PUPILS at a Portsmouth school competed against each other to read a million words as part of a scheme to boost their literacy skills.
Students at Mayfield School in North End took part in the Accelerated Reader Scheme.
They read books and then were tested in a quiz about them.
Through this scheme the number of words that they had read were then electronically added up.
It all links in to The News Read All About It campaign to boost literacy in schools.
Year 8 pupil Alex Camp, 12, was the first student to read a million words having read 37 books over the past few months.
He said: ‘I do a lot of reading. I read whenever I can.
‘I was pleased. I was quite happy because I can get some more books.’
Year 7 student Vaughn Proudley, 11, was the second pupil to reach a million words.
He added: ‘I was pretty chuffed.
‘I’ve been reading for ages. When I read my first book I was about two – I just looked at the pictures.’
Assistant head and director of literacy at the school Andy Tite said: ‘We ran it last year but we relaunched it at the start of term.
‘It’s part of our overall literacy initiative across the whole school and the whole curriculum.
‘We want to draw attention to the fact that literacy is a fundamental tool to learn.
‘It’s enriching that ethos to develop the love for reading.’
And Mr Tite added that the pupils have embraced the scheme.
‘It’s exciting. In the last couple of weeks with the success of Alex and Vaughn we have got lots of other pupils who have started to get excited about this. Most of them are boys,’ he said.
‘They are buying into the sense of fun rivalry and competition. It’s getting them quite excited.
‘Hopefully as they go through the school they will have more of a rich vocabulary which will build on achievement in all subjects.
‘Kids are coming out of the woodwork. They want to engage with this and do well.’