Today’s message (Wednesday 13 January 2021)

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Today’s message is about home learning. However, parents and carers whose children are still coming into school should still be aware in case their child has to self-isolate – we’ve got several staff members who are self-isolating, so it’s quite possible your child may need to if they’re still coming into school…

Home learning

In our Home Learning Guide, there’s a series of top tips (page 3), some of which we thought we’d flag up to support you and your child at home.

We’re providing seven sessions – that’s a lot. Guidance from the Department for Education is that children in Key Stage 1 should be provided with three hours, and those in Key Stage 2 four hours.

Be realistic: this might be too much for your child (be firm, but it’s important not to force it too much because a stressed environment doesn’t help anyone). Concentrate on as many as your child (and you!) can do. One parent has commented: ‘I’m not sure we will get through the full 7 daily as obviously she will need some support but we will certainly try our best!’ To help:

  • As a general rule, it would be a good idea to do at least one from each ‘colour’ on page 2 of the Home Learning Guide – this means your child will have at least one Reading and one Writing session each day, alongside Phonics/Spelling, Maths, and Science/Topic.

  • Stick to the same series of lessons across the week as the learning will build up from Monday to Friday.
  • If it helps, ask your child’s class teacher about which lessons to prioritise.
  • If a session we provides taking too long, don’t be afraid to end it sooner so it sticks to the 30 minutes (this is still new to teachers – it’s hard working out how long a recorded lesson will last).

If your child isn’t doing all seven daily sessions, think about how you might top up the learning (it’s not ‘cheating’ to rely on these things for some of the time):

  • ‘mini-sessions’ (NumBots or Times Tables Rock Stars, for example)
  • with home learning programmes on CBBC (9.00am to 12 noon)
  • a period of quiet, sustained reading
  • at least one daily session of physical activity (PE with Joe Wicks on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, for example, ideally combined with a chance to get outside for a walk or something)


Our daily afternoon Zoom sessions appear to be going down well. A live Zoom is a good opportunity to review and reflect on the learning that’s been happening, and to meet up with familiar faces from the class. These sessions are evolving – they were originally intended to be drop-in sessions for one-to-one feedback from the teacher – and we’re still happy to do that if you let us know it’s needed (just email the teacher). It’s really early days doing this, but here’s a few tips about the Zoom sessions:

  • if your child has their work in front of them, they can hold it us to show the teacher
  • encourage your child to have any specific questions ready to ask (or even email them in advance)
  • email the teacher if you’d like to arrange a separate short Zoom, or maybe hang around at the end of group one

If you’ve got any questions, comments or particular concerns about the home learning, contact your child’s teacher by email – see page 4 of the Home Learning Guide.