Supporting Children at home

(Compiled Government guidance)

Staying at home can be more disruptive to the lives and routines of children with special educational needs and disabilities. No one expects parents to act as teachers or childcare providers, or to provide the activities and feedback that a school or nursery would. Parents and carers should do their best to help and support their children with their learning while they are at home.

The government has been working with a range of other organisations to create extra resources to help you. See:

  • a list of online education resources for children with SEND – see below
  • coronavirus educational resources from The Sensory Projects

http://www.thesensoryprojects.co.uk/covid19-resources

  • SEND-specific resources for learning from home from Tech Ability

https://www.techability.org.uk/resources/aiding-learning-from-home/

They have also worked with other organisations to create information on ways you can help your children learn at home. See:

advice on supporting children with a learning disability or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) from the Council for Disabled Children

https://councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/help-resources/resources/supporting-children-learning-disability-asd-coping-covid-19-isolation

How to help young children learn at home

You can help your child to learn through the little things you do with them, for example:

  • everyday conversations
  • make-believe play
  • games with numbers or letters
  • reading together
  • involving them in the things you are doing, such as household chores, and talking with them about it
  • Find ideas for new things you can try at Hungry Little Minds. https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk/

You do not need to set separate time or plan complicated activities dedicated to learning. These activities can be incorporated into everyday life and play.

You know your child best. Avoid forcing them into lengthy planned activities if they naturally respond better to a mix of shorter activities. This can stop them getting bored or frustrated and keep them active, interested and learning through things they enjoy.

Keeping a routine

Do not worry about trying to keep to the full routine that your child had in nursery or with their childcare provider. But children will feel more comfortable with a predictable routine, so try to make sure they:

  • get up and go to bed at the same time each day
  • have regular meal times
  • turn off any electronic devices, including the TV, at least an hour before bedtime
  • Keeping active
  • Young children should be active for at least 3 hours a day in total.

It is also good to get some fresh air every day. If you do not have a garden and are taking children outside to exercise, make sure you follow the rules on social distancing. While inside, there are plenty of things you can do to keep children active, such as:

  • playing hide-and-seek
  • seeing who can do the most star jumps
  • making an obstacle course
  • playing music and having a dance-off

Television and using digital devices

There are lots of ways to help your child to learn such as reading together and make-believe play. You can also use what children have watched on television or the internet to help their learning. Talk with them about what they are watching or use their favourite TV characters in other games and activities. Digital devices such as a laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone can help some children learn. If your child does use them, try downloading some apps that will help them learn. Go to https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk/#information for ideas. Set age-appropriate parental controls on any devices young children are using and supervise their use of websites and apps. See advice on keeping them safe online at https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/articles/keeping-your-under-five-safe-online.  Try sharing things your child makes with your friends and family online and encourage others to do the same. Your child might enjoy seeing things they have made on the screen or seeing what other children have done. You can also visit Hungry Little Minds for ideas of activities to do together without using a device (see above)

Socialising while social distancing

Spending time with other children is important for your child’s development, but at the moment it is important they stay at home. It will help them if everyone in the home talks with them through the day, responding to them and being led by the things they are interested in. Visit Hungry Little Minds for more information about talking with your child. If you can, try a video call with other children. Younger children may not have a conversation as you would, but they can share activities or show each other things they have made or like. Try a call with other people that your child knows, such as grandparents. Sit and do the call with them to help. Not all children will like it, so try again another time or have a call with family members while you are sitting down and eating a meal. Try sitting with your child and looking at pictures of their friends or family. Talk about them and the things you have done together.

How to help older children at home

Structuring the day

Do not worry about trying to maintain a full routine for your child like they had at school. But children will feel more comfortable and learn better with a predictable routine to the day, even if this is difficult. Generally, you should try to make sure that they:

  • get up and go to bed at the same time each day
  • have regular meal times
  • have regular breaks
  • make time to be active – children are used to regular play at lunch and break times
  • Using digital devices. Set age-appropriate parental controls on any devices your child is using and supervise their use of websites and apps. See advice on keeping them safe online and talk to your child about online safety.

