Time for holiday reading! Wed, April 05, 2017

It has been a busy and exciting term in the English department at St Mark’s, with students working hard, studying a range of exciting texts and many having enjoyed time with Author-in-Residence, Archie Fusillo, recently.

With the holidays coming up it is an important time for students to de-stress, enjoy time with family and friends, and refuel for Term 2. Year 11s and 12s should also be using the break to begin revising for exams, and to take advantage of the time away from school to work on assessments and current content without the restraints of timetables and the busy-ness of the school day.

I also encourage all students to take the time these holidays to read. Reading regularly is an essential part of literacy development, and many scientific studies have proven that reading has significant benefits on brain development and wellbeing. A quick Google will lead you to countless reputable articles and studies on this topic!

Proven Benefits of Reading:

  • Meaningful mental stimulation
  • Stress reduction
  • Improving memory function
  • Vocabulary development
  • Improving analytical thinking skills
  • Improving creative thinking skills
  • Improving understanding of written language, grammar and spelling rules
  • Improving sleeping patterns
  • Increased capacity for empathy
  • Improving the ability to sustain focus and concentration (which is especially important when these skills are essential for academic study and productivity in the workplace yet research suggests modern use of entertainment based technology can significantly impede this skill.)

Making Reading Enjoyable:

  • Find books and authors your child enjoys
  • Don’t give up because of one bad experience
  • Allow time to read— give time to getting involved in the plot
  • Read at bed time
  • Read in a pleasant and comfortable place—by the pool, in the park, in bed, a comfy chair
  • Set up a reading zone—beanbag, cool reading light etc.
  • Enjoy a drink or coffee at the same time
  • Make it a family event—kids are more likely to read if they see parents doing it
  • Establish regular technology-free periods in the home
  • Read the right books—help your kids find books that are age appropriate, interesting to them and not too easy or too difficult
  • Associate reading with “breaking the rules”—  occasionally allow a later bedtime, the use of a normally off-limits room or space, a special treat etc. while they are reading
  • Allow fidgety kids to read while moving—on the trampoline, while exercising on a treadmill etc.
  • Use audiobooks—in the car, on headphones, listen while doing a simple craft.
  • Provide lots of books, often and regularly— and don’t give up! Keep persisting (gently)!

Happy reading!

By Justine McGinnis, Acting Head of English