Massive discrepancies between support offered to children at home during self isolation

(15 Posts)
Diorling Wed 08-Apr-20 11:48:54


Our school has not really been very helpful with stuff for the kids up to now. They have put a ‘pack’ on their website, which basically is a list of on-line sites that might be helpful. There is no suggestion of what we should be doing for each year group, or how to deliver it, or how to adapt it depending on ability.

My friend is a teacher and up to the Easter holiday she still had to do her weekly planning, and send detailed work home, together with suggestions for how best to teach it, and ensure the children are still learning as best as possible.

I would love to have had more detailed advice. What are we supposed to be covering? How can we best do this?

I can help think that if this situation continues after Easter, huge inequalities will be created, but am very interested in knowing how others are finding this. Are you getting support from your kids schools? What level of support are you getting? Is it appropriate for your children?

I’m not out to knock teachers. Far from it. I know they have a really tough job that they do as best as they can, and appreciate that, but would like to get some sense of the variability of what schools are offering at this tough time.

OP’s posts: |
ILiveInSalemsLot Wed 08-Apr-20 11:55:29

We’re in the same situation. Just a list of websites and hardly any work.
Ds2 had a couple of items to send in but nothing for ds1. Both at secondary school.
I have friends who have kids at private school and they’re getting full on school days on zoom and google.

Mine are doing some work every day. Maybe a couple of hours. Sometimes it’s one of the websites and sometimes it’s YouTube or textbook.
Basically, I’m making it up as I go along because I don’t want them to be left behind too much when they do eventually go back to school.
I’m hoping there might be more structure from school after Easter too.
Who knows.

SayNoToCarrots Wed 08-Apr-20 11:57:04

i have found twinkl really useful - there are free codes floating around that give you full access during the pandemic, and there are lesson packs for all of the subjects they should be learning, e.g. history, geography, science, maths, English, RE, even Spanish. Each lesson pack has a series of ppt lessons, with worksheets etc. There are also overviews in each subject for each year group. It is mainly for primary school, but there are resources up to KS4.

I agree though, there is discrepancy, particularly as many private schools have to deliver a full programme in order to justify fees.

I imagine it might come down to how likely the majority of the class are to do the work. If the teacher is going to have to teach it to most of the class in september anyway, it is a waste of her time to plan activities only some of the class will access.

CrocodileFrock Wed 08-Apr-20 12:09:42

Our primary school have been setting work through Google Classroom. The children who are able to access it are completing it and handing it in online. Parents then get feedback on the work after it's been marked.

Not all children are able to get online, so they have been given packs with worksheets, activities, paper, and a pencil.

Parents are also encouraged to contact the school if they have any questions, concerns, or just want to be able to talk to someone. Staff have also been phoning parents and making sure that they and their families are okay.

The secondary school have been setting work online. Parents and students can email if they have any concerns. We've also been getting regular updates from them about what they have been doing behind the scenes.

I've heard that some schools are planning to start setting work after the Easter holidays. The BBC are also rolling out their new education TV channel and other support from 20th April:

Mintjulia Wed 08-Apr-20 12:46:46

We’re at the opposite end of the scale. Ds (11) has twenty clearly defined pieces of work which we are working through gradually. A huge amount to do before the start of the new term and getting him to do it is not easy.

zelbazinnamon Wed 08-Apr-20 12:51:16

I think some schools locally thought they wouldn’t be closed for long & haven’t yet put anything in place. The school closure was only one week before the holidays for us so some basically just extended the holiday by a week. My Y7 is being set work through Google Classroom - it’s not a full 6hrs a day but about 2-3hrs a day or so. My Y3 is being set about 1.5 hrs a day of work through Seesaw app, which was just doing things they already knew rather than introducing new concepts - I think that is going to be hard for schools to handle at primary level. I’ll see what happens when term starts on Tuesday...