Reducing screen time

Digital devices are not the only way to learn. Manage screen time with a timer and break up screen time by getting your child to:

  • use books and other printed materials that their school has provided or that you have at home
  • write by hand – try asking them to complete work by hand, write a diary, a summary of things they have learned or done each day or ‘to do’ lists
  • be active and get away from the screen regularly – see a selection of physical activity resources for primary school children
  • stop using digital devices at least an hour before bed

The best way to help children this age to learn is to:

  • sit with them as they work
  • do active and practical things, rather than trying to make them sit and listen for long periods
  • try to break down the work into shorter periods, based on how long they can concentrate
  • take frequent breaks
  • praise or reward them when they do well

Talking

Talk with your child throughout the day and try to explain new words. For example, discuss everything you are doing and pick out words that might be new to them.

Reading together

When you read with your child try to:

  • express the emotion in the story
  • give colour to the characters using voices, tone and pace
  • discuss the things you are reading

You can make a story more interesting and help your child develop their understanding of a book by linking what you are reading to their life. For example, while reading about Cinderella going to the ball, talk about how a ball is similar to a birthday party. Ask your child questions about what you are reading as you go. For example:

  • ask some questions that only need a short answer, such as what colour something is, or the name of a character
  • ask some questions that need a longer answer, such as how a character is feeling
  • ask them to tell you what has happened in the story so far

Libraries are currently closed, but you can find digital services they are providing at Libraries Connected.

Phonics

Phonics is a method schools use to teach children how to read quickly and skilfully. See below for phonics activities. Our social media also has Phonics Friday. Check in on Fridays for more phonics activities.

Writing

Try to help children to continue to practise their writing. This may include the formation of letters and familiarity with pens and pencils for younger children, or practising creative writing for older children. Ask children to write about their day-to-day experiences of being at home, or to write letters to send to family members.

Numbers

Practise counting and numbers. This does not always have to be a planned activity. For example, count things around the house while you are doing other things like cooking or cleaning. For older children learning sums, ask your school for help or see a list of resources to help with maths recommended by teachers and school leaders.

For children working at a higher cognitive level, you can support by:

  • give them support and direction, but encourage them to do work independently too
  • include active and practical things, rather than trying to make them sit and work for long periods
  • try to break down the work into shorter periods, based on how long they can concentrate
  • take frequent breaks
  • praise or reward them when they do well

To check if they are learning try to:

  • ask them questions as they go
  • talk about things they learned
  • Talking
  • Ask children to talk through what they have learned during the day and find time to talk with them more generally.

Reading

Talk to your child about what they are reading. This will help them understand what they have read and encourage them to read for fun. Ask your child questions about what they are reading. For example:

  • ask questions that make them think about the story, such as how a character is feeling
  • ask them to tell you what has happened in the story so far

Libraries are currently closed, however, you can find digital services they are providing at Libraries Connected.

Writing

Try to help children practise their writing. Work from school may be sent digitally, but using pen and paper will help children be ready for when they go back to school.

Information for parents of year 6 children

To prepare for going to secondary school this can be a good time for them to follow their own interests. For example, for:

  • history, by visiting the English Heritage website to explore England’s history
  • geography, by researching other countries
  • science, by finding out more about the human body on BBC Bitesize
  • art, by trying the activities on TATE Kids
  • Ask your primary school about how you can help your child prepare for moving up to secondary school.

Resources and Websites prepared by the government which you can access to support you

 

Phonics

Reading

Writing/ Other

Read Write Inc. (This is the scheme that we use at school)

https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/

 

Other resources you could use:

Floppy’s Phonics Sounds and Letters

https://global.oup.com/education/content/primary/series/oxford-reading-tree/floppys-phonics-teaching-programme/?region=uk

Jolly Phonics

https://www.jollylearning.co.uk/

Letterland Phonics

https://www.letterland.com/

Letters and Sounds (supplemented by closely matched and fully decodable books)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letters-and-sounds

Phonics Bug

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letters-and-sounds

Phonics International

https://phonicsinternational.com/

Sound Discovery

https://www.syntheticphonics.net/sound-dicovery.php

Sounds-Write

https://www.sounds-write.co.uk/

Audible

Website: https://stories.audible.com/start-listen

Suitable for: All

Description: all children’s audiobooks are available for free while schools are closed.

