Holidays help children do better in class, say parents

Date Posted: 10/05/2013

Education Secretary, Michael Gove recently proposed that school holidays should be made shorter to improve children's academic performance. But learning can take place beyond the classroom, and according to a new survey carried out by The Adventure Company, taking a child on holiday can actually help them with their school work.

In the family adventure specialist's poll of more than 4,000 parents, almost nine in ten (87 per cent) said that going on holiday had helped their child with one or more school subjects, most notably geography (69 per cent), history (59 per cent) and languages (49 per cent).

Some parents also thought that their child performed better in Science, Religious Studies, Maths, Social Studies, Politics, Home Economics, PSED (Personal, Social and Emotional Development) and photography classes, as a result of experiences they had while on holiday.

Benefits include developing social skills and personal attributes

As well as educational benefits, almost every parent surveyed (99 per cent) said that experiencing different places and cultures had helped their child to develop social skills and positive personal attributes such as curiosity (76 per cent), confidence (76 per cent) and tolerance for people's differences (66 per cent). Other traits they said their child developed on holiday included the ability to make friends, a zest for life, creativity and gratitude.

"As a former teacher I know just how valuable time at school can be, but learning doesn't have to stop at the end of term," said Claire Wilson, mum and managing director at The Adventure Company. "There's no greater classroom than the incredible world that we live in and going on the sort of holiday where you can introduce your child to different cultures, customs and experiences can have real educational benefits as well as helping them develop a wide range of personal skills and attributes.

"Whether you're learning to sail around Croatian islands, exploring the ancient Pyramids in Egypt, getting up close to amazing wildlife on a Tanzanian safari, or visiting Buddhist temples in Thailand, travel can help to bring your child's school lessons to life and create enduring shared memories too," she added.

Parents in Yorkshire and Humberside were most likely to say their child's education had benefited from going on holiday, while parents in Northern Ireland were most likely to say it had helped their child develop tolerance for people's differences and other social skills.

School Travel Organiser's Guide