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Allanton pupils excel in national reading competition


A small primary school and nursery near Shotts has been crowned the best in Britain by winning a UK-wide reading competition.

Pupils and staff at Allanton Primary School and Nursery are celebrating after coming top in this year’s ‘You Are a Reader’ competition.

The annual event is organised by World Book Day, which aims to change lives through a love of books and shared reading.

Vivien McCallum, acting principal teacher at Allanton Primary School, explained: “The award is in recognition of our campaign over several months to encourage our pupils to read for pleasure.

“In March we were awarded Reading School status by the Scottish Book Trust and, on the back of the work we’ve been doing for that, we entered the national competition.

“Our pupils are actively involved at every stage and have designed logos, record cards and the Golden Ticket Reward Shop. One pupil even came up with the slogan which we’ve since adopted: ‘read every day and dream’.

“We’ve created library areas in all our classes and it’s wonderful to hear pupils discussing their favourite authors and books.

As well as being able to call themselves the best in Britain, the North Lanarkshire school won £350 worth of library equipment, £250 book vouchers and a book bundle for every class.

Sheena McFaite, acting head teacher of Allanton Primary, added: “We’re all really thrilled by this announcement and I am delighted to see that the hard work involved in this project has been rewarded.

“It’s great for the school community, especially given recent events which has seen us temporarily decanted away from our school building to allow structural repairs to take place; it’s given us all a real boost.

“We work closely with colleagues at Newmains Library and are grateful of the support we’ve received from our Parent Council.

“Reading provides pupils with so many benefits which will last with them their entire lives. It forms a key part of our post-pandemic health and wellbeing strategy.

“There’s a lovely sense of calm, quiet peacefulness in the older classes as children immerse themselves in a book and a new adventure. The younger readers are keen to share stories and talk about the books they have enjoyed reading.

“The entire school is so pleased with what we’ve achieved. We are determined to continue to build on this success by working towards the ‘Reading Schools’ silver level award.

A statement on World Book Day’s website read: “Many thanks to everyone who entered our You Are a Reader competition. We received lots of brilliant entries and were inspired by everything you are doing in school.

“We’d like to congratulate our winning school Allanton Primary School in Scotland.”

Page last updated:
16 May 2022

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