Registration: not required

 

Authorfy

Website: https://authorfy.com

Suitable for: Investigators and Engineers

Description: access to masterclasses on texts from a range of authors, including videos from the authors and activities linked to novels.

Registration: is required

 

BookTrust

Website: https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/bookfinder/

Suitable for: All

Description: a site with recommended booklists, categorised by age range and topic, including fiction and non-fiction. Family activities are included in the ‘Home Time’ section.

Registration: not required

 

Elevenses with the World of David Walliams

Website: https://www.worldofdavidwalliams.com/elevenses/

Suitable for: Engineers

Description: one free audio book reading is available to listen to every day.

Registration: not required

 

Love Reading 4 Kids

Website: https://www.lovereading4kids.co.uk/

Suitable for: All

Description: a site with recommended booklists, categorised by age range and topic, covering fiction and non-fiction.

Registration: not required

 

Poetry by Heart

Website: https://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/

Key stages: key stage 2

Description: a wide selection of poetry covering different topics

Registration: not required to view poems, but it is required to access teaching resources.

 

Storytime with Nick

Website: https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/help-during-school-closure/

Suitable for: All

Description: available from Monday 20 April. Films of well-loved stories read by Nick Cannon, a trained actor, teacher and trainer.

Registration: not required

 

The Children’s Poetry Archive

Website: https://childrens.poetryarchive.org/

Suitable for: Investigators and Engineers

Description: an archive of spoken poetry recordings. Children can listen to poems read out loud.

Registration: not required

 

 

Oxford Reading Tree Biff and Chip books free online

https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/books/free-ebooks/

 

Rhyming multisensory stories

https://www.rhymingmultisensorystories.com/

 

 

Cherry Garden’s Sensory Story: Anansi and the pot of wisdom

https://vimeo.com/402249710

 

 

Pobble 365

Website: https://www.pobble365.com/

Suitable for: Engineers

Description: a new image is published each day as a basis for creative writing. Story starters, questions and drawing ideas are provided.

Registration: not required

 

Classroom Secrets

Website: https://classroomsecrets.co.uk/free-home-learning-packs/

Description: downloadable resource packs which cover a range of subjects, including reading and writing.

Registration: not required

English Mastery

Website: https://www.englishmastery.org/

Suitable for: Engineers

Description: downloadable resource books providing 8 weeks of activities.

Registration: not required

 

Literacy Shed

Website: https://www.literacyshedplus.com/en-gb/browse/free-resources

Suitable for: Engineers

Description: downloadable resource packs with tasks based on video clips on YouTube.

Registration: not required

 

The Day newsletter

Website: https://theday.co.uk/subscriptions/the-day-home

Suitable for: Investigators and Engineers

Description: a daily newsletter for parents and carers at home with children, helping to enrich learning with real-world knowledge and skills.

Registration: is required

 

Pete Wells has some raucous free sensory stories available on his website – and the podcast is well worth a listen too!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/y3ni3ymgtlbrndd/AABDqPQS9fopyDllT9VnFlnWa?dl=0&fbclid=IwAR1y_qXgQoSlG3gn3493UujII0KRN-_12R-QByln7opkvJoPac-QQixKAtc

 

The Sensory Projects has free project packs for inclusive learning  and also some simple sensory games to play

http://www.thesensoryprojects.co.uk/free-educational-resources

 

 

The Sensory Dispensary have activities available to download from TES SEN website. https://www.tes.com/member/Sensory_Dispensary

 

St Gabriel’s school staff sharing activities for special school learners. https://www.stgabrielsschool.ie/curriculum/storytime/

 

Inclusive sensory discovery pack for Shakespeare’s The Tempest https://www.dropbox.com/sh/p7xqeg7x8h0do3r/AAAYQ_hmj7STmQ3HuHdQG3UXa?dl=0&fbclid=IwAR34E3UlV4vcZvggteQpnT7MiKuzD19sPlnQVmAOcB0MxiDeP7Gjki673ts

