In Falkirk Council, our overarching aim is that all staff working with Falkirk Council’s Children’s Services develop and support the literacy capacities and attainment of children and young people in our schools and early years settings.

In order to achieve this aim our Falkirk Children’s Services’ Literacy and English Strategy:

  • shares and celebrates inspirational teaching and learning;
  • guides the ongoing development of excellent teaching practice in Literacy and English which meets the needs of all of our children and young people;
  • supports our aspiration that every learner achieves their full potential in reading, writing, talking and listening.

View the Literacy and English Strategy Sway here.

Literacy and Digital Tools Professional Learning Resources Now Available

Falkirk Literacy Team colleagues and Kerry Abercrombie, DigiLearn Falkirk Support Officer have been co-delivering professional learning about digital tools which support learners’ literacy skills since 2020. We responded to teachers’ requests for guidance on which digital tools might help remove literacy and/or curriculum barriers for their pupils. The training sessions… Read more

Interdisciplinary Literacy at St Margaret’s Primary School

Megan Melrose, principal teacher at St Margaret’s PS, has worked closely with staff and pupils to develop and create a literacy progression planner that shows links between writing projects and high-quality texts from Pie Corbett’s reading spine. Planning in this way has enabled the school to streamline their curriculum, ensure… Read more

Our annual Writing Week – Writing for Pleasure at Bonnybridge Primary School

Writing Week has been an annual event at Bonnybridge for the last four years. It has grown from an idea to encourage children to enjoy writing to a highly anticipated time of year which many of our children look forward to. Raising attainment in writing was a school improvement priority,… Read more

Supporting Attainment in Literacy at Stenhousemuir PS – Our use of Read Write Inc

Catharine Gillespie is the raising attainment teacher in Stenhousemuir PS and, with the support of her principal teacher Dawn Easton, she is leading the use of Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) from primary 1- 4  as a key support for progressing pupils’ reading, writing and spelling. The Read Write Inc… Read more

Supporting Pupils’ Literacy Progress at Hallglen PS

Over the past 2 school years, staff at Hallglen PS have developed how they support children with their literacy progress. They have identified a selection of programmes and processes which enable them to tailor interventions to children’s individual needs. Diane Ramage, principal teacher, and Samantha Nash, support for learning teacher… Read more

Antonine PS and their Reading Schools Journey

Setting off on our journey Antonine Primary School in Falkirk hit the ground running with their Reading Schools journey.  They had a clear idea of their reading culture and opportunities to develop. Prioritising reading and writing was identified through their school improvement planning, so there was a common focus to… Read more

Brilliant P 5 & 6 Pupils Publish Bankier Banter Magazine

Primary 5 & 6 pupils at Bankier PS collaborated to create all of the copy needed for their latest school magazine – Bankier Banter. They used a wide range of listening, talking, reading and writing skills within this publishing theme to create an impressive publication which they are very proud… Read more

Bankier Brilliant Bairns Run Spring Event

Primary 7 pupils at Bankier Primary School are writing this post to share how they organised and hosted an event on Wednesday 29th March. They invited parents, carers and people from their community to the event to help raise money for their leaver’s trip. The pupils really enjoyed this  experience… Read more

English as an additional language – celebrating and supporting

Over 75 different languages are currently spoken by pupils in Falkirk Council’s Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Centres and Schools. The EAL team is part of the Additional Support Needs Outreach Service and works with pupils whose first or home language is not English. Our EAL team support pupils who… Read more

Kickstart literacy for 2nd level pupils using brilliant NewsWise resources

Slide from Lesson 1 PowerPoint resource NewsWise is a free, cross-curricular news literacy project for 7-to-11-year-olds across the UK. It is designed to help children develop their critical literacy skills within a real-life Journalist Training School context. The whole unit consists of 15 lessons which allow pupils to develop, consolidate… Read more

News from our National Literacy Network Meeting June 2022

This blog post shares key information and opportunities from the last National Literacy Network meeting which took place on 8th June 2022. AGENDA: Welcome • Love to Read Project – Dr Sarah McGeown • Break Out Room Discussion -Focus on progression Early through First Level • ES and Partner Updates •… Read more

Coming soon to our FVWL RIC – Alex Quigley talks Literacy

We are delighted to have Alex Quigley, a renowned literacy specialist, contributor to Educational Endowment Foundation (EEF) research and publications and author of several best-selling books (including Closing the Reading Gap and Closing the Vocabulary Gap) join us for three sessions in May and June. During these sessions Alex will… Read more

Connecting Parents & Carers with Literacy through Play at Maddiston Primary School

Primary 1 staff and Diane Russell (PT) at Maddiston PS created a video for their P1 parents and carers, who would usually visit the P1 classrooms to attend Literacy information workshops. The video shares and explains how literacy learning and play pedagogy are used to support primary 1 pupils as… Read more

Forth Valley, West Lothian Regional Collaborative Disciplinary Literacy Training sessions

Our FVWL RIC literacy team is offering new professional learning in Disciplinary Literacy for non-English teaching secondary practitioners. John Sherry, Principal Teacher of Literacy with FVWL RIC will deliver the following sessions: Disciplinary Literacy 1 – An Introduction to Disciplinary Literacy – Monday 27th September at 4pm, Webinar. Course ID:… Read more

2021-2022 Literacy Professional Learning – What’s on when?

