Last Updated: Monday, March 23, 2020

Park Primary School and Alloa Academy Literacy Project in Clackmannanshire

What is this?

This is a practice exemplar of a collaborative literacy project between Park Primary School and Alloa Academy in Clackmannanshire.

Who is this for?

This exemplar will be useful for primary and secondary practitioners, school librarians and English teachers. It will also be useful for those involved in promoting Literacy Across Learning. The project involved a Primary 6 class and a group of S3 pupils; the P6 teacher (the school’s literacy leader funded by the Scottish Attainment Challenge); secondary school librarian and Principal Teacher of English.

How to use this exemplar to improve practice

This exemplar outlines the activities and impact of a collaborative project between a primary school and a secondary school.

The following reflective questions may provide stimulus for discussion:

  • How well are we removing barriers to learning and ensuring equity for all?
  • How well are our approaches to raising attainment improving outcomes for children and young people?
  • How well does our work with partners ensure positive outcomes for children and young people?
  • How can we enhance the self-esteem and employability skills of a group of S3 pupils?
  • How can we involve families in the learning process?


PDF file: Project overview document (85 KB)

PowerPoint presentation: Alloa Park pupils created and delivered this presentation (4,835 KB)

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What was done?

A P6 class attended the secondary school once per week for 12 weeks to participate in paired reading (with S3 pupils) and vocabulary building activities. The project culminated in a “Celebrating Reading” event to which parents and carers were invited.

For more details see project overview document.


Alloa Academy is part of Alloa Learning Community and in session 2015/16, the neighbouring feeder primary school had 94% of pupils living in SIMD deciles 1 and 2 (primarily decile 1).

The opportunities for pupils to have access to reading resources in the area was limited. The aim of the project was to contribute towards closing the attainment gap in literacy, through allowing pupils the use of the secondary school library facility and the pupils’ involvement in a complimentary programme of learning.

The project also had the aim of involving families and breaking down barriers to transition between primary and secondary for pupils and parents.

A further aim was to develop confidence and employability skills through working with staff and both younger and older pupils.

What was the impact?

  • The majority of pupils (14/20) reported that they felt their vocabulary had improved since the start of the project.
  • Positive relationships were formed between primary and secondary pupils and colleagues.
  • S3 pupils gained paired reading experience, the opportunity to visit the primary school and to build their employability skills.
  • Pupils were exposed to a range of books and to the practice of gathering new words to build linguistic capital.
  • Families were involved in celebrating the success of the project; parents/carers of the primary pupils had the opportunity to visit the secondary school and to meet staff and pupils.