Schools Working Together for Key Workers & Vulnerable Children

Henley schools have been working together after the Prime Minister announced that schools should be closed on Friday to all children apart from children of key workers or vulnerable who should go to school.

Tim Hoskins, Headteacher from Badgemore School said, “The headteachers from the Henley Partnership are working closely in this difficult situation. At the moment, the children of key workers and vulnerable children are going to their own schools, but we are looking at alternatives if the situation worsens. We have asked parents/carers to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and our schools will only remain open for those children who absolutely need to attend.”

With parents, taking over the role of the teacher from yesterday, Tim has some advice for home-schooling which he says “is not easy” and he’s listed below the challenges he knows parents are facing and some possible solutions:

The challenges faced:

  1. Getting the children off their screens to start the learning activity
  2. Finding out what is expected in each task with the pressure of your child sitting next to you
  3. Helping your child to stay focused whilst you are distracted by all the jobs that sit undone around you
  4. Suddenly realising that your child is using your computer whilst work emails are pinging in and will go unanswered until the home schooling session is completed
  5. Coming up with exciting ideas to move away from screen-based and paper-based learning
  6. The guilt of not being there to support your child when you know that you have to do work

Some possible solutions:

  1. Agree a time table which includes independent learning, creative and physical activities.
  2. Encourage your child to get dressed every morning.
  3. Briefly read through the learning activity before your child arrives to the table so that you know what is expected.
  4. Plan in some time for the children to do some child-led learning otherwise known as playing.
  5. Think creatively – we have a family goal of using the exercise bike to cycle 531KM in the next 13 days: the distance from Henley to Paris. There are 58,070 steps up Mount Everest – you could set your family to do a stairs step challenge.
  6. Think about life skills that you could teach: measuring using a weighing scales, breaking and whisking an egg or how to load up and turn on the washing machine.
  7. Access the support offered from the school
  8. Focus and praise your child’s effort – consider how hard your child has worked on a task rather than focusing on the outcome. Praising effort means that children are more likely to engaged and push themselves next time.
  9. Remember that we are in extraordinary times and that we can all only do our best.

There are lots of other ideas being shared on social media about home-school including how to tackle your child constantly asking for snacks.  Below is an idea which puts the snacks into a named basket each morning.  Others have set up a shop, with virtual money and said each child can select snacks up to a certain amount each day – a great way of teaching maths too!  Do you have any other suggestions?  Send them to us at

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