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In 2012, the Education Standards Research Team in the UK compiled the Research Evidence on Reading for Pleasure report. It found that reading for pleasure had educational benefits, supported personal development and had a positive impact on reading including:

  • reading attainment and writing ability
  • text comprehension and grammar
  • breadth of vocabulary
  • positive reading attitudes
  • self-confidence as a reader
  • enjoyment in reading in later life.

The report also identified benefits in:

  • general knowledge
  • understanding of other cultures
  • community participation
  • insight into human nature and decision-making.

A 2006 New Zealand Council for Education Research study reported that students who love reading had:

  • higher scores on the cognitive and social/attitudinal competencies
  • consistently higher scores in mathematics, reading, logical problem-solving and attitude
  • higher average scores for engagement in school, positive communication and relations with family, and positive friendships
  • fewer presentations of risky behaviour
  • higher levels of motivation towards school.

A 2018 study reported on by the American Medical Association noted that reading for pleasure was the most effective protective factor for avoiding burnout in doctors, better than watching movies, meditation or exercise.

In a similar vein, research from the University of Sussex found that tension eased and heart rates slowed in those who read silently for as little as 6 minutes, that reading was 300% better at reducing stress than going for a walk, and perhaps unsurprisingly, 700% more effective than playing video games.

We look forward to developing in our students the love of reading that has lifelong benefits. This, among other reasons, has been the logic behind the reintroduction of Drop Everything and Read across years 7-10, and the continuation of key reading programs for students in the Primary years.

Tim Watson