Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The benefit of a bedtime story

Study finds that being read to and taught the alphabet means a promising start for children.

From the Guardian

Children who are read to daily are likely to do better when they start school and be better behaved, according to a government study.
Researchers at the Institute of Education found a correlation between mothers who believe it is important to teach their toddler the alphabet and to count and read to them regularly and the child's achievement at the age of five.
The government-commissioned study looked at the foundation stage profile - teachers' assessment of a child's achievement after one year at school - and evaluated the cognitive abilities of just over 8,000 five-year-olds.
They also assessed each child's behaviour using a questionnaire.
The study focused on which factors are associated with achievement at the age of five, and took into account parental variables such as how much time is spent with the child reading, teaching the alphabet and counting.
It concluded: "Reading to the child every day and having a mother who thinks it is important to stimulate young children are positively associated with all cognitive outcomes and negatively with problem behaviour."
Children who were read to daily did better in the naming vocabulary cognitive test, which involved the children being shown a picture and asked to identify the object.
They also performed better in the foundation stage profiles and had higher behaviour scores.
Youngsters whose mothers thought it was important to talk to them and teach them the alphabet also did better than their peers in tests where children were shown a picture of an object and asked to identify a similar object among a number of other pictures, and when asked to reproduce patterns using coloured blocks.
These children also had better foundation stage profiles, whereas children who watch three or more hours of TV a day, on average, achieved lower scores on the tests.
The findings echo the results of research by the universities of Bristol and Columbia, in the US, that found poor parenting meant children were ill-prepared for school.
Analysis by Prof Jane Waldfogel at Columbia and Bristol's Dr Elizabeth Washbrook of British and American children's ability test scores showed that the poorer their families, the less well prepared they were for school. In the US, half the differences were because of poor parenting and home environment, the study found.
It suggested that early years programmes such as Head Start in the US, which Sure Start in the UK is based upon, could help close the ability gap.

Friday, 5 December 2008

North East Digital Awards

The Digital Awards celebrate the achievements of businesses and organisations across the North East of England that have recognised, developed and practiced digital techniques to best effect.
This region clearly has some very innovative businesses with strong digital elements. Last year we recognised the fantastic achievements of 44 regional businesses, chosen from over 250 award entries. This year the profile of the Awards and the level of participation from the region's businesses will be even greater and more prestigious.

Education Takeaway have once again entered the awards and needs your help. Please vote for us.