The coronavirus pandemic throws us new challenges every day, and there’s no blueprint for how to address them. The sudden announcement that schools had to be close to all pupils except for children of key workers was a prime example of this. Yet schools have succeeded in finding new, creative yet practical ways to help children learn from home. But even with the most dedicated band of teachers delivering engaging lessons through the latest technology platforms, it can be hard to reach every child in your trust.
Parents Under Pressure
With Covid-19 keeping schools closed to most pupils, many parents are having to take a more active role in their child’s learning than they’re used to, whether that’s helping with tasks or simply encouraging their child to participate in activities provided by the school. Depending on their circumstances, some parents will be finding this difficult. Particularly if they are juggling work commitments, childcare and looking after relatives while struggling with health and financial worries.
Other parents may be reluctant to give their child practical help with schoolwork if they don’t feel they have the basic maths or literacy skills themselves. Simply sending learning resources out to pupils’ homes does not equip every parent to support their child.
Supporting Pupils at Home
What’s missing are the tools to give parents the ideas, knowledge and confidence to help their child not only to learn but to thrive while they are away from their usual school setting. To meet this need, Juniper has created content that MATs can give to parents to support them in a whole range of areas. These vary from advice on conditions such as autism and ADHD to tips for looking after your child’s wellbeing and managing stress through relaxation.
The resources also include activities that parents and their children can do together, giving parents the self-assurance to guide their child’s learning. Through these, a parent can see that home learning doesn’t necessarily mean working together on times tables. It could be through singing karaoke poems, mastering a dance sequence or measuring ingredients to bake a cake.
The Galaxy Trust
Garry Ratcliffe, CEO at the Galaxy Trust has provided parents in his MAT with the resources. “The beauty of the modules is that they can be done as a light touch, they can be done collaboratively or there’s the potential for much greater research and delving into the materials within each unit,” explains Garry.
Easy to Access
One of the major barriers to reaching every pupil at home is that some families don’t have the benefit of multiple laptops, large screens and desks to work at. But most people have a smartphone that they use all the time in their daily lives. Your MAT can provide parents with a login, enabling parents to access the resources on any smart device and use them offline as well as online. This makes it easy for parents to tap in when they have a spare ten minutes and share an alphabet dance activity with their child, or read up about dyslexia.
Our Team Can Help Yours
We understand that every MAT is different, and your schools have their own challenges and needs. Maybe your community includes a large population of disadvantaged families or your schools are strong in sport or are focusing on a particular area following an Ofsted inspection.
Supporting families is a priority during the current health crisis. For this reason, we are offering our parent resources to MATs for only £3 per household until September. This means you can stretch your budget by using the Pupil Premium funding for one or two children to pay for all families to benefit from the content. This is one way we can help your MAT to tackle the many challenges of Covid-19. And before too long your schools will be open and pupils will start to return, bolstered by the support of their families and ready to learn.