First Minister’s Reading Challenges

The First Minister’s Reading Challenge is open to every pupil in P4-P7 in Scotland. We know that reading journeys can be personal to every single child but, to encourage and motivate schools and pupils to get involved, we’ve set a number of challenges we hope will inspire you.

To enter for any of the challenges and to access the resources to support them, your school needs to register first. Find out how to register here.

Prize winners will be selected after the closing date on 3 May 2017.

School Reading Journey
School-Community Partnership Reading Journey
School Reading the Most Books
Personalised Reading Challenges
GME Reading Journey
Pupil Reading Journey
Pupil Reading the Most Books

School Reading Journey

We challenge schools to develop a reading culture! It is not about where you started or where you end up: it’s about the progress you’ve made on your journey to develop your school’s reading culture for P4-7.

For defining features of a reading culture, along with practical ideas to help you get started on your school’s reading journey, look at the Building and Sustaining Your Reading Culture resource and our other online resources.

How to Enter

Send us an account of your school’s reading journey, focused on the progress you’ve made in building a reading culture in P4-P7. 

This account should include:

  • A description of where you started, what actions you took and where you ended up. 
  • Results you’ve seen during your reading journey. 
  • Lessons you’ve learned along the way to help sustain your reading culture. 

Further guidance can be found in our resource and to help you make a submission, here is a template you can use. However, if you want to be more creative and as long as you are able to upload it to our website, please feel free! 

We will carefully consider all the submissions and consider the progress evident in each one. We will then award prizes at Local Authority and national level.

GME Reading Journey

We challenge Gaelic medium education institutions to develop a reading culture! Reading as a skill and reading for pleasure can look slightly different for children in Gaelic Medium Education (GME) and so this challenge recognises the progress GME schools or units have made when developing a reading culture.

How to Enter

All the above information for the School Reading Journey challenge applies here so tell us where you started, what actions you took and where you ended up, as well as results observed and lessons learned.

We will carefully consider submissions from GME institutions and consider the progress evident in each one. We will then and award a prize at a national level.

School-Community Partnership Reading Journey

We challenge schools to work in partnership to develop a reading culture! All the above information for the School Reading Journey challenge applies here but we’d also like you to include information about the partnership work you undertook and the progress you made. That partnership could be with your local library or any other appropriate organisation.

You could include information about the following:

  • Whether you used existing partnerships or built new ones. 
  • Whether you used your partnership to make structural changes and what those were, such as scheduling regular visits to the library. 
  • How your partnership helped you to make changes to your practice, such as making professional links between teachers and librarians.

We will carefully consider the submissions and consider the progress evident in each one. We will then award a prize at a national level.

Pupil Reading Journey

We challenge pupils to respond creatively to their personal reading journey! Individual pupils or groups of pupils can enter for this challenge, so long as the response is pupil-led.

How to Enter

To tell us about their reading journey pupils could refer to what their reading habits were like before taking part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge, the impact their reading experiences had and how they feel about reading now. 

We encourage pupils to be as creative as they’d like in their response and it can be in any format (as long as you can upload it to our website).

Here are some ideas and you’ll find more in our resources:

  • An account of their reading journey which could be written or drawn as a storyboard or comic strip.
  • A review of one or more of the books they read on their journey. This could be written, drawn, sung or acted or they could even make a book trailer.
  • An alternative ending to one of the books they read or a piece of fan fiction about their favourite characters.

Here is a template which pupils could use to write their response. However, we encourage you and them to be more creative! Entries can be submitted by using the class teacher’s log-in details.

We will carefully consider the submissions and then award a prize for each age group (P4, P5, P6 and P7).

School Reading the Most Books

We challenge schools to encourage their pupils to read as many books as they can! This is an opportunity for pupils to broaden their reading habits and experience a wide range of books and other reading materials and while reading widely isn’t possible or motivating for every pupil, there will be many pupils and classes who’d love the idea of reading as many books as they can.

Take a look at Places to start your reading journey (link) on our website, where you’ll find recommendations for 300 brilliant children’s books, organised by category. We’ll also share other recommendations from learning professionals, children and celebrities throughout the year. 

How to Enter

  • Children can record their books in their Reading Passports which will be sent to your school automatically once you register.
  • Tell us how many children took part in this particular challenge and how many books in total they read during the year.

To ensure that this challenge is judged fairly, to enter you must involve children from all P4-P7 classes in your school. We will then calculate the average number of books read by each child and use this to judge submissions. 

Pupil Reading the Most Books

We challenge pupils to read as many books as they can!

All the above information for the School Reading the Most Books applies here but this is a way to do this kind of challenge with specific pupils in order to encourage them to broaden their reading habits, rather than the whole P4-P7 cohort.

How to Enter

Tell us the name(s) of the pupils who have read the most during the year and how many books they each read. Entries can be submitted by using the class teacher’s log-in details.

 

Personalised Reading Challenges

We hope that you are inspired by the challenges we’ve set but we know that many pupils will be motivated by challenges that are personalised and meaningful to them. You can use our resources to help you work with individual children to set personal reading challenges and use the downloadable certificates to celebrate each pupil’s achievements. Librarians can issue them too.

You won’t submit an entry to us for any of these but we would love to hear what you do. If you’d like to share you and your pupils’ experiences of personal reading challenges, please get in touch at readingchallenge@scottishbooktrust.com. If you agree, we can share them on our website to give others ideas and inspiration.

Examples of personal challenges can be found in our resource.