The Kids’ Lit Quiz regional final held at Southwell School recently saw students from Cambridge Middle School pull off an excellent result.
Neve Keightley, Ellessa Sanson, Hazel Tocker and Aviv Rachmani placed second overall at the competition under the team name CMS 1, whilst the CMS 2 team of Alex Reeve, Isla Te Weehi, Madeleine Jones and Imogen Reynolds ranked 14th out of the 65 teams competing.
“They did so well,” their teacher-in-charge Trisha Honey said. “These guys gave up holiday time to come in and train, training for days in the holidays. They took home bags and bags of library books.”
The students each read dozens of picture books each day, as well as several novels each week, preparing their literary repertoire for the competition. “They read and read and read,” said Honey.
The students, all Year 8 except for Hazel, described the experience as nerve-wracking but well worth it once they saw the result. “It was really intense,” Aviv said. “I was really nervous standing up on stage.”
After getting through ten rounds and a hundred questions, the CMS 1 team battled it out for second place on stage against Taupo’s St Patrick’s Catholic School in a sudden-death round, with the first team to answer the question taking the win. As the judge began to describe a scene from a classic children’s book, both teams were bewildered as to what the answer could be.
“And then they were like, ‘Toad Hall!’ They finally got it,” Honey said.
“None of us like really knew the answer at first, we were all like ‘what is he talking about?’,” Ellessa said.
“It’s really annoying when you can’t remember, but you know,” Alex Reeve added. “If the eight of us had competed together as a whole team we probably could have won.”
The Year 8 students plan on competing in the high school equivalent of the Kids’ Lit Quiz next year, and Hazel Tocker looks forward to competing again next year with Cambridge Middle School. Last year the school made it through to the national final, where they placed 6th overall.