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How to support your child to learn at home

Following our recent communication, we have had a few enquiries seeking advice around how to structure a learning day at home and using remote learning resources. We completely understand that during these unprecedented times some students would like to continue with a structured day whereas others would prefer to construct their own schedule.   Therefore, the following ideas are only suggestions to consider. 

How to support home learning

This guidance may help to create a positive learning environment at home

Be realistic about what you can do 

You're not expected to become teachers and your children aren't expected to learn as they do in school. Simply providing your children with some structure at home will help them to adapt. Use the tips below to help you make this work for your household

Experiment in the first week or two, then take stock. What's working and what isn't?  Ask your children, involve them too

Share the load if there are 2 parents at home. Split the day into 2-3-hour slots and take turns so you can do your own work 

Take care of your own health and wellbeing. This will be new for your entire household, so give it time to settle. 

See guidance on supporting your mental health and that of your children: ·  Coronavirus and your wellbeing –  · Supporting young people’s mental health during this period – Anna Freud Centre.

Keep to a timetable wherever possible

· Create and stick to a routine if you can. This is what children are used to. For example, eat breakfast at the same time and make sure they're dressed before starting the day – avoid staying in pyjamas!

· Involve your children in setting the timetable where possible. It’s a great opportunity for them to manage their own time better and it will give them ownership 

· Check in with your children and try to keep to the timetable but be flexible. If a task/activity is going well or they want more time, let it extend where possible

·   If you have more than 1 child at home, consider combining their timetables. For example, they might exercise and do maths together – see what works for your household

·  Designate a working space if possible, and at the end of the day have a clear cut-off point 

· Stick the timetable up on the wall so everyone knows what they should be doing when, and tick activities off throughout the day

·  Distinguish between weekdays and weekends

Make time for exercise and breaks throughout the day · Why not start each morning with a PE lesson at 9am with Joe Wicks (You Tube)

· If you have a garden, use it regularly. If you don’t, try to get out once a day as permitted by the government (households can be together outdoors but 2 metres apart from others) 

· Get your children to write in a diary what they did each day - this is a great way to reflect and consider the days key learning points.

Other activities to keep children engaged throughout the day

· Where you have more freedom in the timetable, make time for other activities. Add some creative time to allow your child to work/play on their own interests or hobbies

· Get your children to write postcards to their family and friends or to pen pals

· Ask family to listen to your children read on FaceTime or through other social media (or ask grandparents to read to younger children)

· Give them chores to do so they feel more responsible about the daily routine at home

· Ask them to help you cook and bake / prepare food.

· Accept that they'll probably watch more TV/spend time on their phone – that's ok but you might want to set/agree some screen time limits

One suggested timetable could be the one currently in operation in school for our students on site, which is attached below: 

8.30-9.00  Preparation for the day/Registration

9.00-9.30 Body Coach PE lesson

9.30-10.30 Classroom based learning 

10.30-11.00 Break

11.00-11:30 Activity time

11.30-12.30 Classroom based learning 

12.30-13.00 Lunch

13.00-14.00 Classroom based learning 

14.00-15.00 Sports (cricket/badminton/table tennis/ dance)

Remote Learning Guidance- response to queries

· Lesson resources can be found on the Remote Learning section of our website, as can login details for services such as Seneca learning. Students must first register/sign up for Seneca -They can use their school email addresses. Once they have done this, they must log in. They then enter the class code provided into the 'join class' entry. They may have a link provided with the class code already at the end of that address link, which will take them straight into the class. They can then scroll down to find the "Assignments" link which takes them to the work set.

· Resources required for tasks set can be found in the Remote Learning folder in PDF documents for each year group or the Curriculum folder for each subject.

· The tasks given on the remote learning plans are valid for at least two weeks and will be updated after this time. Any completed work can be sent directly to teachers via email. In order to ensure due care for staff currently there is no expectation for staff to provide work and feedback outside school hours or during the scheduled Easter break (Monday 6th April until Friday 17th April inclusive).

· Other educational resources are available to parents as mentioned in yesterday’s letter, we have been informed for example that BBC Bitesize are significantly increasing their home learning content with advice for parents as well as the normal student support.

We are currently in process of setting up further mechanisms for each class which will allow class teachers to communicate with students via virtual classrooms. Resources and assignments will be available through these virtual classrooms in the near future. Further information regarding this will be communicated once the service has been launched to all classes. 

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience.  As I write this from school, it is with stark reality that that we are only on day 3 of the school closure.  It is clear that we all will need time to adjust to this ever-evolving situation, including my own colleagues who are doing an excellent job of balancing their professional role with their own personal situations and family care requirements.

Stay safe and kindest regards


K Simpson