PUPILS at Hermitage Primary they were excited to welcome children's author Megan Murray to open their refurbished school library.

For the last few months, a strong and committed team of parent volunteers and staff have been busy cataloguing their books and sorting them into reading levels, making appropriate book choices easier for the children.

Using a new resource developed to expand children’s reading choices, the pupils can now access a library filled with new and engaging texts.

Accelerated Reading has been funded using Pupil Equity Fund cash allocated to the school by the Scottish Government, and iis one strand of the school’s strategy in raising attainment in literacy for every child.

A generous donation from the Parent Council also enabled the school to augment their book stock with titles and authors specifically requested by the pupils.

The school are very grateful to Fiona Sharkey, Senior Library Supervisor at Helensburgh Library, for facilitating an Author session with Megan for the pupils.

Head teacher Elspeth Davis said: “Hearing about how Megan writes and the ideas for her stories were inspirational for our pupils and we were delighted that Megan also took the time to cut the ribbon at our library grand opening.”

Sharing a love of literacy and books is an important part of the culture Hermitage Primary are developing within their school community.

The youngest infant pupils are engaged in a pilot project on “Emerging Literacy”, focussing on play-based learning to develop early skills.

Senior pupils buddy-up with infant pupils to enjoy shared reading time together and a team of parent volunteers are being recruited to share “Story Times” with infant classes.

Community members are a tremendous support the school in the “Scotland Reads” project, and a dedicated band of volunteers join in twice weekly to spend reading times with children who may require a little extra focus on developing skill.

Junior and senior classes have also enjoyed participating in the Children’s Book Awards. A family within school made another generous donation, which enabled novels tipped for nominations in this national Award to be purchased. After reading them the children have sent review feedback to be collated for the announcement of the Finalists later this month. The pupils are looking forward to their reviews helping the judges make their final decisions.

Elspeth added: “We recognise that literacy is a ‘golden key’ with which to unlock so much of life-long learning and these exciting new developments allow us to target this important area of learning and support and encourage our pupils in their acquisition of essential reading skills.

"We are particularly grateful for the continuing support of our parents and community volunteers who work with us to make this possible.”