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Reading Champions

NRCQ Final

Introducing Reading Champions

Reading Champions is a national reading campaign that supports and celebrates reading culture within schools. The programme is fortunate to benefit from the generous and enthusiastic support of the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

What is the Reading Champions programme?

There are two distinct elements to the Reading Champions programme, offering something for all students:

  • A national, live quiz, with heats in the spring term and a summer grand final
  • Termly in-school reading challenges, each inspired by engaging themes

Reading Champions has three core aims:

  • to promote reading enjoyment
  • to encourage diverse reading
  • to improve reading stamina

National Reading Champions Quiz

The National Reading Champions Quiz, with the support of the Authors’ Licensing Collecting Society (ALCS), returned for its fourth year in 2024.

The quiz allows keen readers, aged between 10-14 years, to become part of a team, represent their school in a national competition and have a chance to shine. It celebrates libraries and librarians, builds a reading community and brings excitement and drama to the wonderful world of reading.

But don't just take our word for these insights from a team that made it to the finals previously:

Journey to the NRCQ grand final by Stanborough School

You can also explore the school librarian perspective in our blog.

How it works

  • Join in

    Teams consist of four students plus a reserve. The cost of entry is £25 per team, and schools can enter up to two teams.

  • Dates and structure

    Regional heats for the NRCQ run throughout late February and the whole of March. The grand final will take place in June and is a live, in-person event.

  • Why take part?

    The quiz aims to champion all reading, giving readers a chance to shine and be celebrated by their school. Quizmaster Mr Dilly makes it a fun experience for all.

“It was a challenging but exciting event for our students who rarely get the chance to use their wide reading knowledge in competition against other schools in this way.”

School co-ordinator

Explore example titles

We don't supply specific book lists for this quiz. Each year we reference over 250 books, and we do not expect schools to purchase these titles in advance of the quiz.

Please encourage students simply to read widely and to enjoy themselves!

However, if you'd like to explore the variety of titles we referenced in 2021 and 2022, please download this sample book list.

“My favourite part of the quiz was seeing kids get all excited because they knew the answer … Those moments give all students a chance to shine and to feel like they are clever and important which is so important for their confidence and self-esteem. If only you could bottle that enthusiasm!”

Regional Organiser, West Midlands

Reading Champions Challenges

As part of our ongoing work to support schools, we run Reading Champions Challenges. These bitesized challenges are designed to help build a reading culture in schools by encouraging reading for pleasure, reading diversely, and supporting development of reading stamina. Reading Champions Challenges are open to and completely free for all UK schools, and span across Key Stages 1, 2, and 3 (ages 5 to 14).

Each challenge will have its own engaging theme, and will be supported by a suite of resources that will include teacher guidance notes along with additional elements such as posters, templates, and video clips to make the challenge fun.

  • Termly challenges

    One or two challenges every term, each with its own engaging theme and activities. Challenges remain available on our site indefinitely, so you can run your favourite challenge year after year.

  • Simple and adaptable

    Guidance notes to help you run the challenge and adapt it to suit your own circumstances, whatever the age of your students, size of the group, or time you have available. Keep activity focused, or scale up the challenge across the whole school!

  • Book giveaways and prizes

    Our challenges often come with fantastic book giveaways, book discounts and book prizes. Books are always carefully selected to help support delivery or recognise a great winning entry.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about Reading Champions, please contact us.

About our partner

National Literacy Trust Reading Champions is supported by ALCS.

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.

Learn more about ALCS