This week is Book Week and it’s that time of year where parents frantically search for the perfect outfit for their child’s parade.
But the week is more than a dress up parade. It is about how literature helps our children learn – particularly in the early years. Now this is nothing new, in fact Book Week is a 74-year-old tradition that most of us can remember doing ourselves at primary school.
When you stop and think, you realise education is such a progressive and innovative field, always looking ahead at what’s next and how to improve teaching practices for future generations. But there are some things, such as Book Week, that just stand the test of time.
Why is Book Week still relevant? With all the technology and progressive thinking in our society, why do we still celebrate Book Week each year in Schools?
We thought we’d ask the experts, so we reached out to Mrs Gabrielle Frisby, Head of Junior School at Caloundra City Private School in Pelican Waters to answer some of our questions around this.
Why do you think Book Week is still relevant in Schools after 74 years?
“There are many reasons why Book Week is still relevant in schools. Teaching children to read early has multiple benefits and is key to their academic future. Essentially, reading is at the heart of all formal education and because of this, it is something we embed from our Pelican’s Nest Early Learning Centre and throughout Junior School.
“Book Week, and books, will always be relevant to education, particularly early education, because reading develops:
- neurological skills (develops your child’s brain),
- social skills (relate to their peers easily),
- learning ability (improves attention span and concentration) and
- helps them linguistically (to talk).
“We integrated our Pelican’s Nest Early Learning Centre into Caloundra City Private School’s Book Week activities this year because we revisited the basics and realised, we had an incredible opportunity to help our students socially develop with children a little older. By taking opportunities to merge Junior School and ELC activities, we find this eases the future transition of your child into big school, regardless of whether your child will continue at CCPS or move to another school,” Mrs Frisby says.
Do you believe using technology is beneficial to teach your child how to read? For example, using an iPad or Kindle to read to your child instead of a book?
“This is an interesting question, and is a common debate now among educators – is technology actually good for my child’s developing brain?” Mrs Frisby says.
“While there is a time and place for technology in education, there are studies that show technology is having a negative impact on developing brains.”
“Personally, my preference is always a traditional book. The tactile nature of a book is really stimulating for young minds and unfortunately you just can’t get that through an iPad or Kindle.”
“There is also a lot of research that believes the use of technology before bed is particularly damaging to developing brains,” Mrs Frisby says.
“In our Senior School we have adopted a ‘no phones policy’ and if students are seen using one during the school day it is confiscated. This is based on the latest research about the negative impact phones and technology is having on student learning.”
“We are actually hosting a free community event on Tuesday 10 September at CCPS to further educate parents and teachers around this, it’s called “Nurturing a Healthy Mind for your Child”. We will be joined by Dr Michael Nagel an Associate Professor from USC who studies in this area,” Mrs Frisby says.
If you are interested in attending the event, or finding out more, head to “Nurturing a Healthy Mind for your Child” event page – https://www.trybooking.com/BEQOD