Can You Supercharge Your Summer?

Issue 103

Written by Mr Will Scott, Principal at Dame Allan's Schools, Newcastle.

Summer is finally here, and whilst we can’t be assured of the sunshine thanks to the fickle British weather, we can hopefully all look forward to taking a bit of a break from the everyday work routine. Whether you’re jetting off to foreign shores with family, opting for a UK break, or squeezing in a long weekend of socialising, taking some time off is a sure way to reset and refresh.

As a School Principal, I know summer break is a much-anticipated period of freedom for our pupils. They have worked so hard during their exam period and certainly deserve the time to relax. However, one of the bits of advice that I share with our school community is to make sure to use your free time wisely. It’s great to switch off, but for our pupils it can make the return of study in September something of a shock if they have spent all of their summer break glued to Netflix marathons!

So, how does this bit of advice apply to you and your family?

When considering how you are spending your time together in the summer, ask yourself could you supercharge it? And by ‘supercharge’, I mean look for the added value in each activity.

Keeping young minds engaged and curious does not have to take away from your summer fun. At the weekend BBQ, encourage your child to learn some cooking skills, or some basic nutrition facts, before they devour their burger. Off on a family outing? Why not learn a bit more about the history of the area that you’re visiting, or squeeze in a cultural visit? Lucky enough to be taking a foreign holiday? An ideal time for you all to learn some of the local language and customs!

And, if you’re working for the majority of the summer, why not take the opportunity to introduce your child to your industry or job role? Take some time to encourage questions and to share more about the nitty gritty of your day – you might be pleasantly surprised in how much they want to learn.

These little opportunities will help to keep your family’s minds active and engaged throughout the summer break, encourage you all to try new things, and can create some really special memories. Helping your child to see learning as fun and part of the everyday, will set them in good stead for both their educational and working lives.

On a more practical level, I always encourage our pupils to do some reading too before the new academic year starts in September. Getting a jump on certain subjects means they will be raring to go when the time comes, and can add some valuable structure to their long summer break.

With all of that said, the most important thing, of course, is to enjoy any time you do get to spend with friends and family this summer – hopefully with a few new experiences along the way. Here’s hoping for BBQ weather.

To find out more about Dame Allan’s Schools, from Nursery to Sixth Form, please visit

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