FM Reading Challenge extended

Children in P1-3 now offered opportunity to take part.

A challenge designed to instil a love of reading in young people is being extended to reach an additional 173,000 children across Scotland.


The First Minister’s Reading Challenge will now be open to children in Primary 1 to Primary 7, after the success of the initial scheme which was for primaries 4 – 7.


The challenge encourages children to read for pleasure and develop a life-long love of books by choosing from a specially-selected list of 100 top titles designed as a source of inspiration, which they can then add into a Reading Passport.


There are various awards for the number of books children read, as well as for especially creative book reviews and follow-up work.


The First Minister made the announcement to coincide with the 20th anniversary of World Book Day at Prestonfield Primary School in Edinburgh.


During the visit, she met some Reading Buddies – older children who work with younger pupils to help them with their literacy and reading confidence.


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:


“The First Minister’s Reading Challenge has been a fantastic success since it was launched last year, with almost three quarters of schools across Scotland taking part.


“Reading is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and the Reading Challenge is opening up a world of adventure and fun for young people as well as giving them vital literacy and language skills.


“Education is, and will always be, a key priority for this Government and I passionately believe that the Reading Challenge is an important addition to the investment of £750 million over the next five years in measures and reforms to close the attainment gap in Scotland.”


Fiona Murray, Head Teacher at Prestonfield Primary School said:


“The children love taking part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge and have read a far greater number of books as a result and really pushed themselves to tackle more challenging texts.


We do lots of buddy reading in school where older children regularly read together with younger children. These opportunities not only encourage a real love of reading and improve literacy but also help children form positive relationships, build confidence and develop a sense of shared responsibility.”


Marc Lambert, Chief Executive of Scottish Book Trust who deliver the scheme, added:

“We know reading for pleasure can increase empathy, reduce stress and improve wellbeing.  All the research also shows that children who read for pleasure tend to do better at school.


“The message here is simple - happy readers make good learners. So it’s fantastic that more children across Scotland will now be able to take part in the Reading Challenge, and will be supported to develop a love of reading that should benefit them for years to come.”





More information on how the First Minister’s Reading Challenge works and how to sign up can be found at:


Prestonfield Primary School is a Business in the Community’s (BITC) flagship school for a Paired Reading programme in which they develop and then partner business volunteers with primary school pupils to build attainment, confidence, and a love of reading. More information on programme is available here:

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