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Alex Rider Secret Mission

Please note this competition is now CLOSED

What was it all about? 
How did it work?
What supporting resources were available? 
What were the prizes? 

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What's was it all about?

In celebration of the 15th anniversary of Anthony Horowitz’s action-packed Alex Rider series and to engage children in creative writing and reading for pleasure, we hosted an Alex Rider Secret Mission during the Spring 2015 term. Teaming up with Walker Books and utilising the popularity of MI6’s youngest recruit Alex Rider, we hoped that children who were familiar with the stories were excited to interact with them and children who had only heard of them were excited to discover them. Through interactive activities and cross-curricular application of the competition, teachers brought action, adrenaline and adventure into the classroom!

Recent research by the National Literacy Trust found that children and young people who enjoy writing very much are seven times more likely to write above the level expected for their age compared with children and young people who do not enjoy writing at all. The competition gave pupils the opportunity to engage in a fun challenge, which increased their enjoyment of writing.

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How did it work?

Alex Rider logoUsing the Alex Rider books as inspiration, pupils were provided with a short story starter written by Anthony Horowitz himself. They were challenged to either finish the story Anthony began, or create their own completely original story. Though a teen spy is the focus of the Alex Rider books, students were asked to write an adventure story on any topic that interested them most. Stories were no longer than 500 words.




Anthony Horowitz's story starter:

"I knew something was wrong, the moment the delivery van drew up outside my school. It was just an ordinary, white van with Farmyard Foods written on the side. It had parked inside the school gates which had closed electronically behind it. The CCTV cameras had swivelled round to watch as two men got out and began to unload a series of heavy, wooden boxes. But someone in the security office must have been asleep. I was staring out of the window (it was a particularly boring history lesson) and as the men walked past I saw…"

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What supporting resources were available?

Every school/setting that took part in the Alex Rider Secret Mission was able to access a whole host of resources to support them in running the competition. These included:

Promotional poster

A downloadable poster to help raise the profile of the competition in the school/setting.

Experiential learning kit   

downloadable teacher toolkit to host an optional experiential learning session that took pupils on a secret mission around the school.

Message from Anthony Horowitz         

A video message from Anthony that briefed pupils for their secret mission and inspired them for the competition

Story writer resource kit

downloadable teaching resource which featured ideas for incorporating the competition task into class time.

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What were the prizes?

The final winner was selected by a panel of judges which included Anthony Horowitz’s editor at Walker Books.

For the school:

£200 worth of Anthony Horowitz books, including a signed set of Alex Rider books

For the child:

A signed set of Alex Rider books, an iPad and £50 in book vouchers!


Trademarks Alex Rider™; Boy with Torch Logo™ © 2010 Stormbreaker Productions Ltd 


The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.