At Stoke-on-Tern, we believe that reading is the key to pupils’ success in education and in life generally, which is why we believe that children should read, and be read to, daily. Here are ten reasons why we think reading is so important:
1. Reading exercises our brain.
Reading is a much more complex task for the human brain than other activities such as watching TV, or playing console games. Reading strengthens the brain’s connections and builds NEW connections, which are essential for learning and cognition.
2. Reading improves concentration.
Children need to sit still and focus on the story when they are reading (or being read to). If they read often, they will develop the skill to do this for longer.This has huge benefits for learning and retention in all other areas of the curriculum.
3. Reading teaches children about the world around them.
Through reading a variety of books, children learn about people, places and events outside of their own experience. As Dr. Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
4. Reading improves vocabulary and language skills.
Children learn new words as they read. Subconsciously, they absorb information on how to structure sentences and how to use words. This has a huge impact on their own use of language. There is a wealth of research which suggests that a child’s vocabulary has a significant impact on their future life experiences.
5. Reading develops a child’s imagination.
When we read, our brains translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. While we are engaged in a story, we are also imagining how a character is feeling. This enriches pupils’ everyday play and day-to-day experiences.
6. Reading helps children to develop empathy.
As children read, they relate their own experiences to those they have read in stories. In this way, pupils begin to imagine how they would feel in that situation. This enables pupils to empathise with those around them.
7. Reading is a fun!
A book or an e-reader doesn’t take up much space and is light to carry, so you can take it anywhere you go. You can never be bored if you have a book in your bag!
8. Reading is a great way to spend time together.
Reading together on the sofa, sharing bedtime stories and visiting the library are just some ways of spending quality time together. What could be better than spending time sharing a story, talking and laughing together?
9. Children who read achieve better in school.
Reading promotes achievement in all subjects, not just English. Children who are good readers tend to achieve better across the curriculum.
10. Children who read often and widely get better at it.
Practice makes perfect in almost everything humans do, and reading is no different.
Click here for more advice about reading with your child: Reading with your child
Click here to explore different reading possibilities: The Book Trust.