The Phendulani Quiz, held on Thursday October 12, was a tightly contested affair with Westcott Primary School’s Team 1 once again emerging the victors when they beat Westcott Team 2 by a narrow margin.
Retreat’s Delta Primary’s Team 2 took third place.
Eleven teams of six pupils each from seven schools took part in the quiz at Westcott Primary School.
To prepare, they had to read 16 prescribed books during the last two terms. The winners of each category received book prizes and the top three winning teams received nine books each, but no pupil went home empty handed.
After the brain-draining quiz the pupils were able to select their favourite books from a pile on the stage.
Westcott Primary School librarian Rona Souter says there is a huge need for the spotlight to fall on reading. “To raise awareness of the importance reading plays in developing pupils into young people who can go out into the world and play a productive role in society. We would like to see more schools participating in the quiz next year,” says Ms Souter.
At Westcott Primary School, reading is promoted through a weekly storytelling programme, a reading challenge which encourages pupils to read 50 classic children’s books and the opportunity to participate in literature quizzes such as the Phendulani Quiz.
Other schools participating this year were Claremont, Kannemeyer and Sid-G-Rule primary schools and two teams each from Delta, Muizenberg Junior, Timour Hall and Westcott primary schools.
“Reading is important as it enriches pupils vocabulary, boosts the imagination and creativity, improves concentration, helps pupils to develop empathy, exposes them to new ideas and builds a solid foundation for effective communication,” says Ms Souter.
Marj Brown of Johannesburg started the quiz in 2008 with the idea of helping teachers in under-resourced schools develop a culture of reading and to increase literacy.
The South African Library Trust provides funding to pay for the book prizes while the Help the Rural Child charity provides a wide selection of books from which the pupils can choose their prizes.
For more information about the Phendulani Quiz contact Rona Souter at Westcott Primary School at 021 712 6600, or email