‘Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers’. -Charles W. Elio-
A child's reading skills are important to their success in school as they will allow them to access the breadth of the curriculum and improve their communication and language skills. In addition, reading can be a fun and imaginative time for children, which opens doors to all kinds of new worlds for them.
As part of our curriculum review at NAISAK, we have identified ‘reading’ as a key area for development and will be included in the school’s strategic development plan. With a busy timetable, teachers currently do not have enough time to listen to their children read as much as they would like to. That said, from today we have made some adjustments to the start of the day with the registration period being extended to 20 minutes, with a slightly shorter first lesson. This will allow students from across the Primary Stage to all start their day reading to either their teacher, learning support assistant, buddy or on their own. Additionally, all Primary teachers, including the Leadership Team, have new reading timetables allowing them to listen to individual readers who have been identified as needing extra support for a number of hours per week. We are hopeful that the changes made to both the students and teachers’ timetables will prove impactful and will help to accelerate reading progress across the Primary School. We will continue to update you over the coming term with further reading initiatives.
Why is reading so important?
Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Likewise, evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who do not, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.
In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.
What difference can I make as a parent?
You can make a huge difference! Parents are the most important educators in a child’s life – even more important than their teachers – and it is never too early to start reading together.
Even before they were born, babies learn to recognise their parents' voices. Reading to your baby from birth, even for just a few minutes a day, gives them the comfort of hearing your voice and increases their exposure to language.
Building vocabulary and understanding
Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out what is printed on the page. Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read. It is important for them to understand how stories work too. Even if your child does not understand every word, they will hear new sounds, words and phrases which they can then try out, copying what they have heard.
Irrespective of whether your child is only just beginning to learn to read or whether they are fluent, you can play an important role in helping to keep them interested in books. Find out what interests them, help them to find books that will be engaging and fun, and spend time reading the books they bring home from school together.