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Primary 1–3 bag gifting

Learning type: Classroom activity
Category: Reading culture
Programme: Bookbug, Read Write Count
Language: English
Age group: 3-5, 6-8

All primary 1–3 pupils receive a free book bag to take home as part of the Bookbug Primary 1 Family bag and Read, Write, Count gifting campaigns funded by the Scottish Government. Gifting is a key part of these campaigns. 

Why is bag gifting important? 

Gifting is an incredibly important aspect of the Read, Write, Count bags and Bookbug Primary 1 Family bag. How you gift the bags will help to build excitement and enthusiasm about them before children take the bags home. 83% of parents/carers believe that Bookbug and Read, Write, Count have started their child on a journey to becoming a lifelong reader.

Bookbug and Read, Write, Count are succeeding in creating opportunities in families' lives to have positive experiences with books and reading in just the initial gifting alone.

When to gift your bags

The bags will arrive at your school from the end of October onwards. If you receive them in time, we recommend that you gift the bags to children during Book Week Scotland. Book Week Scotland is a national celebration of books and reading. Gifting the bags during Book Week Scotland will draw pupils' and parents' attention to this national celebration and encourage them to participate in the week's events, laying the groundwork for further engagement in reading.

In school, Book Week Scotland can provide a platform for lots of activities celebrating books, and there are competitions, games and author events to participate in. Please don’t worry if you don’t receive your bags in time to gift them to pupils during Book Week Scotland. The main thing is that the children receive their bags and enjoy sharing the books at school and at home.

Involving families

Sending a letter home is a simple way to inform parents and carers about the bags and give advice and tips on how to use them. We have provided a basic template letter you can use and adapt, for example, adding in tips about reading together.

My son was in P1 at the time and he was so excited that myself and his gran were invited into the school for a special gifting session.

Try the bags in class before gifting

Read the books, play the games and do the activities together in class before sending the bags home. This can help to build the children's excitement and help them to encourage their parents and carers when the bags go home. You can find Curriculum for Excellence linked resources to support using the Primary 1 Bookbug Family bag and the Read Write Count bags in class. 

Involve older pupils

One way to create some excitement in school around gifting the bags is to involve pupils from other year groups. Castleton Primary School in Glasgow arranged for their primary 7 pupils to read the books in the Bookbug Primary 1 Family bag to the primary 1 children. The older pupils then asked their reading partner what activities, based on the book, they would like to do. Both year groups really enjoyed their time together, sharing stories and activities, and learnt a great deal in the process. You can explore our Paired Reading toolkit for more ideas and advice on how to support pupils reading together.

For more tips on bag gifting, watch our P1–3 bag gifting webinar.