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Case Study on ‘Paired Reading’ – Elgin Academy

This case study was provided by Shelagh Toonen, Librarian at Elgin Academy.

The librarian introduced the Paired Reading Scheme to Elgin Academy in 2012 and its benefits are acknowledged within the school community. The S6 students are paired with younger pupils in S1, with the aim of encouraging reading fluency and comprehension. This sharing of books and reading takes place in the library.

At the end of the academic session, the librarian interviews the outgoing S6 students about their experience of the Paired Reading scheme. They are interviewed on film and this is used during the induction day for the new S6.

The younger pupils are also interviewed and their responses are used to develop the scheme.

The librarian hosts a thank you party for the outgoing senior students with, a now annual, book cake for all to enjoy.


“The paired reading programme makes a significant difference to the students, with their reading ages clearly improving.  It unlocks literacy across all their learning, in all their subjects.  It gives them the confidence to move forward in their reading and to work on a one to one basis with a positive role model.”

Karen Grant, Depute Head Teacher.


“Being part of the Paired Reading scheme this year in the library has been fantastic. I have been able to build up a really strong relationship with my reader and improve my own communication skills. It’s been incredible to watch my partner’s confidence grow, as well as his reading skills, which leads to a lovely sense of pride. I think the Paired Reading scheme is important, not only for helping the younger ones develop their reading and speaking skills and confidence, but it also helps to cement relationships between different year groups and creates a feeling of community within the school.”

Rhona Sword, S6 pupil.

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