Frequently Asked Questions

About the Premier's Reading Challenge

Schools

Students

Student Reading Records

Books and Booklists

Certificates




About the Premier's Reading Challenge

What is the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge?

The NSW Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) is an initiative of the NSW State government. It aims to encourage in students a love of reading for leisure and pleasure and to enable them to experience quality literature. It is not a competition but a challenge to each student - to read, to read more and to read more widely.

Who can enter the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge?

The Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) is available for all NSW students in Kindergarten to Year 9, in government, independent, Catholic and home schools. Participation by schools and students is voluntary.

A child is considered a student once she/he is enrolled in a school or registered as a home schooled student with the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) or granted an exemption from registration.

What are the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge conditions of entry?

Schools should let parents/carers know that two conditions of entering the Challenge are that students may receive a certificate and their name may appear on the Gold or Platinum Honour Roll. The Honour Roll lists student names in the PRC website only. Names are listed in alphabetical order (not by school) and no other identifying features are included. Students who do not wish to receive a certificate or have their name published on the Gold or Platinum Honour Roll (or whose parents/carers do not wish them to) should not register for the Challenge. These students may take part in the Challenge unofficially - they may use the PRC booklists and can seek recognition in their school community - but they cannot add books to an online Student Reading Record.

Schools can download Privacy information to communicate to parents/carers or direct them to the website.

When does the PRC start and finish?

The 2015 Challenge opens on 2 March and closes for students on 21 August (11:59 pm). Students must complete their online Student Reading Records by 21 August. The Challenge closes for coordinators on 28 August (11:59 pm).

How can I find out about the PRC?

The PRC website is the main way to communicate with schools, parents and students.It is important to check the website regularly for new information and updates. The PRC website is best viewed in Internet Explorer.


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Schools

How do schools register for the Challenge?

Schools are registered once a student adds a book to her/his online Student Reading Record. Principals need to grant PRC coordinator access to nominated staff members for their school via Access Management Utility (AMU) in the DEC Portal (government schools)/ DEC Extranet (non-government schools).

How is the PRC coordinated in a school?

Each school has at least one coordinator who validates students' online Student Reading Records and issues certificates. It is recommended that schools have two coordinators, in case of leave occurring at key times of the Challenge. Coordinators at non-government schools are required to manage student passwords.

It is recommended that teachers, teacher-librarians, parents and other coordinators involved with the Challenge become familiar with the Rules, Booklists, FAQs and Tips for Coordinators on the PRC website, and read the PRC e-newsletters.

How do I become a school PRC coordinator?

Teachers and teacher-librarians require principal approval to become a school coordinator. The principal uses Access Management Utility (AMU) in the DEC portal (government schools)/ DEC Extranet (non-government schools) to give the nominated staff members PRC coordinator access. See the Logon Instructions.

What provisions are made for students with special needs?

Students in Years K-2 are able to read, share-read or be read to in their home language for all PRC and Personal Choice books.

Students in Years 3-9 are able to read Personal Choice books in their home language.

Students in Years 3-9 are able to listen to an unabridged audio version of PRC and Personal Choice books while reading along with the book.

Students can receive the same support to access PRC books as they receive to access Stage-level books at school. This includes Braille, enlarged print, audio books, partner reading and teachers' aides.

Teachers and parents are encouraged to find strategies to support students with learning difficulties to read books that are appropriate to their maturity level and interests from their correct Challenge level.

Teachers of students in special classes and schools should contact the PRC Team to find out what further assistance is available for their students to help them successfully complete the Challenge.

All students are able to read from booklists higher than their Challenge level. Students in Years K-2, who can read simple chapter books on their own, can attempt the 3-4 Challenge. For these students, the Challenge level needs to be changed to adjust the number of books read from 30 to 20.

Books on the PRC booklist containing mature themes and more difficult language usuallu read by students in Years 10 and above are identified by Hash.

Can parents register their children as home school students in the Challenge?

Home schooled students can participate in the PRC once registered with the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) or granted an exemption from registration. Students must register with the PRC before 31 July. See the application form in Logon Instructions.


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Students

Which Challenge should I do?

Students should do the Challenge appropriate for their Year level. The one exception is K-2 students who can read simple chapter books independently - these students are encouraged to attempt the 3-4 Challenge.

All students can read books from a higher Challenge level booklist if the books are appropriate for their ability and maturity level. Extra guidance may be necessary when choosing these books.

Class teachers and school teacher-librarians can advise if students are not sure which Challenge they should attempt.

How do I change from the K-2 to the 3-4 Challenge?

