I’m not sure where Mr. Gibb gets his measurements from, but there is no doubt that our children are not investing nearly enough time to reading. Similarly, if children were to radically change their reading habits, strong improvement would surely follow:
Nick Gibb, the School Minister, said that reading books for just half an hour a day could be worth up to 12 months’ extra schooling by the age of 15.
Speaking ahead of today’s announcement, Mr Gibb said: “Children should always have a book on the go. The difference in achievement between children who read for half an hour a day in their spare time and those who do not is huge – as much as a year’s education by the time they are 15.
He added: “There is a group of children who can read but won’t read – the reluctant readers.
Currently, as many as one-in-six children are still struggling to read when they leave primary school, figures show. One-in-10 boys aged 11 has a reading age no better a seven-year-old.
Failure to pick up the basics at a young age is believed to have serious long-term consequences. A recent international report showed that almost four-in-10 teenagers in England never read for pleasure – considerably more than in other countries.
As teachers, we are responsible not only for seeing to it that our students read at home, but also that they grow to appreciate books. It is essential that our primary teachers choose relevant, engaging books to read to their students whenever the time permits.