3 September to 16 November 2014. Please note that this competition has now closed. Read about the results here
In the Autumn term of 2014 the National Literacy Trust partnered with Ian Fleming Publications and MacMillan Children's Books on a reading challenge for primary schools based on the adventures of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
We know how important parental involvement is in helping children to become confident readers; the 2009 PISA/OECD survey found that 15-year-olds whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher literacy scores than those whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all.
However, recent research from Oxford University Press found that almost half (44%) of children aged 7 to 11 are rarely or never read to at home, while a separate study by Littlewoods found that bedtime reading has dropped by almost a third over the last generation.
Parents and children alike will know and love children’s classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which was originally written by James Bond author Ian Fleming as a bedtime story for his son. That’s why we teamed up with Ian Fleming Publications and publisher Macmillan Children's Books to bring schools a new competition and resources, inspired by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, to encourage parents to read more with their children, and to encourage children to read more for pleasure – both at home and at school…
In the original story, the magical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car takes the Pott family on a very special journey. To take part in the competition, children went on their very own magical reading tour, spending time reading, both at home and at school, in order to fuel Chitty’s tank.
For every 10 minutes they spent reading, children earnt one litre of fuel for the tank, 10 hours (or 60 litres!) in total. They recorded their reading in their very own “Driver’s Log”, and every child who successfully filled Chitty’s fuel tank and completed their magical reading tour was entered into a national prize draw.
Bonus writing category: Chitty’s next adventure!
If that wasn’t exciting enough, children were also invited to write a short story about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s next adventure, based on a story starter from none other than Frank Cottrell Boyce (author of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again and two further Chitty sequels) for the chance to win more great prizes.
Frank’s story starter:
We had a whole host of fantastic resources available to support this competition.
- An A2 poster that can be displayed on the classroom wall to promote the competition.
- A “driver’s log” in which children can record their reading in 10 minute blocks.
- A certificate to present to all children who complete their reading journey.
- Cross-curricular topic-based activities linked to the competition and the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang story, which can be used either in the classroom or as a collapsed-timetable “Chitty” day.
- An extract of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in PDF format so teachers can share Ian Fleming’s story with the children, setting the context before the competition is introduced.
- An audio version of the same extract, read by David Tennant.
One child was randomly selected as the winner from all entries submitted. They received:
- an eReader
- book vouchers
- a copy of the full Chitty Chitty Bang Bang series
- original artwork from Chitty illustrator Joe Berger
- a “school library makeover” for their school (£500 worth of books of their choice from Macmillan Children's Books' catalogue to revamp the library).
Five runners up also received a copy of Ian Fleming’s original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang series as well as signed copies of the three Chitty sequels by Frank Cottrell Boyce.
The winner of the bonus category, “Chitty’s next adventure”, was chosen by panel of judges and received an eReader, book vouchers and a copy of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang series.
Happy birthday Chitty!
October 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Ian Fleming’s classic children’s story, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
We created a mini-toolkit of ideas for planning and running such an event. Download