Fun at summer school
With the summer holidays approaching, many parents are starting to look for valuable ways for their children to spend their free time. Summer schools can offer children the opportunity to improve their skills through new learning experiences and without the pressures of homework and assessment.
'Summer schools are a fantastic opportunity for students to develop and improve their key English skills in a short space of time,' says Marie Murphy, head of languages at ESF Educational Services (www.esf.org.hk). 'During term time, we see students once a week for three hours, but summer is far more intensive and so it helps to give children a head start before going back to school.
'We have put together a summer programme called Oceans Alive. It focuses on developing our students' language skills and confidence while fostering a love of learning English. Students will embark on an underwater exploration of the sea in an interactive and fun learning environment. Well-known children's literature will be used to inspire the children's creativity and as a springboard to developing their language skills. The children will explore famous pirate legends, have fun learning about sea creatures, and develop their English skills at the same time.'
Ocean's Alive is an 18-hour programme run over six days from Monday to Saturday. There is a morning and afternoon class, and the programme will be repeated throughout July and August. Classes are based on age - Shrimps (three to five years), Seahorses (six to seven years), Starfish (eight to nine years) and Stingrays (10 to 12 years). The programme costs HK$2,988 and will take place at various ESF schools in Kowloon, the New Territories and on Hong Kong Island.
'Our Shrimps group will do short activities to keep their focus and there will be workstations set up where they will do some mat work, respond to a story, learn new songs and do lots of fun arts and crafts,' Murphy says.
Parents are requested to provide a small snack and a bottle of water for their child, as they will have a short play time each day.
For parents looking for a whole-day summer programme, ESF Services is offering a language and sports programme that combines the Oceans Alive programme with an afternoon of sporting activities for children aged three to 11 years. The programme, which costs HK$5,988, is offered at South Island School, West Island School and Renaissance College.
Children aged three to four years will participate in activities that will improve their co-ordination, control and movement. Children aged five to 11 years will participate in sporting activities that include soccer, basketball, martial arts and gymnastics.
All children should bring their own lunch box and drinks. ESF teaching assistants will supervise all children during the lunch break and escort them to their afternoon activities.