Ross-Shire school wins twice at National Reading Awards
Issued by the Scottish Books Trust
A Ross-shire primary school has received two awards from the First Minister in a nationwide competition to encourage Scottish children to foster a lifelong love of reading.
Schoolchildren from Bualnaluib Primary School in Aultbea were presented with the ‘School Reading the Most Books Award’ and pupil Albey Antony was given the ‘Pupil Reading Journey – Primary 6 Award’ by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the ceremony celebrating the first year of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.
A total of 12 prizes were awarded at the celebration event at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh on Wednesday (14 June).
Bualnaluib Primary School was awarded ‘School Reading the Most Books’ at the event. The school’s nine pupils managed to read 470 books between them during the Challenge, an average of six and a half books per pupil each month.
Primary 6 pupil Albey Antony received his 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 books that he might not have chosen for himself. 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.”
Jean Ross, Head Teacher at Bualnaluib Primary said, “Reading has always been a priority for our school. This year, with the help of community raised funds, we made a reading snug for pupils to enjoy books in more comfort. Pupils have been focused on reading fiction and non-fiction books, listening to audio books and accessing other reading materials. I’m delighted and proud that we have won the most number of books read award, it’s such an amazing achievement for just 9 pupils. I’m very, very proud of Albey taking the time to enter the reading journey competition to show how much he enjoyed hearing his favourite book.”
Speaking after the event, the First Minister said, “The First Minister’s Reading Challenge has been a fantastic success since it was launched last year and it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate a love of reading with so many enthusiastic participants!
“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. By working with guest speakers and charities, the Challenge is bringing the community together in a very unique way.
“Developing a love of reading in childhood can have a huge impact on educational attainment and future wellbeing which is why projects like these are so important. I am looking forward to seeing how the Challenge develops in the future.”
Following the success of the initial year, the First Minister's Reading Challenge is being extended to reach an additional 173,000 children across Scotland. The scheme will now be open to children in Primary 1 to Primary 3, as well as the original age group, Primary 4 to Primary 7.
Marc Lambert, Chief Executive of Scottish Book Trust who runs the Challenge, said: "Encouraging reading for pleasure is one of the most important things we can instill in children because we know the benefits are substantial and life-long. This wonderful initiative is an effective way to support schools, teachers and families to make reading for enjoyment a priority and we are delighted to have a part in its success.
"Bualnaluib Primary School rose to the Challenge and pupils at this tiny school collectively read an amazing number of books. Albey Antony gets huge enjoyment from stories and his submission showed the impact they have, developing his imagination and his writing skills. Using audio books has motivated and engaged Albey in his reading journey. Bualnaluib school and Albey are very worthy winners of these awards."