We are living in strange and fast moving times. You have either suddenly found yourself teaching online for the first time, or homeschooling or tutoring when this isn’t the norm for you.
If you’re in that situation then don’t worry – there’s plenty of help out there to get you up and running. Below we’ll give you some tips on how to make this transition and share with you some resources you can use to make things easier.
Create a working space
When you’re working in your home environment – whether that’s delivering digital classes or home schooling – it’s important that you have a differentiated space for you to do that work in.
This helps you to create a clear divide between your work life and your personal life. It will also help those you’re teaching to recognise that this is a clear space for learning and help them get in the right frame of mind.
You may not have enough space or enough equipment to create a working and learning space completely independent from your personal spaces. If this is the case then don’t worry – try to make some changes so that when you start and finish work you are transforming the space into ‘work mode’ and then back into ‘home mode’.
As an example, part of that change might be having text books on hand during work and learning time, and then placing them out of site during personal time.
Structure and schedule
Schools should be providing a timetable to students to follow for the foreseeable future. However, if you haven’t received this then we would strongly recommend you create your own – having a regular timetable will help this new way of learning feel like a routine.
If your student was already homeschooled or working with a tutor, then mirroring their existing timetable and routine as much as possible is recommended.
The key points here are to ensure that there is schedule and structure – again this helps to draw the line between ‘work time’ and ‘personal time’ for both you and your students. Any elements of that structure that can mirror normality will also have a positive impact.
If you are creating your own timetable, don’t forget to include breaks!
What to teach
Again, schools should have provided a list of what students will need to learn during this time.
If the student was already homeschooled or tutored, then continuing with the schedule of learning will help to keep some continuity.
If for some reason you don’t have access to this information, then you can find the national curriculum here.
BBC Bitesize is a great resource that offers free educational content across various age ranges.
We Are Teachers is a good place to go when you need help or inspiration, with a variety of curated resources for you to look through. In particular, this list of authors doing online read-alouds and activities is a great way to get your younger learners engaged with literature.
Teach is another resource from the BBC that is focused on video content – all mapped to the curriculum. It also features some videos for tutors and homeschoolers that you may find insightful.
Bramble is an online tutoring tool. If you sign up under basic tutor, this will allow you access to a remote classroom setting.
Free digital learning resources by age group
Early Years and Primary (KS1, KS2)
This is an online digital platform which allows teachers to deliver the curriculum online through a range of online resources. Find out more.
An online video resource which offers a series of video classes for early learners. Find out more.
A series of bright and colourful activities for primary age pupils. Find out more.
Cross-Phase (Primary, Secondary or Primary, Secondary and FE)
An AI engine which creates a personalised learning path for each pupil and allows them access to thousands of English, Mathematics and Science resources. Find out more.
A US-based series of digital games for learners. Find out more.
A series of national curriculum-aligned online English and Mathematics lessons, available online and compatible with tablets and computers. Find out more. (Free for a 2 week trial)
Secondary and Post-16
US-based app that lets students undertake virtual chemistry experiments. Find out more
Mobile phone all that lets students check their solutions to mathematics problems with explanations to support. Find it on the app store.
Online courses focussed on a range of subjects, offered from beginner to undergraduate level. Find out more
Mini-courses in digital, enterprise and computing skills. Find out more.
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos and a personalised learning dashboard across a range of subjects based on a range of ‘missions’. Find out more.
A FREE Skills/Careers/PSHE resource pack for young people with a full days worth of content. Email email@example.com
This site contains a range of basic resources that provide an introduction to core historical topics. Find out more.
A video conferencing app to allow schools to run classrooms virtually using pupils’ mobiles. Find it on the App store.
An app and online programme covering the UK national curriculum in literacy, numeracy and phonics at KS1 and KS2. Find out more.
Access to 35,000 books, learning videos and quizzes. Find out more.
With more time at home and more time accessing digital resources, online safety for younger people is more important than ever – ThinkUKNow have launched #onlinesafetyathome. You can find out more about ThinkUKNow here.
The government has also provided some useful guidance on free school meals for students that are now learning from home – you can read the government guidance here.
While keeping your students mentally active and learning is important, it’s also important that they are physically active and getting some exercise.
Joe Wicks is doing daily PE classes on his YouTube channel – you can find the videos here, with new ones being uploaded every day.
For younger students, you can also try Cosmic Kids – this channel offers free yoga videos designed specially for children.
We’re here to help
If you’ve found yourself homeschooling or online teaching for the first time then we’d love to help – contact Sugarman Children’s Services and we’ll see what we can do to help.
You can reach us on 0203 793 2009 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org