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‘Make the most of the fresh air and enjoy being a child’ - teacher issues lovely Christmas ‘to do’ list

PUBLISHED: 11:27 20 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:50 20 December 2017

Youngsters from Moorland primary school, Belton have been set some 'alternative' homework for the Christmas holidays.
Olivia Drane, Dallas Eley,Abigail Nockolds, Haydon Cushing, Roman Jermy and Annie Wilkinson.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Youngsters from Moorland primary school, Belton have been set some 'alternative' homework for the Christmas holidays. Olivia Drane, Dallas Eley,Abigail Nockolds, Haydon Cushing, Roman Jermy and Annie Wilkinson. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

A school has given out a holiday homework list aimed at encouraging children to turn away from their screens and enjoy simple pleasures this Christmas

Youngsters from Moorland primary school, Belton have been set some 'alternative' homework for the Christmas holidays.
Olivia Drane, Dallas Eley,Abigail Nockolds, Haydon Cushing, Roman Jermy and Annie Wilkinson.
Picture: Nick Butcher Youngsters from Moorland primary school, Belton have been set some 'alternative' homework for the Christmas holidays. Olivia Drane, Dallas Eley,Abigail Nockolds, Haydon Cushing, Roman Jermy and Annie Wilkinson. Picture: Nick Butcher

Year 6 children at Moorlands Primary Academy in Belton are being asked to tick off five activities of the kind their parents’ generation might have enjoyed.

As well as fostering a love of nature the suggestions are aimed at promoting reading and the bonding benefits of chatting to family members.

Youngsters can choose from some 20 activities including feeding the birds, trying a new food, and going outside to play - or add their own ideas.

The alternative list is the brainchild of teacher Jon Biddle who wants youngsters to enjoy childhood while they learn.

He said the ideas were an antidote to the festive offensive, but that encouraging the screen generation to keep themselves entertained in other ways was not just for Christmas.

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Instead of giving more academic homework the aim was to help them to enjoy the holidays ahead of the busy SATs season which was looming for Year 6’s.

“A lot of it is to do with poems and stories and talking to people,” he said.

“What we are trying to say to all the children is ‘do not sit all day in front of a screen, make the most of the fresh air, and enjoy being a child.’

“In the past we have had a really good take up with lots of people posting photos on our class Twitter account.

“We talk about the value of the things on the list. It is about developing the whole child.

“Last year we had a child who did the whole list and his mum created a folder with pictures.

“It does depend on family support, everyone can get involved.

“All the families think its a lovely idea. It is easy to get into and spending time with their families is immeasurably important.”

As part of their commitment to the community schoolchildren also did a poetry drop in the village, posting cheering verse through letter-boxes.

Rachel Sutton, whose son Roman, 10, is in Mr Biddle’s class, said: “I think its fantastic that Mr Biddle sets homework that involves spending quality time with the family.”

The list in full

•Feed the birds in your garden

•Pick up three pieces of litter that you didn’t drop and put them in the bin

•Write a list of five things that you’ve enjoyed this year

•Read a book by an author you’ve never heard of

•Do something kind for a brother, sister, cousin, or parent

•Call, message or write to one of your friends to tell them three things you like about them

•Choose a country that starts with the first letter of your name, find out three facts about them

•Learn a poem off by heart and recite it to your family

•Write a postcard or letter to someone who you’ve not seen for a long time

•Talk to an older relative about what life was like when they were younger

•Do a job or chore at home without being reminded

•Watch the news at least twice

•Try a new food that you’ve never eaten before

•Make a list of five things that make you feel lucky

•Stop watching TV and playing computer games for a whole day

•Read a book that you’ve always wanted to read

•Read a page from your favourite story to somebody

•Tell someone in your family why they’re special

•Go outside and play for three days running

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