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We announce the winners of our We Wonder: Power of Nature Reading Challenge!

23 Jun 2023


After careful consideration, the winners of our third annual We Wonder STEM Reading Challenge have been announced.

We Wonder: Power of Nature is the third in our fun, informative We Wonder series, generously supported by Turner & Townsend, following on from Mission to Mars and Protect our Planet.

This year, the focus was on the interesting and often jaw-dropping ways the natural world influences our everyday lives. Students had to design a building or construction (realistic or fantastical) reflecting all the different ways that nature had impacted their ideas.

Our Turner & Townsend judging panel were blown away by the high standard of entries and the outstanding levels of creativity and engagement displayed by students.

They selected Harry from Holy Trinity Primary Academy as the Key Stage 2 winner for his design, ‘Honeycombe House’. The panel was impressed with the imaginative use of the honeycomb structure, agreeing that it certainly could be a home of the future.

“Participating in the We Wonder STEM/Literacy project has enabled our students to develop their passion for STEM, reading and real world design, as well as to consider the question, how can we be the change we want to see in the world?”

Mrs Woodman, Headteacher at the Key Stage 2 winning school

In the Key Stage 3 category, Kiera from Hummersknott Academy was declared the winner with her entry, ‘The Bamboo Hotel’. The judges could see that a high level of research had gone into the creation and they liked how Kiera brought inspiration from many elements of the natural world into one design.

Both winners have been awarded individual book tokens and a box of books for their schools for their imaginative creations, and to encourage them to keep on reading and exploring.

The design competition was the culmination of the reading challenge, which allowed students to discover the extraordinary ways in which the natural world has revolutionised human designs and inventions through reading. The challenge also included a welcome video, a quiz, a suggested reading list and teacher guidelines with ideas on how to maximise use of the resources.

“The impact of this project has been both profound and uplifting. Our aim is for every child to be a reader, and this National Literacy Trust project gave us greater scope to expand our literacy strategy across the curriculum and engage upper Key Stage 2 boys and girls with literacy in a different and unique way.”

Mrs Woodman

Full list of winners and runners-up:

Key Stage 2:

Winner – Harry / Honeycombe House (Holy Trinity Primary Academy)

Runner up –The Wobble Research Centre (Bottisham Community Primary School)

This entry had an incredibly eye-catching design and demonstrated a huge amount of creativity, including using the biology of a jellyfish to influence the shape of the building, plus designating its use for helping ocean (and jellyfish) research.

Highly Commended – The Lily Hotel (Law Primary School) & Holy Trinity Primary Academy

A high level of research went into The Lily Hotel, accompanied by amazing facts about the benefits of a round building design. All of the entries from Holy Trinity Primary Academy were great at helping the judges to visualise what the buildings would look like in 3D with their amazing models and animations.

Key Stage 3:

Winner – Kiera / The Bamboo Hotel (Hummersknott Academy)

Runner up – Sophie / The Leaf House (Canon Slade School)

The Leaf House was an incredibly thoughtful design, with plenty of information included to really help highlight the sustainable aspects of the building such as notes on materials, heating & cooling and water usage.

Highly Commended – Brockhill Performing Arts School & Oakham School

All of the entries from Brockhill Performing Arts College were of an extremely high standard and provided a lot of detail on how nature influenced their brilliant designs. And the entry from the Oakham School was very well researched – the judges enjoyed learning about why Zebras have their stripes and how that can be applied to a building.

Check out some of the stand-out entries here!

About Turner & Townsend

Turner & Townsend are a construction-based company, which means they help to build all kinds of things, like skyscrapers, museums, airports and railways.

Some of their most famous projects in the UK are the Shard in London, the V&A in Dundee, Heathrow Airport and HS2 highspeed railway line. They also work all over the world, and have 112 offices in 45 countries.

The generous support of Turner & Townsend has meant that 100 schools have been gifted a box of theme appropriate books. However, access to these specific books is not essential. Supplied is a list of suggested titles, but your school or public library will also have a range of books that can be used for research. Ask your school librarian for help to find the material you need!

About Reading Champions

If you have any queries about our Reading Champions Reading Challenge series then don’t hesitate to contact us at

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.

Watch this ALCS animation as a great starting point to helping your students understand copyright in a fun and interactive way. Karl Nova uses his voice and talent to bring the importance of copyright for writers and artists to life in this video from ALCS.

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