Header image for article 6861

Pupils at Carmuirs Primary School have won a national reading award in the First Minister’s 2021 Reading Challenge.

Mrs Jalland’s Primary 1 class scooped the P1 Pupil Reading Journey award – one of only five given out in Scotland – after the children completed a range of activities led by their favourite books.

The Carmuirs youngsters took part in Everyone Reading in Class (ERIC) time, listening to each other’s stories and even running a project with a school in America on their way to winning.

After reading ‘Malala’s Magic Pencil’ they decided to take action and made an appeal video, raising £600 for Homeless Project Scotland, with Malala Yousafzai’s father praising the youngsters on Twitter.


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.

Winners were announced online by Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, author of the How to Train Your Dragon series, on Wednesday 16 June.

Launched in 2016, the First Minister’s Reading Challenge is open to all schools in Scotland, and is delivered on behalf of Scottish Government by Scottish Book Trust.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Reading is something that always brings me joy, and no matter how I am feeling there’s something to match my mood. During the pandemic, it has been a lifeline, and I know it has been for countless others.

“The reading challenge was launched to inspire as many young people as possible to discover a joy of reading, and I have been so impressed with all the innovative work schools and communities have been doing this year, rising to the challenge of doing this during these extraordinary times, and doing so with great ingenuity.

“Huge congratulations to the winners, as well as everyone who submitted incredible entries.”

Acting Head of Carmuirs Primary, Sharon Wilson, said:

“We’re thrilled to win this award. Our youngest learners have developed a passion for reading through the many experiences they’ve had this session.

“The joy the children have experienced through choosing books has empowered them, helping them communicate their interests and talk about issues that are important to them.

“Thank you Mrs Jalland and Primary 1 for sharing your inspirational reading journey.”

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“Congratulations to all our First Minister’s Reading Challenge awardees. It’s wonderful to see schools across Scotland reading for pleasure and building reading cultures in the classroom and at home.

“Thank you to our funders for making this programme possible, and to Cressida Cowell for announcing our amazing winners. We hope everyone will enjoy our first ever celebration festival, which can be joined from our website.”