The Governors and staff have reviewed how we are handling the learning at home provision. Staff have taken feedback from parents, have talked to colleagues in other schools and researched a variety of platforms. Having done all of this we have decided that we will continue with our current arrangements.
Our simple email system is working and the vast majority of parents are very happy with the offer. Staff are able to offer support and prioritise work when children and parents are feeling that the work is getting too much. We are also offering ideas and challenges for the children who want more.
Below is some of the feedback we have received.
Parents are happy with the level of work
Most parents feel it is good that the work is sent home once a week so that they are able to prepare resources and plan out their week.
Parents believe that it is extremely useful that they can now download the documents as opposed to having to click on links, so you can prepare learning for your child/children and go through prior to the start of the week.
Teacher calls are really appreciated as many schools are not keeping in touch with their students.
Teacher feedback emails are greatly appreciated and the fact that they are personal to that particular child is also appreciated, rather than just a standard response.
Quotes from parents include:
‘The activities coming home are excellent, a good mix between challenge and fun.’
‘We use the set work and establish a routine that suits us. This gives us the scope to be flexible.’
‘There isn't anything you could do better, it’s great.’
Specific ideas have also been suggested
‘Maths Seeds seems to interest the younger children as opposed to RM Maths as RM Maths is slow and not very inspiring to the children.’
We are exploring Maths Seeds and some parents and teachers are trialling this. When our licence arrangement with RM Maths is reviewed we will consider alternatives.
‘Carol Vorderman has free online Maths website for age 4-12 year olds, which is a really good way to help keep the children engaged: www.themathsfactor.com’
We have recommended this to staff and they will make use of it if they feel it suits their needs. If parents are looking for further ideas and challenges in maths they could try the website out with their children.
‘Less focus on screen learning. Lots of additional parts of learning are suggested through apps/IT programs.’
‘Could teachers suggest more practical learning rather than worksheets and apps? - there are a few suggestions being sent home but not many.’
‘To emphasise that learning does not need to be 6 hours and can be split throughout the day’
This feedback has been given to staff and they will adjust their planning where they can. They will ensure that parents are clear that learning can be split across the day.
‘Maybe the teachers could put together some Top Tips of learning at home - choose a place in the home which is just for focused learning, taking lots of breaks throughout the day and not expect children to sit for too long....’
We will do this and share this with all parents ready for next half term.
‘Virtual learning - moving into stage 2 of home learning, it may be better to have a YouTube clip of teachers introducing a lesson or concept.’
I will share this idea with class teachers so we can consider the options open to us and explore how this will support our planning further.
‘Why aren’t teachers providing online lessons?’
We believe that there are too many complications with this sort of system, including that parents have to be in the room when online teaching is taking place and parents will still need to work with their child as young children learn best with support. Online teaching would remove the flexibility from the offer and this may well cause tensions regarding timings and use of devices and the internet across families. Reports suggest that where it is used take-up is low. It also becomes impossible once a number of teachers are back at school during the phased re-opening.
‘I’m doing my best but am concerned that my children are not making enough progress.’
If your children are working at the activities set for them each week and are reading regularly, they will be learning what they need to at the moment. They will also be learning from activities you do as a family like baking and playing games. Progress isn’t always easy to see over the space of a few weeks, so don’t let this worry you. Once the children are all back at school, teachers will assess where they are and work to address any gaps so they all get back on course.
As we move into this next phase I just wanted to pass on my thanks for the hard work you are doing at home with your children. We really can’t wait to have them back but in the meantime I hope the learning at home package is helping you to support your children.