The Falkirk Literacy Team would like to welcome you to this new school session. We are delighted to have scheduled the courses and professional learning opportunities below for this term and will continually update this page during the school year. We have also included courses from the universal professional learning… Read more

Literacy News Update – March 2021

This blog post shares recent developments regarding literacy and English in our authority and within our Forth Valley and West Lothian Regional Collaborative. It then lists the professional learning opportunities which will be available April to June 2021. News: Our literacy network met on 2nd February 2021 and discussed: how… Read more

Applying Literacy Skills in a Celebration of Burns and Scottish Heritage – Some Support Materials

Literacy Team colleagues from our Falkirk Service and School Improvement Team have created a learning grid of literacy-led activities which can be used by school colleagues to support their remote learning planning and teaching in January 2021. Judith Davies and Louise Amos created the grid and sourced the many useful… Read more

Literacy Remote Teaching Support Source Summary – January 2021

Falkirk Children’s Services Literacy Team would like to wish all colleagues a Happy New Year and heart-felt good wishes for 2021. This succinct post collates sources of support for remote literacy teaching and learning from local, regional collaborative and national sources. Please contact us using the email details at the… Read more

Literacy News Update – December 2020

This blog post shares literacy news and information about Falkirk, Forth Valley and West Lothian Regional Collaborative and Education Scotland developments and professional learning. Falkirk Happenings: Click here to view the Talking and Listening and Reading Comprehension Recovery Phase support materials created August 2020 (Scroll down to Literacy – Glow… Read more

2020-21 Falkirk Literacy Network Meeting 1 Summary

The Falkirk Children’s Services Literacy Network began four years ago and continues to evolve and respond to current events. Consequently, our first meeting of this new school session took place via Microsoft Teams on 3rd September 2020. The agenda for the meeting and a brief summary of the discussion which… Read more

Talking and listening skills – developing and applying through HWB during our recovery phase

        All Falkirk Council education establishments will be supporting the physical, emotional, social and mental health and well being of their learners as we respond to and recover from the disruptions of the coronavirus. This blog post pulls together resources and ideas for ways in which teaching… Read more

Family Literacy Learning Pack 2 – Our Dream Holiday

This blog post shares the second family literacy learning pack created by Falkirk Children’s Services Literacy Team during school closures caused by coronavirus. We hope it gives Falkirk families a fun way to learn together while dreaming of better times when we can go anywhere we like! 🙂 Are you… Read more

Falkirk Children’s Services – Family Literacy Learning Pack 1 – Jack and the Beanstalk

This blog post shares a digital family learning pack created by the literacy team working for Falkirk Children’s Services. This is our first pack produced during the closure of our schools and centres as a result of the corona virus and it uses the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.… Read more

Falkirk Children’s Services Literacy Materials for Family Learning

The literacy team members from Falkirk Children’s Services central support team are creating a suite of family learning materials for use by parents and carers across our local authority. These materials are written specifically for a parental audience and are designed to provide a series of fun learning tasks which families can do together at a… Read more

Literacy Support for Falkirk Practitioners Professional Learning During COVID 19

This post collates sources of professional learning for Literacy and English and was compiled by Yvonne McBlain, curriculum support officer with central team colleagues from Falkirk Children’s services. We hope these offer valuable support in these challenging times, but please email with comments or additional ideas. This blog is our… Read more

Using Picture Books to Promote Primary 1 Progress in Reading at Bowhouse PS

Earlier this session, Yvonne McBlain, curriculum support teacher, Falkirk Children’s Services, met with Charlotte McManus, Acting Depute Head teacher at Bowhouse Primary School to discuss literacy. Charlotte shared literacy teaching and learning which was going well in Bowhouse, including their focus at early level on rhyme, repetition and being playful… Read more

Improving literacy across learning in Argyll and Bute

At the National Literacy Network meeting in June 2019, Claire Bryden, Principal Teacher for literacy from Argyll and Bute Council shared literacy developments ongoing with primary and secondary colleagues. The slide above captures the ultimate aim of the strategies being developed – to ensure that: All practitioners understand the importance… Read more

Key Messages about Digital Literacy from the National Literacy Network Meeting – June 2019

James Miller, our FV & WL regional collaborative seconded development officer for Digital Skills presented key information and support at the June 2019 National Literacy Network meeting. The slide above captures facts which show the relevance of digital literacy for our young people as they grow. Key points are bulleted… Read more

News from the National Literacy Network Meeting June 2019

Colleagues from the Education Scotland literacy team shared a range of news and updates at the June 2019 National Literacy Network meeting. These are summarised below with links where further information is available. The whole presentation for this section of the meeting can be accessed by clicking here. As part… Read more

Developing the Thinking Reader Approach at Larbert Village Primary School

As part of their Larbert cluster focus on reading skills, Laura Robinson and Claire Morrison have been developing the Thinking Reader approach with colleagues at Larbert Village PS over the last 3 school sessions. Laura and Claire had both used this approach themselves previously and recognised its value for developing… Read more

Increasing engagement in reading with Primary 2 at Beancross Primary School

In March 2018 Rebecca Morrison, class teacher of primary 2 at Beancross PS began looking at ways to help her pupils make more progress in their reading. After attending a CPD session which explored enjoyment and choice in reading, Rebecca decided to make links with the local library and to involve parents… Read more

Denny Early Learning and Childcare Centre – Exploring Foundational Literacy through Play

In session 2018-19, staff at Denny Early Learning and Childcare Centre took part in valuable professional learning provided by Eveline Chan, trainee Education Psychologist with Falkirk Children’s Services Educational Psychology team.  As head of centre, Gill Torrance instigated this liaison for colleagues to support their development of foundational literacy through play with… Read more

News from the latest National Literacy Network Meeting

Yvonne McBlain & Yvonne Manning, Falkirk Children’s Services literacy development team members attended the latest Education Scotland National Literacy Network meeting on 15th March 2019 (note aims in slide below & click here to view the full presentation for the network meeting day). Representatives from each Regional Collaborative were seated… Read more

Key Messages from Sue Ellis about Attainment & Equity in Literacy and English

Professor Sue Ellis, University of Strathclyde, addressed the Education Scotland National Literacy Network audience with a seminar entitled “What should we think about for equitable literacy teaching? Click here to find out more about Sue & her research, and here to see her presentation. Yvonne McBlain has summarised her key points… Read more

Carron PS Pupils Read Around the Camp Fire

On 26th February 2019, staff and pupils at Carron PS held their second highly successful “Read around the camp fire” event. Yvonne McBlain thoroughly enjoyed popping in and being part of this rather magical experience. For pupils, the evening consisted of coming back to school in the dark and getting… Read more

Visual Literacy as a means of developing pupil understanding of inference

Jonathan Davidson, class teacher at Bantaskin PS and Yvonne McBlain, curriculum support teacher based in Camelon Education Centre, recently collaborated to deliver a new professional learning course called “Exploring inference through visual literacy, thinking skills & questioning”. These slides from Jonathan’s presentation capture why visual literacy is such an important… Read more

What P6M at St Margaret’s PS do to improve their writing

  Primary 6 pupils from St Margaret’s PS are delighted to be sharing how they use the visualiser to help them with their writing. A visualiser is a camera that projects your work onto the  interactive white board. We put our work under the visualiser so that the class can help us improve… Read more

Let’s talk about enjoyment & choice in Literacy & English

On 5th February 2019 Yvonne McBlain facilitated a fascinating collegiate discussion about enjoyment and choice across literacy and English with a small group of primary teachers and principal teachers. This post is designed to share key points from this discussion.           We began by looking at… Read more

What Denny Primary 1 Pupils Think of Their Writing

Yvonne McBlain was delighted to be invited in to talk to Denny primary 1 pupils about their writing – Click here to read her previous blog post about the Talk for Writing programme being used by class teachers Brenda Bennie and Amanda Gardner at Denny PS. Oliver chose his favourite page… Read more

Bonnybridge Primary 1 pupils and Foundations of Writing

With the support of their head teacher Debbie Calderwood and their principal teacher Emma Stanners, class teachers Holly Keenan and Karen Taylor decided to use a resource called Foundations of Writing with their primary 1 pupils at the beginning of the school year. They identified this resource as a useful intervention to help many… Read more

Teaching early literacy within a play-based approach at Denny PS

Amanda Gardner and Brenda Bennie teach primary 1 pupils at Denny PS and are working together on their adoption of a play-based approach to teaching and learning this session. Amanda and Brenda are very well supported by their senior leaders in school, and shared their experience so far with Falkirk practitioners at a recent… Read more

Developing research and note-taking skills at Denny High School

Susan McCudden, English teacher and Literacy principal teacher at Denny HS is working with Wendy Barr, school librarian to explore how to support pupils in developing their research and note-taking skills. Susan and Wendy collaborated to create a new course which will be delivered to S1 and S2 in session 2019-20… Read more

Activities which develop phonological awareness at early level

Fiona Pascal, peripatetic nursery teacher, Falkirk Children’s Services has posted simple but useful teaching ideas which develop children’s early phonological awareness – click on each below to view: Onset and rime activities 1 – click here   and 2 click here Rhyme production – click here              Rhyme awareness – click here Syllable… Read more

Literacy across learning in Secondary schools – focus on writing – a resume of Education Scotland Materials

Education Scotland colleagues have made a number of resources available to support learning and teaching of literacy across learning in secondary settings (click here to link to National Improvement Hub source). These resources offer practical advice for practitioners in all curricular areas on how to plan learning and teaching experiences to develop… Read more

National Literacy Network Meeting – Update on SNSA

      Notes taken by Yvonne McBlain from update presentation on SNSA by David Leng, Scottish Government (Click to view full presentation): Key messages regarding SNSA which are not being positively reported by the media: Is a diagnostic assessment – not high stakes test Designed to help teachers identify and enable appropriate… Read more

National Literacy Network Meeting – update on QAMSO developments

Yvonne McBlain attended the latest National Literacy Network meeting on the morning of 12th November 2018. The newly expanded literacy team were introduced as: Helen Fairlie and Paul Morgan – senior development officers, Lesley Lennon and Kirsten Hume, seconded education officers. The aims of the meeting are below with notes… Read more

Progressing and Assessing Group Discussion

Falkirk Children’s Services colleagues can now access a collection of resources which support the progression and assessment of group discussion for primary 4, primary 7 and S2 pupils (or pupils requiring the support or challenge these represent). These resources are stored here in our Literacy and English Glow group (log… Read more

Sharing Practice – developing Literacy Café at St Margaret’s Primary School

In her role as principal teacher, Bernadette Kelly has been working with pupils, colleagues and parents in St Margaret’s PS to develop reading skills using Literacy Café approaches. Click here to look at the Cafe “menu” which defines the strategies pupils can use to progress their: C for comprehension, A for accuracy,… Read more

Stories are important in neonatal care

Medical care is of-course very important for babies in neonatal care units, however talking, reading and singing to babies will comfort and soothe them, help them to relax and build bonds with their parents. Listen to the inspirational, Dr Matta, Associate Specialist in Neonatology and Child Development, as she explores… Read more

Bookbug Picture Book Prize and P1 CLPL

The Bookbug Picture Book Prize will be launched on Thursday 29 August 2018 –  get ready to find out which 3 books will be gifted in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag this year! Scottish Book Trust are also holding free CLPL sessions on gifting the Bookbug P1 Family Bags. The… Read more

Graeme High School Pupils Value a Fresh Start Approach to Reading

Pupils offered the following comments about being in the Fresh Start reading class at Graeme High School: At first I thought it was like being a primary pupil but now I am glad because now I can read like everyone else. When I came here I was scared because I… Read more

Interesting update 2 from the last National Literacy Network meeting

The First Minister’s Reading Challenge (FMRC) supports the Scottish Government’s ambition to tackle the attainment gap. It intends to encourage reading for pleasure and building a reading culture within schools and communities. An independent evaluation of FMRC yielded positive findings and recommendations for developing the Challenge. In September 2018 it… Read more

Bookbug Week 14th – 20th May 2018

The theme for this year’s Bookbug Week is friendship, and to help you celebrate click here to find lots of ideas and resources on the Scottish Book Trust’s website. There are lots of activities taking place in your local library, click here for details of the Bookbug sessions across Forth Valley.   Read more

Writing Rammy

The Writing Rammy is open to everyone, regardless of age or writing experience – everyone has a story in them! Taking part is easy:  all you need to do is write a short piece of original fiction or poetry on a theme of your choice and email it in. About… Read more

Interesting Update from the last National Literacy Network Meeting

Yvonne McBlain, Yvonne Manning and Carol Turnbull (FCS Literacy team) attended the National Literacy Network Meeting on 19th March 2018. Helen Fairlie, Development Officer, Education Scotland arranged and hosted the event which consisted of: Sharing of early messages – an overview of Literacy nationally Helen Fairlie is in the process of analysing… Read more

Creating a Reading Culture – Inspiring Classrooms

Inspiring Classrooms is a project created by the First Minister’s Reading Challenge to help schools build and sustain a reading culture. Schools can apply to Inspiring Classrooms to receive a small grant for a project of their choice which includes an author visit and books for Primary 1 – 7 children… Read more

P7-S1 Transition – Braes Cluster

        The Braes Cluster Literacy Working Group have been working to  develop a shared language with regards to reading comprehension across all associated schools. Part of our development work in the 2016/17 academic year involved the implementation of a transition task to be started by P7 pupils in their feeder primaries and then… Read more

Shaping the Falkirk Literacy Strategy

On Friday 24th November the literacy leads from each cluster of schools across the Falkirk area met to discuss and shape our new Children’s Service literacy strategy. We spoke in detail about the work which had been done between this meeting and our last and agreed that: The literacy strategy… Read more

Can you write a story in just 50 words?

