Home-based readers: taking part in the Challenge

Find information for school-aged home-based readers on how to take part in the Premiers’ Reading Challenge, using the Challenge application.

For young children, see Early childhood services and parents: taking part in the Challenge

If you’re a school student, ask your class teacher or school librarian if your school is taking part in the Challenge. If it is, your school will register you. 

You can also search for your school on the participating school list. Select the Participating Schools tab and enter your school’s name in the search box. 

If your school is not taking part in the Challenge this year – or if you learn at home – you can still take part. Your parents or guardians can complete the online registration form and submit it to the Challenge team.

Registering school students as home-based readers

You can register a school-aged student as a home-based reader on the Challenge application.

  1. Select the Home Based Reader button at the top of the Challenge homepage.
  2. Enter your name in the ‘Parent/guardian name’ field.
  3. Enter your email address.
  4. Confirm your email address.
  5. Enter the postal address you would like Challenge certificates to be mailed to.
  6. Enter the given name, family name and year level of the child you’re registering.
  7. Enter your email address.
  8. Use the +Add more button to register additional children.

A message will display confirming that you have successfully submitted your registration.

You’ll get an email confirming your registration and your children’s login details in two – five business days.

We collect, hold and use your personal information for the sole purpose of registering your child to take part in the Challenge.

Logging in with a Challenge passcode

The Challenge team will email your children’s Challenge usernames and passcodes to you. Keep them in a safe place.

If you lose or forget your children’s passcodes, ask the Challenge team to generate new ones for you. Email readingchallenge@edumail.vic.gov.au

To log in:

  1. Go to the Challenge application.
  2. Select the Home Based Reader button.
  3. Select the VPRC login option for students.
  4. Enter your username and passcode.
  5. Select Login.

Viewing the dashboard

The dashboard is your children’s main workspace as they progress through the Challenge.

At the top of the dashboard are gemstone badges. These are grey at the start of the Challenge. They change to green as each stage is completed.

Below the gemstone badges is a green bar. This shows how many days are left until the end of the Challenge.

There are also two progress wheels that show your children:

  • what their Challenge target is
  • how many Challenge or Choice books they have finished or had verified.

The reading list shows the books children have added and finished reading.

As more books are added to the reading list, the application will learn the kinds of books your children like to read. It will recommend other books by:

  • genre
  • author
  • series
  • subject.

Books other home-based students are reading appear on the Trending books list.

The side menu lets your children:

  • see their Profile Details and add an avatar
  • search for books they would like to add to their reading list.

Number of books students should read to complete the Challenge

Students can read more books than the number set for the Challenge and keep adding these to their reading list.

Prep – year 2

Number of books: 30
Number of books from the Challenge book list: 20 or more

Year 3 – year 9

Number of books: 15
Number of books from the Challenge book list: 10 or more

Year 10

Number of books: 15
Number of books from the Challenge book list: 5 or more

Tailoring the Challenge for individual students

The Challenge can be tailored to suit the reading abilities and needs of individual students.

If you would like to modify your children’s book targets, email readingchallenge@edumail.vic.gov.au

Include in your email:

  • the student’s given and family name
  • number of Challenge/Choice books you would like the target changed to.

Earning badges

Gemstone badges are awarded as your children progress through the Challenge.

Your children will get:

  • Badge 1 – when the first book is marked as finished.
  • Badge 2 – when 30 per cent of the Challenge target is finished.
  • Badge 3 – when 60% of the Challenge target is finished.
  • Badge 4 – when the Challenge target has been met and the Challenge coordinator has verified all the books.

Changing an avatar

  1. Select Profile Details in the side menu.
  2. Select Change avatar. A screen with all avatars will appear.
  3. Select the chosen avatar.
  4. Select the Save button.

Adding books to the reading list

Books that appear in the Recommended books or Trending book lists can be added by selecting the +Add book button below the selected book.

You can also search the catalogue for a book:

  1. Select Search Books in the side menu.
  2. Enter the book’s name, author, series name or ISBN number in the search field.
  3. Select the Search button.
  4. Find the book in the search results. Select the book title. This will open the book details.
  5. Select the +Add book button

The book will appear in the reading list on the dashboard.

Only books your children want to read should be added to their reading lists. If a book is marked as finished and needs to be removed, email readingchallenge@edumail.vic.gov.au

A book cannot be removed from the reading list if it has already been verified.

If you cannot find a book

An advanced search can improve search results when it is hard to find a book.

  1. Select the Advanced Search link. This will bring up more specific search fields. You can search by:
    • author
    • title
    • genre e.g. mystery and suspense
    • series name
    • year level
    • ISBN
    • Media type e.g. audiobook.
  2. Enter the search terms and select Search.
  3. Select Refine your results for extra options.

Before starting a new search, select the Clear All button. This will clear the data fields used before.

If the book still can’t be found, email readingchallenge@edumail.vic.gov.au

The Challenge team can add a placeholder book to the reading list. This means the book can still be counted towards the Challenge book target.

Removing a book from your children’s reading list

To remove an unfinished book from a reading list:

  1. Select the book image. A message will appear asking you to confirm you want to remove the book.
  2. Select Yes, remove.

If a book has been marked as finished and needs to be removed, email readingchallenge@edumail.vic.gov.au

A book cannot be removed from the reading list if it has already been verified.

Star ratings and favourites

When your children have finished reading a book, select the book’s Finish button from the reading list on the dashboard. A new screen will open where your children can:

  • Give the book a star rating – 5 stars is the highest rating, 1 star is the lowest rating.
  • Mark the book as a favourite – more than one book can be marked as favourite.

Complete any details you want to add and select Finish book.

Finished books will verified by the Challenge team. This will not happen right away.

The book review feature is not available to home-based readers.

Suggesting a book be added to the Challenge book list

To suggest that a Choice book is added to the Challenge book list:

  1. Select the book’s Finish button from your children’s reading list on the dashboard. A new screen will open.
  2. Give the book a star rating or mark the book as a favourite (if you wish)
  3. Check the box next to the option to Recommend this book to be added to the Challenge book list
  4. Select Finish book.