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☰ The power of reading

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Headteacher Blog

The power of reading

Posted on: 14 Mar 2019 by Weston Green School

“A child who reads will be an adult who thinks.”

How often do we take the opportunity to lose ourselves in the pages of a book? It’s likely that much of our daily reading habits consist of texts, tweets, social media entries or work-related reading.  However, research suggests that it is the power of becoming absorbed in a story that can have such a positive impact on our wellbeing and mental health.

It is proven that tucking up with a good book can not only reduce stress levels but provide valuable mental stimulation. Reading helps to expand our vocabulary, improve our depth of knowledge, strengthen our memory as well as improve writing ability, focus, concentration and our sense of tranquillity; such a broad range of benefits that even 10 minutes a day can achieve!

Children also benefit in all of the same ways from their reading. It also provides opportunities to expand their imagination and develop such skills as empathy, as well as the enjoyment and fun of engaging in stories that they love.

How often do we want to go back and read favourite stories? As a child, I often did this, from old favourites such as Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl to learning of new authors through sharing books with friends and family. I enjoy this now with my own children as they too bring new authors into our lives.

It is important as parents and as a school to open children's eyes to the worlds of new authors, to keep their reading range as broad as possible and to encourage them not just to stick with the familiar, as is often the case. In school we help this process by providing book lists of recommended texts, but also by basing much of our English curriculum around key texts, where the text is not only the starting point for work on technique such as grammar and punctuation but is also a source for creative writing and an inspiration for poetry and story writing.

We look forward to all pupils engaging with our school project for this year, “Tell me a story…”, through which we are encouraging children to get involved in the art of storytelling be it through animation, video, pictures, puppetry or simply writing the next chapter of a story they would love to share.

Of course, as parents, we are role models to our children and they will take their cue from us on the depth of enjoyment we gain from books and how we share these together.  “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents,” said Emilie Buchwald, and it is true that a love of books when we are young will stay with us forever and we will reap the benefits as we grow older.

Mrs. Evans

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