 

Greenside sensory stories

http://www.greenside.herts.sch.uk/Creative/SensoryStories/SensoryStories.html?fbclid=IwAR1EaTSk2mu633RKq_wmwPCR9tJ6birjNkm6q7r4RIB9EsVTyQfdmJNMWCA

 

Activities including sensory and massage stories which are themed for the time of year.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2f48mlkqn0ylgiz/AADgTFXcby2aHw1E085-KJ6Pa/Home%20learing%20pack?dl=0&subfolder_nav_tracking=1

 

Molly is creating videos to engage her learners

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0uRB9oas_REm3UnXleyh9A

Apps to support learning

 

Maths

Science

PE

All apps must be downloaded onto a suitable device

 

Brain Parade

Website: http://www.brainparade.com/products/see-touch-learn-free/

Description: a visual instruction app, including flash cards and picture-choosing games, for children with autism and special needs.

 

HelpKidzLearn

Website: https://www.helpkidzlearn.com/

Description: a collection of games and resources designed for a range of educational needs and stages. It includes provision for school closure.

 

Sensory App House Ltd

Website: https://www.sensoryapphouse.com/

Description: a range of apps are available for pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) or Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD). All are interactive and many do not require significant coordination abilities.

 

Visuals2Go

Website: https://www.visuals2go.com/

Description: an all-in-one app created to support people with communication and learning difficulties. For verbal and non-verbal learners.

Hamilton Trust (home learning section)

Website: https://www.hamilton-trust.org.uk/blog/learning-home-packs/

Suitable for: Investigators and Engineers

Description: downloadable resource packs with teacher guidance. A week’s worth of resources is provided for each year group.

Registration: not required

 

Mathematics Mastery

Website: https://www.mathematicsmastery.org/free-resources

Suitable for: Investigators and Engineers

Description: downloadable guidance and resource packs for parents and pupils.

Registration: not required

 

Nrich

Website: https://nrich.maths.org/

Suitable for: All

Description: a range of activities. Some are interactive and some are to be completed offline. Activities are categorised by age range.

Registration: not required

 

Numberblocks

Website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/help-your-child-with-maths

Suitable for: All

Description: videos for numeracy development designed for children aged 0 to 6. There are fun activities that can be applied to everyday life and play.

Registration: not required

 

Top Marks

Website: https://www.topmarks.co.uk/maths-games

Suitable for: Investigators and Engineers

Description: a range of interactive maths games categorised by age group.

Registration: not required

 

White Rose Maths (home learning)

Website: https://whiterosemaths.com/homelearning/

Key stages: Investigators and Engineers

Description: presentations and downloadable workbooks which are easy to use for parents. New material is being released each week.

Registration: not required

 

The Sensory Projects has free project packs for inclusive learning  http://www.thesensoryprojects.co.uk/free-educational-resources

and also some simple sensory games to play. http://www.thesensoryprojects.co.uk/guides

 

 

The Maths Mum

https://www.themathsmum.co.uk/resources-booklets?category=Workbook&fbclid=IwAR1umU-dW0NN6hx_PYnbMDRpGhF0BeTSfJzIETHJvTGtmDZewhqD0DX6F8A

 

BBC Bitesize

Website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/primary

Suitable for: Investigators and Engineers

Description: interactive resources covering the primary science curriculum.

Registration: not required

 

STEM Learning

Website: https://www.stem.org.uk/primary-science

Suitable for: Engineers

Description: an online resource bank, which links to resources on external websites. The site features a live chat function offering support from subject experts. New home learning resources are being developed.

Registration: is required for some resources

Boogie Beebies

Website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mvsc

Suitable for: All

 

Description: videos that get younger children up and dancing with CBeebies presenters.

Registration: not required

 

Disney 10 Minute Shakeups

Website: https://www.nhs.uk/10-minute-shake-up/shake-ups

Suitable for: All

Description: 10-minute activities based on Disney films that count towards a child’s 60 active minutes per day.

