Moray sisters both announced as winners of national reading awards
Pupils at Findochty Primary School have been recognised in a national reading challenge for their love of stories.
The young bookworms were delighted when their reading journey entries were shortlisted in this year’s First Minister’s Reading Challenge and a double celebration followed when judges announced Ivy Mattsson as the winner of P4 Pupil Reading Journey award, and her sister, Daisy, winner of the P7 Pupil Reading Journey award.
The school’s Reading Ambassador Group travelled to Glasgow for the celebrations marking the culmination of the 2023 Reading Challenge and showcased their creative efforts to promote literacy and reading in class. They connected with new authors and other schools, coming away with lots of new ideas to support the next chapter of their reading journey.
Judges were impressed by what they described as the “brilliant reading culture you have in place at Findochty”.
Findochty head teacher, Dawn Thomson, said: “We’re so proud of the reading journey that all of our children are on. In our school we promote a love of reading and the important part this plays in our learning and in our lives in general.
“We’re delighted for Ivy and Daisy who have worked so hard on their reading journeys. Although we missed out on the Reading Ambassador Group Reading Journey award, it was great to be recognised by the judging panel for the variety of activities we undertook and the creativity we showed in the many ways books and reading can be enjoyed. The judges praised our book swap and our efforts to make books more accessible to everyone in school.”
The panel loved Ivy’s enthusiasm for reading and enjoyed learning from her entry about her involvement in the Reading Ambassadors group and approach to recommending books to her peers.
“It is brilliant to know that she is a reading role model, avid reader, and regularly shares her passion and encourages others to read. We hope that this win can be celebrated with the whole Reading Ambassador group!” the judges said.
They were also full of praise for Daisy’s creative writing piece which supported her “Dear Diary” entry evaluation of her own reading journey. They found it powerful to hear from Daisy, and Mrs Thomson, how books have provided a real wellbeing focus and safe space, and that switching from an iPad to books at bedtime had been a positive change.
“We felt this was a real showcase for the power of reading for pleasure to enrich all aspects of life, and a transformative narrative from starting point to what Daisy has achieved now after discovering her love for stories,” the judges said.
The First Minister's Reading Challenge is run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing. The awards recognise the efforts of schools and pupils to support reading for enjoyment and create a reading culture in their school, home or community.
Head of Education at Moray Council, Vivienne Cross, said: “Many congratulations to everyone at Findochty Primary School for all the hard work and imagination they brought to this year’s reading challenge, and thank you to all our staff and families for their efforts to support reading for enjoyment and to create a reading culture in schools, homes and communities.”
Chief Executive of Scottish Book Trust, Marc Lambert, said: “Many congratulations to this year's First Minister's Reading Challenge winners, as well as to those who were highly commended. Reading for pleasure supports attainment across the curriculum – as well as boosting empathy, wellbeing and critical thinking – and we are delighted to see how schools, libraries and community groups have used the Challenge to develop their reading cultures.”