How we can help schools with their legal duty to provide remote education
Teachers, carers and educators around the country have relentlessly worked to support children’s learning. They have developed new ways of working with COVID-19 restrictions, prioritised keeping in touch with children and boosted parental confidence in home learning. Parents and carers have worked tirelessly too, often in extremely difficult circumstances, to support their children to continue with their development.
However, beyond academic learning has been the inescapable need to nurture children’s emotional wellbeing during this time of COVID-19. Those working in Early Years know how important the child-adult relationship is. As the pandemic continues children are likely to have intermittent attendance at school in order that social distancing restrictions are adhered to.
From 22nd October 2020 schools in England will have a legal duty to provide children with remote learning at home if they cannot attend school. This increases expectations on both teachers and families. If you are a teacher in a Reception EYFS class in school please explore our comprehensive and growing list of themes and activities. They are organised around the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) programmes of learning, making it easier for you to encourage children to engage with a wide range of experiences, both in the prime and specific areas of learning.
Our activities are accessible and inclusive with fun and inspiring ideas for learning in and around the home. Parents and children can take part together to promote positive parent-child interaction and enjoy sharing time with each other. Activities are flexible in the way they can be used. They have been organised into a suggested daily ‘timetable’ to help families manage learning time at home, although you are free to adapt this to your needs. There are short summaries that accompany each theme providing encouragement and a rationale for the learning and suggestions for extending to related activities. The inspiring videos have contributors from a wide range of backgrounds, from zoo keepers to yoga teachers!
As the EYFSHome learning platform enables you to flexibly dip in and out of the themes and activities, it is ideal for suggesting home learning that will suit the uniqueness of each child, or a group of children. For example, there may be children who really love playing with sticks, so they could have a go at some of the activities from the themed days ‘Sticks’ and ‘Woodland Walk Day’. Or a whole class may be in the middle of a learning theme in school about animals, for example, when they have to isolate at home. You can use the easy to search spreadsheet document (in the curriculum section) to pick and choose activities and stories which relate to animals. There are many of them, including a visit to a farm!
That way all the class can access some related learning opportunities even if they can’t all access exactly the same ones. It is important to remember that different families have access to different resources and live in very different circumstances. That’s why this flexibility lends itself to teachers and parents working together to see what is realistic at home for each child.
We also have additional videos on the website which explain the Early Years Foundation Stage to parents. We highlight the importance of play and interactions, of discovery and exploration and the characteristics of effective learning. We aim to boost parental confidence to support children to learn through their curiosity and desire to problem-solve.
Feel free to watch them and get back to us with any questions you may have. We are here to help. Please do let us know what you think or get involved if you can with suggestions and recommendations. We’d also love to see the children’s creations in our Gallery. We hope you can join us!
From Rebecca Fisk and the EYFSHome team (please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!)