The most effective way children learn is finding things out for themselves – our girls are challenged to do this every day in our school. We encourage girls to think creatively and critically to solve problems. Both our indoor and outdoor classrooms are thinking spaces where the girls engage in discussion, challenge opinions and develop key skills, learning across the whole curriculum.
With the long summer break approaching – learning does not have to stop when the bell goes and only resume when we return in September. Instead we should encourage our girls to use their critical and creative skills to find ways to entertain themselves and continue to learn over the holidays.
The age-old holiday bleat of “I’m bored” should be turned on its head and as parents we should challenge the belief that it is our responsibility to keep our children entertained. We should encourage our girls to discover and define their own time, empowering them to use the skills learned at school to make their own decisions, choose their own activities and distractions during the holidays.
I am sure many of you will travel during the holidays. It may be a day trip to the beach or a long family break abroad. Whatever you do, there are always new things to stimulate, excite and engage your daughter and offer exciting opportunities for learning.
Travel offers new sights, sounds, experiences, even tastes. When learning any language, experts advocate complete immersion in the language and culture for best results; our girls learn Spanish from the age of three so if you are travelling in Spain, or another Spanish speaking country, let your daughter be the expert. Wherever your travels take you, take the opportunity to let your daughter play with native speakers. Learning through play is the most natural way to learn, and when a non-speaker plays with a group of children who don’t speak English, all play happens in the native language. This is where you will see your daughter absorb vocabulary and fluency like a sponge.
Our children allow us to see the world afresh through their eyes and together we experience life with a renewed, child-like perspective. Recording their holiday experiences through drawing, reading and writing about what they have done will help them build a collection of memories that will stay with them for a lifetime, as well as providing creative ways to keep them entertained and continue their learning. It will also mean that after nine long weeks of Summer they won’t be too rusty when they return to school!