There has long been debate about whether UK schools balance term-times and holidays successfully. The long Easter and summer breaks risk your child losing the knowledge and skills they have gained during their weeks at school as learning fades without regular revision and repetition. This knowledge must then be reacquired when school starts again, which is frustrating for both you and your child. Moreover, concerns about childcare can make half terms,not to mention the longer holidays, stressful and expensive, or mean using up holiday that you would have preferred to save. However, your child also needs to have fun, see friends and enjoy themselves!You are left wondering how you can keep your child’s learning on-track whilst giving them the space to enjoy their holidays, a conundrum made even trickier when work proves inescapable.

Fortunately, there is a solution to the problem – book a holiday course! Attending a holiday course will keep your child switched on and engaged during the break from school. They will consolidate what they have learned at school, enjoy new challengesand build confidence in their abilities.At the same time, holiday course learning is designed to be fun and entertaining, involving a wide range of activities from board games to brainteasers. Small groups allow children to socialise and make friends with a new set of peers, giving plenty of opportunity for fun and a good giggle! Finally, childcare is sorted with a holiday course – no more worries about who will look after your child whilst you are at work, plus they benefit from an educational boost.

So what should you look for in a holiday course? Firstly, think about what you would like your child to gain in terms of learning. Are you looking for aholiday camp designed to improve core skills through fun activities?Or is your child preparing for an exam, such as the 11+ or SATs? If it is the latter, are you looking for your child to consolidate knowledge with expert-led revision and practice? Or are they in need of an in-depth course to teach them new material?

Once you have decided on content, consider how you would like the material to be taught. Particularly with courses tailored to exam preparation, it is vitally important to strike a balance between work and educational play. Boredom, fatigue and burnout will all damage your child’s chances, so avoid anything too intensive. An effective teachingstructure is to have formal learning earlier in the day, followed by more play-based exercises and activities in the afternoon.However the day is timetabled, children learn most effectively when they are having fun! Engaging activities, games and challenges are essential, whilst group-based learning makes preparation sociable and supportive. 

Finally, think about the practicalities. It is best to book early as holiday courses are popular and places fill up quickly, and you certainly want to avoid a clash with any family holidays you have planned. A tip for working parents is to look out for courses that offer wrap-around care – this canbe a lifesaver on busy days! Some tuition providers also accept tax-free childcare payments and childcare vouchers, so make the most of your allowance by adding educational value to your childcare arrangements. 

Whether you are looking to avoid ‘holiday slide’, improve your child’s core skills, give your child a head-start to the new term, prepare them for upcoming exams, entertain them in the holidays, introduce them to new friends, balance work and play or are simply looking for childcare with academic benefits – book a holiday course!

Need a little help?Flying Start Tuition is an award-winning tuition centre offering classes for children from year one through to GCSEs, including their popular Eleven Plus programmes. They run a variety of holiday courses and workshops and are more than happy to advise on courses that might be suitable for your child. Classes and courses run during the holidays attheir main centre in Chesham and at their satellite centres in Amersham, Aylesbury, Berkhamsted, and Little Chalfont. Wrap-around care is available at their Chesham centre. 

Flying Start are Ofsted registered and accept Childcare Vouchers and Tax-Free Childcare. 

For further information, contact:
t: 01494 772 898