BMGS Year 8 Team Wins National Final of Kids' Lit Quiz

BMGS Students Qualify for World Literature Finals

A team of four Year 8 students has won the National Final of the Kids’ Lit Quiz, and has qualified to contest the World Final, to be held in Singapore in July.

Kids’ Lit Quiz celebrates the ‘sport of reading’. It is a literature competition for students aged 10-13, in which teams take their knowledge of wide-ranging literature and put it to the test against others with the same passion for reading. A series of heats are held around the country, with the strongest teams progressing to the National Final.

On 3rd May, the BMGS team of Tien Attwater, Emily Colbran, Oliver Drew and Maeve Magner became National Champions, displaying superb teamwork and a profound affinity with stories to secure their victory.

These students have been together as a team for three years and were runners up at the National Final in 2017 as Year 6 students. Although they did not make it through the regional rounds last year, they were back with a vengeance this year.  At the National Final, BMGS was in competition against the best eleven teams from around Australia and were placed equal second at the end of the first round. By the end of the third round, they had taken the lead, ultimately winning by a record margin of twenty points. There are no set texts for KLQ so the students must read widely and wisely, and also learn about authors. Answers at this year’s National Final ranged from The 13-Storey Treehouse to Beowulf, from Robert Louis Stevenson to Aaron Blabey. 

The team is “excited and grateful to have earned the opportunity to represent our country, our school and our community on the world stage.”

Key to the success of the team is the students’ enjoyment of a diverse range of genres.  Tien enjoys fantasy and says that Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief remains one of his favourites because it was the first fantasy book he ever read. He’s currently reading a collection of Myths and Fairy Tales to brush up on these for the World Final. Oliver says, “Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth is one of my old favourites because it explores creative language concepts.” Emily loves dystopian fiction and Maeve is a fan of classics.

Emily and Maeve are in the Performing Arts stream in Year 8 at BMGS, while Tien and Oliver chose the Cultural Studies (Foreign Languages) stream. Maeve commented that “My favourite part of KLQ has been meeting my best friends and winning the National Final with them. We’ve shared an amazing adventure…and the journey continues! 

Headmaster, Ian Maynard, said “these students exemplify the value our School places on reading; exposure to great literature expands young people’s worlds to encompass our globe, the whole of history, and an extraordinary breadth of imagination”.

As a Teacher Librarian at BMGS, Mrs. Danielle Roberson is able to develop meaningful relationships with students over the course of their schooling. She said that our school community is immensely proud of the outstanding efforts and achievements of this team, which she has been involved with since 2017. Reading is usually thought of as a solitary pursuit but Kids’ Lit Quiz celebrates that reading can be an exciting, collaborative activity.  Mrs. Roberson, together with Dr. Elissa Drew (coach), co-ordinates the team, which meets regularly in the School’s Senior Library Resource Centre to practise and prepare for their competition rounds.

School libraries have evolved into 21st century learning hubs and yet literature in its many varied forms remains at the heart of these crucial spaces. The BMGS Junior School Library program includes a unit incorporating the Kids’ Lit Quiz team selection and preparation process which allows all Stage 3 classes (Years 5 and 6) to have a taste of the Quiz.

The Kids’ Lit Quiz World Final will be live streamed on the evening of 12th July.