Bright Teachers

Teaching, educationand education aides blog

Home schooling-here we go again

For many parents, the news that schools were again closing left them wondering how they were going to cope with the demands of home schooling their children especially for those that are trying to work from home at the same time. This time there is an expectation that children will complete three to five hours of schoolwork a day which is proving to be a huge undertaking for parents with children of different ages.

Schools are doing their best to provide contact with teachers and tasks for children to complete along with feedback for work completed. Each school is taking a slightly different approach trying to find a way to support children and their parents in their area whilst also teaching critical worker children who are coming into school. So, what should the children be doing during this time to ensure that they do not fall behind in their learning?

The main idea is that they should still do some school-based learning every day from Monday to Friday, so a sense of routine is maintained. This should include some mathematical work and times table revision, writing and reading in literacy and some topic-based work such as a research project, art or design and some amount of PE. Most schools are providing resources to support this learning and can be contacted by email if there are any queries.

Can schools open safely this year?

Many parents can’t wait to send their offspring back to school after the many months of home schooling they have been forced to do but is it safe for children to go back to school and how confident can parents be that their child will be safe?

There is an enormous debate going on between politicians, teaching unions and parents about the measures that are needed to allow schools to open safely in September. Data has been produced indicating that in other countries schools have been able to reopen without any significant rise in Covid infection rates so what do schools need to do if we want our children to restart their education again?

There has been lots of talk about having bubbles of staff and children and this worked well when only a few children attended school but how well this will work when the majority return remains to be seen. Break and lunch times could be problematic as the space required for groups of children to play in whilst remaining in their bubble may be insufficient.

It is a relief to many of us that children seem to be less likely to catch Covid and become seriously ill but the adult staff members will need to be vigilant about their close contact with pupils who may carry the disease unknowingly in order to keep themselves safe.

Some pupils set to return on the 1st June

Many teachers and head teachers are frantically trying to sort out how the schools are going to open back up to some year groups on the first of June. Initially it is only going to be reception, year one and year 6 but over the coming weeks more are likely to return. They are going to have to try and socially distant the children as much as possible and the whole day is going to be very disruptive. On top of this they need to try and look out for the mental health and wellbeing of the children and try and keep things as non clinical as possible so as not to upset them.

It is going to require a lot of thought and planning as start and finish times will have to be staggered along with lunch and break times. They are going to be expected to teach as much as possible outside and instil strict hand washing at all times.

Many teachers are worried exactly how this is going to work or indeed if this is going to work but as this is new times for all we really don’t know and it may be that things have to be reviewed and changed as we go along.

Using Technology in Schools

With computers, tablets and phones becoming ever increasingly popular and used in most of our daily lives, it makes sense that schools are teaching pupils about these forms of technology and how they can assist us.

There is a lot of educational material available in terms of apps and such like that can be used in a classroom situation. From recent studies, I have found out that most school now have a few Ipads or other Tablets available for the children to use. These are normally pre loaded with educational games and research aids and other content is restricted.

Children are becoming use to using touch screen IT and even preschool children seem to have grasped the touch and slide concept that many of these gadgets use. IT has vastly improved over the last few years and no longer just involves teaching the child of how to type on a PC and search on the internet.

The end of writing lessons?

Over the last few years we have seen an increasing trend of school students putting down their writing books in favour of laptops, notebooks, and tablets. The internet was the impetus for this change, as with the networking capabilities that the internet connection allows can hold large and accessible databases which a classroom of students can access and contribute to. In addition to what the internet allows, the advancements in computing power, and with the new tablets available, the level of convenience with using them has increased exponentially. This all begs the question, with people no longer needing to write out by hand, when will we stop teaching people to do so? In fact, recently, a school in the USA has instituted a new policy, whereby all students will be using tablets in their education, and the written word is no longer taught. So, how long before the rest of the world follow suit? Or will we always foresee a situation where the written word is preferable?