I can scarcely believe the change in our country that has happened over the last few weeks. From hearing about a novel virus in China to having all our schools closed, it’s clear we are living in unprecedented times.
Having children home from school will present a huge challenge, particularly for working parents. Most parents, I know, will be worried about how to keep their children safe, and how to make sure that their educational development doesn’t suffer.
Over the last few days, countless organizations and individuals have come together to offer their services.
Many are in the field of education, and we’ve rounded up our pick of the best here.
- The BBC has beefed up its educational offering, saying that it intends to offer “a daily educational programme for different key stages or year groups – with a complementary self-learning programme for students to follow, broadcast on BBC Red Button and made available on demand on BBC iPlayer.”
It’s also going to expand its BBC Bitesize content and create a new daily podcast on BBC Sounds for primary-aged children.
- Regular readers here and on my social media channels will know that I value art and exercise as crucial elements of learning.
Many artists are going online and creating videos to help children learn to draw. This one is called Draw with Rob, and is designed for children and parents to watch together and then have a go!
- It’s also so important to keep children active during this time.
Although we are confined indoors, there is no harm in visiting open and free spaces, as long as we keep our distance from anyone else!
While fresh air is vital, children can also exercise indoors, with help! Every day during the week, fitness expert Joe Wicks is holding a PE session for children through YouTube, which they can do indoors.
- It’s too early to say how much schools will be able to provide parents in the way of schoolwork. If parents find that there are gaps to fill, then this is a great resource for all ages, with activities in English and Maths and even advice on SATS work for 10 to 11 year olds.
- For the budding scientists that will miss their hands-on experiments, this STEM-a-day activity list will be well received I imagine!
- Meanwhile, the Scouts, who have of course had to shut down all their groups for the foreseeable future, are keen for youngsters to carry on learning valuable skills. They’ve come up with a list of #TheGreatIndoors activities to relieve boredom during isolation.
- In case you haven’t come across it before, DuoLingo is a fantastic app-based resource for learning a language. It’s easy to use and has simple quizzes to help you keep on top of where you are.
- For quieter times, the audio book retailer Audible has released hundreds of books for children to listen to online.
- And finally, for 11+ specific help, GL Assessment, the provider of the test, offers free resources, or speak to me if you wish to purchase additional materials.
11+ tuition continues
For those of you who have children studying here at Pen and Ink Tuition, I know that preparing well for the 11+ exams will continue to be a concern for you.
While we have had no choice but to close our classrooms, we will continue to offer highly personalized learning online, using Zoom, a free internet video conferencing resource.
From Monday, 23rd March, I will be offering webinar-style lessons for an hour (possibly slightly longer for the first one). These will take place at the normal lesson time of 5:15 pm until approximately 6:15 pm weekdays, and at the usual time on Saturday mornings.
For those without a webcam, or who are unable to join the lesson, I will be sending out a recorded version.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss the new plan further or any concerns you may have. Rest assured that I intend to offer lessons right through my ‘holiday period between 6-26th April’ and on into the summer months if necessary. I will continue to monitor any developments over the 11+ test itself and stay abreast of any changes that might occur.
For more information on how to start preparing for the 11+ head over to our blog page here, or better still give us a call on 01494 773300.