At this time of year, teachers are often asked by parents what they can do over the long summer holidays to help their child with their learning. There is no simple answer to this important question; it depends very much upon the particular child and where they are on their individual learning journey.
A general piece of advice, however, is that opportunities to practise reading are vital to a child’s academic progress. No matter the age of the child, they should read for pleasure as often as possible, and preferably, daily. Literacy is the cornerstone of the curriculum, and developing the fluency and accuracy of reading improves performance across other subjects. Reading widens a child’s vocabulary, improves their concentration levels, develops their empathy and creativity, and stimulates their imagination. In addition, reading for pleasure can benefit a child’s wellbeing and mental health; this could perhaps be seen as the most valuable benefit of all, given the challenging circumstances children have faced over the past couple of years.
In Mathematics, having a firm grasp of basic numeracy is absolutely essential to a child’s progress. The ability to work accurately and confidently with the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) provides a solid foundation for the more difficult Mathematics that children will encounter throughout prep school and beyond. Automaticity with multiplication tables deserves a special mention here, as tables knowledge is crucial to many topics. Instant recall of tables facts frees up a child’s brain to concentrate on more complex problems. Regular opportunities to practise tables (two to twelve) will boost the confidence of any child who has not yet mastered them. Little and often works best, and there is a vast array of online games and apps available, including ‘Hit the Button.’
Finally, it is important that children make time for relaxation and play; a rested brain works more efficiently than a tired one. Happy holidays, everyone!
Welcome to Cargilfield! We hope this short film gives you a glimpse of what life is like for the girls and boys at our school. We would love to welcome you in person to tour Cargilfield and explain more fully exactly what makes a Cargilfield education so special and so different. Please get in touch with Fiona Craig, our Registrar if you would like to find out more; her email address is [email protected] or you can telephone her on 0131 336 2207.