02:25PM, Tuesday 26 January 2021
While schools and colleges are closed to all except children of critical workers and vulnerable children, most children are currently receiving remote learning support. Teachers and lecturers are working hard to ensure students don’t miss out. Here we explain what experts are offering to ensure ongoing education as well as tips on how parents can best help pupils.
The UK Government is committed to balancing the safety of communities with the continuation of children’s education. Classrooms have once again closed, but that does not mean an end to lessons. The majority of students are expected to receive between three to five hours of lessons each weekday. Such support includes recorded or live direct teaching as well as time for children to complete tasks independently. Additional support is also available for disadvantaged youngsters. The UK Government is investing over £400 million to provide access to technology, including partnering with the UK’s leading mobile network operators to provide free data to those who need it, while teaching staff regularly check pupils’ learning and well-being. Remote learning can, understandably, be stressful for parents some of who are already facing personal and professional challenges due to the pandemic.
HELPING HAND: Children are expected to receive up to five hours of lessons a day.
They can be reassured their help is invaluable in more ways than simply helping manage lessons. Parents can create regular routines, ensuring their kids connect with friends and family online or via phones. They are also able to talk openly with their children about any updated educational requirements.
BBC Bitesize and Oak National Academy are among many valuable resources that are available. Other family-orientated virtual activities, including body coach Joe Wicks, remain important to support children’s physical and mental health ... and that of their supportive parents.
‘First class support for learning from home’
Parents Ben and Helen Evans believe the remote learning support their children are currently receiving is first class. “I feel incredibly grateful to the school for having that structure,” enthused Ben, whose daughters Lily, aged nine, and four-year old Poppy attend Broadclyst Community Primary. Wife Helen, a university web team leader, continued: “The community thing is really big for us. To see them interacting with their friends and seeing relationships they have with teachers is great.”
FAMILY TEAMWORK: Ben and Helen Evans with Lily and Poppy.
The Devon EdTech Demonstrator School provides advice, guidance and training including webinars, resources, peer to peer discussions on how to best use technology as well as remote learning provision for pupils during the pandemic.
Ben said: “It’s been great fun actually going back to school for ourselves. We do baking with the Bishops on a Friday afternoon. “All the parents join in together with the baking and it becomes a discussion point in the community as well.”
· For more guidance on remote learning and support for mental health and wellbeing, visit : gov.uk/ coronavirus-remote-learning
HELP FOR DISADVANTAGED PUPILS
· The UK Government invested over £400 million to support disadvantaged children and young people with access to technology through the pandemic, including providing 1.3 million laptops and tablets.
· The Department for Education has partnered with some of the UK’s leading mobile network operators to provide free data to disadvantaged families, further supporting remote education where it’s needed. Families will benefit from this additional data until July 2021.
· 54,000 4G wireless routers have been provided, with free data for the academic year, to support disadvantaged children to access remote education and vital social care services.
Find out more information at gov.uk/coronavirus
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