Book-loving students battle it out at quiz

(L-r) Cowplain Community School pupils Myah Singh (11), Conor Clarke-Bell (11) and Charlotte Hall (12) at the inter-school Lit Quiz.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (120728-977)
(L-r) Cowplain Community School pupils Myah Singh (11), Conor Clarke-Bell (11) and Charlotte Hall (12) at the inter-school Lit Quiz. Picture: Allan Hutchings (120728-977)
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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The best readers across five Havant schools were pitted against each other at a nail-biting literature quiz.

Teams of four students and a teacher from Cowplain, Purbrook Park, Warblington and Park Community schools and Hayling College were forces to be reckoned with at the eighth annual Havant Federation of Schools Lit Quiz.

Questions ranging from guessing book characters to naming the current children’s laureate did not phase the 11 to 16-year-olds, who had already won their own school competitions to gain a place at the prestigious tournament at Leigh Park Library.

And it looked to be a closely-fought battle with all the teams just a few marks apart – until the final general knowledge round when Purbrook Park swept to victory.

Ecstatic team member Adela Barrett, 12, says: ‘I was really excited when we won.

‘I think reading is amazing. I feel like part of the story.’

Conor Dorn, 13, who was also relishing the school’s win, says: ‘I love the feeling when you know the answer to a question because you have read the books.’

There were lots of smiles too from the Park Community team, who finished in second place.

Kendal Pitman, 13, is a fan of book quizzes. He says: ‘I think they are awesome. There aren’t that many inter-school competitions, apart from sports and not everyone is sporty, so the book quiz is a great opportunity to compete and represent your school in a different way.

‘Although everyone gets very competitive, it’s a really friendly atmosphere and we always have fun.’

Eleanor Wemyss, 15, on the Warblington team which came third, adds: ‘The quiz helps me read more widely, out of my comfort zone of favourite genres.’

The master of ceremonies on the day was school library service manager Kathryn Tooley who, together with other library staff, ensured the event ran smoothly.

Liz Bridge, Warblington’s librarian, says: ‘The atmosphere was intense, but the students really enjoyed themselves.

‘The quiz presents a lovely opportunity for boys and girls to meet like-minded young people from other schools, and the whole occasion is a great celebration of reading.’

Great sportsmanship was shown by everyone on the day – in particular last year’s winners Hayling College.

John Noble-Shelley, 14, says: ‘Although we didn’t hold on to the trophy this year we had a great time.’