How to Support your Child during Lockdown

Tips for parents on how to support your child during lockdown

We are aware that this is a difficult time for all and we are all having to work in ways that are unusual to us.

To help support you as parents and carers we have put together some tips and advice to create an effective working environment at home.

Top ten tips:

  1. Establish routines and expectations: ensure that start times, breaks and lunch are at clear times and the same time each day. Maintaining this routine can help maintain a positive work ethic. Ensure students get up and dressed before staring work and avoid spending the day in your pyjamas!
  1. Identify a clear physical space in which to work: this will make it easier to focus on your learning, without other distractions.
  1. Talk about the plan for the day, and the lessons ahead: spending extended time working at home is unfamiliar territory. Talking about how things are going can help pre-empt any problems and establish an understanding between all members of the household.
  1. Set times to be on and offline: there will be more screen time than normal whilst working at home. You may have to share devices with family members, and setting time limits in  advance can help manage this successfully. Equally, spending time offline is important to maintain a sense of balance in the day. Ensure that no child spends a prolonged period of time on a computer, and build in breaks where they can move away from the screen.
  1. Remember to exercise: your will feel better emotionally and physically when you exercise, so do make time for this. Joe Wicks does a workout each morning at 9am and you can access this here. Movement is good for wellbeing and releases positive hormones in the brain.
  1. Talk about things on your mind: it will be a big adjustment working from home every day and it is normal to feel anxious or worried about what is happening when the national and international situation changes daily. Talk about how things are going with the others in your house. Be conscious of how much of the news you watch and talk about what you are  watching – limit this to once a day to avoid unnecessary worry or anxiety. 
  1. Read a book: escape, relax, unwind. Look after yourself and use this to enhance your learning and relax at home.
  1. Keep e-safety in your mind: as your child/children will spend more time online, there is an increased need to monitor their activity. Ensure that you use parental controls where they are available and supervise them as much as possible during the times they are using the computer. 
  1. Spend time with your child/children: during this time, it is easy to look to the school for work to keep your child/children busy. Please use this time to also teach your children keylife skills such as cooking, cleaning, baking, drawing/painting, learn a new skill, DIY, budgeting, gardening/plant care etc. 
  1. Ensure your child stays at home: during these times it is tempting to allow your child/ren to leave the house and allow them to see their friends. As children are known to be ‘silent carriers’ of the COVID-19 virus, it is essential that they do not leave the house  unaccompanied by an adult and, if they do, it should only be for the reasons stated by the government.

What else can I do with my child/ren during lockdown?

There are a whole host of activities and ideas online that you can do with your children at home. Here are some links you can use to help with some ideas:

Frequently Asked Questions

What should my child/ren be doing every school day?

Your child should log in to Show My Homework every morning to see what work they have and the should be following the remote learning timetables that are available on our website by clicking here.

Where is my child’s work?

All learning activities will be on Show My Homework (SMHW). You access the school’s SMHW calendar here.

Your child should login to SMHW every morning to see their learning activities for the day. If you do not have access to the internet at home, please contact the school and we will post out work in paper format for your child. We can also provide exercise books or other learning resources if required.

My child can’t login to Show My Homework. What should I do?

We sent login reminders to all students and parents in early March. Parents/carers also have logins, as well as students. You should be able to see the work your child has been set when you log in as a parent. If there an issue with this and you do not have access to SMHW, please contact the school reception between 8.40am and 3.00pm and they can provide this information.

When will my child’s learning activities be available?

All teachers will be aiming to have lesson activities uploaded to SMHW and ready for students to do by 8.40am each morning. Some teachers and departments will set work weekly. We ask students to follow the timetable published on the website which can be found here. Students should be spending approximately an hour on each lesson.

How should my child complete the learning activity?

This will vary for each subject and each task. Instructions will be in the lesson resources. For example, if it is an essay for English, they may be asked to type this and return the document to the teacher on Show My Homework. If they are using paper, the work should be neatly presented and they can take a picture of it and send the photo(s) to their teacher on Show My Homework. Teachers may set quizzes on Show My Homework that students can complete online. They can find out more information on how to return work to teachers on the website.

My child does not understand how to complete the work. How can they get help?

SMHW has a messaging feature that enables them to contact the teacher who set the work. Teachers will endeavour to respond to questions as soon as they can. If your child can carry on with another aspect of their learning this will give the teacher time to respond to their question.

How do I get in contact with someone if I have a question?

If you need to contact one of your child’s teachers, please use the SMHW messaging function from your own SMHW account.

If you have a general ‘year group’ or ‘house question’, please call the academy and speak to reception staff who will direct your query by email to the relevant member of staff. Alternatively, please email info@cityacademyislington.org.uk. Please provide your child’s name and year group and/or provide the details of the relevant staff member(s) when emailing us with a query so that we can direct your email to the right person.

As most staff are working from home, there may be a brief delay in response and we would appreciate your patience with this.

Please only use one method of contact at a time. Please do not send a message, call and email as this may cause delays in the response.

I have a safeguarding issue that I would usually discuss with school. What can I do?

The Designated Safeguarding Lead, Laura Campbell (Vice Principal) is contactable by email on safeguarding@cityacademyislington.org.uk . Please only use this for safeguarding concerns and for nothing else. If the concern is urgent, please do not use this email address. If a child is in immediate risk of harm, please contact social services and/or the police. 

My child usually sees a CAMHS clinician in school. What happens now?

CAMHS clinicians are providing a remote service and will be in touch with you and your child directly during this time. They will try, where it is possible, to do consultations over the phone.

My child works with Think Forward and Nayaab. Will they have any contact while school is closed?

Yes. Nayaab will contact the students by phone and work with them going forward over phone and messages.

How will SEN support operate now?

We have our SEN support team working with department leaders to ensure that work that has been set is accessible by all students during the time of school closure. If you have a specific question about SEN needs, please contact the school by phone and the reception staff will contact the SEN team by email.

My child is eligible for Free School Meals. Can you help?

Yes. The government voucher scheme was launched today (31st March 2020) and we are in the process of setting up this provision. In the meantime, we have purchased Sainsbury’s vouchers for families with children eligible for free school meals and these have been sent by text. There will be one more round of Sainsbury’s vouchers from the school to cover the Easter holidays before we move to the government system. If you cannot access the internet and/or do not have a smart phone, please contact the school and we can print the vouchers to post or for you to collect.

Can my child come back to school to collect books while we are closed?

No. Schools have been closed to create ‘social distancing’ for everyone’s protection. If this changes, we will let you know. We may be able to post books home if they are absolutely necessary for your child’s home study.

Can my child come to school even if there is an adult at home?

The guidance clearly states that in all cases, children should stay at home wherever possible. It is only if there is no alternative to this that we are open for the children of key workers and students who are deemed as vulnerable. This includes children with a social worker and those with EHCPs. Add the link to the DfE site with information regarding key workers etc

What will happen over the holidays?

We want to support the critical key workers fighting Covid-19. We are looking at different options to enable us to do this, whilst maintaining social distancing as effectively as possible. We are currently looking at arrangements for the Spring break.

What do I do if I am worried about my child/rens’ mental health?

Reassure them that being worried and anxious during times like this is completely normal and encourage them to talk to you about how they are feeling. Be sympathetic and understand the difficulties they may discuss, such as not being able to see their friends.