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Reading Oscars – Largs Campus, North Ayrshire

Category: Branches and Groups, Professional Development, SLG Scotland

SLG Scotland regularly showcase an activity or project that furthers the strategic aims of Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools (VLTS): A National Strategy for School Libraries 2018 – 2023. Here, Learning Community Librarian Theresa Newbury tells us more about how she launched her own Reading-themed Oscars.


Theresa Newbury


Largs Campus, Largs, North Ayrshire


The R-Oscars – Reading Awards Event

Furthering Strategic Aims:

  1. Curriculum, Learner Journey and Developing the Young Workforce
  2. Information, Digital Literacy and Digital Creativity
  3. Literacy, Numeracy and Family Learning

The Initiative

I introduced the R-Oscars, our reading awards event, for the first time in March 2020 for World Book Day. It worked very well, and I wanted to make it an annual event, but as with so many other things, Covid made this impossible for 2021, so I was delighted that a return to something akin to normality meant that R-Oscars 22 was able to go ahead.

I wanted the event to be a celebration of all the reading and literacy development initiatives that had taken place throughout the year.

For the first event, I used data generated from Accelerated Reader to determine categories, so among others, awards included Word Millionaire, Most Quizzes Taken, and Most Words Read. In the time between the first and second events, the school stopped using AR, but this gave me the opportunity to introduce 4 different Reading Challenges, where pupils could earn points for reading books and completing associated literacy tasks, and these provided similar rich seams of data which I used to decide who should be nominated for the range of awards that reflected reading progress.

Also included were awards for those who had acted as Reading Ambassadors, working on a range of initiatives to encourage others to read. This allowed a link to our SLIF Project “Keep the Heid ‘n’ Read” and the range of activities that the group worked on to develop their own reading skills, as well as to promote reading and books to their peers.

For R-Oscars 22, I extended the scope of pupils involved to include not only S1 and 2, but also P7 classes from the two primary schools within our shared learning Campus. A late start in supporting classes meant that I was not able draw on the same bank of data to fully include pupils at this level, but there was enthusiastic input to our ‘All about the Books’ category, where primary pupils submitted artwork, reviews, book cover designs, and posters highlighting the benefits of reading.

I hope to continue to widen the scope across the Campus for R-Oscars 23, as upper primary pupils will participate in the same reading challenges as S1 and 2. We hope that next year’s event will have a wider cross-Campus scope, and I am exploring the possibility of inviting parents to extend the celebration of reading success, while furthering understanding of the Library’s central role in supporting literacy development across the Campus.


The R-Oscars is now acknowledged as an annual event in the school calendar, and as a milestone for pupils to work towards.

Pupils were asked to provide feedback in the form of Two Stars and a Wish shortly after the event. A wide range of mainly favourable comments included:

  • I liked the R-Oscars: “I felt famous”
  • I liked how the presenters talked about all the nominees, instead of just the winner
  • I thought it was a really nice idea to award people for reading and the winners were all really proud of themselves
  • I liked the fact that everyone had to read and the activities that built up to the R-Oscars
  • I liked that you got rewards for reading
  • I liked that the presenter was a student
  • I liked the different award categories
  • I liked the description of each nominee
  • It was good that between every award we showed something that a student had made or we showed what nominees had done to get nominated
  • The R-Oscars were really exciting because of the build-up & the event itself was well presented
  • The PowerPoint was great and explained lots of things
  • Very well organised: the presenter was brilliantly loud and clear
  • I liked the options for extra points
  • I liked the variation in the challenges
  • I liked the effort put in behind the scenes
  • I liked the messages from authors
  • So fun and enjoyable
  • I found it interesting to know how many books people had read
  • I liked that everyone had a chance to win
  • I liked the activities that run up to the R-Oscars


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