1.2 Leadership of Learning
Form a reading leadership group who input into your action plan and meet regularly to discuss progress and ideas, ensuring learners are at the heart of your Reading Schools development, all year groups have some sort or representation, staff and learners work together to discuss and implement changes.
The leadership group must:
Include learners and the school librarian, if the school has one. It can also include teachers, support staff and Senior Management Team
Meet regularly to discuss and implement plans
Learners visibly sharing reading with each other, peers supporting each other to develop their reading identities, peers sharing reading recommendations.
Schools must sustain core actions, examples include:
Wearing ‘Ask me what I’m reading’ badges / lanyards
Talking about reading materials they’ve read in assembly / at whole-school occasions
Creating learner-led recommendation lists for display
Making learner-led shelf labels or signs
Putting recommendation notes / bookmarks in reading materials
Making recommendation videos
Making book trailers / vlogs
Making learner-led reading materials lists for staff
Learners should support one another in more formal ways in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Taking part in a paired reading project
Acting as reading mentors
Sharing storytelling videos / activities with reading buddies
Leading a reading club
Staff sharing the things they enjoy reading, staff across the school demonstrate how they are readers themselves, the normalisation of reading for pleasure as an activity for everyone.
To achieve silver level, Reading Schools need to sustain the core level. Examples of actions are:
Wearing lanyards or badges
Talking about reading materials they’ve read in assembly / at whole-school occasions
Giving learners opportunities to see them reading
Having 'guess the reader' displays with photos of staff favourite reading materials / bookshelves
Taking part in social media reading challenges, eg. 'post a photo of your reading lunch'
Sharing reading materials recommendation videos
Ensuring staff across the school understand why reading for pleasure is important, building staff skill in supporting reading for pleasure initiatives.
Schools should support staff development by completing both of the below mandatory actions:
Staff are using Scottish Book Trust resources to widen knowledge around reading for pleasure
Schools should extend staff development by completing the below three mandatory actions:
Involving the staff team / teachers of other subjects / support staff in training around reading for pleasure
Reading more widely about the pedagogy and research around reading for pleasure
Engaging with colleagues and sharing work via social media or face-to-face meetings
Developing staff across the school’s knowledge of contemporary children literature, helping staff to be able to recommend and discuss a range of reading materials relevant to the needs, interests and experiences of all their learners.
Schools should make staff aware of contemporary children’s literature by completing the below mandatory action:
- Sharing new book lists and other appropriate resources
At silver level schools should confirm that staff have access to contemporary children’s literature to read in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Inviting your local librarian in to talk to staff about new reading materials available to them and ensuring they have a library card
Gifting a contemporary children's book to each staff member, encouraging them to share across the team
Having a ‘book borrow box’ in the staff room with regularly updated contemporary children's reading materials
Arranging a staff trip to a local bookshop to speak to booksellers about contemporary children’s titles
1.3 Leadership of change
Key Area 1.3.1 – Whole-school action plan
Submitting and action plan detailing the aims for progressing the reading culture, giving a structure to your Reading Schools development, ensuring learners are fully involved in the choices made, monitoring progress against chosen areas.
The action plan must:
Be agreed by the reading leadership group
Confirm that reading for pleasure is a school wide priority, e.g. adding it to the school improvement plan
Include plans to check progress
Creating pleasurable and relaxed areas for reading enjoyment in partnership with learners, demonstrating visually that reading for pleasure has high status in the school.
Schools should sustain core level which is providing appealing and relaxing reading areas in collaboration with learners and using displays to promote reading in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Having appealing reading areas throughout the school, eg. in shared spaces / corridors / within your school library area
Creating classroom book corners / reading areas designed by learners (possibly as part of an enterprise project)
Providing learners with cushions / encouraging them to turn over their chairs and relax when they're reading
Creating themed displays of reading materials
Displaying new reading materials suggestions, eg. 'Hot Books' / 'Bookflix'
Having displays about the power of reading
Schools should create opportunities for learners to read outside the classroom in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Having reading sessions outdoors
Having reading spaces in the playground, eg. a reading bench or storytelling chair
Having a playground library
Incorporating reading into breakfast or after-school clubs
Incorporating reading into school events and celebrations
Build on reading routines to generate excitement around reading by taking part in national reading celebrations and prizes.
Schools should generate excitement around reading by taking part in one of the below initiatives, or in another that suits their setting:
World Book Day / Night
National Poetry Day
Other local reading events / prizes / festivals
Incorporate reading into other international events / days / celebrations, e.g. Black History Month, International Women’s Day, Empathy Day, Eid, Diwali, Earth Day, Pride Month etc
1.5 Management of resources to promote equity
Ensuring learners have access to a wide variety of up-to-date reading materials relevant to their needs, interests and experiences, encouraging learners to try new things and gathering learners' opinions about the types of reading materials they would like to see in the school.
Schools should make sure that learners have access to contemporary and diverse reading materials relevant to their needs, interests and experiences by completing the below four mandatory actions:
Providing learners with access to a school or public library – this could take the form of class / group book boxes or a 'personal shopping experience' using library catalogues
Involving learners in the auditing and selection of books and other reading materials
Regularly updating reading materials to ensure they are contemporary, diverse and relevant to the needs, interests, languages, cultural identity and experiences of learners
Encouraging learners to broaden their reading experience through a wide variety of genres (you could use Bookzilla App on iPads)
At silver level schools should extend access to contemporary reading materials by completing the below mandatory action:
- Providing all learners with the opportunity to join the local public library for access to books, other reading materials, eBooks and audiobooks
Ensuring that regular reading for pleasure takes place, reading is integrated into the school day/week and not just used to fill time or to reward good work, demonstrating that reading is considered important within the school.