The Scottish Book Trust runs a writing competition every month inviting you to write a story in 50 words! They provide a prompt for a story to get you started. The competition includes the following categories: Young Writers 5-11 Young Writer 12-18. The entries will be judged by a panel and the winning… Read more

Welcome to our “Refreshed” Literacy Blog

We hope you like the refreshed  look of our Falkirk Children’s Services Literacy Blog? Carol Turnbull, team manager with responsibility for literacy, Yvonne Manning, Yvonne McBlain and our new team of “Literacy Leaders” from every cluster, are also refreshing our Falkirk Children’s Services Literacy Strategy. The two Yvonnes are consulting with parents,… Read more

RED Book Award

The RED Book Award is Falkirk Council’s Book Award in which each secondary school in the authority participate. RED stands for Read, Enjoy, Debate and is all about reading for enjoyment and stimulating lively debate about books. The award is now in its 12th year. This year’s shortlist is:… Read more

Read Write Count

Read, Write, Count is a new campaign to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of Scotland’s children by providing advice and support for the families of children in Primary 1, 2 and 3. It is a key part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to raise attainment for all and close… Read more

First Minister’s Reading Challenge

Scottish Book Trust, on behalf of the Scottish Government, is delivering an exciting new reading initiative for children in Primary 4 – 7. Reading has the power to change lives, and developing a love of reading in childhood can have a huge impact on educational attainment and future wellbeing. The… Read more

Book Week Scotland

Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November. During Book Week, people of all ages and walks of life will come together in libraries, schools, community venues and workplaces to share and enjoy books and reading. They will be joined in this… Read more


The Scottish Government have  refreshed the Parentzone website to provide information for families on how they can support and enhance their children’s learning. Parents and carers play a vital role at all stages of a child’s education and this site offers useful information and ideas to help families in that role from… Read more

National Improvement Hub

The purpose of the National Improvement Hub is to provide information and support which will enable practitioners to improve their practice quickly and increase the quality of learners’ experiences and outcomes. The National Improvement Hub will provide practitioners with access to: self-evaluation and improvement tools, knowledge/research, teaching and assessment resources,… Read more

RED Book Award

  The RED Book Award is run by the Learning Resource Service  The shortlist for this year’s RED Book Award was: Beneath by Gill Arbuthnot Salvage by Keren David Mind Blind by Lari Don Inflicted by Ria Frances All great books which had that important wow factor. The RED award… Read more

Revised Significant Aspects of Learning and Progression Framework

The revised professional learning paper and progression framework for assessing progress and achievement in Literacy and English are now live on the Education Scotland website and can be accessed here. Read more

Book Week Scotland 2015

Book Week Scotland runs from 23rd – 29th November. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate books and reading. Visit Scottish Book Trust’s website to find out what is happening during this week, to find out how you can contribute and to get ideas to make reading irresistible for your children.… Read more

School Librarians support literacy

Education Scotland gave a presentation at the CILIPS Autumn Gathering (an annual conference for librarians and information professionals across Scotland). They discussed the key messages from the Education Scotland 3-18 Literacy Review and Literacy Across Learning. School librarians considered the following reflective questions: – How are you using a wide variety of texts to… Read more

Happy National Poetry Day – 8th October 2015!

  Did you say it’s made of waves? Light by Margaret Tait The theme for National Poetry Day 2015 is ‘Light’. There are resources for schools on the Scottish Poetry Library website. They have produced poem cards, posters and learning resources to support use of the poems in schools. There… Read more

Literacy Reviews

There have been three important literacy documents published recently. 3 – 18 Literacy and English Review The Final Report from the Standing Literacy Commission on the Scottish Government’s Literacy Action Plan Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy findings 2014 Read more

New Contact Details

For further details on Falkirk Council’s Literacy Strategy, please email   Read more

Read, Write, Count Coming Soon

Improving literacy and numeracy has an important role to play in improving attainment. Improving school attainment for all and closing the attainment gap have long been priorities for the Scottish Government, with programmes such as Raising Attainment for All already working well across Scotland since launching in June this year.… Read more

Reading Strategies in Action at Nethermains (P4)

Caroline Cane, Probationer teacher at Nethermains is really excited to share this story from her P4 class: We were developing our understanding of a short text we watched online using our reading strategies. First, we recorded everything we knew about treasure and put the word treasure into an extended sentence.… Read more

Active Literacy at Ladeside Primary School

Here’s what’s going on at Ladeside: Our Literacy RACI group has been focusing on reading for enjoyment. We have several classes involved in Paired Reading. Older pupils have been trained to buddy younger pupils. P7 been reading with LHS pupils at LHS Library. Calum Smith has been facilitating this. Yvonne… Read more

Raising Attainment – Sharing Good Practice Nationally

Falkirk Council recently shared their approach to raising attainment in literacy at the National Literacy Network. Our Literacy Strategy was shared, with examples of good practice from each work stream. Colleagues from across sectors and from all over Scotland attended the session and feedback was extremely positive. St. Bernadette’s pupils stunning… Read more

Sharing Reading Approaches with Parents and Carers at St. Bernadette’s RCPS

Parents and carers from St. Bernadette’s RCPS engaged in an active learning reading session on Thursday 26th February. Pupils from across the stages participated in the session sharing their knowledge and understanding of reading skills and strategies with both parents and visitors from St. Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling. Falkirk… Read more

Closing the Gap

Falkirk Council: Closing the Gap A number of Falkirk Council schools are in the first phase of a Partnership Project that is funded by Education Scotland’s School Improvement Partnership Programmes (SIPP). The SIPP is a collaborative school improvement strategy that promotes new ways of working across classroom, school and local… Read more

