Skye primary school chosen as national winner in First Minister’s Reading Challenge 2020

Some of the pupils from Sgoil Stafainn which was chosen as one of three winners of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge for 2020.

Sgoil Stafainn in north-east Skye has been chosen as one of three national winners of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge 2020.

The announcement was made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday afternoon via the reading challenge’s official Twitter page.

The First Minister said: “This year, nearly 1,000 schools, libraries, and community groups took part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.

“As a result, children from across Scotland have received extra encouragement to discover, and develop, a love of books.

“I want to thank all of the children who have taken part.

“I know things have been really, really difficult these past few months, your schools have been closed and you’ve had to cope with lockdown.

“So I think all of you deserved extra credit for sticking with the reading challenge.

“I particularly want to congratulate our National Winners for this year…

“Those are Bean Cross Primary School in Falkirk, Sgoil Stafainn in Skye, and Arbroath High School.”

Name in lights: The moment the First Minister announced Sgoil Stafainn as one of the winners.

Karen Graham, Acting Head Teacher at Sgoil Stafainn said: “Here at Sgoil Stafainn we are extremely proud of everything we have done whilst taking part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge and are delighted to have taken part in the Gaelic Reading Challenge again this year.

“Everyone at our school has worked together to promote a strong reading culture which promotes the Gaelic language and inspires all to read for enjoyment and take real pleasure from reading and books.

“We love seeing the benefits this challenge brings in developing the use of Gaelic at our school.”

The Sgoil Stafainn pupils were commended by the First Minister for their efforts.

Run by the Scottish Book Trust, The First Minister’s Reading Challenge aims to help children and young people between the ages of five and 18 develop a love of reading.

The challenge supports schools, libraries, and communities across Scotland to develop reading cultures and give every child in Scotland the opportunity to experience the benefits – and the fun – of reading for pleasure. 

Commenting to the Free Press this afternoon, Skye Councillor Calum Munro said he was “delighted” by the news.

He said: “This is fantastic news. I’m delighted for the pupils and teachers in Sgoil Stafainn.

“It’s a fantastic achievement to be announced as winners of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge, a competition in which many schools in Scotland take part.

“Developing the love of reading from an early age is so important and reading books opens up whole new worlds for children.

Sgoil Stafainn has had success in other national initiatives over recent years and it’s great to see recognition like this coming to Staffin and to Skye.”

The reading challenge award follows hot on the heels of recent award wins by a pupil and former pupil of Sgoil Stafainn at the Social Enterprise in Education Awards 2020.

Teddy Bryant from Gaelic Medium 1 was awarded for his environmental efforts. Teddy has taken part in litter picks and made posters to champion the environment.

While former Gaelic Medium pupil Lexy Macleod, who is now a third-year student at Portree High School, was commended for her work in making dance videos of the Sgoil Stafainn pupils.