Schools should ensure that all learners have regular time to read texts of their own choosing in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Having regular reading at registration / transition times / other times as appropriate
Holding spontaneous DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read)
Including reading for pleasure time in home learning
Ensuring that readers are able to respond to books in creative and cross-curricular ways and demonstrating to learners that reading for pleasure is relevant and useful outside of literacy / English.
Schools should use book projects to inspire classes to read by completing the below mandatory action:
- Primary – ensuring every learner does one interdisciplinary project per year
Secondary – ensuring every learner in S1–3 does one project per year (this can be in English lessons)
Schools should extend their book projects by completing the below mandatory action:
Primary – providing an opportunity for classes to share their book projects across the school
Secondary – introducing one cross-curricular project per year involving other subject departments or external creative practitioners
2.3 Learning, Teaching and Assessment
Facilitating opportunities for learners to hear stories being read aloud, modelling of reading mechanics for inexperienced readers and allowing access to texts currently beyond their reading level, group immersion in great stories/texts and opportunities for discussion and new book discovery.
At primary level schools should complete the below mandatory actions:
Schools to sustain Core level: class teachers to be routinely reading aloud to their class
Primary only – we expect schools to be inviting members of the community in to read, eg. mystery readers, public library staff, sportspeople, local figures, other role models etc.
At secondary level we recognise that it may be logistically difficult for staff to routinely read aloud to learners, but would like to see evidence of staff supporting learners to access the joy of reading and stories in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Teachers reading aloud to learners when possible
Sharing stories / reading aloud to learners online
Providing access to audiobooks, videos etc.
Holding special storytelling events
Getting to know learners reading habits and preferences, ensuring staff are able to recommend a range of relevant reading, developing staff-learner book-centred dialogue, encouraging learners to try new things.
Staff should ensure they know about learners' interests and have regular conversations with them about their personal reading in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Chatting with individual learners during whole-class reading time / other times as appropriate
Supporting individual learners with strategies for choosing a book they might like during library periods
Providing regular reading recommendations for individual learners in line with their interests
Developing peer-to-peer reading chat, encouraging learners to discuss and evaluate texts amongst themselves, developing individual reading identities and helping learners to share reading materials they enjoy.
Schools should allocate time for all learners to chat about reading materials with each other in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Having a set time for peer discussion following ERIC time / other times as appropriate
Introducing book speed-dating
Playing Book Jenga to spark conversations around books
Pairing up learners to chat about what they are currently reading – this could include famous character duo cards to randomise pairings
Schools should give learner social networks more formal structures in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Offering interest-based clubs or groups during break times / free lessons / breakfast or after school clubs, e.g. reluctant readers, manga group, ASN, poetry groups, non-fiction, Sci-Fi, EAL etc.
Holding regular reading networking events for learners, eg. a reading café or reading quiz
Hosting online book club sessions – these could include learners from other schools
Providing book club boxes for learners to take home, including a shared notebook for comments / questions
Allowing learners to express and share what they think about their reading and creative expression of individual reading identities.
Schools should allow all learners to respond to what they’re reading in a variety of engaging ways that best suit their needs in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Reading journal or drawing
Blog / vlog / book trailer
Social media post
Book review / recommendation for school newspaper / website
Creative writing piece
Use of expressive arts, eg. drama, music, dance etc.
Enterprise project, eg. creating a school recipe book based on favourite books
Giving all learners the opportunity to engage with authors (writers, illustrators or storytellers).
Schools should give all learners the opportunity to engage with authors (writers, illustrators or storytellers) in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Watching Authors Live (Live or On Demand)
Attending / taking part in an online book festival or other book-related event
Hosting / watching online Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour events
Taking part in an online book chat with an author / illustrator or storyteller
2.5 Family Learning
Family engagement, encouraging reading at home, helping parents to see the value of reading for pleasure, offering access to books at home.
Schools should engage with learners’ families to promote reading for pleasure by completing the below three mandatory actions:
Providing access to books to take home / encouraging families to join their local library for access to books, other reading materials, eBooks and audiobooks
Engaging with families about the school’s reading projects and incorporating fun reading activities into home learning as appropriate
Schools should offer further opportunities to promote reading for pleasure to families in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Holding special events, eg. an evening reading by the campfire
Involving families in reading celebrations
Inviting families to attend / take part in online author events, eg. Authors Live or virtual book festival
Primary only – Inviting families into school for P1 Bookbug Family Bag and Read Write Count gifting events
3.2 Raising Attainment and Achievement
Generating excitement around reading for pleasure, demonstrating to learners that ‘success’ is different for each person, highlighting the quality and diversity rather than the quantity of reading, ensuring learners feel valued.
We expect schools to sustain core level by rewarding the progress of individual learners. This could include, for example:
Awarding small prizes such as bookmarks, stickers etc.
Awarding points through the school's individual rewards system
Having class / school awards to recognise effort, eg. 'reader of the week' or 'reader who has made the most recommendations' etc.
Schools should celebrate reading in wider groups or as a whole-school in one of the below ways, or in another way that suits their setting:
Holding a prize-giving assembly
Having a reading party
Inviting learners to a Book Bistro / other reading event
Gifting books, eg. for Christmas or birthdays
Gathering meaningful starting point data so you can compare changes later, gathering data about the impact of the initiatives, gathering learners, staff and parental viewpoints, monitoring and adapting activities.
Schools should track their progress by completing the below three mandatory actions:
Using the Reading Schools attitude surveys to assess and monitor learners’ interests, engagement and confidence within reading for pleasure
Monitoring the impact of your Reading Schools programme in ways most suited to your setting and activities
Taking part in Scottish Book Trust evaluation, which will be sent to you once your accreditation has been confirmed
Discover how Braes High School in Falkirk achieved their Silver accreditation.
Read the case study
View another framework level