A primary school where most of the teachers have studied children’s literature at masters-level has today been named the UK’s “literacy school of the year”.
St Anthony’s Primary, in Renfrewshire, was described by the president of the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) – which launched the prize in 2013 – as “a school where literacy thrives”.
The school, which UKLA describes as serving a deprived area, is the first in Scotland to win the award.
The majority of the school’s staff – 14 out of 17 teachers – took the University of Strathclyde’s masters-level module in children’s literature last year. All the school’s teachers attend a monthly children’s book club.
The assessors who visited the school were most impressed by the way the professional development undertaken by the school has made an impact on children’s literacy development and progress. The school took part in a local authority wide project with Strathclyde University, “The Renfrewshire Literacy Approach”. St. Anthony’s participation led to a transformation in the way the teachers approached literacy teaching, placing children’s experiences and high quality children’s literature at the heart of the curriculum. Inspired by their work on this project over two years, fourteen of the seventeen teachers at the school have gone on to study for masters level modules.