The Young Learner

10 Tips To Help Your Children Pack For Summer School | Discovery Summer

Preparing for an overseas summer school is an exciting experience, especially for international students embarking on a journey of learning, fun and adventure in the UK. As experts in running both day courses and residential summer courses, we understand the importance of efficient packing. 

Whilst it’s tempting to pack your child’s bag yourself for their summer camp, it’s important to encourage them to pack their own bag. That doesn’t mean you have to leave your child to do it all by themselves, though. Here are 10 top tips to ensure your child is perfectly prepared for their summer school adventure.

1. Encourage their independence

Has your child ever packed a suitcase before? It’s not easy! 

Empowering your child to pack their bag fosters independence, helps them understand responsibility and – most importantly – ensures they know what they have brought with them.  

At the end of the summer camp they’ll be packing up on their own which is hard if they’ve never done it before. Treat the packing process as the first important learning goal of the summer school experience. 

2. Don’t pack too much

Remember that your child is going to the UK for a few weeks – not a lifetime! Once they are at the school they’ll be taking their own luggage across the campus and up the stairs so ensure they just bring one medium-sized suitcase which they can lift on their own.

We recommend packing a few essentials such as a clean t-shirt, underwear, toothbrush and important medication in your child’s hand luggage in case the airline loses their suitcase. 

A full list of what to bring and what to leave at home can be found on the Student Joining Instructions which we send out when you make a booking. Check your email or contact us today if you’d like another copy. 

3. Check the weather forecast

From Marymount and Shrewsbury to Radley, and Winchester, our residential courses are hosted in various top boarding schools across England. While you can expect similar British weather at each of these schools, it’s essential to check the weather forecast for the specific location and pack accordingly. 

Summer temperatures in the UK can be as low as 12C and as high as 35C. In summer 2023 we reached 40C in London!

We recommend packing a light, warm jacket, some hoodies and a few pairs of jeans. Even if daytime temperatures are high, the evenings will be cooler. 

But don’t forget your summer essentials too such as shorts, t-shirts, sunglasses, sun hat and sunscreen. Yes, you really can get sunburn in England.

4. Comfortable footwear is key

Whether it’s for activities or excursions, comfortable shoes are a must. We suggest at least two pairs of trainers – a nice pair for everyday use and some older trainers which can get wet and muddy. Your child can also bring summer shoes such as sandals and smarter footwear for formal evening activities. We also recommend flip-flops or sliders for walking back from the shower.

5. Pack for activities and excursions

Our full social and activity programmes, include a variety of sports plus two excursions per week. Encourage your child to pack sports clothes, swimwear, a swim towel and a small backpack for excursions. 

Students on our Sports/Dance Academy at Shrewsbury can choose different sports options each week (adventures sports, dance, golf, horse-riding or tennis) so check our “Student Joining Instructions” for a full list of clothes for each option. 

At Marymount we offer special options of tennis (twice a week) and horse-riding (once a week).

Marymount horse-riders will need jodhpurs or leggings, a long-sleeved top and riding gloves. Don’t worry your child doesn’t need to pack a riding hat or boots as these are provided by the stables. 

Radley also offers additional tennis and fencing classes on two afternoons a week. Good tennis players can bring their own racket but it isn’t essential if their suitcase is already bulging!

6. Include something for comfort

Being away from home can be challenging for some children. A familiar item from home such as a favourite book, soft toy, or a pocket-sized game can help them bond with their new friends and make their experience feel more comfortable.

7. Remember the essentials

Basic toiletries aren’t provided so make sure your child brings shower gel, shampoo, a toothbrush and toothpaste. They also need a bath towel. 

A charger for electronic devices and a UK adaptor for electrical appliances is also essential – ensure it is RoHS compliant. 

Students who wear glasses should bring a spare pair and those with contact lenses should pack the necessary cleaning equipment. 

If your child needs medication, don’t forget to include the original packaging plus clear instructions on the dosage written in English.  All medication will be administered by our staff and has to be handed in to the office on arrival. 

8. Label everything

Items of clothing can easily get lost in the laundry or left around campus and without a name it’s hard for us to reunite them with the right student! 

Ensure all clothes are labelled with your child’s full name so that they bring everything home.

This goes for electric items, chargers and adaptors – they all look the same so please label them with a sticker.

9. Don’t forget important paperwork and money

Of course your child won’t get far without their passport, travel tickets and some money. We recommend £60 a week to cover some gifts and snacks. Please bring current sterling bank notes.  

As many shops no longer accept cash we recommend students bring a debit/credit card or prepaid bank card. 

On arrival we’ll ask for all important travel documents and money and store it in our office for safe-keeping.

Students who are travelling on their own will also need the course confirmation letter and letter of consent to travel to show at the airport. These are all sent when you make a booking so check your email or contact us if you need another copy.

10. Prepare for London’s day courses

For those attending our day courses in London, pack a light day bag with essentials like a water bottle and some coins to use at our tuck shop. Students on the teens course will need a packed lunch and a travel card for afternoon trips.

Help your child grow with Discovery Summer

At Discovery Summer, our programmes are a springboard for cultivating independence, as your child learns to navigate new environments, manage their time, and make decisions on their own. 

Your child will have the time of their life making new friends and learning English at Discovery Summer. Happy packing and here’s to an unforgettable summer learning journey! Get in touch with us today to find out more about our courses.

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