We are thrilled to announce the winners of the UK-wide National Reading Champions Quiz!
Children from St Helen and St Katharine School in Abingdon, Oxford, have been named the UK’s most keen readers after winning the grand final of the National Reading Champions Quiz 2021.
More than 2,000 10-14 year old children and a whopping 519 teams battled it out across the regional heats, in May and June.
The team of St Helen and St Katharine students went head-to-head with peers from 18 schools during the grand final, on 24 June.
They were named champions after getting 77 out of 110 questions correct and showcasing their skilful ability to identify the characters, authors and titles of some of the most well-loved stories.
Now St Helen and St Katharine pupils have landed the grand trophy and a generous set of book tokens worth £100. Second place finalists The Discovery Academy, in Stoke-on-Trent, received 62 points and won £80 book vouchers, while third-place finalists Colfe's School, in London, were awarded 61 points and book vouchers worth £60.
They were joined by best-selling children’s authors including Anthony Horowitz, David Baddiel, Cressida Cowell, Charlie Higson, Priscilla Mante and Michael Rosen who sent well wishes and event-hosted their own quiz rounds.
In a heartfelt tribute to young, keen readers, Cressida Cowell said:
“Reading is something special to me. It’s the best way I know for giving you magical powers or going back to Viking times. I suppose it gives you magical eyes looking into somebody else’s heart, feeling what it might be like to be somebody else and it’s a brilliant way of sparking your own creativity. So, read as much as you possibly can would be my advice. Reading gives you magical powers.”
The competition is for children aged 10-14 and led by the National Literacy Trust and funded by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). It celebrates keen, young readers and champions the important role of teachers and school librarians in promoting reading for pleasure.
It comes after National Literacy Trust research revealed that children who enjoy reading have significantly better mental wellbeing than those who don’t.
Donna Pocock Bell, who is librarian at St Helen and St Katherine, said:
“It was really amazing to see the pupils work together and pull out their book knowledge. It’s been really nice to be a part of something which lets reading shine.
Also, having so many authors involved was just brilliant! We were particularly thrilled to see Michael Rosen. It was so lovely seeing other animated children across the UK, there was such a sense of community.
I still can’t believe we’ve won!”
Waterstones Children’s Laureate, author and illustrator Cressida Cowell, said:
“Wishing you a huge congratulations, not only to the winners but to everybody who joined in. I really look forward to welcoming you again next year. Congratulations again to all of you reading champions!”
Fiona Evans, Director of Schools Programmes at the National Literacy Trust, said:
“An amazing amount of fun has been had across the country during our National Reading Champions Quiz! More than 500 teams of incredible young people from hundreds of schools across the UK have wowed with their knowledge of books and brought bags of energy, team spirit, skill and strategy to every heat.
We want to give a huge shout out to the army of librarians and teachers whose work to inspire these young readers has shone through in the competition.
We’d especially like to thank the Regional Organisers whose efforts have meant every heat was bursting with schools desperate to take part, many of whom had never entered anything like this before.
Everyone at the National Literacy Trust and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society was delighted to see the children’s response to authors and illustrators. It was a true honour to be able to introduce our finalists to some of their role models and inspirations today – the energy and joy shone through our screens.”
Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive at ALCS, said:
“We're thrilled to support the National Reading Champions Quiz and thoroughly enjoyed yesterday's final. It was the perfect celebration of books and their authors - and was wonderful to have guest appearances from some of the heroes behind children’s classics!
The Quiz highlights the important role authors play in inspiring the next generation of young readers and supporting children’s literacy development. It is a joy to be a part of and we look forward to seeing it grow in the years to come.”