At Reading Schools, we celebrate the incredible work schools are undertaking to promote reading for pleasure, not just in their school community, but across their local area. We have seen incredible practice, with learners driving positive reading habits and emphasising the fun we can all have when settling into a good story, but we have also witnessed amazing partnerships between schools.
Recognising the benefits of schools working together and supporting one another, Reading Schools is setting out to celebrate the formation of Reading Schools clusters.
From working with individuals to whole stages across more than one school, we have all benefitted from being part of the programme. We have seen improvements in attainment, attitudes and participation which have meant not only has the work been successful, but sustainable too.
What is a Reading Schools cluster?
When a school completes their Reading Schools accreditation at any level, they receive a trophy, certificate and vinyl window sticker, to recognise all of their amazing reading achievements. As an extension of this, we want to formally 'spotlight' the collaboration and support between schools in their associated school group (ASG). When all schools in a cluster have achieved any level of Reading Schools accreditation, they can now receive a further 'Reading Schools cluster' window sticker to add to their proud display.
Our school hosted a Cluster Conference inset day, bringing together practitioners from Forfar Academy and our feeder primaries, as well as Early Years practitioners. As part of this, our school librarian presented two well-attended workshop sessions focussing on reading for pleasure.
What are the benefits of being a Reading Schools cluster?
With over 300 accredited Reading Schools across Scotland, there is a growing community of settings committed to promoting reading cultures. The programme has been designed to meet schools where they are, but we are also keen to encourage peer support and opportunities for schools to help each other.
A school undertaking their Gold accreditation can amass evidence for their application (key areas 1.2.5 Staff Development, for example) through mentoring neighbouring schools and supporting them on their reading journeys. Conversely, schools just starting their Readings Schools journeys can benefit from the knowledge and practice sharing from an experienced neighbouring school, better meeting and capitalising on local priorities and opportunities.
Being part of a growing Reading Schools community is exciting, it can ensure reading activities are sustainable and impactful, while providing a network to access good practice, ideas and solutions to overcome challenges.
At local authority level, a Reading Schools cluster can offer rich and comparable impact data too, with schools using our framework to help capture attitudes, measure changes in reading habits and collating a wealth of supportive evidence through their submissions.
We are always looking at new opportunities to bring to the Reading Schools programme, and ways in which we can continue to support the development and sustainability of reading cultures in schools and communities across Scotland. With Reading Schools clusters, school settings can work together, cross sector, to invite exciting events and further opportunities into their communities, giving greater access to fun and inspirational reading activities.
How do I become part of a Reading Schools Cluster?
Start working together and once every school in the cluster or associated schools group has achieved a Reading Schools accreditation, we just need one school to let us know by contacting us at (this will open in a new window)firstname.lastname@example.org. As soon as we have confirmed every school's status, we will issue them all a new Reading Schools cluster window sticker, to celebrate the building of their reading community.
If you would like to know more about Reading Schools clusters or about Reading Schools in general, please get in touch with us at (this will open in a new window)email@example.com.