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The summer break


The summer break offers a chance to reflect and recharge, but the arrival of the holidays doesn’t mean learning stops.  School can play a part helping here. At my school, we do not set work over the holidays (apart from for those girls starting their A-level studies this September), we do set our pupils reading challenges and optional projects that parents can undertake alongside their children to support their learning.

However, summer holidays should also be about letting individuality flourish, directing our mental curiosity in its own unique way. So often, we find our girls return from their holidays with a new maturity and focus on their goals.  Certainly in an age of constant stimulation from social media and instant digital information, opportunities to allow our minds time to have flashes of inspiration are becoming few and far between. As the poet Davies put it: life sadly leaves us little “time to stand and stare” at the beauties of the natural world around us.

Below are some tips for keeping your children engaged and ready for next term:

* For younger children in particular, do not worry about organising lots of activities, instead encourage self-led play. Unstructured play is crucial to a young child’s development.

* Try and engage in your child’s learning as much as possible, using homework/ future subject topics for points of discussion and asking your child to explain particular concepts to you.

* Utilise the myriad of tools that schools provide to support learning outside the classroom. Sites such as GCSE Pod can supplement teaching in school, providing in-depth online subject knowledge. Virtual learning platforms such as Firefly help to equip students to learn independently and engage with resources at their own pace.

* If your child is old enough, consider asking them to organise a trip for the family. Have they thought about how to get there? What time will you have to leave? How long can you spend there? This type of project will help with their organisational and problem solving skills.

* Encourage your child to undertake a focused project, such as running 10K, completing a piece of artwork or writing a poem – and do it alongside them.

* Spend as much time as possible outdoors; there is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that spending time outside leads in increased concentration in the classroom.

Posted: 11/07/2018 at 09:17
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