Primary School News

The importance of sleep

We aim for our students to flourish through:

being happy, healthy and managing their own well-being
BSM Vision and Mission

Well being strand

Is achieved by:
  • Getting an appropriate amount of quality sleep for our age

This week’s focus is an area I have talked about before in my newsletter, that of sleep—one of the sub-sections of this strand. It is worth revisiting, as sleep is critical for a healthy and balanced lifestyle and there are serious consequences for health and for learning of not getting enough sleep. We regard this as so important that we have now included commitments to getting sufficient sleep in our Family School Agreement.

There is plenty of research and compelling reading out there that supports this position. In the Self Driven Child, Ned Johnson says:

“When we sleep the brain sends signals back and forth repeatedly integrating and consolidating memories. Sleep refreshes the whole brain, which improves its ability to pay attention and making it optimally receptive to new learning.”

He goes on to explain further how this work neurologically explaining that:

“Sleep spindles – short electrical bursts – like hitting save button – move information from short term storage to long term.”

These help forge connections with prior learning in different parts of the brain, building a network of understanding. In Make it Stick, a book about retention with what we learn, the authors state that sleep consolidates and helps the brain organise and stabilise the memory traces. Not getting enough sleep clearly interferes with this process and can dramatically effect our ability to retain information and be ready for learning.

Matthew Walker in his book Why we Sleep further hails the power by saying “Sleep heals” it is restorative and repairing and supports us both biologically and emotionally. It is suggested that during REM sleep the brain reactivates emotions and begins to deal with them in a stress free environment so that things look better in the morning.

Sleep is for well-being and for learning. As introduced at the Curriculum Evenings here are a number of points to think of to aid sleep:

Sleep Hygiene, things to do to get a good sleep

  • Set up a bedtime routine
  • Relax before bedtime
  • Keep regular sleep and wake times
  • Keep older (>5) children’s naps early and short
  • Make sure the bedroom is cool, dark and quiet
  • Exercise during the day

Fun Run

Being active is also part of a healthy lifestyle and you have the ideal opportunity in a couple of weeks time to do just that at our annual BSM Fun Run. This will be held in a couple of weeks time on Sunday 29 September at 7am in Urdaneta Village. As well as embracing one of the key goals of our Well-Being Framework, you will be supporting our Service Learning programme as all proceeds go directly to this fund.

To sign up just go to

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