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The Education Consultant's Guide To Summer Reading

Now that the summer break is finally here, most students reserve the first week or two to take a breath, relax, and recharge their batteries after some end-of-term exam stress. Of course, these first carefree days of rest are well-deserved, but students can also benefit from trying to keep their focus on what they can achieve during the summer break that will help them prepare for both the next year and moving on to university. The period of free time during the summer can be both fun and productive, as it gives students the opportunity to explore a wide range of subjects of their personal interest without a strict timetable or possible limitations caused by a specific curriculum. Apart from “reading around a subject” that interests them, students can also use the summer as the first taste of self-study, the form of learning that most of them will experience when starting undergraduate life at university. At Dukes Education Consultancy, we consider independent summer reading a core part of our students' academic year. Below are a few recommendations to prompt intellectually ambitious students to read over the summer. The reading material we've suggested is not subject-specific, so it's worth trying regardless of your particular areas of interest!

At Dukes Education Consultancy, we consider independent summer reading a core part of our students' academic year.

1. BBC News Website

The BBC News website is a rich source of high-quality information, covering all current affairs and other news ranging from science to the world of art. Taking an hour in the morning to catch up on current affairs and any specific subjects that are of interest is a great way to keep up to date with news from around the world and to discover new subject areas that might inspire further research. For those feeling ambitious, it can be fascinating to read about the same news story in several different papers.

2. National (and International!) Newspapers and Magazines

By reading newspapers such as The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times and The Economist, students have the opportunity to form opinionated views on specific topics. Where the BBC tries to remain neutral, these papers will take a political stance on events - in some cases obviously, and in others more subtly. Therefore, it is a good idea to read not only one newspaper a week but maybe two or even three, in order to gain a varied insight into different viewpoints on certain subjects. Another advantage of newspapers is the pre-selection of news. Perhaps even more fascinating is investigating how international news sources describe events you are reading about in the UK. International news channels are more available than ever online. Why not check out Al Jazeera, the New York Times, or more alternative online news sources like The Huffington Post?

3. University Department Reading Lists

For a more subject-specific approach, it is very useful to look for reading lists of specific university departments online. These reading lists are often published before the summer in order to provide prospective students starting the following autumn with information on how to prepare for their courses. This is especially helpful for students who already have a university course in mind and want to gain an insight into course-specific literature. Reading texts recommended by universities is the perfect way to find out whether the selected subject will meet the prospective student’s expectations.

4. A Personal Interests Reading List

Apart from reading subject-specific literature and keeping up to date with current affairs, it is also important to allow time for reading that satisfies personal interests. Throughout the year, add recommendations and books that have piqued your interests to a To-Be-Read list. During term time, it can be hard to tick off these promising books due to the pressures of school work. The long weeks during summer break, on the other hand, are perfect for taking the time to dip into these treats, outside of the school curriculum. Reading should be a pleasure, and this list can serve as a reward for all the hard work throughout the year, offering inspiration and fun.

For more information about how Dukes Education Consultancy can help students achieve their academic goals, please do get in touch with us.

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Dukes Consultancy 14 – 16 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AR


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