Registration: not required

 

Super Movers

Website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/supermovers

Suitable for: Investigators and Engineers

Description: videos which help children move while they learn. They support curriculum subjects, including maths and English.

Registration: not required

 

#ThisIsPE

Website: https://www.afpe.org.uk/physical-education/thisispe-supporting-parents-to-teach-pe-at-home/

Suitable for: Investigators and Engineers

Key stages: key stage 1 and key stage 2

Description: videos delivered by teachers focussing on the PE curriculum which are accessible on YouTube.

Registration: not required

Websites to support learning for pupils with SEND

Communication

Broadening the curriculum

Do2Learn (USA)

Website: https://do2learn.com/

Description: a range of downloadable resources grouped by theme. Themes include: social skills, songs and games, and picture cards.

Registration: not required

 

Inclusive Teach

Website: https://inclusiveteach.com/free-printable-sen-teaching-resources/

Description: downloadable teaching resources to support pupils with SEND.

Registration: not required

 

PMLD thematic units – from the Northern Ireland Curriculum

Website: http://www.nicurriculum.org.uk/curriculum_microsite/SEN_PMLD_thematic_units/index.asp

Description: comprehensive guidance on themed activities for learners with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). A full sensory curriculum is offered.

Registration: not required

 

Priory Woods School

Website: http://www.priorywoods.middlesbrough.sch.uk/page/?title=Resources&pid=3

Description: resources from an award-winning, innovative school, rated by Ofsted as outstanding and put together by SEND teachers. The resources include apps and programmes.

Registration: not required

 

SEND Gateway

Website: https://www.sendgateway.org.uk/whole-school-send/find-wss-resources/nqt-videos.html

Description: A range of SEND guidance videos created in collaboration with the Centre for Education and Youth (CfEY) in addition to many other experts within the sector. Aimed at Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs).

Registration: not required

 

SENict Activities

Website: https://www.ianbean.co.uk/senict-members-resource-portal

Description: downloadable activities aimed particularly at Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) and Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) learners.

Registration: not required

 

SEN Teacher

Website: https://www.senteacher.org/

Description: downloadable resources that can be adapted to suit the needs of pupils. Resources are aimed at a range of abilities.

Registration: not required

 

Speech and Language Kids

Website: https://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/free-speech-language-resources/

Description: a range of education and therapy resources for speech and language problems. A podcast is also available on iTunes for verbal and non-verbal children.

Registration: not required

 

Teaching Students with Visual Impairments

Website: https://www.teachingvisuallyimpaired.com/

Description: a range of downloadable resources to support blind and visually impaired pupils.

Registration: is required

 

UCL Centre for Inclusive Education

Website: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/departments-and-centres/centres/centre-inclusive-education/homeschooling-children-send/managing-transition-home-schooling

Description: a guide to help parents adjust to remote learning by providing advice and links to resources.

Registration: not required

Two months free from the AAC  language lab

https://www.aaclanguagelab.co.uk/

 

Clicker – accessible word processing

https://www.cricksoft.com/uk/clicker/clicker-at-home

Big Top Musical Adventures – a new interactive musical adventure each week https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyXShtCdi0nZ-DrJbUUIFvQ

 

 

Access Art resources

https://www.accessart.org.uk/art-resources-for-home/

 

Access Art Sketchbook Online Course

https://www.accessart.org.uk/sketchbooks-an-online-course-for-children-families-parents-teachers/

 

An A to Z of sensory activities from Inclusive Teach

https://inclusiveteach.com/2019/05/13/the-a-z-of-sensory-learning-activities/

 

Printable resources for exploring nature (linked to literacy and numeracy as well.) Good outdoor garden activities.

https://www.thewishbonecollective.com/shop/

 

Music apps and interactive resources (even some online lessons)

https://www.facebook.com/GardenOfMusicOrg/photos/a.453328838205953/1287059384832890/?type=3&theater

 

150 sensory learning activities

https://inclusiveteach.com/2020/03/20/150-sensory-learning-ideas/

 

For any other help and enquires, contact the school who will be happy to help you and make sure you check out our social media which has daily content to support you.

 

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