UAE summer break: Schools take students on virtual trips around the world

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on July 17, 2021
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Some summer camps are offered for free.

With many families shelving travel plans for the summer holidays, UAE schools have found ways to take kids on cool adventures without them having to leave their homes — some are even offering the experience for free.

This year, schools have turned summer camps into fun, creative ‘expeditions’.

At Little Flower English School in Dubai, kindergartners are embarking on a journey to Disney World without flying abroad. They will step into the shoes of some of their favourite Disney princesses and characters, act out all-time favourite scenes, and live the moral lessons in every story.

The school’s fourth-graders will do a more timely activity as they will be analysing Covid cases in some countries using mathematical concepts they learnt in real-life classes.

Those in Grade 6 are set to go on an expedition to the Arctic region in the company of acclaimed natural historian David Attenborough. They will film a documentary on the impact of melting glaciers on the Arctic animals.

“When travel opportunities for students seem to be limited this summer due to the pandemic, they are likely to be home most of the time. Their wellness during the holidays is of paramount importance to us. The stress and pressure of the pandemic cannot be allowed to affect their mental wellbeing. Our summer programme is a creative way of engaging students in imaginary expeditions and explorations and real enactment, which are filled with loads of fun, purpose and adventure,” said Abdullah Kutty, principal of Little Flower English School.

Another Dubai school has created a special learning experience for all its students.

“Our free virtual summer camp is one attempt to provide that extra support to the parents and children during these unexpected challenging times,” said Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO-principal of Credence High School.

The camp is divided into three categories, juniors, intermediate and seniors, Singh said. “The camps include arts and craft, dance, music, math activities, explore and experiment, learning digital tools, virtual sports activities and much more. We are sure that this free virtual summer camp will surely give some relief to the parents who are worried about engaging their children actively during the summer.”

Such camps, experts said, help enhance children’s talents and abilities and steer them away from screens.

Tammy Murphy, superintendent/CEO of GEMS Dubai American Academy and vice-president for education and chair of education committee at GEMS, said: “Every summer, we encourage learners to remain engaged academically through reading and continual learning. Just as important, especially during these extraordinary times, is student’s involvement in summer camps.

“These experiences offer the chance to socialise and remain active, which is vital in maintaining social, emotional and physical wellbeing...Our students’ participation in these camps gives back a sense of normalcy that so many of us have been longing for.”

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