The right learning space
It is really important that your child has a designated space at home for their learning. Identify a practical area in your home which your child can use purely for learning and is separate from where they eat, sleep and socialise. This doesn’t need to be a separate room, but a designated area is key. This space should have a flat, hard surface for them to work on, be as quiet as possible, have good lighting and without any obvious distractions.
For a seamless school day, try to make sure you have a stable internet connection. Encourage your child to see the difference between a ‘chill’ space and a ‘learning’ space. For example, if your child typically does their study in the kitchen, ensure that another area is study free so they can take a break.
The tools for the job
Your child will be completing all their learning through their virtual school, both online and offline. They will have received all the details they need on how to log in, but if they run into any problems or have any questions, they should ask their teacher.
Our virtual school experience allows your child to check in each day, attend lessons, receive and submit assignments, and collaborate with their peers.
Remind your child to keep their device fully charged and updated. And even though part of your child’s learning is now done online, having access to pens, paper and other standard school equipment is still equally important for their offline study. Your child’s day will run like a normal school day as far as possible, with teachers contactable between the hours of 8.30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m
A daily routine
To aid your child’s focus, try to develop a daily routine and stick to this as consistently as possible. Approach each day as you would a normal school day.
Think about: setting meal times and providing healthy choices to fuel your child for the day, allocating time for exercise or movement (as much as can in the space that you have), and sticking to usual ‘school hours’ to guide the balance between study and relaxation time.
Remember that as part of your child’s education a good deal of their daily routine will be focussed on offline activity. We feel as strongly as you do that none of our students should be sat in front of screens all day. Help where you can to ensure that your child is involved in offline projects set for them and encourage them to be as engaged with the task as possible.
The social side
Being away from their friends could be challenging for your child. It is important to make time for your child to speak with their friends, exactly as they would at school or in the evening. This could be anything from a phone call, connecting on social media or using their school’s preferred platform for instant messaging.
Whilst using social media can be a distraction during school hours, it may help to provide a much-needed feeling of normality during relaxation time. You can also encourage your child to use our virtual school to work on their learning tasks collectively with their peers. It is the perfect place for students to share ideas, tackle challenges and work together as they would on a normal school day.
The supportive parent
Our priority is maintaining a sense of normality for your child in this unique set of circumstances, and your support is an integral part of this. It’s important that your child studies independently during school hours as they would during the course of an ordinary school day in the classroom.
We know it might be tempting to help out during their lesson time, but instead, try and encourage your child to make use of the virtual school facilities to ask questions of their teacher and collaborate with their peers – just as they would inside the classroom. However, help with revision where needed is fine.
We know that this is a challenging and potentially frustrating time for everyone, which makes maintaining a positive home environment more important than ever. Allowing your child to take breaks when they are struggling to focus and recognising and rewarding their hard work will really help with this.
Our teachers, support staff and counsellors are here to help and are happy to share ideas to improve the virtual school experience for everyone. It could be anything from guidance on how to read with younger children, to how you can aid older children in their revision. If you have a question or challenge, please don’t hesitate to ask!