Learning at Home
On Friday 20th March 2020 the government announced that all schools will close until further notice for the vast majority of children.
We have worked hard to put in place support for families to help children continue their learning at home while schools remain close to the majority of children.
We have created the following page of information to give an overview of some of the key principles around this alongside what we hope are helpful tips and advice. This information will be complimented by commutation from staff with ideas, suggestions and work for children which will be sent by 6.00pm each day for the following day during term time.
As I am sure you are aware we are in unprecedented times. We are dedicated to the challenges of supporting children and families as best as we can at this time.
We must not be under any illusion, however, that anything like normal service can be maintained. Some of our children are as young as four years old and even the curriculum for our oldest children relies heavily on direct face to face teaching and ongoing interaction between children and adults in the classroom. It is impossible to get close to replicating these conditions while schools are closed.
We will do our upmost to send purposeful and well matched ideas, suggestions and tasks while also making provision for the children of essential workers and managing with a reduced workforce.
Our Number 1 Top Tip.
Establish a pattern and routine that suits your family circumstances.
Our Number One top tip is to work with your children to set and establish a pattern and routine that suits your family circumstances. We recognise that during this period of school closure some parents will be able to focus solely on supporting their children’s learning with no distractions while others will be trying to work from home at the same time and or care for other dependents. We also appreciate that families will have vary levels of access to technology including variable broadband speeds.
We recommend taking time to consider how you can establish a sustainable rhythm and pattern that suits everyone. Involve the children in discussions and get them to create a timetable to display somewhere everyone can see it.
Our daily communication will have a structure to but timings can be flexible to suit your family arrangements. Where possible try to use the school day rhythm that children are familiar with to help shape your routines.
More Top Tips.
If possible create a designated space where children can complete their learning. Ideally this will be well lit and well ventilated and have a good sized flat surface space for them to work at comfortably.
Also remember however there is a huge amount of learning that can happen around the house, and in the garden.
Set some ground rules in terms of when you will be able help your child and when you expect them to work independently and for how long. This will depend on the sage and work being undertaken. Agree these rules and record them. Display them somewhere everyone can see them.
- Don’t worry if you proactively choose to or inadvertently end up deviating from the work and ideas sent. There is value in all learning.
- Don’t worry if it is too much work. We will try to set a balance for the majority of children but inevitably other events will occur during family life. If you genuinely feel over a period of days there is not enough for your child then please do get in touch with their class teacher who will review the situation
- Don’t worry about timings. A good proportion of a typical school date is spent directly teaching children. It is highly unlikely children will be engaged in the work and tasks set for the full length of a typical day.
Let Their Imaginations Run
Children are often far more creative and imaginative than adults. Deviating from work sent and supporting and encouraging children to pursue their passions and interests has enormous learning value and potential.
If your child is inspired by butterflies and wishes to spend a whole day counting butterfly’s, drawing and painting them, writing poems about them and dancing around the garden like a butterfly then go for it – and don’t forget to send us a picture of the dancing – especially if the grown-ups are joining in!
Some Practical Points
Children including those who are currently self-isolating will receive a pack with some work as well as some books in which they can complete their work. For the majority this will be at least one book with lined paper and one book with squared paper. This may vary for children in Early Years where a book with plain pages may be more suitable.
Our aim is that most of their work can be done in their books. However please don’t worry if your child ends up making a file or folder or prefers to type their work as all these options are fine.
Communication from School
In order to help parents review and prepare for helping their children with ideas, suggestions and work sent we will send an email by 6.00pm each day with the suggestions, ideas and work for the following day.
We will use two templates to help support children and their families.
A weekly / fortnightly overview. Through this we aim to provide an overview of week or fortnight in relation to maths and English and how activities link. We will also focus on one main foundation subject (such as Science of History) per week. In addition we would encourage families sot access the ongoing Physical Education and Music ideas each week.
Example of weekly overview
We will send the daily overview giving a structure with specific ideas, suggestions and work for each day.
Example daily overview
Other Information from School
As we would usually do, we will publish our curriculum overview for each class on our website. These overviews help provide children and their families with the ‘big picture’ of curriculum themes for the term ahead.
They can be accessed via this link http://follifootandspofforth.co.uk/homework/
As part of our planned ongoing curriculum development work we are introducing the use of knowledge summaries – see http://follifootandspofforth.co.uk/curriculum-knowledge-summaries/
We hope these will be helpful and compliment the ideas, suggestions and work sent each day.
Example knowledge summary
The Department for Education have produced information for parents and carers in regard to the closure of schools and resources to support parents. This can be accessed via this link –
Last but by no means least
As we continue with this new way of working please remember this is still new for us. We will inevitably adapt and adjust arrangements as we learn together. We won’t always get it right. We do appreciate and value your feedback however please keep it constructive and kind.
Please think before you type and press send. We are doing our best juggling facilitating provision for vulnerable learners and children of essential key workers, provision for children learning at home with a reduced workforce in a time of national crisis.
Thank you for your support.