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We Wonder: Journey into Space reading challenge

Added 22 Dec 2023 | Updated 15 Jan 24

Enrich your students’ learning with this fantastic STEM reading challenge as our We Wonder series returns with a space-travel theme.

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Partnering with Turner & Townsend for a fourth consecutive year, our fun and informative We Wonder series is back!

Aim of the reading challenge

The We Wonder: Journey into Space STEM reading challenge is aimed at students across the UK aged 7 to 14 years (KS2 and KS3, or P4 to S3).

Following the framework of read, launch, navigate, students are tasked with designing their own rocket and planning a journey into space. Exploring a range of fun ideas, this challenge not only encourages reading for pleasure and reading diversely, it supports disciplinary literacy by increased engagement with non-fiction texts.

Running the reading challenge in school

Useful resources designed to support the delivery of this challenge include:

  • Teacher guidelines
  • Short welcome video from Turner & Townsend
  • Quiz questions and answer sheet
  • Design template
  • Suggested reading list

Ready to Journey Into Space?

  • First, download the teacher guidelines that detail the challenge in full and explain how you might use the range of resources provided.
  • With your class, watch or share the welcoming video from our partners, Turner & Townsend, which explains the challenge and introduces ideas and questions for students to consider.
  • Run the quiz as a fun way to discover what students already know or may want to discover more about.
  • Read: use resources you have available to discover more about space. Enjoy class discussions on all aspects of space including where in space would be the most popular destination for the next class trip!
  • Launch: using the design template resource, task your students with designing their own rocket which can be adapted for specific purposes based on their reading and research.
  • Navigate: now it is time for each rocket to journey into space. But where will they go? Your students can plan a journey and highlight their reasons for going on their design sheets.
  • Taking it further: the teacher guidelines include additional ideas on how to explore and enjoy the topic of space in and outside the classroom.

We hope you have fun with these ideas and please do share your own ways of exploring and celebrating the awe-inspiring universe and beyond...

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Entering the competition

Closing date: The We Wonder: Journey into Space reading challenge closes on Friday 22 March 2024.

Entries are to be submitted by an entrant’s school as attachments to competitions@literacytrust.org.uk. In addition to the entry email, schools can post entries on social media using @LiteracyTrust, @turnertownsend to help create a We Wonder Reading Champions community.

Eligible entries are photographs or scans of two designs (completed by an individual/pair/group) as nominated by the class or school to be the best.

Entries will be judged by Turner & Townsend staff and prize winners will be announced in May 2024.

There will be a category winner for ages 7 to 11 and 11 to 14 and the prize for each winner will be a book token and a box of books for the school.

Terms and Conditions for We Wonder: Journey Into Space reading challenge competition

Read. Launch. Navigate!


About Turner & Townsend

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Turner & Townsend is 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. Turner & Townsend also works all over the world, and with 112 offices in 45 countries.

If you have any queries about our Reading Champions Reading Challenge series then don’t hesitate to contact us at competitions@literacytrust.org.uk.

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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