Over the last half term, all children throughout the school have been enjoying wonderful story times. We have been immersing ourselves in narratives involving witches and wizards to alien spores taking over the world.
Reading aloud with children and discussing a text is crucial to encourage reading for pleasure; reading aloud creates a sense of community. It enables children to access rich and challenging texts, offers a model for silent independent reading, prompts the children’s affective engagement and creates a class repertoire of ‘texts in common’ to discuss.
Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance.
Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, 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.
Author Cottrell-Boyce suggests that there is “huge inequality” between “kids who experience a book on their mum’s knee or being read to in bed, and kids whose first encounter with a book is decoding this terrifying puzzle on a desk. It can be extremely hard to get over that hurdle."
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’s never too early (or too late!) to start reading together