Sometimes life feels like a race. You are running to keep up, to get ahead… but unlike a real race, when we see the finish line in sight – the end of the year, for example – it’s human nature to slow down, to let go of some slack, to just ‘get through’ what you can before falling in a heap. In a running race, you’d use that finish line as motivation to speed up a little, despite being tired, and see what you can achieve before it is time for a rest.
It’s not just adults who feel unmotivated to finish strong; children get very tired towards the end of the year, showing clear signs that they are ready for a holiday! While it’s tempting to just let them coast at school in Term 4, this in fact is a golden time to get ahead. A good balance of time to rest and to celebrate the year, while retaining some discipline in routine, is the goal in Term 4.
While many are taking early holidays, going light on the workload, or generally not engaging with learning, Term 4 is a great opportunity to:
- Review concepts that have been learned this year and brush up on areas you are still not sure about
- Help children develop intrinsic motivation and self-discipline
- Challenge children to reach that little bit further for excellence in all they do
- Make the most of the school year before taking a long brain-break over the summer
- Be adequately prepared for the challenges of the year to come
There are some students for whom it is particularly important to ensure Term 4 is not a holiday. Year 6 students: it’s high school next year! To avoid panic, worry and transition problems, Year 6 students need to feel they have made the most of their learning and are armed with the knowledge and skills they need for the demands of high school. It’s an important time for these students not only to celebrate graduating from primary school, but to turn their attention to the new path ahead. A little extra effort in learning in Term 4 will help them ‘hit the ground running’ with confidence after their long summer holiday.