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Press release: 34 Scottish schools achieve Reading Schools accreditation

Regional rollout supports attainment

children reading

34 Scottish schools in Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, Stirling and West Lothian have become the first schools in Scotland to achieve their Reading Schools accreditation. Run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, and funded by the Scottish Government and in partnership with Education Scotland, Reading Schools is a new accreditation programme for schools that are committed to building a culture of reading for their learners and communities.

Research proves that reading for pleasure has positive impacts on learners' attainment across the curriculum, supporting wellbeing, critical thinking, creativity, empathy and resilience. The programme provides a clear framework for improvement and support to helps schools ignite a love of reading, as well as creating opportunities for professional development and collaboration within and between schools and the wider community.

Reading Schools provides an option for educational settings to advance to silver and gold status, and the programme also encourages collaboration within and between schools. Those who sign up to the accreditation will receive resources, training and support from Scottish Book Trust. Of those who participated last year, 9 schools earned core accreditation, 12 earned silver and 13 schools earned gold. (A full breakdown is available in the notes to editors).

An evaluation report conducted on the Reading Schools pilot (2019-2020) found that 80% of teachers agreed that taking part in the programme helped their school to support learners who are not enthusiastic readers. 85% agreed that taking part in Reading Schools helped learners to develop a love of reading and 70% agreed that taking part in Reading Schools supported learners’ attainment.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“Not only does Reading Schools help pupils to develop a love of reading, but it also supports learners’ health and wellbeing, which is crucial during current circumstances. The feedback for the Reading Schools accreditation programme has been fantastic and we’re pleased that so many schools in Forth Valley have earned their gold, silver and core results. Congratulations from all of us at Scottish Book Trust, and we look forward to more schools achieving their accreditation.”

Dr Janet Adam, FVWL RIC Literacy Lead (Forth Valley and West Lothian RIC Literacy Lead) said:

“Reading Schools is a brilliant initiative that really celebrates all the good work already taking place in schools, highlights good practice, encourages collaboration and motivates practitioners and young people to widen their horizons. I would recommend Reading Schools without hesitation – and can envisage that it will gain even more momentum and recognition as more schools become involved. Celebrating existing successes and good practice while also setting high standards is motivational and should result in continuous effort to sustain and develop approaches to reading and building a reading culture in schools.”

Reading Schools is currently open to all schools in Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, Stirling and West Lothian, as well as nominated schools in Perth and Kinross, Angus and Dundee. The programme will be rolled out to other areas and more schools will be given the opportunity to participate in the programme from August 2021. Schools can find more information about the accreditation progamme and sign up at: scottishbooktrust.com/reading-schools(this will open in a new window)

Notes to editors

1) Reading Schools pilot 2019/20, Final Evaluation Report(this will open in a new window), Scottish Book Trust

Breakdown of Reading Schools accreditation:

List of schools:

Clackmannan Primary School, Clackmannanshire, Core

Strathdevon Primary School, Clackmannanshire, Core

Menstrie Primary School, Clackmannanshire, Gold

Alloa Academy, Clackmannanshire, Silver

Banchory Primary School, Clackmannanshire, Silver

Antonine Primary, Falkirk, Core

Airth Primary, Falkirk, Gold

Bo’ness Academy, Falkirk, Gold

Carron Primary, Falkirk, Gold

Braes High, Falkirk, Silver

Grangemouth High, Falkirk, Silver

Bannockburn Primary, Stirling, Core

Callander Primary, Stirling, Gold

Cowie Primary, Stirling, Gold

Gargunnock Primary, Stirling, Gold

Kincardine-in-Menteith Primary, Stirling, Gold

Riverside Primary, Stirling, Gold

Strathyre Primary, Stirling, Gold

Thornhill Primary, Stirling, Gold

Allan’s Primary, Stirling, Silver

Braehead Primary, Stirling, Silver

Newton Primary, Stirling, Silver

Croftmalloch Primary School, West Lothian, Core

Greenrigg Primary School, West Lothian, Core

Livingston Village Primary School, West Lothian, Core

Polkemmet Primary School, West Lothian, Core

West Calder High School, West Lothian, Core

Knightsridge Primary School, West Lothian, Gold

Whitburn Academy, West Lothian, Gold

Letham Primary School, West Lothian, Silver

Longridge Primary School, West Lothian, Silver

Peel Primary School, West Lothian, Silver

Riverside Primary School, West Lothian, Silver

Whitdale Primary School, West Lothian, Silver

Additional quotes:

Falkirk:

Mark Rooney, Acting Head of English at Braes High School, Falkirk said:

“It has been a difficult year for everyone, but we are especially proud of how we have managed to maintain the promotion and enthusiasm for reading during this period. One key thing we are most proud of is how reading for pleasure has been promoted across the school in a genuine, honest and organic way. Each aspect is sustainable and meaningful and should give us a really solid platform to push on for Gold level.”

Stirling:

Jacqui Burns, Depute Head Teacher at Strathyre Primary School, said:

“We would definitely recommend being a part of Reading Schools. Schools are busy places and being so well supported to plan and implement change has been great. The focus allows staff to evaluate and adapt their practice which ultimately has a positive impact on children and young people. The programme allows schools to incorporate into their longer term improvement planning over a number of years.”

West Lothian:

Emma Ballantyne, Headteacher at Peel Primary School, said:

“The Reading Schools programme has provided a platform to focus our whole school community on the power of reading for pleasure and of a reading culture.”

For more information please contact PR and Marketing Manager Keara Donnachie on keara.donnachie@scottishbooktrust.com or 07956 773749.

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that believes everyone living in Scotland should have equal access to books. Our work provides opportunities to improve life chances through books and the fundamental skills of reading and writing. Access to books and a love of books bring many important benefits from family bonding and advancing children’s learning, to unlocking creativity, helping employability and improving mental health & well-being. Scottish Book Trust aims to support all communities across Scotland, with particular focus on those who are vulnerable and under-represented.

Our programmes and outreach work include:

In addition to the funding we receive from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, we need the constant support of trusts and foundations, corporate sponsors and individual donors.

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Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

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