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Guidance for parents

A message for parents in week 5 of lockdown learning



Of course this might be easier for your child, but we realise not everyone has the capacity to print out work. 

Sheets can be completed on the computer or tablet and saved.

The important thing is that your child is engaging with learning - however you manage this.

Home Learning – what matters – and what doesn’t

Below is some advice from John Hattie, who developed the Visible Learning approach we have been using in school. We hope you will find it reassuring. 

Research based on the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand and Hurricane Katrina showed that children rapidly caught up after long periods out of school and their long term achievement was unaffected.

So how can we make the most of home learning? What can we learn from the research?




watch them all the time. If children feel they are under parental surveillance all the time, they will learn less. Parents cannot become learning police.

set them off learning then leave them to it. Give them a time when they need to finish by.

Focus too much on lots of written work

encourage them to read, read and read! The better your child reads, the less input they need from parents. Include lots of practical activities – they will remember what they learn for longer.

give them ‘busy tasks’, that is tasks like worksheets with lists of calculations or missing words. Bored children don’t learn.

relate tasks to where they need to go next rather than excessive practice of skills already learned.


try to teach subjects you feel less secure in – it can do more damage than good.

encourage your child to talk to a friend, look at a BBC Bitesized clip or email their teacher.

be tempted to do it for them. If they really can’t do it – leave it and make a note for their teacher for when they return to school.


remind children that making mistakes is how we learn. If we never get anything ‘wrong’ we never learn anything new and it’s fine to make mistakes as it shows we’re moving forward in our learning. Encourage them to use the ‘what to do when I don’t know what to do’ poster (in this section of the website.

Allow children not to know. There is no point learning stuff they already know. Not knowing is a sign of readiness and excitement to learn.

let children have mobile phones when they are learning – they have a negative impact on learning.

create opportunities for children to interact  – with their friends, relatives and you. Encourage them to talk through tasks online with their friends – or to explain what they have learned to you or a relative online. This is a really good way for THEM to assess their learning.

try to recreate the classroom at home – you can’t. Plan the day to meet your child’s personality and needs so they are more likely to stay on task. This may mean more breaks or a variety of activities.

create routines and a place where children can work.

talk about isolation and home learning in negative terms all the time

remind children these are very unusual times but won’t last forever and we are learning so much from the challenges we are facing. Encourage them to make some kind of record of this time to share when we return to school – a diary, pictures, a scrapbook, a mosaic of pictures of things they do. These will be the historical sources of the future\1

forget you are still your child’s parent – not their teacher.

make sure you still spend time each day doing the things you’ve always done together – and maybe some new things now there’s more time – bed time stories, cooking, board games, local walks . . .  playing.


We have tried to choose activities that are open ended, so your child can work at their own ability level, and do not require lots of resources or support from an adult. We have also tried to incorporate self assessment so your child can evaluate their own work and get immediate feedback.


There are more specific year group activities related to the topic your child would have been studying if school was open. When they return to school, they will be assessed on the intended learning objectives so we can identify any gaps in their learning and limit the long term impact of being out of school. These objectives will be included for your information as soon as possible. We're also going to share some useful online learning platforms that have become available.


Remember, we do not expect you to be a replacement teacher and working with an adult at home is more intense than being in a class of 30. This is a time of adjustment for you and your children and we don't want home learning to be the source of friction within families. Being isolated at home for long periods is stressful enough and we have no wish to add to that. Keep it fun and include lots of breaks. We'll post a suggested timetable model soon.

Help and support

Some of you have said you're struggling to put together a timetable that works and you're not sure how to combine the activities on the website. We don't expect parents to be teachers and want to give you as much help and support as possible. I've included an example of a home timetable here. It's aimed at year 3/4 but could easily be adapted. It links with the Home Learning booklet. 
Please email or message us and tell us what kind of support would be most helpful to you and what problems have come up now you've had a few days of working at home. 

HOME LEARNING _ A SURVIVAL GUIDE: Struggling to work at home with your children - - maybe our guidance will help