Summer Learning Loss

Summer Learning Loss
July 27, 2016
Marilyn Brydges

‘Summer learning loss’ is a term used by academics and scientists when discussing the impact of the summer months on students’ academic achievement. Most children do not attend any form of schooling over the summer (although some attend summer school and some have private tutors working with them over the holiday) and this lack of schooling has been shown to have a significant, and measurable, impact on their learning.

Although statistics differ on the extent of summer learning loss, most suggest that students lose an average of approximately two months’ worth of achievement in reading and literacy, and even more in mathematics: more than two and half months’ of maths achievement is lost.

When students return to school in autumn, the summer learning loss has a knock-on effect on their schooling: teachers typically have to use up to six weeks of the autumn term for going back over work previously studied and bringing students back up to their pre-summer levels of achievement. Instead of learning new things and improving their skills, students must revise what they have previously learned just to get back to the same level as before the summer. As you can imagine, the cumulative effect of summer learning loss over the fourteen years that a child spends in school (from Reception until the end of secondary school) can be enormous.

A recent study released by Explore Learning (reported on here, by the Telegraph) gives insight into parents’ views on the lengthy summer break and its effects on children’s learning abilities, which reflect the scientific analysis: parents know that their child’s academic achievement declines over the summer, and 59% of the parents surveyed want a shorter break in order to lessen this impact.

However, parents, carers and guardians can take various steps in order to minimise the effect of summer learning loss and keep their child’s achievement at the same level as before the summer. Parents can read to their children, and perhaps even do literacy and mathematics exercises with them. However, many parents work or are very busy, and it can be challenging to find the time to work intensively with their children. If that is the case for you, we encourage you to contact us for private tuition. We have many highly experienced tutors who can prevent your child’s summer learning loss; they will ensure that your child stays on track for the next academic year. And what is more – they will make it fun! We find that the best way to keep children excited about learning during the summer is about making it fun and interactive, so that is exactly what our tutors do. And parents can rest easy in the knowledge that their child is both learning and having fun!