Creating Red Dot Excitement at Dulwich College Singapore

As everyone is aware, last year we had a hiatus in the Readers’ Cup Competition, but many school still purchased the Red Dot books and arranged activities around this.

Here is a contribution from Sarah Mounsey about how they promoted the books and did an internal competition.  As they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat, so we welcome contributions from our member schools on practical and logistical details of how they worked with their Red Dot Books last year, or how they plan to do it this year. All can be used as inspiration and adapted for your personal library / situation.


Red Dot timeline / event 2016/7 – Dulwich College Singapore

By Sarah Mounsey

The students from the book club ECA’s started reading the books as soon as they arrived from September/October. So did the reading ambassadors (Year 6) and Library Assistants (Year 5).  Most of these students read all or most of the books in their age category.

In December Jane Hayes and I organised a wine, cheese, chocolate and books afternoon in the library to entice staff to read at least one read dot book over the Christmas break.

I went to each year group’s meeting and tried to get them excited about the books, telling them all about each book and encouraging them all to choose one to do as a class reader.

January: We launched the books in a whole school assembly and the reading ambassadors did a short book talk about each book.

The students had a house meeting and in their year groups and had to form teams of between 8 and 10. In their team they had to ensure that each book would be read by at least one person. All students were asked to choose one book they would like to read and they had to put their name in a list in the library to read this book. 

Many students read more than one, in fact I would say 70% of students did.

Most books we had only 8 copies of so we spent a lot of time delivering books to classes as soon as someone had returned a book. We used parent volunteers and students library assistants to support with this because I only have one library assistant.

Almost every child read a red dot book, there were a few who slipped through the gaps. This year it will be easier because for younger readers I will ensure every class listens to Burt Munro and  for older readers parts of Stormy Seas.

At the end of April we had our huge house event. Each year group (year 3-6) had an afternoon event which went over two lessons. I have attached the instructions for this (they’re at the bottom of the blog).  This was such a fun, high energy event and worth all of the hard work.

The house spirit in our school is huge so regardless of whether students ended up in the final, they were delighted to be cheering on their team and also could participate on whiteboards from the audience. 

The Kahoot round was the most popular and I may change it this year to use Kahoot for the first round also.

It has really resulted in the students being excited by the red dots books earlier this year also.  I have not decided exactly how I will choose my teams for Readers Cup, but I know it will be a challenge because the excitement over red dot books is now huge.


First round – In houses in classrooms

Staffing / space needed

One classroom per grade participating with two staff members per room; 7 judges running between classes and marking long form answers

Round 1: By the end of this round there will be a winning team for each house who will represent their house on the stage in lesson 6.
Students all to have a reading book with them for DEAR (drop everything and read) to be done whilst judges are marking. IT MUST NOT BE A RED DOT BOOK! 🙂
The students all chose teams last term and I will share them with you on Monday. Some of them have team names, some do not.  If they don’t have a team name ask them to come up with a quick name at the start of the lesson.  Also there may be some students who are absent and there may be the odd student who was not allocated to a team.  Please place them in any team where the numbers are lower. There should be 6- 8 students in each team. 
I will deliver all question sheets to the 4 classrooms for the start of lesson 5.
  • 4 questions per book, 32 questions altogether.
  • All completed on paper, team converse to record the answers. Please do one book at a time, not all at once.
  • Teams to fill in their house and team name at the top before starting.
  • As soon as they have finished each sheet, send to the judges to mark (we will ‘run’ between the classrooms or you can also bring them to the library). Judges/markers I will have answer sheets for you and results tables to fill in with the scores.
  • If there is a draw within a house. Extra long answer questions done.
  • As soon as there is a clear winner for your house we will advise you to start moving the students to the theatre.  It would be ideal if this is done during lesson 5 so that there is more time for the finals on the stage.  
Can students all bring whiteboards and pens if they wish to take part from the audience and also bring their books for DEAR.
Please sit all of your house together in the theatre.
If your house is the first there start DEAR.  

Second round – In the theatre

Staffing / space needed

Auditorium with one person per house on stage. Five staff members in the audience. A photographer, 3 judges and someone in charge overall.   
Audience to have whiteboards to take part and keep score. Children also to bring a book to read (NOT a red dot book) because we will do DEAR while judges are conferring.
Sarah M to be running this in the theatre.  If you are only teaching lesson 5, please stay until the end of lesson 5 in the theatre with your house to help supervise the students.  Feel free to bring a book and DEAR with the students.
The winning book trailers and/or covers will be shown on the screen whilst the individual markers finish marking and bring score sheets to the theatre. 
The winning team from each house is announced and the children will come on to the stage to compete.
The teams will need to nominate a different person to ‘lead’ each round, with a total of 4 rounds, plus a possible tie breaker. 
Staff on the stage to be there to support each team and ensure they are being gracious to each other. 🙂
Staff in the audience on crowd control
Staff judging to be sitting at tables at the back of the front tier (like in the spelling bee).
Extra information for staff on stage.
I will be explaining this to the students as we go so it will all be obvious and you do not need to worry too much about it.
  • Round 2. Team Chat. There will be 1 question per book. As a group write the answer on a whiteboard and then show it to the judges. 30 seconds per question. (8 questions short answer).
  • Round 3. Kahoot round- fastest finger first. (if kahoot doesn’t work, buzzers or bells as a backup) 
  • Round 4. Written round: 8 questions. 5 mins. Children work as a team to answer all 8 questions in the time given. While this is happening DEAR OR if book trailers and posters have not all been shown, show the rest at this point.  (Short answer)
  • Round 5 What’s in the box (fast and furious). Nominate 2 people  to answer on the microphone at the front of the stage.
  • Tie Breaker.  If it is a tie at this stage. Repeat question from the box- sudden death. 

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