West Berry Federation - Home Learning Guidelines
These guidelines have been produced to help parents and children plan how best to learn at home. Teachers will in time, also add specific activities and online tasks/lessons- these will be posted on the school website (Yr R,1,2) or Google Classroom (KS2). We would like children to use their time at home well but understand what they are able to do will depend on many factors including the resources available to them and the amount of adult support that they have.
During a difficult time nationally, where possible we would like families to make the best of this unexpected time at home together and so have kept these guidelines open and flexible. We hope the guidelines will reduce pressure on families and give families the best chance to enjoy the extra time together while making home learning as accessible and useful as possible. This is an opportunity for children to learn about time management. Some children will find this easier than others and some will make mistakes before they get it right. This is OK. Please support your child to learn from their mistakes in a constructive and positive way to avoid unnecessary conflict at an already difficult time.
Key support that all children will need while learning at home:
A conversation at the beginning and end of the day with an adult to help your child plan what they are going to do and review how they got on so they can think about what to do tomorrow. Younger children might find it easier if their day is broken into shorter sections with more frequent plan and review conversations. If families struggle to provide this support at home due to adults needing to work, it might be an opportunity to involve other family members or friends in providing this support over the phone or by video call.
Support or encouragement to keep a daily diary.
It is important during this time of disruption, that we make the most of this unique opportunity. Children will hopefully be learning lots about time management and a diary will help us to make the best of this learning both during the children’s time at home and when they return to school. We hope that staff will be able to make contact with children while they are learning at home. The learning diary will help focus these conversations to make sure they are useful.
Support to understand resources available to them. Children might need help to understand what is manageable and safe in their home. Children might need help finding creative ways to manage without the resources that they would normally have access to at school. Children might become frustrated having to manage on their own if parents are still needing to work so try to give your child some options of who to go to or what to do if they are stuck. We’re not expecting you to stick to school times – each family will need to do what works for them. Please help your child to understand what your new routine might look like.
Key areas of learning – try to balance your day to include something from each area.
Be Well Planned – plan how to use your time, think about what you’ve achieved and what you want to do next. Learn from your mistakes and plan to improve.
Be Healthy – be physically active for at least 60mins a day. This can be broken into little chunks and a variety of activities that get you a bit out of breath. Stay mentally well by doing things that make you feel good about yourself. Missing friends, extended family and the normal routine might be hard so be kind to yourself and others. Eat and drink well and get plenty of sleep.
Be Creative – have fun creating something new. Drawing, painting, dance, music, plays, stories, poetry, gardening, sculpture, animation or even daydreaming. Use this unexpected gift of time and see what’s in your mind.
Be Inquisitive - find out about something new or grow your understanding. Read, research, talk to family and friends (maybe by phone or video message), try things out. Notice how things work, observe nature in your garden. Think what? how? where? why? what if…?
Be Collaborative – you might not be able to work with your friends but why not collaborate with family members? From practical projects like digging a new flower bed or rearranging a room, to creative projects like designing and cooking a yummy meal with what is left in the cupboard, collaboration is about good communication and valuing the team and is a skill that we all need to hold on to. KS2 children also have the opportunity to collaborate online via their google account.
Keep Practicing – daily reading, writing and number work will keep these key skills sharp. Use the time to practise other skills that you want to improve too – playing a musical instrument, typing, throwing a ball, skipping. Remember practice should be focused and deliberate to make a difference – concentrate on what you are doing to see those small but regular improvements and you’ll come back to school feeling proud to show us what you’ve achieved.
A word about SATs for Y6 children, Times Table Check for Y4 and Phonics Check for Y1:
We don’t know what may or may not happen with this year’s standardised tests so for the time being we assume they will go ahead as planned. At this time of year, the Y6 children are beginning to revise the KS2 curriculum and teachers regularly build experience of SAT questions into lessons to help children to develop strong exam technique. Y4 and Y1 children are also being supported in school to be ready to show their best in their checks. Teachers will set specific home learning tasks to continue to support this. If national test and assessment arrangements are changed, we will let parents know.
The following menu is a starting point - feel free to come up with your own ideas to add to each area of learning. Teachers will add more ideas on the other tabs and KS2 children will have tasks set in the Google classroom. Parents are encouraged to share good ideas about managing and supporting learning at home or alternative activities via the class Facebook pages.
To all the parents dreading home schooling.......
Our approach is to give children and parents working at home lots of ideas, suggestions and opportunities to learn. We will support as much as we can and after Easter will have more capacity to offer support to individuals if needed. But we have no expectation that specific tasks are completed. We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone and feel the most important thing is that children and families are safe and happy. It is likely that schools will be closed for some time and so you need to establish a routine and expectations of your children that are sustainable. Please do what you can when you can and don't put undue pressure on yourself or your children. Teachers will continue to set work and make suggestions but these are simply opportunities for children.
1. Less is more. Get them to do some quality learning in the morning. They’re not in an office job and don’t need to be working all day long!
2. Exercise. Get them outside and running around regularly. Or stick yoga on YouTube. Or do a home work out together. They need a physical release.
3. Perspective. Now that schools are closed remember they are not missing out. There is nothing to catch up on. They cannot fall behind. They’re not missing out on class.
The biggest learning they are undertaking is from how adults respond to this unsettling time.
So don’t rush. Don’t panic. Give the school time to get resources online.