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Key Stage 3 - Learning @ Home Review

Last updated: Friday 27th March 2020

Learning @ Home – a review of the first week…

I am sure you will agree that this past week has been a sharp learning curve for all of us in lots of different ways:

  • as parents, you have been suddenly faced with taking on a new role as educator in your own home, and for many you have had to manage this alongside finding effective working-from-home practices of your own
  • staff have been getting used to setting online learning activities, having to adapt their skills for a completely unexpected scenario
  • young people have been adapting to not being in school – and we recognise that the vast majority of youngsters will be missing the many different aspects of school life, from their lessons to their social time.

We would like, in our first update, to offer some support in managing your ‘home learning’.  We understand that working at home can be a barrier to maintaining a harmonious family life.  Stories being shared by parents up and down the country show us all how difficult this can prove.  Therefore, we hope this simple guide will help.

How we have chosen the work that has been made available…

Most of the work we are setting is aimed at reviewing and revising topics that have been covered already in school. This will help to embed the learning that has already taken place. If your son does not manage to complete the work set for a topic, please do not worry.  Where some of the work is new, it is acting as pre-reading and pre-learning for topics that will be taught in school when we return.  So again, do not worry if your son does not manage to complete it.

With this in mind, we are already planning how we will pick up where we left off once we return to school (whenever that may be). Please remember that we manage every year to kick-start the brains of our young people after the six-week holiday – we anticipate that this will be no different, regardless of the extended period they may be off school for.

How you should organise the day and choose which work to do…

A daily routine is really useful, but this will of course have to fit in around whatever else is happening in the household.  This is a time where many strains are being placed on your family all at the same time.  We suggest not working for more than an hour at a time on any one subject or piece of work and taking regular timetabled breaks.

There is plenty of work available for your son to complete at home.  You should have access to the Century online learning platform and there is a wealth of work uploaded to Show My Homework (SMH).  This work should serve as a ‘bookshelf’ of sorts, where you can pick and choose what your son will do next.  We suggest that you turn off the notifications as these going off may cause anxiety if your son thinks he needs to get it all done.

Your son should pick activities that he wants to do but he may need your help with this – ensure that he chooses a mixture of the things that he likes to do and those subjects and topics that he may not be quite as keen on. There is more than enough work available for those families that may be better placed or have the inclination to do more, but rest assured we are not expecting everything to be done.  These are unprecedented times that have given everyone more than enough to worry about; something is better than nothing.  It is best to remember that if things are becoming difficult, it is probably time to take a break.

Other types of learning…

There are lots of experiences that you as a family can be undertaking while you are at home together, and not all of them involve worksheets or booklets. You could cook a meal together, watch a film, get into the garden, be creative, read a book, decorate or even teach them how to clean – the list is endless.

Maintaining links between our boys and their school…

We understand that the boys will be away from school for some time; none of us know just how long.  So, we have organised some competitions to keep the boys engaged – these will come out regularly.  These are not compulsory but might be a way to motivate the boys to do something enjoyable – they may even win a certificate or prize.

When our young people return to us, we will help them to get ready to face their next challenge.  Therefore, please do not let their learning become a factor that creates too many arguments and too much stress – family life is difficult enough, certainly in these testing times!

If the technology lets you down…

If your password stops working or you need some technical support, please use the ‘Request Support’ link on the Learning@Homepage.