Berwickshire High pupils in the good books

Willow Abbott, Darcy Martin, Amelia Lake and Tess Crilly.Willow Abbott, Darcy Martin, Amelia Lake and Tess Crilly.
Willow Abbott, Darcy Martin, Amelia Lake and Tess Crilly.
A team of four Berwickshire High School pupils represented the region well in a national reading competition.

On Tuesday, June 6, the team from the Duns-based school, comprising of Willow Abbott, Darcy Martin, Amelia Lake and Tess Crilly, placed 15th out of 22 teams from across the UK in the National Reading Champions Quiz final.

They were one of only two teams to represent Scotland in what was described by principal teacher in literature and languages at the Duns school, Ros Currie, as the “cream of literati” schools, including Badminton and Rugby.

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Ros, who accompanied the team on the 6am train to Kings Cross in London for the competition in the Goldsmith’s Hall, said her charges were “fabulous”.

The girls with their certificates.The girls with their certificates.
The girls with their certificates.

She said: “It just shows how much work our kids have put into this challenge.

"The four of them crammed three to four books a week in the run-up to the final, so they were well prepared.

"They were really good ambassadors for the school and the Borders as a whole.

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"The final itself was intense … it lasted four hours, and at times was a bit like University Challenge, all on literature.

"I’m not sure I could have answered some of the questions myself, so the girls did brilliantly.”

To mark their achievement, the team was sent home with a regional trophy and certificates for each team member.

Held by the National Literacy Trust to celebrate readers and book lovers, and running for three consecutive years, this is the only national reading quiz dedicated entirely to fiction books.

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It is made possible by generous funding support from the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

Eminent children’s authors joined the event in person and held an insightful Q&A panel, including Anthony McGowan, Benjamin Dean, Jasbinder Bilan, and Jennifer Killick.

Henrietta Roberts, senior project manager at the National Literacy Trust, said: “I am in awe of these young people and their reading knowledge and, with fewer than one in two children enjoying reading, I am so glad that the quiz is helping promote reading for pleasure.”

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