Yay! Right up to the wire, I was concerned that my students hadn't achieved a better result in the Premier's Reading Challenge than last year, but suddenly the results were finalised and we had sixteen more students (ie. 329 out of 410) than in 2007. (So we've gone from two students in 2005, to 209, then 313 and now 329.) One of our students earns their Gold Certificate this year; our school's first.
Less Stage 3 (Years 5 and 6) than I'd have liked but more students total is better than less. The Stage 3 students do have to read fifteen books from a prepared list of recommended titles, plus five books of their own choosing. Since there is a considerable number of picture books on "the list", it means that even students not willing to commit to novels can achieve results. (The younger students have it comparably easier: 30 books, mainly picture books, that must be read to them. Most of the class teachers found that, after a year, they'd read at least 60 or so of the listed titles.
I shall have to make a concerted effort next year with those students who've managed to avoid participating in the Challenge. The enthusiastic readers will read with, or without, the annual PRC. It's the ones who need a bit of a shove who still need... a bit of a shove.