Using the summer term to let pupils create, make and perform projects that interest them can provide opportunities for students to express their feelings and emotions, spark their imagination, develop independence, maintain motivation and build resilience in the face of uncertainty.

Creative projects

There are a range of ways that schools can support pupils to learn through making and creating. For example, baking and cooking provide opportunities to talk about science (materials - changing states and senses – taste). For those with a garden, allotment or balcony, there are opportunities for planting seeds, understanding how plants grow, identifying plants and insects, and drawing plants. Making music doesn’t necessarily require traditional instruments. Children can be challenged to make an instrument out of recycled materials, compose a musical score and create a performance.

Support social and emotional needs through creativity

Creative projects support children and young people’s social and emotional needs and will help them to process the current worrying and disorienting situation. Examples of this kind of learning are provided in the AGENDA toolkit with activities like What jars you?, getting children to ‘felt’ their feelings, create mood boards or make a relationships web.

Reading challenges

Encouraging students to use the time to read for pleasure is not straightforward but is worth the effort, because it is transformative for resilience and triggers success in all areas of learning. Reading is shown to help students make sense of their anxiety and worry, and can counteract excessive screen time. The NEU has worked with education expert Debra Kidd to produce free creative reading packs that schools can use with parents and children from Reception to Year 6. You can also check out the UKLA, Book Trust and Penguin for ideas on books and poetry for older and more advanced readers.

Creative approaches to reading for pleasure 

Read this research summary, from the NEU series called Research to Reflect On. This summary gives you a recap about helpful practice for supporting children and young people to read for pleasure and fulfilment.