Home schooling 'should be about keeping children stimulated', Wakefield headteacher says

Parents faced with home schooling students should focus on keeping their brains active, rather than following a strict academic schedule, a headteacher has said.

Friday, 27th March 2020, 1:01 pm

Thousands of parents across the district are faced with weeks of home schooling after the government ordered the closure of all UK schools last week.

Though the children of key workers will be allowed to attend school as normal, many more have been asked to stay at home, leaving parents in charge of their education.

Wakefield academy chief says safety of staff is paramount as children of key workers return to schoolTudor Griffiths, headteacher of Kettlethorpe High School, said the school had identified around 60 pupils who would be allowed to return to school, but said only around 20 had been in attendance each day, with parents opting to keep children at home wherever possible.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Parents faced with home schooling students should focus on keeping their brains active, rather than following a strict academic schedule, a headteacher has said.

He said: “We anticipate it settling down and then we may see an increase as more Key Workers are required in the coming weeks.

“We’ve got three teams of staff on a rota. What we’re doing is each team does a week at a time but within that we’re sending staff away where we can.

“That’s always the priority for us. We’ve got a number of staff who are out for 12 weeks because they’re pregnant or have underlying conditions.

“We’re just trying to keep calm and maintain a sense of order. We are holding lessons and the children are learning, but there’s not a set scheme of work, no curriculum.”

Closure: Tudor Griffiths, far right, with pupils at Kettlethorpe High School

Mr Griffiths stressed that parents who were home schooling their children should not worry about following a strict academic structure, but instead focus on keeping pupils engaged.

“It’s about keeping the brain working, keeping children stimulated and interested,” he said.

“It’s going to be hard for families, parents are going to have to break it up hour by hour.”

Offering advice on lessons, he suggested spending an hour in the garden taking photos of animals, before heading inside to research the creatures and create a poster or scrapbook about the findings.

Other advice from educational experts has included encouraging children to stick to a daily routine and including a mixture of serious and fun subjects - for example, an hour of maths followed by baking or arts and crafts.