More pupils to benefit from ‘transformative’ programme.
The First Minister has encouraged every school in Scotland to join Reading Schools, a Scottish Government-funded programme that supports attainment and benefits pupils’ health and wellbeing.
So far, 371 schools have been awarded Reading Schools accreditation and 511 more have joined the programme – which independent evaluation has shown leads to more pupils reading for pleasure and can help to reduce the poverty-related attainment gap.
It is hoped that every school in Scotland will be a Reading School within three to five years.
In addition to Reading Schools, the First Minister will underline his personal commitment to promoting both literacy and numeracy by supporting the ‘Read Write Count with the First Minister’ programme, which will provide books and literacy materials to children when it opens in the autumn.
The First Minister and the Education Secretary heard about the benefits of Reading Schools during a visit to Claypotts Castle Primary School in Dundee.
First Minister Humza Yousaf said:
“I am pleased that the hugely successful First Minister’s Reading Challenge has now evolved into a reading support programme that will benefit even more pupils, and involves the whole school community.
“We know that reading can support improved attainment across the curriculum and that embedding a reading culture in schools can open the door to a lifelong love of books.
“I look forward to working with the Scottish Book Trust and schools across the country on both Reading Schools and the refreshed Read Write Count with the First Minister set to launch in the autumn. These fantastic programmes will support children in improving both literacy and numeracy across Scotland.”
Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth said:
“Evaluation has shown the clear benefits of Reading Schools to pupils and school staff and I look forward to seeing the impact of this next phase in our work with the Scottish Book Trust.
“I would encourage every school in Scotland to join the programme so that pupils can enjoy all of the positive impacts that reading brings.”
Claypotts Castle Primary School head teacher Nicky Murray said:
“The Reading Schools award has allowed us to focus our effort, energy and enthusiasm and protect time within our school improvement agenda to drive forward a culture of reading in our school. We have already awarded over 250 certificates to children this year to celebrate their reading achievements and the feedback from families has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The Reading Schools award has given us the opportunity to align our vision of a community and school improvement focus to extend the life and ethos of the school into every home in our local community.”
Marc Lambert , CEO of the Scottish Book Trust, which delivers the Reading Schools programme, said:
“We look forward to supporting even more schools on their Reading Schools journey in the years ahead. Reading Schools is already having a transformative effect in schools, both on young people and learning professionals, as well as the wider school community. We are delighted that the First Minister and Scottish Government continue to show their commitment to literacy and numeracy, benefitting pupils across all ages and stages of their education.”
Read Write Count provides every child in Primary 2 and 3 with a free bag with books, educational games and writing materials annually. It aims to build parents' confidence, and encourage families to include easy and fun reading, writing and counting activities in their everyday lives. Scottish Book Trust in partnership with Education Scotland and Parent Club also provide advice and support for learning professionals and families through training and online resources.
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