What is ‘Summer Learning Loss’ and should we make such a big deal about it?
Summer Learning Loss refers to the loss of knowledge by children, during the summer holidays. The 6-week summer break is a fantastic time for everyone to relax, reflect, recharge and prepare for the next academic year. However, children tend to forget what they’ve learnt prior to that summer break and come back in September wondering what on earth happened before those 6 weeks.
Why is summer learning loss a worry?
According to a poll referenced by Tes in their summer learning loss article, almost three quarters of school leaders in England are concerned about the impact of the six-week summer holiday on their students’ learning. The article also states that ‘Academic research supports the idea that longer holidays have a negative effect on children’s overall learning’.
Explore Learning quoted that ‘a survey showed 59% of parents wished the holiday was shorter’ – this is due to children forgetting what they learnt before the summer break, and their school engagement significantly dropping by September.
What can be done to help combat summer learning loss?
Somehow a balance needs to be struck between giving the children time to relax and recharge after a busy year, whilst not forgetting everything they have been taught.
Setting fun, engaging tasks can be time consuming and worthless if pupils don’t complete them over the holidays because they lose them or forget that they is buried at the bottom of their bag under that soggy old banana!
How to use DB to help retain knowledge over the summer break?
New Era’s online learning cloud, DB Primary, allows pupils to login whenever and wherever they want (providing they have internet access) and complete their learning. Using DB Primary, teachers can assign the children pre-made, self-marking activities from the Learning Library, create a sequence of activities for the children to complete as part of a learning pathway, create their own personalised activities, and more!
As DB Primary allows pupils to log in wherever they are, parents can get involved in supporting their child’s learning, by logging in to DB Primary with them and seeing their progress, as well as being able to see what activities have been assigned to their child.
How can parents help?
Parents don’t need to know the ins and outs of what children need to know, but reading with them regularly, practising times tables with them, or encouraging them to write about what they’ve been up to during their holidays on their personal DB blog can help children retain information and continue their learning. Teachers and schools can also give parents additional pointers on how best to support summer learning – and the activities they could try. These don’t just have to be based on their school learning but could include learning a new skill such as playing badminton, going swimming, baking a cake or starting to learn to play a musical instrument.
In summary, ‘summer learning loss’ doesn’t have to mean schools cutting the holidays short – or driving teachers crazy to find and pull together resources to last the full holiday period. Instead, by using a product like DB Primary, teachers can easily set self-marking activities for the children to complete over the holidays, meaning the teaching staff can relax and recharge ready for the next academic year, whilst ensuring the children are still practising the skills they’ve been taught over the previous academic year!