Tuesday 21 January 2014

Tut tut tut...holidays during term time

Holidays during term time...from my (a teachers) point of view

This topic was Sundays pbloggers chat, where different thoughts and opinions were shared. I was tweeting from my phone and sure I missed some vital replies. Then my battery died towards the end. 
One thing that stood out for me in some responses was the thought that the younger the child, the less important it was for the them to be at school. 

So this post is to emphasise why it's important ALL children don't miss great chunks of school.

During the early years (3-5 years) the focus of learning is through play with carefully tailored activities. There are specific whole class and small group teaching sessions. 

When children move to key stage one (5-7 years) teaching is more structured, children build on their knowledge through a variety of tasks and activities. 

During these times children learn the basics, such as letter sounds in phonics and numbers in maths. Throughout the academic year they continue to build on what has been learnt previously. Therefore if they miss the initial input they may find the next steps tricky. Of course it differs from child to child. The main factors being their academic ability and how much help they get at home. 
Some parents have asked for work to do at home if their child is ill to help make sure they keep up to speed with work.

Unfortunately in my experience some parents who do take their children on holiday during term time  give little or no help at home. So when the children return they may struggle with the work.

If a child misses an introduction to something brand new in any subject but particularly maths or English, this can cause real issues leading to the child having significant gaps in their learning. Unfortunately in a majority of cases there is no time for teachers to help a child catch up due to the jam packed curriculum they already have!

So this is why every parent should carefully consider taking their child out of school for a holiday. Hey I get that it costs a ridiculous amount more to travel during holidays. The last time I went abroad was Easter 2012 and I booked that the previous Summer to travel at a lower price.
I'm also aware that in some cases people are required to take their holiday at specific times so in this instance there is really no other option.

The only winners in this scenario are the travel industry who rake it in when the prices soar during school holidays. Perhaps it's them who need to be targeted!

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear!

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