Alex Rider Secret Mission launches across the UK – sign up today and bring your pupils a unique writing challenge

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Anthony Horowitz’s action-packed Alex Rider series and to engage children in creative writing and reading for pleasure, the National Literacy Trust and Walker Books are hosting the Alex Rider Secret Mission for the spring 2015 term.

Using the popularity of MI6’s youngest recruit Alex Rider, teachers will have the chance to engage key stage two and three pupils in reading and writing through this unique challenge.

Using the Alex Rider books as inspiration, pupils will be provided with a short story starter written by Anthony Horowitz himself. The challenge will be to either finish the story Anthony began, or create a completely original story. Though a teen spy is the focus of the books, students are encouraged to write an adventure story on any topic that interests them most.

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 Alex Rider Secret Mission will give pupils the opportunity to engage in a fun challenge, which will increase their enjoyment of writing.

The final winner will be selected by a panel of judges including Anthony Horowitz’s editor at Walker Books. The winner will receive a signed Alex Rider 15th anniversary collection, an iPad, and book vouchers. The winning student’s school will receive £200 worth of Anthony Horowitz books, including a signed set of Alex Rider.

Every school/setting that takes part in Alex Rider Secret Mission will be able to access a whole host of resources to support them in running the competition. These include:

  • Promotional poster
  • A downloadable teacher toolkit to host an optional experiential learning session that will take pupils on a secret mission around the school.
  • A video message from Anthony that will brief pupils for their secret mission and inspire them for the competition.
  • A downloadable cross-curricular resource featuring ideas for incorporating the competition task into class time.

  • Gemma Niebieszczanski, the National Literacy Trust’s Network and Competitions Manager says: “We’re thrilled to be launching the Alex Rider Secret Mission with Walker Books to give children and young people a new and exciting way into writing. The National Literacy Trust believes that taking part in reading and writing challenges can have a lasting impact on pupils’ attitudes, motivation and enjoyment, which in turn can help to boost attainment. Through interactive activities and cross-curricular application of the competition, teachers can bring action, adrenaline and adventure into the classroom!

    Author and National Literacy Trust ambassador Anthony Horowitz says: “For more than fifteen years, Alex Rider has helped get young people reading. I hope this competition – with the NLT – will get them writing too. Making up stories was a lifeline for me when I was at school…and that’s probably where Alex Rider started. Who knows what future writers this competition may inspire!

    Jane Winterbotham, Walker Books Publishing Director says: “We are delighted to be partnering with National Literacy Trust to celebrate this fantastic year for Alex Rider. A sense of action and adventure in reading has always been at the heart of Anthony Horowitz’s books and to bring this into the classroom is fantastic – we hope this encourages a love of reading and a passion for writing in many more children around the country.

    You can sign up for the Alex Rider Secret Mission and find full details here:
    http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/schools_teaching/competitions/alex_rider_secret_mission

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