Many schools across the world are beginning to plan for a summer of academic catch up -- where students spend summer days making up for lost schooling brought about by the pandemic. Some child development and psychology experts in the UK are calling for the opposite approach, instead appealing for an emphasis on play, mental health and well being over academics.
The group, called PlayFirstUK, has written a letter to the UK Education Secretary calling for a summer of rest, rejuvenation and play:
“Children, teachers and parents need time and space to recover from the stress that the past year has placed on them. As part of a wider recovery process, children should be encouraged and supported to spend time outdoors, playing with other children and being physically active. Where it is needed, evidence-based mental health support must be made available.”
They go on to write, “There is understandable concern about children’s education but children will not learn effectively if their mental health is poor,” the letter says. “Social interaction, play, physical activity and good mental health needs to come first.”