Active Literacy – A Probationer’s Story

Alix Thomson, a P3 Probationer teacher at Victoria Primary is delighted to share her experiences implementing active reading in her class. Here is Alix’s story: This term my P3 class, at Victoria Primary, have been working on developing their comprehension skills, with a particular focus on summarising. The lessons have… Read more

Literacy Strategy Celebration of Success

Monday 12th January saw over 100 people attending a celebration of Falkirk Council’s Literacy Strategy event at Camelon Education Centre. Representatives from all of the 8 work streams including parents, pupils from Bonnybridge Primary and Grangemouth High School, teachers, Education Scotland, Library Resource Services,  businesses, partners, Falkirk Herald, Forth Valley… Read more

Active Approaches to Reading at Early Level

Falkirk Council’s Early Level literacy mobilisation team have been working hard on support materials for Early Level staff. The focus is on early reading skills and the team have produced a short document outlining approaches to support the teaching of early reading skills. The document provides examples and photographs of ‘The… Read more

Thinking Reader at Bainsford Primary

  Emma Cuthbert, Interim PT at Bainsford Primary School is delighted to share the wonderful work her P2/1 class has been carrying out in relation to higher order reading skills.  The class have already studied Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers and completed a thinker reader booklet. The start of this… Read more

Young Writers Competition 2014

Thursday 27th November saw the first ever Falkirk Herald Young Writers Competition Awards ceremony. Colin Hume, Editor, Falkirk Herald said “In an age when there are so many competing pressures on youngsters’ time, it is gratifying to see so many prepared to put pen to paper to engage in that… Read more

Developing Debating in Your School – Speak up Falkirk!

Speak up Falkirk is an exciting and innovative project which uses debating activities in the classroom to help pupils explore the impact of science on society, and to consider the ethical or practical implications around new scientific developments. Get pupils talking and arguing about science The debates workshop is back… Read more

Literacy in Denny Primary Nursery – A Good Practice Story

Denny Nursery at Denny Primary School have kindly shared this good practice story. Lee Campbell, SEYO says: “We have been very  busy over the past few weeks learning about creating characters and stories using a variety of materials and numerous other activities The children have had a fabulous time in… Read more


An Adult Literacy support service available across Forth Valley College’s three campuses can support students with everything from arithmetic and numeracy to reading, writing and how to formulate essays. The valuable service – run by the Core and Essential Skills Department – is open to anyone who thinks they need… Read more

Embedding Reading Strategies Across Bonnybridge Primary School

Bonnybridge Primary School have been working really hard to embed active literacy  across their school. In this post, we are taking a look at how Bonnybridge are improving attainment in reading. In active literacy reading, there are 6 comprehension strategies which are: 1. Prior knowledge and understanding – what do the… Read more

Secondary Probationers Examine Literacy Across Learning

40 Secondary Probationers attended a twilight session looking at literacy across learning. After an overview of local and national priorities, teachers engaged in a range of activities examining literacy within their own subject areas. Competence and confidence in literacy, including competence in grammar, spelling and the spoken word, are essential… Read more

Extremely Exciting Times!

CLD is excited to be part of a couple of ground breaking pieces of work currently taking place within Falkirk, aimed at providing literacies support for both adults and young people. One of these is through an Early Years Consortium ‘Test of Change’.  This is where new or untried activities… Read more

Active Reading Animation for Parents and Carers

As part of Falkirk Council’s ‘Zero Tolerance to Illiteracy’ strategy, the Curriculum Support Team have been working on a number of ways to support parents and carers in this area. It is very important to us to share the strategies used to teach reading with parents and carers in order… Read more

Active Literacy Update Session 2013 – 2014

  Each year, as part of Workstream 6 of the Literacy Strategy, a report is prepared relating to Workstream 1 – ‘Embed active literacy in every establishment’.  These reports can be viewed here: Please click this link to access Active Literacy Strategy July 2013 for Session 2012 – 2013. Please click this… Read more

Literacy at Nethermains

Pupils from Nethermains Primary School have been discovering their inner poets by using autumn as their inspiration and developing their active literacy skills by creating some exciting new poetry.  They worked co-operatively to create a list of exciting vocabulary and ventured on a walk in their local wooded area as… Read more

Active Literacy at Bonnybridge

  Bonnybridge Primary School have been working really hard with their active literacy and wanted to share some of their photographs and videos. [kml_flashembed movie=”″ width=”425″ height=”344″ allowfullscreen=”true” fvars=”fs=1″ /] Read more

The Thinking Reader – What do the pupils think?

