Our daily home learning tasks started again today. As we said on Friday, we know it’ll be tough for everyone getting back into that routine – getting that momentum going again is bound to be hard.
You may have heard about some new online initiatives which aim to ‘teach’ children through a series of virtual lessons. Oak National Academy and BBC Bitesize are the two most widely spoken about – both have just launched today, although we’ve encouraged you to check out BBC Teach for a while now). These resources look great and we’re certainly exploring them – they’ve both got pros and cons, just like the daily package of home learning tasks we’ve been providing you. What you might notice is teachers beginning to refer to these resources when they provide the home learning tasks for your child. We ask for your patience with this: we don’t want to use online links that actually take more of your time to explain.
We’re also exploring ways to present more online lessons. Some parents/carers have suggested using Zoom or something similar, but these interactive approaches do present problems. Teachers are starting to try out other things. These might take a little extra time to put together but will absolutely meet the needs of our learners.
We’re trying hard to make your job as ‘teacher’ as easy as possible and have always acknowledged that learning is going to look different in these extraordinary times.
It might help to remember some of the tips we’ve talked about before:
- try to develop a timetable for the tasks and stick to it – children benefit from the routine and it becomes easier
- build in practical tasks like cooking or planning an online shop so your child can use and apply the skills they have
- use different devices to access the tasks if you’ve more than one child, or let them have a go at the same task, but provide extra support for the younger, or additional challenge for the older
- if a task looks too complicated for your child, be flexible – they could access the task set by a teacher in one of the other Sphere schools, or they could access some learning from our menu of home learning resources.
- let your child’s teacher know how they’re doing – it’ll help them to stay engaged if they get some feedback (and our teachers are loving seeing all the great learning that’s coming in – check out their Class News pages!)
- equally, feel free to ask your child’s teacher any questions about the learning
- importantly – be kind to yourself and your child: this is a difficult time for us all, so if they’ve done just two of the tasks, plus some reading (20 minutes would be great), some exercise and some other learning from our menu, then that’s a really productive day!
Finally, today, this quote from a parent in a recent magazine article is quite a powerful one, especially the text I’ve put in bold. The article (Guardian magazine, 07.03.20) was about child geniuses, but I think it’s an important message for us all!
My main thing is that she feels happy and fulfilled, because that isn’t always the case when chasing perfection. We model failure for her, making mistakes in front of her. We ask each day what her successes were, and what she failed at, and celebrate both.