At-home summer academy

Education | Brighten Youth Edu Centre 21 Jul 2020

Summer presents an opportunity for some students to delve into their meaty reading lists for the coming year while others might want to try out new extracurricular interests.

However, the options for younger students can be limited. While private tuition has many benefits, it might require supplementary top-ups to help students through the difficulties Covid-19 has burdened them with.

There are a growing number of online initiatives that offer exciting opportunities for parents and students wanting to get a head start over the summer vacation.

Many are well-curated, expert-led and free at the point of access.

One such option is provided by Oak National Academy, which is one of several institutions that have sprouted up in the UK during the uncertain months since Covid hit in March.

As schools closed, teachers had to adapt, as those in Hong Kong had done before. In response, they created hundreds of interactive lessons aimed at all ages: from students in preschool, all the way up until the IGCSE years.

Oak National Academy aims to provide a "flexible, broad curriculum that schools can choose to align to their own plans or select the aspects which work best for them."

A recent Sprint initiative plans to add a further 10,000 lessons to the syllabus before the end of summer. The lessons can be learned via independent study, although teachers may wish to incorporate their own teaching.

As we head into summer, these lessons needn't be seen as competition for more traditional extracurricular study. In fact, online initiatives are best completed alongside a parent or tutor.

They are easily adapted, and tutors can suggest additional material, using these fascinating lessons as a framework for deeper, more rewarding study. While these curriculums are designed for a British syllabus, many of the topics and exercises complement local Hong Kong curriculum and international schools.

Lessons are offered in citizenship, computer science, English, French, geography, history, math, music, PSHE, religion, science, Spanish and PE.

Although they are organized by year, parents or tutors can select lessons for any age group and pitch to ability.

Specialist lessons in communication and language, creative arts, independent living, numeracy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech and language therapy are available for older students.

Lesson times are designed to mirror those of the school day, and they are led by specialist teachers with plenty of experience.

Lessons are comprised of a video tutorial, a worksheet and an exit quiz to help students retain concepts. Topics range from Christian stories of creation to the history of medieval Baghdad.

It is clear that with such an array of topics, students in lockdown can maximize their time without getting bored. With a combination of tutor-led learning and online academy resources, every student can follow a tailored approach to lockdown learning that will make the most of their time, supplying them with ample edification.

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