Yurona Wed 08-Apr-20 12:55:03

Our school has been amazing - even through the easter holidays there have been zoom meetings for the kids every 2 days, and loads of support. After easter, they will provide a full time table of lessons in the morning with individual support in the afternoon (private primary school)
Friends kids (all state schools) had some worksheets and some google classroom tasks set, but no support. They don’t yet know what will happen after eastern. The differences are stark

Diorling Wed 08-Apr-20 13:45:15

It’s really interesting seeing how different it is for everyone . It must be hard too for the staff to set the right amount of work. Thinking about kids in class these days, the taught part of a lesson is probably only 20 minutes at most, and after you’ve taken off things like assembly, breaks etc I’d only probably expect the kids to be doing 2 to 3 hours a day, depending on their age. I’ll try Twinkl, it sounds good. Thanks for that tip Carrots. You are right Yurona, the differences are indeed stark. I’d be getting very worried if this situation continued for many weeks after Easter.

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olivo Wed 08-Apr-20 14:03:31

I am at the opposite end. My DD's school has set plenty of understandable tasks, but DD needs some input from me, otl east. To keep her motivated. Unfortunately, I am teaching full days online for my own students, so only some of her work has been done. We will be doing a little from time to time now it is the holidays but I feel guilty all the time. I am being selective, keeping up maths, English, French and science but letting music, RE and challenges go. It's all we can manage and it'll have to be good enough!!

Devlesko Wed 08-Apr-20 14:06:00

There are so many websites just choose their key stage, sit with them and do a couple of hours a day, obviously not during the Easter holiday.
make sure they cover a bit of English, Maths and Science, and then a subject of their choice.

minisoksmakehardwork Wed 08-Apr-20 17:22:57

Mine have got death by worksheets at primary. The secondary school work has been much more thought out, or at least easier to manage, but I suspect that is because secondary school has one teacher per subject whereas primary schools cover multiple subjects in one piece of work.

Because mine were getting frustrated with the worksheets, I've taken note of the curriculum aims for each of their year groups and am finding ways to incorporate it into our daily life.

We are also continuing through the easter holidays as I think a complete break will put the children back and it has been hard enough to get them to do the little they have been doing.

Crisis learning/Lockdown learning/homeschooling isn't anywhere near the same as being able to spend 5 hours a day in a dedicated learning environement with the resources to hand so we are having to adapt what is being sent home and make it work for us.

myself2020 Thu 09-Apr-20 19:27:49

Our school is also continuing (at a reduced level) through the easter holidays as they know they can’t do a full primary curriculum online afterwards. its just too hard for young children too work in front of a computer for hours, so they go for less per day, but more continuously.
i’m impressed with our school.

dyscalculicgal96 Fri 10-Apr-20 18:40:20

I print out a numeracy worksheet once a day.

Both twins also have to complete a fun weeklong literacy project or task as well. They have to watch a science video online, or safely perform a science experiment with me. I also have written or oral tests for all subjects once a week. This week I got them to write a book report for English.
For history and geography, I tend to make up the exercises for them as I go. Either the children must spend part of the lesson doing a worksheet or answer five or ten questions orally. Or they research.

Diorling Sat 11-Apr-20 08:50:13

That’s all so interesting, thank you. I’m so impressed by what you are offering your kids, but also take note of the ‘death by worksheet’ issue.

I think if this continues it would be good if the government gave some national advice to even out the inequalities. They publish all the guidance so it should - in theory at least - be easy for them to put some national work schemes up together with resources, by year group. Or is that getting too proscriptive?

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LolaSmiles Sun 12-Apr-20 17:46:06

There's a huge range of provision because each school will have a different set of challenges.

For example, a one form entry primary school where the only y5 teachers is either off poorly themselves or caring for a poorly child is probably going to have thinner provision from day 1 of closure than a 3 form entry primary with 3 year 5 teachers and a key stage leader.

Equally age of child will make a massive difference, for example it would be unreasonable to expect parents of year 2 children to be teaching the KS1 grammar material, but totally reasonable for a year 8 student to be able to work on analytical writing where there's natural progression in terms of text difficulty.

Schools also have to factor in likely technology access for their cohort and consider what activities can avoid huge discrepancies within their cohort. For example, it may be much easier to give a whole year group a few weeks of more open ended learning and then have teachers at home planning an accelerated curriculum for all when everyone returns rather than setting detailed content and having everyone return at different places, some have done it all and more, others have done none, some have had really well-intentioned and engaged parents who have accidentally taught a misconception which has to be untaught and corrected.

I don't think there's any hard and fast rules at the moment.

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