Learning Resources

Cowie Primary School Shared Reading Case Study

Early steps on the journey….

Our project began when Stirling Council hosted a training session earlier this session which was delivered by Scottish Book Trust. I attended the event and was shown a variety of picture books, including the

Interactive Storytelling Session
ones to be voted on. I was so enthusiastic about the potential of working with picture books with my Primary 7 class that I organised an introductory storytelling workshop before we commenced the Shared Reading Project. One of our Early Years Educators, Mrs Turner, visited our class and delivered an interactive storytelling session including puppets and picture books.


Learners were fully engaged. Following on from the session and using the skills they developed, learners paired up with their ‘Wee Buddies’ from Primary 1 and delivered storytelling sessions with them. Sessions were held over a four-week period with the final session being one of the highlights… instead of Primary 7s reading to Primary 1, Primary 1 learners read their first ever reading book to their ‘Big Buddies’! 


Drama session

Preparation began in September, but the actual project lasted for the month of November to coincide with Book Week Scotland. Our 28 Primary 7 learners took part in an interactive drama session. During this session, learners engaged with the three shortlisted books: Gorilla Loves Vanilla, The Fourth Bonniest Baby in Dundee and Little Owl’s Egg

This session encouraged the P7s to think carefully about how to read a picture book aloud when reading to younger children and to help them bring the stories to life with simple props including wool and pieces of material. The wooly worms and fabric ice cream cones supported the reading of Gorilla Loves Vanilla beautifully! The P7s enjoyed working with the specialist and trying out different voices, accents and expressions.

At the beginning of the session people were quite timid and shy, but as the session progressed everyone started to be in their element and spoke up. Charly, P7 pupil


Reading Assembly for Learning Community

Senior Pupils delivered a highly entertaining assembly for their whole school community with guests including friends and families as well as an extended welcome to our regional Literacy Development Officer. The assembly included sharing some of the skills learners developed during the drama session. 

Part of the assembly involved retelling the popular We’re Going on a Bear Hunt story. Using some skills from the drama workshop learners confidently read the story and acted out the scenes, with a little help from brave audience members!

I really liked being able to do the different accents and voices because when we were doing it I could see all the wee ones in our school laughing. Farryn, P7 pupil


Shared Reading Sessions

Shared reading in action
Following on from their reading promotion assembly the Primary 7 learners then paired up with Primary 3 learners to deliver more shared reading sessions. These sessions were held over a three-week period with rotations involving some collaborative drama, art, writing and reading activities. The drama session had been pivotal in developing confidence in reading with expression and experimenting with voices. Primary 7s confidently explored a range of character voices when reading stories aloud and encouraged Wee Book Buddies to join in.

I thought the P3 reading was fun because I was working with people I wouldn’t usually work with. It helped me to understand why reading is so important for everyone. Charlotte, P7 pupil


Gingerbread Man Hunt!

Gingerbread manhunt
As part of the Shared Reading project follow up, Primary 3 Wee Reading Buddies prepared a highly enjoyable afternoon for their Primary 7 Big Reading Buddies. The session focused on reading activities based on The Gingerbread Man story. Primary 3 Wee Reading Buddies used iPads to read the story to the P7s, then groups headed off in different directions to track the gingerbread man down. Reading clues within the story and around the school was central to the session. Trails of flour and superb detective work lead to capturing the mischievous gingerbread man at the end of the hunt! 


First Minister’s Reading Challenge

Completing reading passports
The Shared Reading project was the starting point of a reading voyage which learners have continued to journey along throughout their senior year.  Senior Pupils have supported younger learners to complete Reading Passports as part of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge as well as organising events for World Book Day. 


Links with local library

Primary 7 are now regular users of the local library and visit as part of class time for research sessions as well as during their own time. Some P7 learners have established a Big Bookbug Club at lunch time to share downloads made through the local library service. Suggestions for younger and older readers are then posted on the Big Bookbug Wall in school for others to read.


New library cards

Author Visit

This year I have continued to embrace the talent on our doorstep by organising an author visit from local author, and local librarian, Chris Mitchell (author of The Realm Legends triology). This was for all learners from P4-P7. Following on from the workshop Chris Mitchell has shared that a group of learners from P4 now visit the library regularly and have also started a Chatterbooks club in the library after school.



Christmas writing and Book Launch

Enthusiasm for reading books during the Shared Reading Project inspired myself and the P3 teacher, Holly Cousins, to embark on a Christmas Writing journey with our learners. This involved writing their own stories: Santa’s Not Real and Trapped in a Snow Globe. Learners wrote fantastic stories then shared them at a joint Festive Book Launch with mince pies and hot chocolate! The well-attended event had been a success by further sharing a love of reading and writing within our learning community.

I liked reading my Christmas story with my mum and dad after I wrote it. Zac, P3 pupil

It has been super to see our P7s engage so well in this reading project. They were completely committed to it! The impact went beyond reading - the growth in personal development, engagement in their writing project and presentation skills all benefitted from the shared reading initiative. Head Teacher, Cowie Primary School

The events that the Primary 7s have lead throughout the school as part of the Shared Reading Project have had, and continue to have, a fantastic impact for our learners – creating a culture and love of reading from Primary 1 onwards. By providing rich and vibrant reading experiences, we have inquisitive readers who engage in literacy tasks, and will now go on to develop greater vocabulary and vivid imaginations! Depute Headteacher