Lucy first to smash 15 before 15 target

Year 7 student, Lucy Saunders, is the first student to have successfully completed the College’s new reading challenge, ’15 Before 15’.

The challenge involves reading fifteen books from a list of carefully selected titles, including ‘Wonder’ by R J Palacio and ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne, that are aimed at challenging student reading and encouraging interaction with different styles and genres of writing. These fifteen books are to be read before a student is fifteen years old to successfully complete the challenge. Once a title is read and finished, students have to partake in an online quiz to ensure that they have understood the text before being allowed to move on to the next.  

Lucy Saunders with her award
Lucy Saunders with her award

Lucy, who was only 11 years old at the time of completing the challenge, took just four months to read fifteen different titles: “I didn’t read a lot in primary school” explained Lucy, “but I set myself the goal of the ’15 Before 15’ challenge as soon as I heard about it. I started reading ‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness and I couldn’t put it down. As I have carried on the challenge, I have become obsessed with reading. Reading helps with vocabulary and since starting the challenge, I read a lot quicker and enjoy more complex titles. I would normally go for adventure books, but my eyes have been opened to more genres. I would love to be an English Ambassador in the future.”

Team Leader of English, Hannah Le Couilliard, added: “We were inspired by the National Trust’s ’50 things to do before you are 11 ¾’ challenge and adapted it into a reading challenge for our students. As readers, we tend to find a genre or author that interests us and can get stuck in a reading rut; this challenge has helped push different genres like non-fiction texts that will be incredibly useful for students’ GCSE examinations. We are incredibly proud of Lucy; she paid close attention to the texts, scoring no lower than 80% on her tests, and her achievement at just 11 years old is just phenomenal.”

15 Before 15 Reading Newton Abbot College Ofsted Good Secondary School 3