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Primary school celebrates storytelling and reading at book festival

Todholm Primary School in Paisley held its first ever book festival this week designed to encourage a love of reading and storytelling in children of all ages.

The week-long event saw more than 600 children participate in the event from the school along with children from eight neighbouring nurseries.

The mainly outdoor event included a storytelling tent with sessions from Clyde One Radio’s Amber Livingstone and former St Mirren player Steven Thompson along with members of the local community including parents, police, Renfrewshire Council’s director of education and paramedics volunteering to lead some sessions.

Children were also able to take part in reading sessions, environmental classrooms, bookmarking workshops, bookbug sessions in the nursery and creative writing classes. In addition to the outdoor tents at the event the children’s library bus Skoob-mobile was also present throughout the week.

Some of the pupils who helped deliver the event were keen to include other members of the community and volunteered to visit nearby Hunterhill Care Home to read to the residents as part of their celebration of reading.

The event was inspired by Renfrewshire’s pioneering Literacy Coaching Programme which aims to instil a love of reading in children in order to help increase attainment in schools.

Todholm Primary School headteacher, Lynne McGinn said: “We’ve had such an amazing response from the children to this event. The idea for the event came from our Acting Principal Teacher, Claire Hall who was inspired by the Literacy Coaching Programme and was keen to bring the concept to life through a festival-style event.

“The children who participate in our Literacy Focus Group were really engaged with the idea of holding a festival and suggested that all pupils should be allowed to come to school in their wellies and bring their teddies to really embrace the theme.

“From a teaching perspective it’s been excellent to see the children so motivated and inspired about reading and storytelling and discussing the books they enjoy with others.

“We really are delighted with the success of the event and I’m sure this will be something we will look to run in the future as well.”

It is the ambition of Renfrewshire’s Literacy Approach that by encouraging children to read for pleasure there will be a cross over to their studies in the classroom which will help increase attainment for all children.