A sleep challenge is encouraging children at Newington Community Primary in Ramsgate to get into a regular bedtime routine to make sure they are raring to go the next day.
And the initiative is also being run in parallel with the school’s ongoing literacy drive, this time to encourage reading as part of the bath, bed and book evening routine.
To mark the start of the important term-long challenge, children took part in a bedtime story afternoon. All year groups were invited into school in their pyjamas and took part in different sleep activities including stories, poems, lullabies, body scans and mindfulness activities.
Head Teacher Hannah Tudor said “The benefits of a good night’s sleep for a child’s body and mind are proven. We want to best outcomes for every child so really wanted to bring this challenge to life to support children and their families, and encourage them to develop a positive workable routine.
“In particular this includes no electrical and blue light stimulus before bedtime from television, computers and tablets as these are not calming for the mind.
“The ethos of the challenge is that sleep is very important and has a huge impact on physical and mental well-being; and we know from experience that it is effective.”
Children have been set the challenge of following an agreed bedtime routine with their adults over the course of a whole term.
Those who complete the initiative will take part in a celebration event and be in with a chance of winning prizes.
Assistant Head Teacher Taralee Kennedy added: “Sleep improves recall, creativity, problem solving and really improves behaviour, so it makes sense for us to focus on this in and out of school in partnership with the community we work in.”
James Bennett, Newington’s lead on Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE), is co-ordinating the challenge.
He explained: “This initiative for our children and families also supports the wider wellbeing curriculum that is taught at Newington and allows children to understand how sleep links to their positivity, happiness, and physical health.
“We work hard across the whole school to ensure that our children are prepared to face all the opportunities and challenges that their lives will create, and we see this as a vital foundation of a really successful start for our pupils.”
The winners of the challenge will be announced at the end of this current term.
The Sleep Foundation (www.sleepfoundation.org) says: “Sleep plays a crucial role in the development of young minds. In addition to having a direct effect on happiness, research shows that sleep impacts alertness and attention, cognitive performance, mood, resiliency, vocabulary acquisition, and learning and memory.
PSHE is a school curriculum subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. Find out more online at PSHE-association.org.uk