Jo (Teaching Assistant)
As a T/A, I can imagine many parents are feeling pressure to educate and in some cases are feeling worried and anxious that they are not giving the time and the knowledge that they feel they should have. Many parents will be busy working from home and consequently; some children will be left to get on with their day with little chat. However on the other hand, some parents will have more time than they’ve ever had to interact and talk to their children. With this in mind, I especially like the idea of returning to something they’ve been interested in to help the parents who are struggling.
Personally as a parent, if this would have happened to me, I would have liked some structured work set by the teacher for Maths and English – more embedding rather than new learning so that my child had some prior learning and encouraging breadth and collaborative learning with independent learning. With regards to wider projects; I like the idea of children being able to return to a project that they have already covered – some of this could be enjoyed together whilst some activities could be more independent eg a word search or crossword giving the parent some time for work and creativity time for the child.
As Mary (Teacher, Year 6) has said, it is difficult to know the pitch to set home learning – again I think, I would have set the environment in the morning for structured work, and in the afternoon spent more time on creativity, life skills and physical activities.
As we know, some children thrive on structure whilst others may blossom in the home environment; in many ways parents need to be guided by their children; as it says, the more happy they are the more remembered.
All the above said, I do feel in any walk in life, talking is paramount – I remember my children always saying, “Why?” and I’d answer and they’d say, “Why?”…. and so on.
Emma (SENCO & Acting Deputy Head teacher)
I think this will give lots of children a chance to ‘mature’ and have time to process what they have learnt. I had a conversation with my sons teacher about this when she phoned the other day. I actually said, maybe, my son will have matured a bit more by the time school starts again and be ready to learn. I think this is a great opportunity to observe how the children learn and how long they can concentrate for. Again, from my own personal experience, I’ve learnt that my son doesn’t like a quiet environment – he likes music playing in the background! Again, very short bursts of learning works well. This article has also made me think of the other countries that don’t start formal school until the age of 7. With that in mind, there will be certain children who thrive on school work and if this is what they like then the work is provided for by school – again though with less formal learning there is more time for the children to process this and hopefully remember more.
“It backs up what we have been saying to parents – slow down and go at the pace that is right for your family. No comparing – revel in the individualism of your little individual.”
Responses part one and two can be found here: