In the event of a school closure
Setting up for success
When your child is undertaking learning from home, it is important to remember that no one expects you to be a subject matter expert or teacher. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to provide your child comfort and support as they undertake their home learning. We are really keen to work with you to ensure that, if your child has to undertake learning from home, that it is as effective and as stress-free, for everyone, as possible.
How you can support your child:
- Provide a comfortable space for your child to work
- Make sure that supervision, relevant to your child’s age, is provided whilst your child is undertaking their learning at home
- Establish a routine and set expectations for what learning at home looks like
- Monitor communications from your child’s teachers
- Check in with your child and help them manage the pace of their work
- Take an active role in helping your child with their learning
- Begin and end each day by asking about your child’s learning
- Support your child to maintain social contact with their friends
Your child’s responsibilities during learning at home:
- Follow the daily routine/timetable for learning
- Work in the safe, comfortable, quiet space that has been set aside for them
- Complete tasks to the best of their ability
- Do their best to meet timelines and due dates
- Talk to their teacher if they are having questions, problems or concerns
- Collaborate with, and support their classmates in their learning
- Continue to abide by our behaviour guidelines
Setting up a learning environment
We understand that every home is different but it’s really important to provide your child with a quiet and comfortable space to learn.
Where it is possible, learning should take place in an open and shared space in the family home, for example, the lounge or dining room. These spaces are preferred over a bedroom, where your child may feel more isolated and supervision can be more difficult.
Planning your child’s day
We will provide your child with a schedule or timetable for their learning. This will include regular breaks for activity, eating and drinking. In the activity breaks, it is important for your child to get up and move around.
Start and end each day with a check-in with your child to help them:
- Understand the instructions they get from their teachers
- Help them organise themselves and set priorities for their learning from home
Encourage regular exercise breaks. This could mean going for a walk, dancing, using exercise apps or home exercise equipment.
Communicating with your child
We encourage you to start and finish each day with simple check-ins. These should be a regular part of each day.
- What are you learning today?
- Let’s set three goals for you to achieve today
- What resources do you need?
- How can I support you today?
End of day check-ins:
- Did you achieve your goals? Why or why not?
- Tell me three new things you learned today
- What went well today?
- What were your challenges? How can I help you with these?
- Are you going okay? Is there anything you need your teacher to help you with?
- What can we do to help tomorrow’s learning be more successful?
These questions will help to organise your child and process the instructions they get from their teacher. They will also help them to move their learning from their short-term to long-term memory.
Being confined to home for an extended period of time can cause stress and conflict. Tips for looking after your children during this time could be:
- Find a good time to talk regularly with your child. It might be when you are going for a walk, sitting together on the couch or before you read a bedtime story.
- Ask open-ended questions such as “What was good about today? What didn’t you enjoy today?” You can also use prompts to encourage your child to share their feelings eg. “It sounds like you felt frustrated when I had a meeting and couldn’t help you with your writing this morning”.
- Actively listen to your child’s response without interrupting.
- If you notice your child getting a bit agitated or restless or upset during the day, their behaviour is probably telling you something. It could be that they need a break, time outside to reset, something to eat or physical activity to burn off some energy.
- Let your child know that it’s okay if they are finding things hard and encourage them to say something kind to themselves eg. “I’m doing the best I can” or “It’s okay if I take a bit longer to do these maths problems”.
Praise and encourage children’s efforts
Praise and encourage your child’s efforts and other positive behaviour as soon as you see it. This shows your child that you’ve noticed that they’re trying and you appreciate it. It can motivate your child to keep trying or to stick with a learning task.
Look after yourself when your children are learning from home
Your wellbeing is important! Please make sure you look after yourself and are kind to yourself. Many of you will be working from home as well as trying to support your child with their learning (along with all the other day to day household chores!). Don’t put pressure on your family by expecting too much too soon. It is possible that you will start off with everything going swimmingly and then, a few days or a week or so in, it all falls apart. That is absolutely fine, stop everything, take a break for the day and then get back into it when everyone is in a better headspace.
The same goes with day to day learning. If your child is really struggling with Maths activities today, for example, and it is causing them great distress, let it go and come back to it the next day. The timetable we have provided is a guideline to help provide structure, please feel free to approach it flexibly according to the needs of your family.
Most importantly, prioritise simply spending time with your children, making them feel safe, loved and secure. Talk to them, listen to them and spend time each day laughing, being silly, cooking or reading. Value play-especially outdoor play in the garden. This is a wonderful way to develop the imagination, engage in conversation and problem solve independently.