English has an important part to play in both education and society. A high-quality education in English will teach children to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. All the skills of English are essential to participating fully as a member of a school and society.
Through reading, children have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. The choice of books they read, play a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know in other areas of the curriculum and the wider world. Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out what’s printed on the page. It provides them with background knowledge on their world, which helps them make sense of what they see, hear, and read. It is the talk that surrounds the reading that gives it power, helping children to bridge what is in the story and their own lives, rather than just the vocalization of the words. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding. Reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who do not, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. Reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.