Holiday tuition programmes. To some, this sounds extreme.
Leave the holiday programmes to the competitive kids! The IB holidays are for relaxing.
Well, I can’t argue with relaxing. Who wouldn’t want to unwind after six months of gruelling school?
But… holiday tuition being just for ‘the competitive’? This is where I’m not fully on board.
Holiday tuition is for every student– competitive or not.
Yes, it is true. The holiday programme is one of the avenues students have to get ahead of the cohort. However, getting a head start is not the only benefit your child can get from attending a holiday intensive.
Here are five reasons why your child should attend a holiday tuition programme (even if they aren’t the competitive type).
1. Revise and catch up on past content.
During the school term, IB students are swamped with commitment. From their day-to-day homework to mock tests to various courseworks such as their internal assessments.
With their attention thinly stretched over the various IB components, it is not uncommon for students to fall behind on their studies. This is even more so as schools shift towards home-based and blended learning. As virtual lessons becomes a norm, students are reported to be more likely to fall behind in their learning.
The holidays then become a prime time to catch up on topics that have not been adequately covered.
This is crucial for students about to sit for their final exams. As the IB and IGCSE final exams covers topics over the full course of their studies, it is important for students who want to do well to have a firm grasp of concepts.
2. Receive pinpoint help on specific areas of weakness
When school is in session, most teachers are focused on ensuring that students can meet the learning objectives; more specifically, the theoretical learning objectives.
The learning objectives of most IB subjects- both HL and SL- can be broadly categorised into two types: theoretical and practical.
Theoretical learning objectives relate to the concepts and knowledge concerning the subject and topic. Contrary, practical learning objectives focus on applying the concepts and knowledge earlier learnt. For example, HL Chemistry would have theoretical learning objectives like explaining the factors affecting rate of reaction, as well as practical learning objectives like interpreting a rate of reaction graphs.
The disproportionate emphasis on the theoretical objectives inadvertently result in many students feeling uncertain about their practical skills.
Without the pressure to catch up on the contents of the syllabus, holiday tuition programmes have the flexibility to focus on specific areas of a subject. The additional practice provide students that needed push to elevate them from familiarity to competency.
3. Get a head start with the coming topics.
Covering the content before the new term begins gives students the opportunity to dip their toes into the new syllabus. This seems like a very kiasu thing to do. But, there are benefits for students to have an early start with the curriculum.
The main one being it gives students a longer runway to learn and master the term’s academic content. This relieves some of the stress students face when school reopens. As they have already covered the topic once before, students wouldn’t have to worry about learning. Instead, they can redirect their energy to more complex levels of learning; such as applying and analysing.
This is especially useful for IGCSE, MYP and Pre-IB students who will be studying the IB diploma programme after the holiday ends. Having an advanced look at the curriculum can help them better adjust to the new syllabus and system.
4. Develop and hone examination skills.
During the school year, students are busy learning the content. Although content mastery is ideal, it alone is not enough to do well in exams. To ace their exams, students must also possess exam skills.
Some examples of exam skills are accurate interpretation of the question’s requirements, time management, and systematic organisation of answers.
Just like any type of skills, exam skills have to be taught and acquired. However, during the school term, these skills do not receive as much of the spotlight. Therefore, the holidays become a good time to cultivate and integrate these skills into their study repertoire.
5. Receive targetted help for coursework.
Over the holidays, some schools may task their students to work on their coursework, such as the IA and EE. Though the coursework forms part of an IB and IGCSE student’s normal curriculum, they greatly differ from regular assignments as it incorporates research into its requirements.
As a result, many students feel overwhelmed and poorly equipped to embark on their coursework independently. When left unguided, most students would run into issues. Some common issues faced by students when doing their IA are ineffective structuring of the paper and a poorly framed research question.
These issues, however, are easily avoidable with professional advice and guidance. At QE, our team of expert IB tutors have years of experience helping students from both local and international schools with their IA and EEs.
The advantages of registering your child for a holiday tuition programme is undeniable.
An early start frees up their time significantly. By spreading the school load over a longer duration, it can greatly reduce stress, promoting a healthy relationship with education and learning.