K-2 students who can read simple chapter books independently are encouraged to attempt the 3-4 Challenge. The Challenge level needs to be changed to adjust the number of books students read from 30 to 20. Students change their Challenge level in the online Student Reading Record by going to the tab My Information.

What if I change schools during the Challenge?

Students who move to a new school need to let their class teacher or teacher-librarian know that they are participating in the Challenge.

What if my school is not participating in the PRC?

Public school students log on using their DEC portal username and password. Once their Student Reading Record is complete, they should ask the school's PRC Coordinator to validate their Student Reading Record. If the school does not have a PRC Coordinator, email the PRC team.

Parents of students at non-government schools should approach their child's school if the school has forgotten to register during March. If the school has decided not to participate in the PRC, parents need to email their child's name, grade, date of birth, current school and any previous school to the PRC team.


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Student Reading Records

How is an online Student Reading Record completed?

To meet the Challenge, students must read the required number of books and enter them online, in their Student Reading Record. Students can access their Student Reading Record to add books at any time while the Challenge is open. Students use their individual usernames and passwords to access their own Student Reading Record.

Once a student's Reading Record is complete, it must be validated by the school's PRC coordinator in order for the student to be eligible for a certificate.

What is the Personal Reading Log?

Students may choose to use a paper-based Personal Reading Log (available to download and print from the PRC website) to record books read from September of the previous year or to have an ongoing record of their reading. Once the books have been entered into the student's online Student Reading Record, the Personal Reading Log can be discarded or retained for the student or school's record-keeping purposes.


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Books and Booklists

How many books do I read?


The number of books students must read and the booklists they must read from to complete the Challenge are:

Challenge Number of books you must read Minimum number of PRC books Maximum number of Personal Choice books PRC booklists you can read from
K-2 30 25 5 K-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-9
3-4 20 15 5 3-4, 5-6, 7-9
5-6 20 15 5 5-6, 7-9
7-9 20 15 5 5-6, 7-9

Parents/carers are encouraged to support their child's literacy development and love of reading by encouraging them to continue reading when they have completed the Challenge.

What are the PRC booklists?
The PRC has a list of books for each Challenge level, catering for students in Years K-2, Years 3-4, Years 5-6, Years 7-9. Students read books from the booklists at or above their Challenge level to complete the Challenge. The booklists are made up of a range of fiction, non-fiction, picture books, poetry and drama and include a wide variety of Australian authors. New books for the next year's Challenge are added each November.

On the 7-9 booklist, a title marked Star indicates the book is an easier read for Years 7-9 and that it also appears on the 5-6 booklist. Books containing mature themes and more difficult language usually read by students in Years 10 and above are marked with this symbol Hash. Helpful information may also be included in the book's annotation, for example, to indicate if the story is scary or sad. The annotation lets you know something about the book's contents. New books for the next year's Challenge will be added in November.

Which booklists can I read from?

All students can read from booklists at or above their Challenge level. For example, a student in Year 4 can read books from the 3-4, 5-6 or 7-9 lists. Students are not to read PRC books from booklists below their Challenge level. They may read Personal Choice books from below their Challenge level.

When students are choosing books from booklists higher than their Challenge level, extra guidance may be necessary to ensure that the books are appropriate for their age, interest and maturity levels. It may be helpful to refer to the full book lists which include information about each book's content.

How do the booklists help me choose a book?

Students, parents and teachers can use the PRC website or PRC app to search the booklist by Challenge level, author, title, category, series or PRC ID number. Each book has a synopsis or short summary of the book's content to help students decide if the book might be of interest to them.

A list of 'easy reads' for students in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 can be downloaded. 'Easy reads' for students in Years 7-9 are all titles on the 5-6 booklist. A title identified by NewImage on the 7-9 booklist is an 'easy read' for Years 7-9 students. Books containing mature themes and more difficult language usually read by students in Years 10 and above are identified by NewImage

New books added to this year's booklists are identified by NewImage .

Can I read more than one title in a book series?

Many book series, trilogies and quartets have been included on the PRC booklists. A full list of approved series is available on the PRC website. Students are limited in the number of books they can read from each series to encourage them to experience a wide range of books and authors. In a series on the PRC booklist, any two books from the series can be read as PRC books. Up to five other books from the same series can be read as Personal Choice books. Students should be encouraged to read more titles from any series they enjoyed reading for PRC, when reading beyond the Challenge.

Do books I read in class count towards the Challenge?

Any book read in class that is on the PRC booklists can count as a PRC book on a student's Reading Record. If the book is not on the PRC booklists, it can be included as a Personal Choice book. For students participating in the K-2 Challenge, books read in class include books the student reads independently, reads with someone, and has read to them.