  Pupils from St. Bernadette’s R.C.P.S. in Falkirk have demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of the six reading comprehension strategies at a recent C.P.D. event. The two P7 pupils eloquently described each of the strategies and treated the audience to both an i-movie trailer of a book they have been… Read more

Scottish Children’s Book Awards

The Scottish Children’s Book Awards are run by the Scottish Book Trust with support from Creative Scotland. It is voted for entirely by children, with over 38,000 children across Scotland voting last year.  Falkirk Council’s Learning Resource Service is leading an initiative to add value to the Book Award for local nurseries and… Read more

Citv Share a Story Winner! Falkirk Pupil wins National Competition

  A local Falkirk pupil has recently been successful with her entry to Citv’s ‘Share a Story’ competition. The national competition asked pupils to produce a story board which would be made into a short animation aired on Citv in October 2014. Leah was successful and in August went down… Read more

Primary One Literacy Assessment and Action Resource

  Primary One Literacy Assessment & Action Resource (POLAAR) The Primary One Literacy Assessment & Action Resource, aimed at helping P1 teachers and support staff to identify learners at risk of developing later difficulties with their reading and writing, is now published on the Education Scotland website.  The resource was… Read more

Engaging with Families

Falkirk Council is proud to be featured on the Scottish Government’s website – ‘Engaging with Families’. It demonstrates one of the ways Falkirk are working with families (Work stream 4) in pursuit of  ‘zero tolerance to illiteracy’. We are delighted to be featured here with a good practice story from… Read more

Meta-Literacy at Graeme High School

Members of the Curriculum Support Team from Falkirk Council were delighted to be invited along to a recent Literacy across Learning event at Graeme High School. After receiving input on ‘Active Literacy’, class teachers from across a wide range of subjects showcased a range of learning opportunities with an active… Read more

Teacher Champions – Maddiston Primary School

Over the past few months Lesley Haston, class teacher at Maddiston Primary School in Falkirk, has been working closely with her colleague Laura Fowlie on a Mairi Hedderwick-inspired project as part of the Scottish Book Trust Authors Live Teacher Champions Programme. Lesley and Laura’s P2 pupils were inspired by the Katie Morag series. The… Read more

Supporting Your Child with Reading

Education Scotland’s website has super advice on how to support your child at home with reading. There are videos aimed at early years, primary and secondary. For further information, please visit their website. Read more

What happens in Active Literacy Reading? Sharing Learning with Families

Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer, Services and School Improvement Team has developed a range of materials to share with parents and carers about what happens in their children’s classrooms. Mums, grans, aunties, big sisters and little sisters from St. Patricks R.C.P.S. in Denny shared one of these experiences at their… Read more

I Like Big Books!

Larbert High School has highlighted the value of reading in this parody you tube video entitled ‘I like big books’. The video can be viewed by clicking on this link.  It was produced as part of Literacy Week 2013. Active Literacy is used in all Falkirk establishments and aims to… Read more

Talking and Listening – Spelling Strategies – Skills for Life.

Larbert High School has produced a new you tube video relating to Talking and Listening highlighting the importance of  literacy skills.  The short you tube video is a parody of Ant and Dec’s ‘Let’s Get Ready to Rumble’ entitled ‘Let’s Get Ready to Mumble’. The video can be viewed from this link.… Read more

Parent Zone – Education Scotland Website

Literacy is important in all areas of learning. Being able to read and write accurately, to listen carefully and to talk clearly about ideas will increase the opportunities for young people in all aspects of life and will allow them to participate fully in learning and later in a work… Read more

Fun with Writing

The 50 Word Writing Competition. Each month, the Scottish Book Trust runs a fantastic writing competition. This competition is open to all young learners up to the age of 18. Young writers are asked to write 50 words inspired by a photograph or a theme or a title. Further information… Read more

Reading Heroes

Do you know a Reading Hero? What does a reading hero look like? What does a reading hero sound like? Have you seen a reading hero in your school? Where else have you seen reading heroes? Click on this link to see three reading heroes in action on the Scottish… Read more

Book Lists

Parents and colleagues are always asking for recommended reads and book lists. The Scottish Book Trust has lists of texts for different ages and stages. These can be found at: Read more

Fun with Reading

 The Scottish Book Trust offers support and advice for reading on their website. Help your child develop a lifelong love of books with these fun videos. Find adorable rhymes to sing to your baby or child, SCBA-nominated authors reading from their books, Authors Live events and more! Further  information can… Read more

Parent/ Infant relationships – Suzanne Zeedyk

Suzanne Zeedyk is currently Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at Dundee University. Suzanne’s work focuses on parent-infant relationships. She is frequently invited to speak to groups of parents and professionals on the importance of such relationships, and how babies’ early experiences influence the development of their brain, bodies and psyche.… Read more

Adult Family Learning

  Throughout the course of 2013 Scotland’s Learning Partnership has been writing a series of papers designed to generate discussion and debate by and between those involved in the delivery of various aspects of lifelong learning in Scotland. In this Family Learning Document they highlight and discuss key issues around the meaning of family learning in… Read more

Skilled for Life?

