Play will help children to catch-up academically
Play and good mental and physical health need to come first in schools in the UK to enable children to catch-up academically, according to academics at an International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO) roundtable discussion.
The outcomes from the discussion have been presented in the Wellbeing recovery: what should summer support programmes look like for schoolchildren this year? report paper. It presents evidence that shows that summer 2021 should not be filled with extra lessons. Rather, children, parents and teachers need time and space to recover, reconnect, and re-build confidence following the challenges from the coronavirus pandemic.
The paper discusses key considerations for any recovery plan for children during the summer holidays. The key considerations include providing valued activities such as playing and spending time outdoors to help children to overcome loneliness and promote well-being.
Additionally, it offers practical suggestions for schools, including structured summer programmes with time for free play and tailored support for children who need more help.