Information Update: 29 4 20
I hope you are all staying well physically and mentally – these are challenging times and it is understandable that we are experiencing a host of emotions.
I’d like to start by reiterating our consistent message. Home-schooling is not easy (that’s an understatement I hear some of you shout!!) and we are all learning. Please remember your best is good enough. Everyone’s circumstances are unique, whether you are cramped for space, sharing devices with the whole family, working from home or have no internet, it’s hard right now and we understand.
You might also be noticing signs of increasing anxiety in your child as they are spending more time indoors and out of their normal routines. These might include:
Pupils ages 3-6 years:
Regressing to behaviour they have outgrown, such as thumb-sucking or bed-wetting;
Showing greater fear at being separated from you;
Pupils ages 7-10 years:
Expressing sadness, anger or fear;
Wanting to talk about coronavirus all the time;
Not wanting to talk about the current situation at all;
Having trouble concentrating
Some suggestions that might help us all cope
– Be willing to answer children’s questions honestly and simply.
– Avoid discussing adult themes e.g. financial worries or worries about elderly relatives, around children.
– Remind children that this will soon be over and talk about the things that you are all looking forward to doing when this is over.
– Remind them often that their teachers still exist and plan something for their return to school e.g. what will you take in to show, make and send a card, bake cakes for the class.
– Tell then you understand how they are feeling – this and a cuddle is a great comfort.
– Try to spend some time together without technology – making models, playing board games, sharing stories baking or gardening. This is often the best time to find out what your child is really feeling.
If you have any concerns about how your child is coping or you need any other support from the school, please let us know by calling us on: 020 8691 0611 or emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We know that children are incredibly resilient; we are here to support them and you every step of the way.
New ways to share learning – Seesaw App
We know that many of our pupils have been missing the regular contact with their teachers and we have been exploring how we can provide children with feedback on their learning and contact with school. Year 6 have been trailing a remote learning platform called ‘Seesaw’ with their classes. The feedback from teachers, parents and children has been brilliant and really encouraging. Therefore, next week we are going to be introducing ‘Seesaw’ from nursery through to year 5. Seesaw will have the same learning as the home-learning letters, so please do not worry if you cannot access Seesaw – your child will still be receiving the same home-learning as everyone else.
Seesaw is a safe, secure and easy way for children to upload work, photos, videos and audio files directly to their teachers. Teachers can then comment on their work or like their work and develop a direct dialogue with the children via Seesaw. Other children in the year group can comment on other children’s work with positive messages. Everything posted on Seesaw will be approved by teachers and cannot be seen before it is approved; this includes comments from other children. We feel that this will really benefit the children, as it will give them the opportunity to share their work, it will show their work is recognised and allow teachers to encourage and motivate the children with positive comments and likes. On Friday, when you receive your home-learning letter, there will be additional information about logging in to Seesaw. You will be given clear instructions as to how to log in, with an access code specifically for your child’s class. Make sure you look out for this. You can log on to this and make an account from Friday, but there will not be any learning uploaded until Monday.
On Monday, your child’s year group will post an activity from their home-learning letter. We’re going to start small next week and as we grow in confidence and we learn what the children respond to best we will be adding more. We hope that all children, who are able to log in, will respond to the task in some way. You could: take a picture of their learning, upload a video, record them talking about their work, or respond on Seesaw with a drawing or some writing. The children will only need to respond to the post once, and you may find you want to wait until the end of the week to do this.
It is important to stress that this is optional and is there for those that want to use it. Do not feel any pressure for your child to be posting lots of comments and work. Teachers will be accessing the site once a day, Monday to Friday, to respond to work.
Additional learning resources
Some alternative ideas if you want to try something different and you are finding online learning is working for you.
The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown is completely free for all children and families. A collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures has contributions from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators, including Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo, Axel Scheffler, Francesca Simon and Jacqueline Wilson. https://literacytrust.org.uk/family-zone/9-12/book-hopes/. The collection is only available online and is dedicated to the doctors, nurses, carers, porters, cleaners and everyone currently working in hospitals.
Many of you will be familiar with Explore Learning. They are offering some free resources at https://www.explorelearning.co.uk/the-club/ as well as 30 minute maths sessions with Bobby Seagull look good too https://www.explorelearning.co.uk/bobbys-mid-morning-maths/
STEM is the largest provider of educational support in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). They work with schools and colleges across the UK and are known for the quality of their resources in this field. If this is an area that you are interested in you will find loads of fun resources at https://www.stem.org.uk/home-learning Watch a video of Tim Peake talking about life as an astronaut; turn the materials you would normally send out in your recycling into something that you can design, build and test; in a set of four activities explore the impacts of global warming and melting ice on Earth or code a virtual robot using a block-based coding environment. And so much more!
Get Carol Vorderman to help your child with their maths. You’ll find times tables checks, games, daily lessons, towers of achievement available at www.themathsfactor.com
And without the internet
We know that some of you may be struggling with or fed up with the internet right now, so we thought we would list a few things that your children could do without technology!
1) Keep a regular diary of daily highlights.
2) Learn to sew, knit or crochet.
3) Practise drawing skills
4) Learn how to cook or bake.
5) Using any recyclable materials or using lego, build your own magical kingdom
6) Learn a new skill – how to tie your laces, juggle, tell the time.
7) Draw a cartoon strip of your day.
8) Make a book mark for your book so you know what page you got to.
9) Create a mime, song or dance.
10) Create a scrap book about your time at home.
We’re extremely grateful to all our families for your support and the way you have all adapted to these new circumstances. Please remember none of the learning ideas we send home are compulsory and we are not expecting you to have completed everything. We are sending a wide selection of alternatives so you and your children can pick and choose, hopefully finding a variety of things that suit your needs.
Like many of our teachers, we appreciate many of you are juggling working at home, alongside supporting your child with their learning. Be realistic about what can be achieved and follow their interests when you need them to be more independent.
We can and will get through this together.