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Exams are over (for now!)

The exam season is finally over and it’s time for teens to take a well-earned rest. But then they have six (or more) long weeks stretching ahead of them and hours and hours of time to while away. The summer holidays are a great opportunity to catch up and/or work on areas where students might have struggled this academic year.

This is the perfect time for Year 9 students who are going into their GCSE years to work on subjects they’ve struggled with. If your child is in Year 9 and will start working towards their iGCSE (often in independent schools and perceived as harder than a traditional GCSE)  then summer tutoring can help them get a headstart.

And if your child is in Year 10 or 12 then they’ll be on their way to final GCSE and A Level exams in the next year – this is the summer that could make all the difference to how they enter one of the most important years of their life.  Summer catch ups and study aren’t just for those who’ve struggled a bit, it’s a chance for every student to get ahead or just make sure their brain doesn’t turn to mush in the space of six weeks.

It might seem daft to say that students can fall behind in such a short space of time – but in a month and a half (even longer for independent and boarding schools) the skills they’ve built up during the year can quickly disappear. It means they often start the year struggling to find their feet.  When we talk to parents and students we find the areas they most struggle with at the start of the year (after the long summer break) are modern languages (so French, Spanish etc), Maths and Science. It’s usually because these are the trickiest subjects for most students and all of these subjects combine using complex skills with learning a lot of knowledge. So for example they have to develop skills such as writing up experiments or solving equations alongside taking in knowledge of names of compounds or lists of vocabulary and noun formations. So how can we help them stay on top without destroying all the fun of the summer holidays?

The secret is to find fun ways of engaging the brain without making it feel like learning.

  • If your child is learning a language, maybe French or Spanish, then visit the country for a trip or holiday. Encourage them to use the language but also know that just being around it will utlise their skills (such as reading and comprehension).
  • Visit museums and exhibitions – places like MOSI (The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester) aren’t just for young children. There’s stuff for children of all ages (and even better it will entertain them for a whole day).
  • Keep them reading – encourage them to read their favourite books, invest in some new reading material and if they are willing get them to cast an eye over their textbooks.
  • Use the resources you have for educational purposes – yes they are probably already permanently glued to the television or internet, so encourage them to find programmes relevant to their study (Braniac for Science for example).
  • Think about using a private tutor – tutors don’t have to teach in a classroom style and an hour or two a week could be just what your child needs to go into the next year brimming with confidence.

If you live in Greater Manchester Cheshire and you’d like to find out more about how summer holiday tutoring can help your child –in tricky subjects like Maths, Science and modern languages –get in touch with 121 Home Tutors.

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