of together and it’s an important part of our school improvement plan.”
As part of her submission, Mrs Anderson talked about the ways they had promoted reading within the school with badges, posters, reading time and conversations about books.
And she highlighted how the children’s passion for reading continued in lockdown through online book recommendations and putting their favourite story in their windows.
The school also moved its Reading Cafe to pupils’ homes, having a positive impact within families by encouraging them to read together with a cuppa.
Victoria Tweed, acting head teacher, said: “We have a real culture of reading for pleasure here and it’s very much led by the children, which makes us super proud to have won the School Reading Journey part of the First Minster’s Reading Challenge.”
The awards – aimed at recognising the efforts of schools and pupils to support reading for enjoyment – have been running for five years now and are open to submissions nationwide.
Five outstanding individuals are also selected to receive a Pupil Reading Journey Award category, and the primary 5 award in this category was won by Finn Evans.
Finn, who is home-schooled at Fields Schoolhouse, in Angus, impressed judges with his enthusiasm and determination to read during the pandemic.
He was commended for extending and developing his knowledge and interest in farming by reading the Farmer’s Guide and being interviewed by them regarding his very own egg business.
Finn’s mum, Nicola, said: “Finn is very happy about receiving the award.
Finn is very happy about receiving the award.”
Nicola Evans, Finn’s mum.
“He loves reading and has done so well with his reading journey. All the authors he has read have provided a variety of story-telling styles which have enabled him to remain inspired to read.”
All those who submitted this year will receive book tokens, with the winners also receiving a trophy.
‘Reading has been a lifeline’
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Reading is something that always brings me joy, and no matter how I am feeling there’s something to match my mood.
“During the pandemic, it has been a lifeline, and I know it has been for countless others.
“The reading challenge was launched to inspire as many young people as possible to discover a joy of reading, and I have been so impressed with all the innovative work schools and communities have been doing this year, rising to the challenge of doing this during these extraordinary times, and doing so with great ingenuity.
“Huge congratulations to the winners, as well as everyone who submitted incredible entries.