A Carshalton girls’ school pupil who committed to reading 4.5 million words by the end of the school year has been praised as an “inspiration” for her passion to read.

Lizzie Ferris, 14, set the huge challenge for herself - which is the same as reading the complete Harry Potter series almost five times over in just 10 months.

The Carshalton High School for Girls pupil uses a computer programme which supports students in monitoring their own independent reading.

They pick up books at their own level, read it at their own pace and take a short quiz to ensure they understand what they have read.

The programme then counts how many words they have read and adds them up over the course of a year – with Lizzie becoming her school’s first “multi word millionaire”.

Mrs Young, a librarian at Carshalton High School for Girls and Jack Petchey Foundation co-ordinator, said: “Lizzie is an inspiration to all students at Carshalton High School for Girls.

“Her passion to read and her infectious enthusiasm is limitless, and can brighten anyone’s day.

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”

Lizzie won an iPad Mini from the Jack Petchey Foundation, a prize given for its social media competition which asked young people how winning a Jack Petchey Achievement Award has “inspired” them.

The school pupil won the award after setting the 4.5 million-word reading challenge before setting a new 10 million-word target, which she has completed.

Achievement Award winners, aged between 11 and 25 years old, receive medallions alongside framed certificates and a cheque for £250 each.

They then decide how to spend it on their school or youth club.

Gemma Juma, operations director for the Jack Petchey Foundation, said: “At 93, Sir Jack still comes into the office every day and is an inspiration to young people and everyone supported by his work.

“His motto, ‘If you think you can, you can’, continually inspires young people to reach their full potential and Lizzie embodies this.”

The Jack Petchey Foundation was founded by Sir Jack Petchey in 1999 as a way to “recognise the incredible achievements of our society’s inspiring young people”.

He left school without any qualifications but later dedicated himself to helping young people realise their potential by “recognising hard work and celebrating achievements”.