Skip to content

We use necessary cookies that allow our site to work. We also set optional cookies that help us improve our website.

For more information about the types of cookies we use, and to manage your preferences, visit our Cookies policy here.

Cookie settings
News story

Winner of our World Cup Reading Challenge announced!

30 Jan 2023


We are thrilled to announce St Benet’s School Sunderland as the winner of our World Cup Reading Challenge.

This fun and engaging challenge brought the spirit of the competition to classrooms across the UK, with a free World Cup wallchart for pupils to ‘play’ book matches against other pupils’ texts.

The wallchart was accompanied by recommended reading lists for Key Stages 1 – 3, featuring authors such as Priscilla Mante, Venessa Taylor, Ben Lyttleton and Alex Bellos.

Reflecting the tournament fixtures, this month-long chart challenge saw pupils battling it out for one text to ultimately be crowned World Champion. All pupils who took part in the challenge also received a free certificate.

This challenge helped support reading for pleasure, encouraging pupils to read more through their love of football.

“The children are now more open to trying a book from a genre they wouldn't usually and have been discussing books that they have read as a result of listening to a peer’s book battle. Our children have started reading more books both in and out of school and have commented that instead of just reading a chapter or two and deciding the book is not for them, they are trying the book for five or six chapters to get more details before deciding they don't like it.”

Neve Smith, Teacher at St Benet's

To enter the prize draw, schools were invited to submit a photograph of their completed World Cup reading challenge wallchart. St Benet’s filled in chart was selected at random as the lucky winner out of all the schools who took part. Thanks to generous funding from the FA, the school will receive some FA goodies and free books as their prize.

The funding from the FA and the support from Walker Books also enabled 100 participating schools to receive 30 free books each.

“We loved working with the National Literacy Trust on the World Cup Reading Challenge. It was great to see some many schools engaging with reading using football as a tool to encourage students to read. The World Cup format worked really well and it was fantastic to see the pupils make the case for their favourite books at the live event”

Andy Martin, FA National Development Manager

St Benet’s was delighted with the win, and pupils really enjoyed taking part in the challenge.

"It opened my eyes to authors that I would never pick up a book by"

"It was challenging at moments but the thrill of getting to a new round was worth it"

"It inspired me to read out of my comfort zone"

“We loved every aspect of this reading challenge. The children could not wait to do their reading challenge each day and were so sad once it was over!”

Neve Smith, Teacher at St Benet's

We run Reading Champions Challenges every term, designed to encourage reading for pleasure in schools, as well as developing reading stamina and increasing reading diversity.

Find out more about our current Reading Champions Challenges and competitions
Back to top