Can I read more than the required number of books?

Once students have met the Challenge requirements, they are encouraged to continue reading books from the PRC booklists or other sources, covering a range of topics and written by a variety of authors. Regardless of the number of books they read, students can only receive one PRC certificate for completing each Challenge. The online Student Reading Record allows only the required number of books to be entered.

Schools can encourage students to read beyond the Challenge and provide suitable recognition at the school level.

How do I suggest a book for the PRC booklists?

To suggest a book for the Premier to add to the PRC booklists, see the Recommend a Book to the Premier page.

What is a PRC ID number?

A PRC ID number identifies each book on the PRC booklists. Entering books by their PRC ID numbers can be a quick way to complete an online Student Reading Record.

What is an ISBN number?

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) uniquely identifies books and book-like products published internationally. The ISBN establishes and identifies one title or edition of a title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition. Each ISBN is 13 digits and is printed on the lower portion of the back cover of a book above the bar code and on the copyright page.

Can I locate books in different categories on the booklists?

Books on the 3-4, 5-6 and 7-9 booklists are arranged by category (such as adventure, sport, fantasy, historical) to enable students and parents to locate books of particular interest. Students are encouraged to select books from several different categories to broaden their reading experiences.

Books on the K-2 booklist are not arranged by categories. Independent readers in Years K-2 are encouraged to attempt the 3-4 Challenge using the 3-4 booklist.

Go to the booklist to see which categories are available for each Challenge.

What new books are added to the PRC booklists?

Each year in late November, new books are added to the PRC booklists. Each book is read and reviewed, then placed on the appropriate booklist (K-2, 3-4, 5-6 or 7-9). New books added to this year's lists are identifiied by NewImage.

Can I read books in my home language?

Students participating in the K-2 Challenge can read, share-read or be read books in their home language.

Students participating in the 3-4, 5-6 and 7-9 Challenges should read PRC books in English. They can read Personal Choice books in their home language. Some students may benefit from reading along to an audio version of a book in English.


Who can access audio and Braille books?

Students who require additional assistance can use audio books but must have a copy of the book and read along while listening to the audio version.

Students who are sight-impaired can read PRC and Personal Choice books in Braille and may use audio books where applicable.


Can I download a booklist?

On the Booklist page of the PRC website, each booklist can be viewed and downloaded alphabetically by author or title in short or full form. A short list includes the PRC ID number, title and author of each book. The full list also includes synopses, year of publication, publisher and ISBN. Booklists should be downloaded after the new books are added in November.




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Certificates

Will I receive a certificate?

Every student who completes their online Student Reading Record by the Challenge closing date for students and has it validated by the school by the closing date for coordinators, is eligible to receive a PRC certificate, signed by the Premier, in Term 4.

Schools are responsible for downloading and printing students' Challenge Completion certificates from the PRC website. The PRC sends Gold and Platinum certificates to schools in Term 4 with students' names printed.

Which certificate or medal will I receive?

Year of completing PRC Award received
First year Challenge completion certificate
Second year Challenge completion certificate
Third year Challenge completion certificate
Fifth year Challenge completion certificate
Sixth year Challenge completion certificate
Eighth year Challenge completion certificate
Ninth year Challenge completion certificate
Tenth year Challenge completion certificate
Fourth year (not consecutive) Gold certificate
Seventh year (not consecutive) Platinum certificate
Every year from Year 3 to Year 9 (inclusive) Medal

Can I receive more than one certificate?
Only one certificate per year can be awarded to a student regardless of the number of books read. Students are encouraged to continue reading after they have met the Challenge. Schools may wish to recognise the efforts of students who have read beyond the Challenge.

What if my child has not received last year's certificate?

Schools are responsible for downloading and printing eligible students' Challenge Completion certificates from the PRC website. From 2014, schools can print replacement certificates at any time. The PRC sends Gold and Platinum certificates to schools in Term 4 with eligible students' names printed. If the school cannot locate the Gold or Platinum certificate or medal, a staff member should email the PRC Team before the end of Term 4, the year after a Challenge. The PRC team is unable to reissue Gold and Platinum certificates from earlier years.

What if my child's name is incorrect on the certificate?
If your child's name is incorrect on the Challenge Completion certificate, please inform the school's PRC coordinator and request that a new certificate be issued. From 2014, schools have access to correct student names and print replacement Challenge Completion certificates at any time.

If your child's name is incorrect on a Gold or Platinum certificate, please ask your child's school to email the PRC team.