Simply Learning Tuition explains the top reasons it is important to keep learning during school closures and exam cancellations.
1. Consolidation is key
Students have spent the last two years working towards challenging exams. We remain adamant that their hard work is not in vain; it will still be crucially beneficial in future. It is important to review recently completed school work methodically in order to aid retention – a key purpose of the exams.
‘Learning loss’ is a phenomenon usually associated with the long summer holidays, where students lose the stride and stamina that they have built up over the academic year. Studies have shown that over the summer holidays alone, students lose on average one-month of learning. Students should be working to minimise any learning loss, especially at such crucial stages of education. Consolidation is the first step in ensuring they are prepared to commence the next step in their education.
2. Prepare to get ahead for your next stage of education
Students should make use of this time to get a head start on the curriculum. For current year 11 students, it is a good opportunity for them to be certain that they are happy with their A-level or IB subject choices, saving time and hassle once school restarts. Later in year 12, mock exams will determine predicated grades which will later be used as part of their UCAS application, determining which universities your child is able to apply to.
Students preparing for university have many resources available they can use to deepen their interest and do wider reading. They should take the time to research any recommended reading lists, articles or even films. Any work they can do now will only help them hit the ground running once the time arrives and will benefit them throughout their degree.
3. Study skills are essential and should be maintained
Throughout their school careers, pupils build up a range of study skills, as well as academic knowledge. New university students find themselves in an alien environment, surrounded by news friends and in complete control of their time, needing to find ways to self-motivate for their studies.
Without teachers to hold them accountable, students have to find their own motivation and study habits, as well as getting used to a new style of writing and presenting ideas. Many students struggle with this, during their first year of university so now is a perfect opportunity for them to get a head of the curve. It is imperative that students set aside some time to brush up on these skills ahead of starting the new term.
UCAS has prepared a number of useful guides as an excellent starting point for perspective students.
4. The power of routine on wellbeing
This is a challenging time for students; the disruption in their routines and the cancellation of planed school events (leavers events and summer balls) is likely to be weighing down on them. An extended period of time with no routine is going to be a tricky challenge to overcome and students should aim to combat this by keeping their brains active. Even if it is not a full school day, we recommend working with your child to establish a routine that works for them (made up of schooling, exercise and virtual socialising) and stick to it.
5. Grades from teachers remain uncertain
Teachers in the UK are working hard to calculate grades for students, however, much like results days after exams, these will not be made available until the end of July. Ofqual, The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation has outlined that students who dispute the grade awarded by their teachers, will have the opportunity to either appeal their grade or sit optional exams in the summer 2021. Students should therefore remain cautious and be prepared to continue with their GCSE or A-level preparation in case they are required to take these exams to proceed to the next stage of their education.
6. Final thoughts
While the next six months will be hugely challenging for students, it is an opportunity to think in the long term and to start preparing to hit the ground running once we return to normality. We firmly believe that education is a tool for wider enrichment and source of curiosity, rather than just a vehicle to pass examinations. Simply Learning Tuition work with tutors who often take on a mentoring role and foster skills beyond academia, ready to pick up where your child’s school have left off. In the coming weeks and months we want to do whatever we can to help the families of all the key workers who are currently doing so much for all of us, within our communities and our hospitals. If you know anyone who would benefit from our FREE TUITION FOR KEY WORKERS service, please forward the link to them.
Find out how pupils can keep motivated at home here