Cotswold Life

Do­ing your home­work

Coro­n­avirus might have put paid to hopes of a typ­i­cal school year, but you can help your child cope with what­ever it throws at them

- WORDS: Child Health · Society · Lifestyle · Education · Family · Parenting · Lifehacks · Infectious Diseases · Health Conditions · Facebook · Parent-Teacher Association

There’s no deny­ing coro­n­avirus’ im­pact on school life – so much so, it’s un­likely that the 2021–22 school year will mark a com­plete re­turn to life be­fore COVID-19. In June, there was talk of how this aca­demic year could see stu­dents switch be­tween class­room and home-based learn­ing, and of how GCSE and A-level grades for 2021 could be de­ter­mined by a mix­ture of ex­am­i­na­tions and as­sess­ment. Mean­while, the char­ity Par­en­tkind says that class­rooms will al­ter due to the pan­demic and that chil­dren start­ing pri­mary school this year will be un­likely to be able to at­tend taster ses­sions be­fore­hand.

What­ever hap­pens, you can still help pre­pare your child for the aca­demic year ahead. Chil­dren of all ages ben­e­fit from eas­ing back into their school rou­tine be­fore the new year starts, so en­sure your child does this as you get nearer to the start of term.

Start­ing school is a huge mile­stone for any child, and if your child be­gins pri­mary school this year, books can help them get used to the idea. Walk or drive with your child to their new school, and ask the school whether any pho­tos show­ing the lay­out of your child’s class­room will be on­line so you and your child can dis­cuss this. In ad­di­tion, find out if your school has a Face­book group or PTA web­site and join the school com­mu­nity. ‘Al­ways be pos­i­tive and en­thu­si­as­tic about all the fun things that will hap­pen at school, use [your child’s] teacher’s name so it feels fa­mil­iar and talk about the new friends they’ll make,’ Par­en­tkind says.

Your child doesn’t need to be able to read, write or do sums be­fore start­ing school, but Par­en­tkind sug­gests read­ing to chil­dren be­fore­hand, as well as help­ing them to recog­nise their name and get­ting them used to num­bers and letters. En­cour­age your child to in­de­pen­dently un­der­take prac­ti­cal skills they’ll need for school long-term, and try to en­sure they know how to share, take turns, lis­ten and sit still. Get them used to be­ing away from both you and home too.

Ac­cord­ing to Par­en­tkind, ‘sec­ondary schools are very aware chil­dren have missed out on taster ses­sions and tran­si­tion days be­cause of lock­down and will be pre­par­ing for a smooth and happy tran­si­tion when they wel­come their new in­take’. If your child be­gins se­nior school this month, en­sure you’re pos­i­tive about the new start. Your child will likely be trav­el­ling to and from school with­out you, so prac­tise the route with them when it’s safe.

Sec­ondary school can mean more to keep track of, so en­sure you’re on top of pa­per­work and im­por­tant dates. Ex­tra home­work is an­other po­ten­tial fac­tor, and set­ting up a home­work area for your child is a great move.

If your child strug­gles to set­tle, speak to your child’s teacher, or if they’re at se­nior school, their form tu­tor. If you are un­sat­is­fied with the response, speak­ing to a head of year or head­teacher is a good next step. For­tu­nately, most is­sues can be sorted out swiftly, but don’t forget that mov­ing schools can be an op­tion if you feel it is best for your child. The new nor­mal needn’t be to the detri­ment of a child’s devel­op­ment.

 ??  ?? ABOVE:
The first day of school is al­ways a huge mo­ment for any par­ent and child
ABOVE: The first day of school is al­ways a huge mo­ment for any par­ent and child

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK