Read, Write, Count (RWC) is a national campaign to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of Scotland's children. The campaign is delivered by Scottish Government, Scottish Book Trust and Education Scotland. It is a key part of the Scottish Government's commitment to raise attainment for all.
Through Read, Write, Count, every child in Primary 2–3 receives a free bag with books, educational games and writing materials that change on a yearly basis. Read, Write, Count also provides advice and support for learning professionals and families through training events and online resources.
This evaluation of the 2021/22 programme examines the impact of the Read, Write, Count bag gifting and resources. It reflects on the challenges of working through continued roadblocks arising from the pandemic and discusses possible future developments.
Read the full report
The gifting of P2 and P3 bags is intended to support Read, Write, Count, which aims to:
- Contribute to the joint aims of raising attainment for all and closing the attainment gap, with the focus on the latter
- Provide resources and advice to parents and children to support fun and accessible home-based learning (incorporating growth mindset principles, particularly in relation to numeracy)
- Ensure good integration between the bags and the wider social marketing campaign (in line with the strategic approach of belief, competency and behaviours)
- Secure buy-in and support from teachers and other practitioners, such as library staff and family/community learning
This evaluation backs up existing research that shows if books and materials are explored in school first to allow children to become familiar with and excited by the materials, families are far more likely to use them together at home.
The gifting bags continue to spark interest and excitement for reading and learning. 82% of parents and carers agreed that receiving the bags gave them new ideas or ways of doing things with their child, suggesting that the programme provides a useful starting point for some parents and an additional source of information for others.
There is an overwhelming positive response to the quality of the books and other materials gifted in the Read, Write, Count bags. 90% of respondents liked all the items in the bags; the minority who did not like a particular item would have preferred an additional book. 80% of learning professionals felt the pupils were more enthusiastic about books and reading since receiving the bags.
A key impact of the programme for many learning professionals was ensuring that their pupils had learning resources at home. This was particularly important to teachers with pupils from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.