Archive | January, 2012

Have you had your Weetabix?!

27 Jan

Breakfast, for several reasons, is often referred to as the most important meal of the day. According to William Cochran, breakfast sets the body up for the day ahead, yet he describes how 8-12% of children skip breakfast. There are a variety of reasons for why children skip breakfast despite positive ramifications eating breakfast has on academic performance.

Children who eat breakfast have been found to have improved learning skills compared to those who skip breakfast. In 1998, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital reported children who ate breakfast received higher maths scores, had better attendance to school, and experienced less hyperactivity and fatigue than those who didn’t eat breakfast. Research has also shown that children are less likely to receive detention or suspension once a routine of eating breakfast regularly has been established. If a child does not have breakfast, they are often going 10-12 hours without food, if not more, meaning they are having no input of energy. Energy is required for an individual to learn, “to fuel the brain”. Good nutritional breakfast foods allow an individual to focus, think clearly, and maintain energy throughout the day. When a child experiences hunger, their energy levels decrease and are less motivated to attend to the lesson being taught. A systematic review by Hoyland, Dye and Lawton (2009) on 45 studies concluded that the consumption of breakfast has a beneficial influence on a child’s cognitive performance.

Years of consistent research led to public health bodies instigating breakfast programmes throughout many school, in many countries. In one programme, principles of the schools where a programme was hosted, 97% believed that their school benefited from the programme. In 2004, the Welsh Assembly Government began a free breakfast programme and by 2010, it was introduced into its 1000th school. The aim of the programme was to ensure that children from low economic backgrounds were fed, enabling them to have the best possible start to their day. So why would the Conservative Party want to get rid of such an excellent and beneficial programme? The Conservative education spokesman has said that feeding breakfast to a child is the “responsibility of parents” (BBC News). In my opinion this is to an extent correct, but if financial constraints stop a child from having breakfast does that mean they are not entitled to concentrate in school, to not be able to concentrate and obtain their potential. The free breakfast programme in Wales provides that little extra support to parents and children who are living in poverty. Perhaps developing a scheme with breakfast like they have for lunchtime, where children receive help towards food costs depending on your personal circumstances.

I personally love cereal and have it everyday, if I don’t I can tell within an hour of being up, I am hungry, tired and can’t concentrate on anything.

Imagine what we could all have achieved academically if we all ate breakfast throughout our whole time in academia… the competition for University places would certainly increase!!


Science of Education

24 Jan

Welcome to my blog!

Not really sure what i am doing here just yet… but i’ll get there!

I am looking forward to blogging, commenting and learning with you all!

Now to some research for my actual blog.