Creating drawings, lists, plans or homemade postcards can connect children to neighbours, relatives or friends and keep that connection. Include some prompts in your home learning packs. Include the Covid Time Capsule to help students creatively chart their experiences (suitable for primary and secondary).
Stay in touch
Don’t underestimate how helpful a school newsletter or subject weekly email can be. Many students feel lonely and disorientated and miss the rhythms of school. Levels of communication need to be realistic for staff, and students will have different reactions - some will worry that they want to get the work done and some will feel very unmotivated. Online platforms and printed home learning packs provide a structure, but staff do not need to follow the normal curriculum or aim to push students through the content at a ‘normal’ pace.
Pupils with peers
Many pupils will be missing their peers. Facilitating calls and assigning projects to be worked on together or in pairs will maintain social and learning relationships. Creating fun activities or book reviews for students to discuss with each other can keep that connection and engagement.
Connecting younger pupils with online assemblies, or setting students online challenges to do at home and getting them to send back pictures of the results, helps childrn share their work and stay connected. Creating pictures and writing letters, and either dropping them into the school letter box or uploading and emailing them, is a fun way for pupils to engage with their teachers.
Exams will not be taking place this summer as we know it. Pupils who were scheduled to sit GCSE, A-level or AS-level exams now find themselves in a very different place academically and emotionally, as those exams have been cancelled. Those pupils can still be engaged in learning, in extension projects to consolidate their learning, and opportunities to think about what they will be doing next. Exam groups are a positive support network connecting pupils going through the same experiences and emotions. More guidance on exams can be found here.