This first OECD Skills Outlook presents the initial results of the Survey of Adult Skills (PIACC), which evaluates the skills of adults in 22 OECD member countries and two partner countries. The survey was designed to provide insights into the availability of some key skills and how they are used… Read more

OECD Survey of Adult Skills

The ‘basic skills’ of literacy and numeracy are among the most fundamental attributes of human beings and their civilization, lying at the root of our capacity to communicate and live and work together, to develop and share knowledge, science and culture. Their contribution to workforce skills have increasingly been recognized… Read more

The play@home programme provides all families in Scotland with three books covering three stages from birth to 5. For more information, please visit Education Scotland website. Read more

Play, Talk, Read

Have fun from day one! – Tips on how best to Play, Talk and Read with your wee one, and free things to do around Scotland. Please visit the following website for more information: Read more

Practical Solutions for Early Intervention

This document ‘Practical Solutions for Early Intervention’ can be found in all Falkirk Council early level establishments. It contains practical examples of learning experiences aimed at talking and listening, reading and writing. This is a valuable document and embraces the aims of Falkirk Council’s Literacy Strategy. The scanned document can… Read more

Pre-Birth to Three – Literacy Guidance From Education Scotland

Literacy and numeracy are fundamental for children to function effectively and to contribute to society. This link will take you to advice from Education Scotland relating to literacy and numeracy. It contains short videos and guidance too. Read more

Every Day’s a Learning Day – Literacy

This animation is to assist parents and carers to support their child’s learning and development at home, based on Education Scotland’s publication “Every day is a learning day”.  It is part of one of the Early Years Collaborative initiatives in Falkirk Council. [kml_flashembed movie=”” width=”425″ height=”344″ allowfullscreen=”true” fvars=”fs=1″ /]  Read more

Developing Reading Skills Using Blooms

Mary Jalland at Westquarter Primary School attended a school based CAT session on reading where Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer for Falkirk Council, talked about using Blooms fans with pupils to develop deeper understanding of ‘texts’.  Mary went back to class and tried this out using ‘The Gruffalo’ as a… Read more

Walkie Talkie Group

 This group is run jointly by Pre-School Home Visiting Education Service and Speech and Language Therapy (Pre-School ASN). Runs weekly during term time at Laurieston Centre, James Street, Laurieston. Children attend with parent/carer. Basic communication skills and Makaton signing are encouraged using a structured programme of songs, rhymes and activities.… Read more

Baby Group (Pre-School Home Visiting Education Service)

This group is run by Pre-School Home Visiting Education Service. Group is for babies who have Additional Support Needs and their parents/carers. Meets monthly on first Monday of the month in Camelon Education Centre Community Wing. Aims of this group are: To enable parents/carers to have contact with others in… Read more

Significant aspects of learning in literacy and English

Literacy skills are embedded within all the curriculum areas.  Teachers and learners will focus on developing the skills detailed in the Experiences and Outcomes.  Key aspects of learning within literacy and English relate to the way learners: engage with and create a broad range of texts, including Scottish and Scots… Read more

Blogging About Active Literacy

Mary Jalland, Class Teacher at Westquarter Primary School, Falkirk, has created two Active Literacy blogs. Mary’s blogs are a great way of sharing effective teaching and learning in literacy, as well as sharing resources relating to the P1 and P2 Active Literacy programme. Mary has included links through to pupils… Read more

Active Literacy – FAQs

 How can I support my child with their active literacy homework? You could attend an active literacy parent workshop which are held regularly at different primary schools. There are also parent leaflets which contain lots of helpful information and links through to useful websites to support literacy at home. Further… Read more

Active Approaches to Literacy – Early Level

Within Falkirk Council, we believe in the importance of developing literacy skills within the Early Years through experiential play and the transferring of these skills to everyday life. Our document provides an overview for staff of active approaches to literacy within Curriculum for Excellence Early Level. Click the hyperlink to… Read more

Age 24 and beyond

Age 24 and beyond Read more

Age 18-24

Age 18-24 Read more

Age 16-18

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RED Book Award

  The RED Book Award is Falkirk Council’s book award for 13 and 14 year olds and has been running since 2006.  In April each year members of the RED Book Award committee read and reduce a long list of books from nominated titles to the 4 shortisted books which have that… Read more

Age 5-11

Age 5-11 Active Literacy Strategy This strategy paper aims to identify how Falkirk Council establishments are meeting the needs of our pupils and young people in terms of developing their literacy skills through active methodologies.  It examines features of good practice in active literacy and identifies views of parents, pupils… Read more


  Bookbug Bookbug is part of the Scottish Book Trust’s Early Years’ Programme providing free book packs to every child in Scotland from birth to P1. More information about the Programme is available from Scottish Book Trust. Local delivery of Bookbug is managed by Library Support for Schools in partnership with health professionals, local… Read more


Bookbug is part of the Scottish Book Trust’s Early Years’ Programme providing free book packs to every child in Scotland from birth to P1. More information about the Programme is available from Scottish Book Trust. Local delivery of Bookbug is managed by Library Support for Schools in partnership with health professionals, local libraries and… Read more


  Bookbug is part of the Scottish Book Trust’s Early Years’ Programme providing free book packs to every child in Scotland from birth to P1. More information about the Programme is available from Scottish Book Trust. Local delivery of Bookbug is managed by Library Support for Schools in partnership with health professionals, local libraries… Read more