Polegate Virtual Library
Polegate School Bedtime Stories
Are you so busy at night, with dinner, baths, and then rushing for bedtime, that you’re skipping reading a bedtime book? I get it. Really I do!
To help you we have decided to give you a bank of bedtime stories so that you can have a night off and not feel guilty!
We are launching our 'Virtual Library', full of bedtime stories read by familiar faces! You will find them all on our school website. Although we can't be there in person we would be delighted to read your child a virtual bedtime story!
So let’s talk about those benefits of story time, apart from our raffle tickets for reading every evening! What are they exactly? Why is it so important that children do not miss out?
Why stories are important
Research shows that people without good literacy skills do worse in education and are more likely to be unemployed or even suffer from health and relationship problems.
But there’s evidence to suggest that the benefits of being read to frequently as a child go way beyond just literacy skills.
Stories shape and expand our world
The stories we hear as children shape our view of the world. Most small children live their lives in quite a limited environment. Reading stories to children can show them far-flung places, extraordinary people and eye-opening situations to expand and enrich their world.
It can also be a great way of helping them deal with real life situations that they need help to deal with. Researchers have found that the brain activity that occurs when we read fiction is very similar to experiencing that situation in real life, so reading about a situation helps children work out how to solve it in reality.
Making children into nicer people
It gets even more surprising when you look at the effects of reading fiction to children on their social behaviour.
Scientists have found that children who have fiction read to them regularly find it easier to understand other people – they show more empathy and have better developed theory of mind (the ability to understand that other people have different thoughts and feelings to us, which is essential for understanding and predicting other people’s thoughts and behaviour).
Why we need to ask questions
The benefits children get from having stories read to them are hugely increased when we talk and ask questions about the story as well.
Simply asking them if they can remember what happened in the story or checking if they know what some of the more complicated words mean can really extend their understanding and vocabulary. More complex ‘inference’ questions like, ‘why do you think this character did that?’ helps children to think about and understand other people’s motivations.