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400,000 pupils 0ff of school last week alone

Almost half of all UK secondary schools have sent pupils home

Leading EdTech firm MyTutor discusses top tips for parents who have to support their child’s learning last minute

New reports show that almost half of UK secondary schools  have sent students home to self-isolate due to positive cases of Coronavirus – amounting to 400,000 pupils last week alone. After six months out of the classroom, the education world is continually faced by new challenges, born from the Coronavirus.

Now, there is a new worry that 2021 exam results could  be “unbalanced”, as pupils in some areas receive more teaching than others due to COVID outbreaks. This concurs with research from MyTutor (https://www.mytutor.co.uk) – the UK’s leading tutoring service – which shows that 26% of parents agree that their child feels their long-term university and career prospects have been damaged by COVID-19.

Now, should pupils be sent home, parents may be worried about having to resume home-schooling. So how can parents make sure they’re on hand to help? For those who may be apprehensive about having to provide teaching at such short notice, MyTutor has tips to help reassure and prepare parents:

  1. Help them organise their day

    Without the set structure of the school day, and without the engagement of peers, motivation and energy can take a dive. Help your child set up a timetable that’ll work for them and covers the subjects they need. Divide up periods of study with active breaks. Make sure your child moves around, eats meals at the appropriate times and has offline conversations.
  2. Have some go-to resources lined up

    If you have to home-school again, you’re likely to run into situations where your child doesn’t understand some of their course content and you’re unable to help. In these situations, having some resources ready is wise. Look up the specifications for the subjects your child is studying from the relevant exam boards and bookmark any online resources that can help you out. Save My Exams and S-cool are two handy sites.
  3. Make sure they’ve got a space to work and the equipment they need

    In the event that your child is sent home, set up a desk in a quiet corner of the house where they can keep their laptop, textbooks and notes – they’ll find it much easier to focus and the rest of the family can continue life as normal. As schools would normally provide things like flashcards, exercise books and planners, it may be worth preparing these items now should closures be enforced at short notice.
  4. Set good habits around phone use

    Teens spend a lot of time on apps speaking with their friends anyway – and isolation will only increase their desire to communicate socially, especially now they have had a taste of freedom. While some communication will be positive for their mental health, the opposite is true when social media fuels feelings of isolation and anxiety. You’ll need to set some ground rules for how phones are used during the day, and keep an eye on your child’s mood.
  5. Look for online support 

    Self-study is an incredibly hard skill to master and some pupils may struggle without someone actively explaining concepts to them. It’s worth finding an online tutor who can help your child fill in any gaps in their knowledge. Online lessons are like having a face-to-face skype call with a tutor but with an interactive whiteboard on the screen too so students can upload documents and make notes. A tutor can keep students on track with the syllabus and give them a much-needed boost of confidence in what is a confusing and challenging time.

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