Harlands Primary School

Home Learning FAQs

Updated 25 March 2020

We appreciate that all families will be challenged by a range of different circumstances at present, with everyone’s situations being unique. However, using some of the ‘Home Learning’ questions we have already received over the last few days, we have developed some responses below which we hope will prove helpful to many families.

Q: Will work be set regularly and will it be daily?
A: We are constantly assessing the home schooling situation as we gain a greater understanding of the challenges ‘home learning’ is presenting to our Harlands families. Over the next few days, daily tasks will appear on the DB Primary Community pages for each year group. After the Easter holidays, we will be introducing an even more structured approach underpinned by our Summer term Curriculum Forecasts.

Q: Does my child have to do it?
A: The challenges set on DB Primary are currently optional but highly recommended. Year group teachers are designing suggested work, projects and tasks that cover important areas of the Harlands curriculum, and are trying their best to ensure they are accessible to all children.

Q: What do I do when they my child says it doesn’t matter or refuse to do it?
A: All families are experiencing life differently at the moment. By making current tasks optional, we hope to avoid arguments over school work, however, we appreciate it may be difficult to motivate some children at home. A discussion and reminder about positive Harlands attitude and what a Growth Mindset means could help. Getting them involved in sharing work and ideas either on DB Primary with their class, or facetime/skype with family or friends, might also help motivate them.

Q: We have been arguing a lot about the work – what can we do?
A: Take a step backwards and give it some space. Try doing a task you know your child enjoys together, and draw the learning from that. We are all learning to manage a different environment together at the moment so no-one is ‘failing’.

Q: My child finds that the work is too easy and they get bored quickly – what can I do?
A: Tasks are currently open to all the different learners in each class. If your child completes them quickly and wants further challenges, then consider how they could take it further, e.g. a maths quiz was easy so ask them to choose which five questions classmates would find hardest and design a help guide. They read their book quickly – write an alternative ending, share a review online, turn a chapter into a story board for a film version, act out a scene with toys.

Q: My child finds that the work is too hard and we can’t help – what can I do?
A: Tasks are currently open to all the different learners in each class. If your child finds a task too challenging or isn’t sure of what they are meant to do, then have a go with them if you have time. Maybe make a note of what they found a challenge.

Q: There are too many of us trying to access the computer at once – how can we keep up?
A: A structured family timetable is probably the best answer. We are trying to limit the time that tasks take up online. A quick screenshot of instructions can free up the main device for others.

Q: What are the crucial subjects to keep on top of?
A: Reading, writing and maths based tasks will naturally be set more regularly. We will work to ensure that as many areas of the curriculum are visited over the next few weeks of home learning.

Q: Will not doing much work matter in the long run?
A: We don’t know the duration of the school closure period but do know that staying in touch via DB Primary and the tasks available will be best, both in the short and longer term. Keeping your child actively engaged with the learning will help prepare them for returning to school.

Q: Is it all on line – I thought too much screen time was an issue?
A: DB Primary is our main way of keeping in contact with all our learners. However, we are keen that children learn away from the screen and will be suggesting many tasks that cut down the time needed at the computer.

Q: Will there be any feedback, marking or assessment of the work?
A: Teachers are able to respond to documents/files that children upload in response to certain ‘Tasks’ that have been set on DB Primary. There will be no formal marking or assessment of home learning work – just encouragement and praise.

Q: Why can’t I contact my child’s class teacher with all our/their questions?
A: In these uncertain times, we can’t always be sure about when certain staff members will be available for many different reasons, e.g. some staff are heavily involved in the Key Worker School, staff will find themselves in a range of different personal circumstances. However, as a school, we will always do our best to support all of families so please don’t hesitate to contact the school by phone 01444 450782 (Mon-Fri) or by e-mail office@harlandsedtrust.org.uk

Q: Will they repeat the missed learning this term/year at the start of next term/year?
A: Since we don’t know how long the school closure period will last, we can’t make any guarantees over how missed topics will be covered. However, we will work hard to ensure all learners catch up and plug any gaps once school classes resume.

Q: My child has no patience and I don’t know how to teach them – what can I do?
A: Take a step back. This situation is a steep learning curve for everyone and we will all develop new or different skills as a result. A well-reasoned discussion about their Harlands values, growth mindsets and being a Harlands helper may well help. Huge promises about what rewards will come ‘after this is over’ might not be the way forward or best motivation technique.

Q: I can’t juggle working from home and childcare and teaching – what has to give?
A: Very few people are used to home learning and it is very different to class teaching. You are not ‘failing’ and are doing your best. Talk to someone about the pressures, ask for help and share the struggles – you are not the only one although it may feel like it.