23 March 2020
As with any situation, the more in control we feel, the more we can handle stress. During these unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, when it comes to education we would advise both students and parents to think about what they can control.
The first is minimising distractions when their children are working. We recommend parents try to find a suitable space for their daughter to study, remove devices not needed for the tasks in hand, and if their child is at an age where they can work independently, leave them uninterrupted at set times.
Providing support is important and we would encourage parents to discuss work and get involved where appropriate. Lending a sympathetic ear, printing resources and getting stationery ready for use are all practical ways parents can help. Ensuring any devices being used have appropriate security settings is essential too. Having high expectations has been shown to lead to higher attainment but these expectations must be realistic or you risk applying too much pressure.
At St Mary’s we believe in providing a brilliantly balanced education and this is just as important for children learning at home too. This could be a great opportunity for students to learn a new skill or get involved in something different. At St Mary’s, as well as finding innovative ways of teaching lessons while schools are closed, we’ve also been creative with our clubs. For example, we have launched a History Film Club for St Mary’s Senior School students, which has been very popular. We would also recommend ensuring time is built into schedules for exercise and relaxation.
Finally, try to remain calm. Children tend to mirror the actions and emotions of their parents so during these uncertain times this is more important than ever.