Home learning update

Firstly, thank you for all the positive and supportive comments and emails that many of you have sent to the school over the past week. The current health crisis is certainly a unique situation for schools and we are glad to be able to work closely with you to enable the children at HPS to continue with their learning and not allow large gaps to develop in their knowledge and skills during these tricky times.

Here are some tips that we hope you will find useful. However, we also impress upon everyone to follow the latest government advice, which is currently:

  • to go out only if absolutely necessary (you may go out and exercise once a day e.g. walk in the park if it’s not busy) and not meet with other children or adults who live outside of your family home.
  • Observe social distancing and stay at least 2 metres away from other people.
  • Remember to wash hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds.

Working from home

Trying to keep a routine is important, as children of school age will be used to a daily schedule. Children often thrive on routine and predictability, and this is especially important when the world is changing around them. You may find drawing this out as a timetable supports your child(ren) in understanding what is happening through the day.

What can you do to help your child?

We would like your child to complete learning activities on each day that they would normally be at school.  Learning sessions should be much shorter than if your child were at school. This is because you will be working with your child on a 1:1 basis and so learning will be more intense. A balance of learning and fun is important. Your child’s teacher has set work for them to complete which can be found here.

If you have to do work yourself, make sure you give your child/children something they can do for half an hour by themselves, preferably while you’re in the same room (depending on their age). Then take a break with them – go for a walk (if you’re not self-isolating), play a game, do some schoolwork that they need your help with, read a book together. Give them your undivided attention for short bursts of time.

Then give them a drink and snack and set them up with their own work or task so you can try to get in another half an hour of work. However, keep it flexible, mix it up, and avoid looking at COVID-19 related-news in front of them. If they ask a question about it, again, keep it simple and stick to the facts – we have added links to our website of good ways to inform them.

A suggestion of how your weekday could look.

9am – Joe Wicks workout 30 mins – see his live stream on his YouTube channel. He is running a daily PE session.

9.30am – drink and rest.

9.45am 30 mins – reading share a story. Hear your child read – or you read to your child and then discuss tricky words or ask them to explain the story to you. Practise key words.

10.15amplaytime –run around in the garden and have a drink. (Wash hands when you come back in).

10.30am – 30 mins of maths – see work set by school or multiplication work and games.   Use TT rockstars, My Maths or Topmarks maths. Children might like to make their own double-sided cards with the times table question on one side and answers on the other.

11ambreak. Have a healthy snack and time to play.

11.20am play a board game together (Using a dice and counting spaces is also a good fun way to practise some simple maths).

11.55amspelling practise. Choose 5 words and learn them by writing them out, covering them, writing them again – or using different coloured pens to write each letter. Practise writing them in interesting sentences. (The next day, check – can they still remember these spellings? And then learn 5 more).

12.15pmlunchtime and play. Following the latest advice from the government

1.15pmTV time (If you are looking for something educational, search online for Horrible Histories or BBC teach.)

2pm – school project or task set by teacher. You may have an activity pack from school or have tasks set by your child’s class teacher on the Heathcoat Primary School website.

3.15pmfree time. Perhaps ask your child to help prepare a meal with you for the family.

It’s about getting a balance, having a structure and integrating some fun.

The most important thing in home schooling is family relationships. Many siblings will not be used to being together all day, and it is a lovely opportunity to build and strengthen your family relationships.  Take time to slow down, as you do not have to rush around or juggle different commitments. There may also be a few bumps in the road, but if things are not going well, change the plans, go for a walk (if symptom free and in line with advice from the governement) or put on a film to watch together.

Click here for some links to information about accessing some reading books/reading material, along with other useful info to help you.

It is important for parents who are at home to think about their own mental health. Children are looking to us to lead the way and provide them with stability and we know that can be tough.  If you need some time out, have 5 minutes to yourself, read a book, do a free 3-minute meditation or open a window and take 10 deep breaths. Use Skype or Whatsapp to keep in touch with loved ones who you cannot see in person.

Look after yourselves, keep healthy (and washing hands), keep the learning fun and be kind to each other. Thank you, once again, for your support.

Best wishes from all the staff at HPS.