Smith’s Wood Academy crowned a winner in a global reading challenge!

Smith’s Wood Academy read the most average number of minutes per child for a secondary school in Achievement for All’s global 200 Million Minutes Reading Challenge!

Year 7 and Year 8 pupils at Smith’s Wood Academy read in total 824,459 minutes in just 26 days resulting in a prize of £1,000 RRP books from challenge partner, Pearson!

The challenge started on World Book Day (7th March) and finished on Children’s Book Day (2nd April). 489,619 children and young people from across the world took part in the challenge as they attempted to collectively read for 200 Million Minutes.

Smith’s Wood Academy pupils joined fellow children from France, Italy, America, Canada, India and Australia as special reading assemblies, teddy bears picnics, reading events and competitions took place.

Achievement for All’s biggest ever reading challenge, which is supported by learning company, Pearson, saw thousands of schools, settings and organisations take on the never-before-attempted challenge to read for 200 Million Minutes in just 26 days. In total over 140 million minutes were read, smashing the 100 million minutes read in the 2018 Challenge.

Professor Sonia Blandford, CEO at Achievement for All said: “Our biggest challenge yet saw almost half a million children engage with reading across the globe! That is a fantastic result.

“It’s vital that we introduce children and young people to the habit of reading in everyday life to improve their prospects and unlock new worlds and possibilities. Picking up a book, newspaper, comic or magazine helps develop language skills, imagination, communication and self-esteem and what better way to start that than through our challenge. Thank you to all those taking part.”

AMK Photography

Stephanie Horton, Librarian from Smith’s Wood Academy said: “Over the last two years we’ve been working tirelessly to improve reading across the school, both academic reading and reading for pleasure. Hearing news of our win felt like a culmination of all the hard work and enjoyment. Over the challenge period we had reading assemblies, book buddy workshops and parent-pupil reading groups. The 200 Million Minutes Reading Challenge has created a buzz around reading which we hope will continue to inspire generations of readers.”

Sophie Thomson, Head of Primary English at Pearson said: “What a fantastic achievement for all who took part. Research shows how important it is that children read frequently and for pleasure, with studies demonstrating the positive impact on children’s vocabulary, reading scores and well-being.