Guidance for primary teachers

  • Taking care of your physical and mental health is crucial at this time: this goes for children, parents and teachers. Keeping minds active and happy, ready to return to school when the time comes is the most important factor.
  • Teachers working at home can only carry out a reasonable workload and this must be negotiated with staff. Teachers should not be asked to personally contact their students daily, except where they have agreed with the headteacher a system/ rota for contacting vulnerable children and families. Teachers must not use personal phones, emails or social media to carry out this contact.
  • Teachers should not live-stream lessons from their homes, nor engage in any video-calling unless in exceptional circumstances, with the parent. Online lessons are not desirable for primary children as the teacher-pupil interaction is not easily replicated.
  • Many children need a lot of guidance when working and cannot be left for long periods of time to complete complex tasks. Schools should suggest activities that children can complete on their own. We must recognise that many parents are also trying to work from home, and parents might struggle to assist with schoolwork for a number of reasons. Parents cannot be expected to become teachers.
  • Tasks that do not need the internet or a device such as a laptop or tablet to access them are preferable, as some children and families will not have internet access or more than one device to use.
  • Work and tasks should suit the age range and capabilities of the children and expected outcomes should be flexible. Try to set tasks that all pupils can complete to some degree of success, with extra and more stretching activities for the more able.
  • Work that can be done in bite-sized chunks is more likely to be completed than longer tasks. If there are projects, suggest how these could be broken down.
  • Worksheets/textbook pages for maths and English can work if they are already used in school and all children have them at home. Teachers cannot be expected to mark work. Schools should not be setting SATs tests or mocks at this time.
  • A list of flexible tasks that cover different areas of the curriculum allows children to choose the tasks that interest them, and the ones parents feel they can manage.
  •  It is most beneficial and realistic to offer a variety of tasks which are done working at a table (keep these to a minimum) or while moving around, including creative tasks.

Lots of resources are available for schools and teachers here.