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Back to School Reading Zone Challenge

Entry for this competition has closed

Reading Zone webbanner.png

Challenge complete

Entry to this challenge has now closed. We were thrilled to receive the photographs of your completed posters, and hear the positive feedback on how students engaged with the Back to School Reading Zone challenge.

We'll be keeping the guidance and resources accessible for all schools on this page.

We're very happy for you to continue using the resources to promote a reading culture in your school, to support students to explore new formats and genres, and perhaps hold your own in-school challenge again in the future.

Welcome everyone!

Help your students kick off the new school year with a fun reading for pleasure challenge for ages 7 to 14 years (Key Stages 2 and 3, or P4 to S3).

This reading challenge:

  • is easy to deliver
  • includes designed resources ready to use
  • supports schools to prioritise the wellbeing of their students
  • focuses on improving the reading culture within school


In partnership with the Chase Rewarding Futures School Libraries programme, the Reading Zone Challenge brings your school community together as students are each tasked with reading two books and recording their progress on our beautiful Reading Zone poster. The aim is to ensure that students have been able to add motifs to all the twelve zones with their collective reading choices.

All reading is valid and we have included a variety of zones to choose from, so even your most reluctant readers can take part. PLUS all your students can discover new and exciting ways to read for pleasure!

Reading Zone poster thumbnail

Getting started


All other resources you need to deliver the challenge are ready to download from this webpage. You will find:

  • Teacher guidelines
  • Book motifs for attaching to the poster
  • Age-appropriate wellbeing book lists
  • Certificate of participation
  • Registration for our wellbeing event with author Natalie Costa
  • Terms and conditions of competition

We recommend reading through the Teacher guidelines where you can find an overview of the challenge and step-by-step instructions for getting started.

Student wellbeing

The start of a new school year can be an anxious time for many. With research showing the connection between mental health and reading for pleasure, this challenge is the perfect opportunity for students (and staff too!) to support their wellbeing, as well as exploring their own reader identity and preferences.

Watch our Natalie Costa event

On Monday 10 October 2022 we ran a fantastic live event with Natalie Costa, author of Love Being You and Know Your Feelings. This formed part of our Take 10 campaign marking Mental Health Awareness Day. Watch the video here, and this can be included as part of your reading challenge activities.

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Prize draw

The Reading Zone Challenge ran from Tuesday 13 September until Friday 4 November 2022

To enter, schools were invited to send in a photograph of their completed poster to be in with a chance of winning supplies for a physical reading zone for their school, including beanbag reading chairs and 30 age-appropriate wellbeing titles, courtesy of our partner Chase.

Entry closed on 4 November, and we'll be sharing details of our winning school soon.

Prize draw terms and conditions


National Literacy Trust Reading Champions is supported by ALCS.

Find out more about the National Reading Champions Quiz and Challenges.

Explore useful teaching resources developed by ALCS to support understanding and communication about copyright with guides for children, young people and teachers.

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