Essex: Saffron Walden school wins top prize for Summer Reading Challenge

Jill Palmer (front right), hands the trophy over to Sydney Kelly, 10, and other Year 6 pupils, with

Jill Palmer (front right), hands the trophy over to Sydney Kelly, 10, and other Year 6 pupils, with teacher Clare Ball and Ruth Stickley, enquiry offcer at Saffron Walden Library, looking on. - Credit: Archant

Pupils at Katherine Semar Junior School have been crowned the top school in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

he challenge is held each year for schools throughout the county, and pupils are asked to read books during the summer holidays.

Over 50 per cent of Katherine Semar junior pupils took part in this year’s challenge, called ‘Creepy House’, making them number one in Uttlesfrd. The school was presented with the first-ever Reading Challenge Trophy last week.

Jill Palmer, group manager for libraries in Essex, who visited the school to hand over the trophy, said: “I am proud the children across have given us such a high success rate. There is little doubt in my mind that this school has come top in the challenge in the country.”

Research has shown that children who continue reading through the summer holidays return to their classes with much better reading skills compared with classmates who have not.

Clare Ball, literacy leader and Year 6 teacher at Katherine Semar Junior, said: “We are delighted the children have got recognition for all of their hard work in reading.

“We have our own awards for reading in term time, so it was fantastic the children wanted to carry on with their reading through the summer holidays.”

Most Read

As part of the challenge, children could take books out of any of the Essex libraries, including the mobile library that visits villages across the area.

Ruth Stickley, enquiry officer at Saffron Walden Library, helped Ms Palmer hand over the trophy.

She said: “The children kept us so busy in the library, coming in to borrow books, that we had to take on volunteers to help the regular staff.”