The Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge and Schools

Libraries are great places for children to discover reading for pleasure and there is no better time to do this than during the long summer holidays.

The Summer Reading Challenge is designed for children between the ages of 4 and 11. It is completely free and last year more than 800,000 children took part.

Every year the Challenge has a new theme and this year we’re delighted to be working with The Roald Dahl Literary Estate on the 2016 Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s Challenge is called The Big Friendly Read, inspired by Roald Dahl’s life and books and with beautiful posters and limited edition collector cards, illustrated by Quentin Blake.


How does the Summer Reading Challenge work?


How do schools benefit?

The Challenge is run in public libraries, in the summer holidays, and is free for children to take part. By getting your pupils involved in the Summer Reading Challenge, your school can:

  • Enhance and support the school’s reading initiatives and involve parents and the wider community.
  • Continue to support pupils’ learning during the holidays in a fun, creative and child-directed way.
  • Help to prevent the trend for children’s reading skills to dip over the holidays.
  • Encourage pupils and families to join their library, to browse, choose and borrow books for free and to enjoy a free, safe, community learning space.
  • Make great links with your local library staff who can support you in your work with families and reading.
  • Ensure your pupils return in the autumn term ready for a great start to the new academic year.
  • Provide further opportunities in the holidays for activities that link to the reading, comprehension and spoken language recommendations in the national curricula in England, Scotland and Wales and to the recommendations in the Department for Education’s report Reading; the next steps, (March 2015, DfE)
  • Provide evidence to OFSTED of your school’s involvement in community initiatives and social and cultural activities
  • Support public libraries

How do schools get their pupils involved?

You can:

  • Invite your local library staff into school in the summer term to talk about the Summer Reading Challenge and what is going on at your local library in the holidays. Invite them to assemblies, new -intake days, the summer fete, sports day, open days or to talk to individual classes.
  • Show your pupils and families the Summer Reading Challenge video (available on this website and on YouTube).
  • Inspire your pupils to participate by exploring this website, playing the games, watching the videos and downloading the app, all of which can be used both in the classroom, at home and in the library. (The app will be available in July)
  • Take part in the competitions on the website as a class or as a school. Use the Book Sorter in class and in library lessons. Encourage your pupils to share the site with their families and to create a profile at home, perhaps as a homework activity


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