Back-to-school season: UAE parents gear up as children return after three-week break

Students enrolled in international curriculum schools enjoyed a three-week break for the spring holidays, which commenced on March 25


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Sun 14 Apr 2024, 8:11 PM

Last updated: Sun 14 Apr 2024, 11:20 PM

Families are getting ready for back-to-school on Monday after a three-week-long break for most students in the UAE.

This involves returning to school routines, organizing logistical arrangements for morning drop-offs and pick-ups, completing any remaining homework, and preparing uniforms and school supplies.

Students enrolled in international curriculum schools enjoyed a three-week break for the spring holidays, which commenced on March 25. They are scheduled to resume classes tomorrow after the Eid Al Fitr holidays that followed the spring break.

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Meanwhile, Indian-curriculum schools began their new academic year on 1 April, with students returning to their classrooms for a week before taking a break for the Eid holidays.

Khaleej Times reached out to cross a section of parents to understand how they are once again getting school-ready.

Finishing assignments early

French expat in Dubai, Christine Quartier La Tente, whose daughter is in Grade 6 in an IB curriculum school, said, “I always talk to Daria, my daughter, and tell her that she must finish all her homework in the first week of her holidays. I know this sounds tough but the idea is that she finishes what she has to do. This typically involves finishing her reading lessons."

Christine Quartier La Tente's daughter
Christine Quartier La Tente's daughter

"She had to prepare a few things in English so I asked her to go through those and revise. Then she focused on Math. After that she was relaxed. In the following week we went for a snow vacation which she had been asking for so many years. We spent quality time together as she finished all her tasks in the first week of her holidays. This school year has been difficult and a lot of changes happened on the home front as well. So, we also made sure there was some time for her to breathe and return excited to school," the mother added.

The family always return back from holidays at least two weeks before schools reopen so that they can get back to routine easily. She has kept everything ready for her daughters who has already learnt her timetable. "On Monday we will drop and pick her up from school. So, one really needs to work out the logistics once schools reopen after a long break.”

Consistency in learning to avoid gaps

Some parents shared that they ensured consistency in their children’s studying, particularly for key subjects to reduce any knowledge gaps when school resumes.

Arijit Nandi said, “The first day of school after a long break is always difficult for families as it requires readjustment in routines and therefore extra effort. This year the spring break was rather long as it was also followed by the long Eid break. The school had advised parents that their wards finish their homework and other co-curricular activities (CCA) over the long break so that they can soon be submitted for assessments, once schools reopen. So for my son, that was top of the agenda.”

Arjit's son
Arjit's son

Parents highlighted holidays also offer a chance for students to explore subjects and hobbies they're passionate about but might not have time to delve into during regular classes.

Learning new skills

For Arjit, it is crucial that children don't slip into a into learning regression during these long breaks. "I feel in international curricula programmes, children as it is have frequent breaks which typically occur after every six weeks. Therefore, with our son, my wife and I tried to maintain some continuity of work, especially for subjects like English, Math, and Science so that we can minimise learning gaps once the school reopens."

"Therefore, discipline in learning is integral during student life and holidays must be used for rest, recreation as well as ongoing learning. My son also re-started his swimming lessons after a gap, and we want this schedule to continue even as the academic year resumes," he added.

Easing pupils during back-to-school

Others stressed the importance of staying home on the previous day before schools reopen and ally their children’s anxieties, easing pupils back into the school environment which kids often initially find challenging.

American expat in the UAE, Shukri Deria said, “We didn’t go anywhere today. My children are getting ready for school tomorrow. We are seeing if there is any homework that they need to look over and then mentally prepare themselves for back-to-school schedules. We’ve also spent the day making sure that their uniform and everything else related to school is ready. The children will also go to sleep early today.”

Shukri's children
Shukri's children


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