As schools close down for the summer and studies take a backseat,teachers are finding creative ways to keep students busy during the vacations. From holiday scrapbooks to painting T-shirts,students can chose an activity of their choice to work on,the product of which they can present at the end of their summer break.
While most schools do not mark students on these projects some schools make it a part of their summative assessment under the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE).
Many schools put up the students creative efforts in an exhibition at the end of the holidays irrespective of the quality of the project. Even if the child has made the smallest effort at creativity in the summer break,he will be able to show it at the exhibition, said Shoma Bannerjee,Headmistress of Springdales,Pusa Road. The school holds an annual book week as soon as classes resume after the summer break. During book week,an exhibition is held for students to display their holiday projects.
Sometimes,students are asked to put up a bird bath in the lawn and take pictures of the birds that visit it and present a paper on the different species of birds that the child noticed.
Headmistress at DPS,R K Puram,Vanita Sehgal said the school gave only such projects to children that do not take too much time and are beneficial to the students. We ask students to read national dailies during the summer and bring back some interesting articles, she said.
Besides these activities,children are also encouraged to take up art and drama. Some of the students take up art and drama and perform after they join school, Sehgal said.
Bluebells International holds a summer club for students in which outdoor activities are promoted. Coordinator Mamta Dhawan said,In the month-long camp,we encourage at least three activities per child. Students can try their hand at musical instruments,singing or lawn tennis or any other interest that regular school may not have time for.
The introduction of inclusive education in unaided private schools since the last couple of years has thrown up a new debate. Schools feel that activities,just like the concept,should also be inclusive. Shoma Bannerjee expanded on the need for such activities saying that it is important to keep these activities rather simple so that they are within everyone’s reach while maintaining the schools’ (so to speak,high) standards.
Children also prefer to learn music or languages during the summer and sporting activities are limited to swimming. Most schools prefer having sports and athletics in the morning,while art and music lessons go on till late evening.
Modern School Barakhamba Road has started a paper technology workshop besides the sporting activities where students are taught to process waste paper and make small artifacts. In-charge Balbir Sharma said,We start around 7 am and students learn to make frames or waste paper bins by processing recycled paper and learn to reduce,reuse and recycle as they create new things.
He added that because of the high temperatures,tennis,cricket and athletics start earlier at 6 am and go on till 9 am.
Photography and cinematography are other interests,students take up during the vacation. Students at Modern Barakhamba,produced,scripted and shot a movie based on the 100 years of Delhi as part of the summer workshop. The 11 days of working on the project gave many the opportunity to consider taking up movie-making as a profession.
At Laxman Public school,the focus is on sports clubs and speech therapy for the children with special needs. Principal,Usha Ram said,We encourage children with special needs to come for speech therapy,physiotherapy and occupational therapy at the school during the holidays.
Specialists are called to the school where they spend three to four hours with the students. She added that students themselves asked for such a facility at the school.
Some also prefer to learn how to cook during the summer and take up courses and present a workbook at the end of the summer based on their experience or may prepare a recipe at the post-summer school fest.
Certain schools encourage children to take up gardening. They ask students to sow seeds and watch and measure the plants growth at the end of the summer break. If you have a yard or some space on even a sunny windowsill,children are encouraged to take it up as an opportunity to flwx their green thumbs.
Children could take some watermelon seeds and watch them sprout and grow. Whether you get watermelons or not is irrelevant…the fun is in watching the vines spread out and grow, suggests summer activities in-charge Mamta. She also says that older children may want to grow vegetables,herbs or flowers in a real garden plot.
Schools also encourage students to present reports on any trips they may take with their friends and family. The purpose of the reports is to help children focus on new things and then have a fun way to remember them.