Author of renowned children’s book, War Horse and former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo knows a thing or two about children’s literature. And on 21st September, Michael took to the stage at the inaugural BookTrust Lecture to discuss his belief that story time should be reinstated into primary school learning.
Michael began his lecture by stating that we, as a society, are responsible for the successes and failures of literacy levels in young children. He believes that by measuring reading with tests and teaching, you’re removing the fun and wonder out of the activity and replacing it with fear, anxiety and a sense of worthlessness.
To address this issue, and to ensure there’s an equal playing field amongst children when it comes to literacy, Michael suggests incorporating an end-of-day story time, where children are read to and encouraged to imagine and explore the story. He believes that this simple addition to lesson time could replace fear with confidence amongst young readers.
Here at Peters, we’re passionate about ensuring children have access to great books, and Michael’s words really resonated with us. Books open up new worlds for children and they should be allowed to freely enjoy exploring new ideas and using their imaginations, rather than worrying about their reading level and constant testing of skills. If children begin to associate reading with testing and negative results, they will never grow up to be lifelong readers – a fact that saddens us. Bring back story time! Hear hear, Michael.
To learn more about Michael’s lecture, or for more story time inspiration check out the latest article on BookTrust here.