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Summer Learning

02 July 2015

Most students have worked hard at their studies this year and need a good rest from school work during the summer holidays. Some of your child’s teachers may have made specific recommendations for particular things for your child to work on, but, in general, we think it is important that holidays don’t become like school days.

However, there are many things which your child can do in the holidays which are not like normal school days, but which will also be beneficial to their academic success in the future. Some of these are listed below.


Summer is a great time to get into some good books. Reading a wide variety of genres in English is an excellent way to improve vocabulary and use of English, with benefits right across the curriculum. The English department have put together some suggested reading lists for each year group, suggested authors and some challenging, but unmissable classics. The reading list is attached as a separate document. The books listed are general suggestions only - a starting point. For suggestions that may be more to your child’s personal taste they should ask their English teachers, librarians, parents, brothers, sisters and especially their friends. Also attached is the Book Challenge. The BBC reckons most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. Let’s prove them wrong.

English as an Additional Language

There are quite a few activities that your child in Secondary could use to practise their English skills over the summer. The most important thing is that they engage with the language regularly, preferably every day.

Reading books is one way they can practise, and watching films is good for their listening skills. Watching a film in English with English subtitles is worth trying, the subtitles can be helpful when the dialogue gets too difficult to follow aurally. It’s also a good idea to discuss the book or movie afterwards.

Keeping a learning log as suggested above is a good idea. If your child likes playing computer games, for example Minecraft, they could keep a log of what they’ve done in that game. This would work especially well with games that have a wide world to explore. And an activity like this is always more productive when related to something the learner enjoys.

The following websites contain games, videos and other activities for KS3 students:









The recommended website is:


All KS3 students have an individual login and password - login: tbswarsaw , password: double2

The site has lots of games such as millionaires, pythagoras’ millionaires and others.


There are obviously great museums here in Warsaw. Two of the best are The History of the Polish Jews museum and the Warsaw Uprising museum.

An interesting idea is to learn about Warsaw's History and the significance of the buildings along Nowy Swiat and around the Old Town. Students could lead a tour for guest they might have or lead one for their parents. Here is a cool app and the "lite" version is free but they could just research online before hand. http://www.gpsmycity.com/apps/warsaw-walking-tours-121.html

Here is a good website that lists young adult books based on WWII which is good for History but also for all those living in Poland.


If you are travelling the new places during the holidays, do check out the museums. Lots of museums nowadays are very young person friendly, with lots of hands on opportunities that can make a fun day out.


If you are travelling, do get your child involved in the planning and logistics for the trip. Do consider switching the satnav off and getting your child to navigate from a map, if you dare!

There are quite a few magazines that are enjoyable and geographical, such as National Geographic and some good documentaries on TV, such as on the National Geographic channel.

There is also a series of videos on Youtube called Geography Now.

There are lots of fun geography related websites worth a look, such as:








Do consider getting your child a sketchbook. There are plenty of different types available. Your child could record a visual diary of their holiday. This might involve drawing from observation, perhaps the architecture of your surroundings or a view or scene. It might be less literal with memories or events recorded in visual terms. This should be a personal document, like a diary and with it there are no right or wrong answers, just a chance to enjoy doing some Art.

You can also cultivate your child’s interest in Art by taking them to see an exhibition or two in places that you visit.


If you are fortunate enough to be visiting a country where they speak the language that your child is learning in school, this is the best possible learning opportunity. Just get your child to do lots of the talking and listening.

If you are not so fortunate, there are lots of language learning websites. For French, this website is good for practising the tenses:


Watching movies with subtitles is another good way to improve oral comprehension and reading skills.

For French movies try:

http://filmfra.com/    but please be aware that this site does also includes some movies which are not appropriate for the age group.

Physical Education

Don’t let your child be a couch potato glued to a tiny screen all summer. Do make sure they get outside and do some exercise, go for a long walk or take part in a sport. There are lots of professionally organised sporting and other activity opportunities (see the PTA noticeboard) and lots of opportunities for unorganised activities (just knocking a ball around with friends).


The best thing to do is to give your child the opportunity to listen to a range of different types of music. Wherever you travel, have a look for performances taking place. If you are in Warsaw, there are several festivals taking place, including:

"Music Gardens"


Mozart Festival


Chopin Concerts in Lazienki Park


Students can also use the following websites to revise theory of music:





Below you will find some ideas for improving Polish skills.

Native Speakers
*   spent as much time as you can with your parents
*   read as many Polish books as you can("The Golden List of books" in the attachment)
*   listen audio-books
*   write your "Holiday Diary"
*   visit an interesting places(museum, theatres, galeries)

Non - Natives
*   speak Polish in daily life situations
*   find a Polish friend and try to communicate in Polish
*   visit an interesting places in Poland and learn about Polish
history and tradition
*   try Polish cuisine



There are many good websites with fun and interesting things to do. Here are a few to try. Any experiments done at home should be supervised by parents, as we have not risk assessed these.





Computer Science & IT


Summer is a great time for having fun learning about Computer Science and IT.  Especially when it’s very hot outside or the weather is not good!!

You can easily develop your Computational thinking and Computing skills no matter what level you are.

Here are some very useful websites to help you this summer:


Speed up your keyboard skills:


Learn about Computer Science: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zvc9q6f

Create your own Android apps: http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/ai2/tutorials?

Develop your coding skills: http://www.codecademy.com/


A set of tutorials to show you how to use blender to create a game. http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?235253-My_first_Blender_game-(Beginner-BGE-tutorial-series)

Create an amazing  HTML5 ANIMATION - NO CODING REQUIRED! Create mobile-user friendly animations, banners, and infographics   https://www.animatron.com/landing


Create attractive, interactive HTML5-based designs and motion graphics that can run on any device. https://www.google.com/webdesigner/

Learn to build websites, apps and games with HTML, CSS, Javascript & Python: https://www.codeavengers.com/

Improve your knowledge about graphics: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/dida/graphics/bitmapvectorrev1.shtml

Develop your Computer Aided Design skills: http://www.sketchup.com/download/

Global Classroom

Unfortunately the Global Classroom closes for the summer. However, the
Global Classroom has produced a reading list and next year they will use
these books to plan for lots of activities

The Age 11­-14 list is:

● The Lions of Little Rock by Christie Levinel 

● A Long Walk to Water – Linda Sue Park 

● Mockingbird – Kathryn Erskine 

● My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece – Annabel Pitcher 

● Cinder – Marissa Meyer 

● Endgame: The Calling by James Frey 

● Shine by Candy Gourlay  

● Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nichols 

● Antigone by Ali Smith (Save the Story edition) 

● The Outsiders – S E Hinton 

● The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain 

● War Horse by Michael Morpurgo­ The Touchpress App edition 

● Animalium by Jenny Broom 

● Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute 

● Line of Fire: Diary of an Unknown Soldier August ­ September 1914 by 

●Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun by Joshua Glenn and 
Elizabeth Foy Larsen 

● Boxers and Saints Boxed Set by Gene Luen Yang 

● Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan 

●  In the Land of the Giants by George Szirties 

● Wayland by Tony Mitton 

TBS will order 3 copies of each book, but many of them will be available on the e-reader to be read over the summer.

Also below some inspiration for next year's Global Classroom competitions:

Creative writing competition:

This is the link to the electronic version of the Creative Writing Book (this year's winners) –  http://joom.ag/YOIp

Open MIC competition:

This is the link for the advanced and intermediate winners videos of the open Mic winners:

Intermediate - https://vimeo.com/129894902

Advanced - https://vimeo.com/130342811