Premier’s Reading Challenge Guidelines

What is the Premier’s Reading Challenge?

  • The Challenge is a literacy engagement strategy that requires students to read 12 age-appropriate books in a year. Students who complete the challenge receive an annual award.

 Who can participate:

  • All students. The Premier’s Reading Challenge is open to all students from Reception to year 12 in South Australian government and non-government schools as well as home education students.

What must students do:

  • Students are required to read 12 books from the start of the school year until the end of week 7, term 3.
  • Students must record the titles and authors of the books they read on the relevant Student Reading Record for their year level.
  • A teacher, teacher librarian, public librarian, or parent/carer must sign each entry on the Student Reading Record to indicate that the student has read (or shared in the reading of) a book at an appropriate literacy level and that the book title and author are accurate.

Free choice books:

Reception – Year 6

Students in reception to year 6 will need to read 8 books from the Premier’s Reading Challenge booklist at an appropriate literacy level. They may read 4 books of their own choice at a similar standard to titles featured on the booklist.

At the teacher’s discretion, students may read more than 4 books not on the booklist.

Year 7, 8 or 9

Students in year 7, 8 or 9 need to read 4 books from the Premier’s Reading Challenge booklist at an appropriate literacy level. They may read 8 books of their own choice at a similar standard to titles featured on the booklist.

Year 7 students are now included in the year 8 and 9 group, hence will read 4 books from the booklist, and 8 free choice books.

At the teacher’s discretionstudents may read more than 8 books not on the booklist.

Year 10, 11 or 12

Students in year 10, 11 or 12 need to read 12 books of their own choice at an appropriate literacy level. Books read for the Premier’s Reading Challenge can include prescribed texts.

Appropriate books:

Literacy level

Students should read to their level of literacy proficiency in order to complete the Premier’s Reading Challenge. This may mean reading books from a different year level group as deemed appropriate by the student’s parents, carers and teachers. Guidance may be required for students choosing books from booklists designed for older students.

Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities can read books that are at an appropriate literacy level and/or use texts that have been adapted to meet their individual learning and literacy needs. This includes Braille texts, talking books, e-books, and books on tape, DVD or CD.


Students may choose to read books in other languages. This is a great option for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, students learning English as a second language and those involved in First Language Maintenance and Development Programs (e.g. students with special needs, ESL students).

Book categories:

Mature age books

Are most appropriate for students from year 9 – 12.

Book series

If at least one book from a series is included on the Premier’s Reading Challenge booklist, then any book from that series can also be included as a book chosen from the booklist.


Annual awards

Students cannot receive more than one award per year; i.e. reading 24 books in one year will not result in two awards. Schools may consider extra merit awards for those students who go above and beyond the required reading for the Premier’s Reading Challenge.

Award catch up

If there are extenuating circumstances, it is possible to negotiate for individuals to catch up a medal. To discuss, please contact the Premier’s Reading Challenge office.

Award order:
  • First year – Certificate
  • Second year – Bronze medal
  • Third year – Silver medal
  • Fourth year – Gold medal
  • Fifth year – Champion medal
  • Sixth year – Legend medal
  • Seventh year – Hall of Fame medal
  • Eighth year onwards – Hall of Fame Reader for Life award reflecting the number of years participated

School coordination and celebration:


Schools will nominate 2  contact people. Along with the school’s administration contact, they will receive all communication in order to manage participation in the Premier’s Reading Challenge. Students and classes do not need to register separately.

Award presentations

Awards will be sent to schools in November. It is suggested that award presentations are made at a special assembly involving your local Member of Parliament, a local identity, an author or a Premier’s Reading Challenge Ambassador.

Recording completions:

Government schools

Will record completions of the Premier’s Reading Challenge via EDSAS or EMS.

Non-government schools

Will record completions of the Premier’s Reading Challenge via a portal to the Premier’s Challenges Administration System (guidelines are provided on registration).

Home education students or those participating individually

Do not need to register. Simply download the Student Reading Record from the website and submit the completed form by the end of September directly to the Premier’s Reading Challenge office.

Interstate or overseas students

Who have completed a Reading Challenge in another Australian state or territory or overseas, can have their previous records acknowledged.

Schools are asked to verify students’ prior completion of a similar Challenge and advise the Premier’s Reading Challenge office of the years completed to update records accordingly.

For those families unable to source their interstate or overseas awards as evidence of their completion of a similar reading challenge, a statutory declaration may be to the Premier’s Challenges team. It should state the name of the previous reading challenge and the number of completed years.

Premier’s Reception:

55 Schools with outstanding Premier’s Reading Challenge completion records are invited to the Premier’s Reception each year and awarded a certificate and books for their school libraries. In fairness to all schools, it is unlikely that schools will be invited to the Reception more than once. Schools with continuing outstanding achievement in the Premier’s Reading Challenge will receive a certificate signed by the Premier.

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Have a question about the Challenge?

Please email our Premier’s Reading Challenge mailbox or call for assistance. We look forward to hearing from you.