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Support with Home Learning

IT 'How to' Videos

Mrs Parkinson-Mills, our Foundation Director of Digitally Enabled Learning, has produced a range of videos with some basic introductions to using different software packages, and organising your online learning.

They should be relevant for pupils from across the Foundation.

The following video is only applicable to Senior School pupils:

The following videos are only applicable to pupils studying at King's High School:

Parent Advice 

I am hesitant to offer advice on how parents can more successfully assist their children during isolation. After all, you know your family best and I am sure that in the weeks you have already been in isolation you will have put many good ideas into practice. Nevertheless, I have been asked to offer a few words which I hope you will take in the spirit of encouragement from the sidelines during a marathon race.

One of the things that schools are especially good at, is establishing a busy and challenging routine for the day. Some parents have already reported to me that bedtimes and waking hours have tended to slip without the school bell to help. It is essential to agree with your child a structure to the day that you can both stick to. This will be supplied in part by assemblies, webinar lessons and other school activities but it is equally important to find time for social activities and recreation. It is more important than ever that meal times be family times rather than screen time. Remember that you are one another’s support group and setting time to play a game together, to chat with family over skype or go for a walk as a family are all invaluable.

Just as you need to protect family time, you also need to protect alone time so that everyone can focus on their individual projects and concentrate on their own thoughts. This is as important for you as for your child! Having these boundaries in place is important to avoid the sense that everyone is living on top of one another and it also means that time together can become more precious.

Once you have worked out your daily routine it is time to think about the structure of the week as a whole. There is no school at weekends and it is essential to make this time special, not least because this is when your child can reflect on the previous five days’ teaching and also regather energies for the week to come. Try to sit down and review the week's academic schedule so that you get some sense of how lessons are progressing or where more help may be needed.

Social media and news are, unfortunately, not always a blessing at this time and screen time should probably be devoted to something more engaging and entertaining. It's a good time to share favourite films and explore some of the old classics and stand-bys that can bring the family together or kick off some trenchant critiques!  Keeping minds off the more pessimistic coverage is important.

Remember that your child is a social being and being deprived of normal interactions with friends can take its toll. You cannot replace school friends but by being supportive and attentive you can make a difference if things start to feel bleak. And when you yourself feel low, be aware of your own emotions and give yourself time to turn them around.

While I cannot pretend that living as a group in isolation will always be easy, it does provide amazing opportunities for developing projects that it might be difficult to find time for in our normal lives. Whether as a group or each on their own your family has been given a gift of time and I know that many exciting memories will be born through present adversity. Everyone in the family should be on the lookout for that idea that can be fostered through to success.

Remember you are not alone in this. There are plenty of places where support and advice can be obtained and I provide links here to four documents from the Centre for Clinical interventions that might be of interest and the Action for Happiness website has many great resources. Wishing you all the best as we navigate these unfamiliar times.

Mrs C Renton, Deputy Head (Pastoral) at King's High School

Advice Sheets

The following advice sheets are also available for you to download. Please click on the title and the document will open automatically.

Parent Advice Sheet - Postponing Worry

Parent Advice Sheet - Behavioural Activation

Parent Advice Sheet - Calming Technique

Parent Advice Sheet - Accepting Uncertainty

Top tips for parents.....from a parent! 

Supporting learning at home is a new skill for every member of the family. One of our parents has kindly provided us with their 'top tips', that we will share with you below. 

  • Draw up a timetable with your child (do not impose one)  - that incorporates the school day and beyond - think about time to play, call friends, exercise, cook, read, watch TV, engage with pets, ring a family member, embrace something new  - remember your children's day has changed beyond recognition, and fun matters!
  • Encouraging words help us all.
  • It's their learning and homework - not yours!
  • Everyone needs some 'me time' - let it happen.
  • Make sure they take time out for a break time and lunchtime. Provide some healthy snacks and get them out of the bedroom and away from their devices.
  • Help them to get organised - do not assume they know how to set up folders on one drive, sit with them to upload a homework for the first time, insert a voice recording into powerpoint - it takes a few minutes - but reduces their concerns and get them to write it down - so they can do it themselves next time, it worth the initial investment.
  • Ensure they have accepted all their lessons so that they are in their calendar. 
  • Encourage them to check their school email account at least twice a day or they may miss things. 
  • Remind them to remember to register every morning!
  • Email your concerns  - online is not 'in a lesson', and some pupils will find some subjects are harder - tell the teachers or encourage your child to tell the teachers if they are struggling
  • There is a pressure to 'invent' new experiences all the time - actually, pulling out something 'old' can work - Monopoly, Jenga, Lego (how fast can you build a...)
  • Buy some basic things, if you are able - juggling balls and an inexpensive badminton set has saved the day for us - have a mini tournament - mix it up - who can wear a silly hat, spin around between shots, play with the wrong hand etc.
  • A sheet on a washing line, pegged to the grass makes a great 'den' for smaller children and we all have a washing line and a sheet!
  • 'Camp out' in the living room, or garden if you have a small tent - a mini holiday can be created, weather permitting!
  • Have short and regular breaks and stick to a sensible bedtime.