Christmas Learning Ideas

The summer setback is the phenomenon where students forget key information over the summer holidays and find the work in September challenging. This is especially noticeable for Year 6 pupils who often work less hard in the final term of primary school and can then find the first weeks of secondary school to be a huge shock to the system. Because children forget information very quickly, it is important to make sure that you provide pupils with opportunities to refresh their knowledge during holidays. Here are our top 4 tips for learning over the Christmas break:

Make time to relax!

2020 has been particularly stressful for young people, and it is important that they know that they can relax over the Christmas break. Fun activities such as watching Christmas films, baking Christmassy snacks and going for walks in the snow can help young people destress and approach their work in January with renewed energy and enthusiasm. One fun idea is to write fun ideas on pieces of paper and put them in a jar – every morning, you can pull out the paper to see what relaxing activity you should do that day.

Eat the frog – do the work in the mornings.

Mark Twain said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” This means that if you have one unpleasant task to do, it is best to get it over and done with. Spending half an hour revising times tables or French verbs in the morning can free up the rest of the day for exciting activities, but if you leave it until the evening, it will hang over you all day.  This strategy is particularly effective if you want to spend time together as a family in the evening because it means that schoolwork won’t disrupt your plans.

Make your work Christmassy.

Brushing up on important GCSE skills while preparing for Christmas and New Year’s Eve is a great way to show pupils how important learning can be in later life. For example, writing Christmas cards and letters uses English skills while estimating how much wrapping paper will be needed to cover a present will help you to practice Maths. Thinking about Father Christmas’ journey around the globe can be a fun way to think about Geography.

Read Christmassy books.

As an English teacher, I know that one of the best ways to prepare for GCSEs is to read books. History, Geography, English and Science all require excellent reading skills and so any time spent reading will help you to prepare for upcoming exams. One way to make this fun is to read Christmas themed books. Dr Seuss’ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and Rover Saves Christmas by Roddy Doyle are great choices for younger readers. More confident readers might enjoy Charles Dickens’ Christmas stories – A Christmas Carol is the most famous but The Chimes and The Battle of Life are shorter!

This blog was written by Sam Heaton, our English GCSE & A level Tutor. Sam is a graduate of Durham University and a qualified teacher with a P.G.C.E. from Manchester University.

Photo by Jonathan Borba.

Keywords: Learning, refresh, fun activities, revising, reading,

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