Food for Thought: Thousands Face School on an Empty Stomach

Posted on:December 12, 2019

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food for thought

New research has shown that many students arrive at school without having eaten breakfast and face a morning trying to learn while hungry. It has been revealed that teachers know many of the students in their class are hungry at the start of the school day. In fact, around 20 per cent of teachers have actually brought food in for pupils they know do not eat breakfast. This is a worrying trend because in addition to damaging their health, these children will also find it difficult to concentrate at school and learn effectively.

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The Learning Environment

Children who arrive at school hungry are more likely to become easily distracted, leading to disruptive behaviour. Others who do not eat breakfast will be lethargic and lack concentration. All of these problems lead to a less productive learning environment and a school with underachieving students.

One of the main areas where children are underachieving is reading. Reading is unquestionably one of the most important skills for a young child to master at school, and eating breakfast ensures that they are ready to read and learn. However, there are other elements of a child’s schooling that can have just as big of an impact on their ability to read, such as parents reading to children when they are small. According to the BBC, helping children to read is something that all adults can do through gentle encouragement.

Technology to Improve Reading Skills

Another way to help children who struggle to read is to engage with technology. These kinds of tools help to sound the words of a text phonetically, breaking down the words on the screen. By involving an app in this way, children are able to improve their reading skills without the need for as much contact with teachers, teaching assistants and parents, who might not have enough time to go through every word the child encounters to ensure correct pronunciation.

By using technology sensibly in the classroom and at home, we can improve the learning experience of children while encouraging them to read effectively and pronounce words correctly. Technology is also able to assess progress and increase difficulty accordingly so that children are always steadily improving their reading, pronunciation and spelling skills.