Home education: Resources for schools, teachers and parents: Part 2

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
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A range of resources and education services are being offered to schools and parents to help support home education. SecEd's second compendium lists more than 65 resources, many of which of free or open access...

Resources covering a wide range of curriculum areas continue to be published – many free and open access – to support schools and families with home learning.

Charities, education organisations, ed-tech companies, and others have been quick off the mark to offer online materials and support since the school closures on March 23.

Headteacher Update recently published its first compendium listing some of these resources. Below you will find our second edition. This includes both paid-for and free services, although priority has been given to free and open access resources. The list is not comprehensive and inclusion is not an endorsement by SecEd.

SecEd has also published a range of best practice articles offering advice on remote learning for both parents and teachers. You can read all these articles here.

The BBC’s national offer

The BBC has revealed details of the resources it is offering to support the education of the nation’s children during the coronavirus lockdown.

Launching on April 20, the resources will offer 14 weeks of curriculum-related learning for children aged 5 to 14 across all four nations of the UK. It includes daily programmes and online lessons as well as further online content, including videos, quizzes, podcasts and articles.

BBC Bitesize Daily – as it will be called – will deliver its materials across BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Bitesize website and app, BBC Four, and BBC Sounds.

Each day, a number of 20-minute programmes will be available on BBC iPlayer or BBC Red Button, from where parents will be directed to resources available that day on BBC Bitesize online. All content will be divided into age groups.

BBC Bitesize online will have a daily maths and English lesson for every child with more subjects to follow. BBC Bitesize will also house podcasts, videos, quizzes and lessons. The content will be relevant to curriculums across the UK.

There will be further content delivered via BBC Wales, BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Scotland. BBC Sounds will offer two daily education podcasts while BBC Four will have evening programming to support the GCSE and A level curriculums.

Visit www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

Cross-curricular resources

Adventures in Familyhood: A collection of 20 virtual field trips that parents can take with their children: https://adventuresinfamilyhood.com/20-virtual-field-trips-to-take-with-your-kids.html

British Museum: Free access to its online collection, offering more than two million records, many of which include images: https://research.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx

Classoos: Alongside its publisher partners, Classoos is offering access to its textbook archive free to any UK school for 90 days. Available online or via apps, the textbooks are searchable by curriculum, subject and language: www.classoos.com/free-textbooks-for-90-days

Ed Place: Home education app offering resources and activities from year 1 to GCSE. Subscription, but offering a £1 trial period: www.edplace.com

First News: Free online learning resources for schools focused on key stages 2 and 3. Registration required. First News is also offering current issues of its newspaper and activity sheets for free and has launched a free six-week trial of iHub, which has weekly, news-based learning resources: https://schools.firstnews.co.uk/remote-learning-resources/

HelpKidzLearn: Software for young children and those with learning difficulties to play online. A home access licence is being offered on a monthly basis at a “reduced, manageable cost”. There are free downloads available for its ChooseIt Maker 3 activities app: www.helpkidzlearn.com/updates/school-closure.html

PlayHooray: A range of play ideas to keep young children entertained available for free, many using household items: https://playhooray.co.uk/blogs/news/play-for-all-ages

Speakers for Schools: A Virtual Talks programme to allow young people to access careers advice and inspiration: www.speakersforschools.org

Teacher’s Pet: Free home learning resource packs are available during the period of school closures. Early years to age 11: https://tpet.co.uk/tpet-news/how-to-create-your-free-account-and-download-our-free-home-learning-resource-packs/

Ted Ed: Educational videos on a range of subjects and topics: https://ed.ted.com/

Twitter: There are a range of hashtags on Twitter linking to home learning resources, activities and ideas. These include #MathsAtHome, #geographyathome, #ScienceAtHome and #ScienceFromHome, as well as more general hashtags such as #HomeschoolingUK: www.twitter.com

Virtual museum tours: Travel and Leisure has published links to famous museums around the world that offer virtual tours online: www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours

English, maths & science

3P Learning: A Digital Accelerator Support Package covering maths and literacy for students aged 4 to 14. Includes the Mathletics challenge and reward resource, Reading Eggs – online reading lessons, activities and ebooks – as well as science activities. Free 30-day trial available: www.mathletics.com/uk/digital-accelerator-support-package/

Abingdon Science Partnership: Abingdon School near Oxford has been working with its neighbouring state schools to produce home learning resources, short lesson ideas, longer project ideas, and more. Covers primary, secondary and beyond: www.abingdonsciencepartnership.org/useful-links/

Ark Curriculum Plus (English Mastery): Free resources and guidance to help provide daily sessions for learners in Reception and key stages 1, 2 and 3: www.englishmastery.org/our-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19/

Ark Curriculum Plus (Maths Mastery): Free resources and guidance to help provide sessions for learners, covering Reception and key stages 1, 2 and 3: www.mathematicsmastery.org/free-resources

Explore Learning: Mathematician Bobby Seagull will be running free Mid-Morning Maths sessions live streamed via Explore Learning’s Facebook channel. Meanwhile, Explore at Home is an online service for pupils aged 4 to 14 offering one-to-one tutoring: www.explorelearning.co.uk/keepeducationgoing/

Frontiers for Young Minds: An open-access journal written by some of the world’s foremost scientists and specifically for young people. Topics include astronomy and space science, biodiversity, neuroscience, pollution, and mental health: https://kids.frontiersin.org/

Maths on Toast: Free resources and activities to support primary-aged children: www.mathsontoast.org.uk/fun-maths-at-home/

Maths Factor (Carol Vorderman): Free for the duration of the UK schools closure. Ages 4 to 12. Curriculum-linked: www.themathsfactor.com

Mystery Science: Free collection of science lessons for early years and primary pupils: https://mysteryscience.com/school-closure-planning

MyTutor: A free online school for GCSE students offering live tutorials and educational resources. It covers all subjects, but is currently focusing on English, maths and science. Free access while schools are shut: https://m.mytutor.co.uk/online-school/

Nanogirl’s Lab: Offers a daily science activity with related worksheets and resources aimed at children aged 7 to 11. Also included are weekly parent webinars. A small subscription fee is charged with Nanogirl offering free access to a disadvantaged family for every subscription sold: https://nanogirlslab.com/

National Numeracy: A pack offering 28 free activities for children aged 4 to 11: www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk/news/free-family-maths-activities-children-aged-4-11-0

Nurturey: The Mental Maths feature of the Nurturey App has been made free for all users during the period of school closures: www.nurturey.com/uk

Royal Society: Its Science at Home section offers experiments, videos and lesson plans, covering curriculum themes – with support from the likes of Professor Brian Cox. It also offers STEM resources, including activity sheets and simple experiments for primary pupils and careers information and more in-depth scientific questions and techniques for secondary students: https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/education-skills/teacher-resources-and-opportunities/science-at-home/

Scratch Scratch: A programming language and an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games and animation. Ages 8 to 16 (or a junior version for ages 5 to 7): https://scratch.mit.edu/parents/

STEM Learning: A range of home schooling pages include pupil activities, family activities and ideas and materials for teachers working in schools. Includes a primary and secondary “resource of the day” feature: www.stem.org.uk/home-learning

University of Kent: Downloadable materials for primary and secondary students focused on human evolution and the history of human ancestors. Includes activity books and a “Find your path of evolution” board game. Printable files available via Dropbox: https://bit.ly/3e00zVO

The arts

Climb the Walls: Free online dance classes: http://islandmovingco.org/climb-the-walls-and-dance-with-imc-nab/

Dance Warriors: Dance with Strictly Come Dancing and The Greatest Dancers' Oti Mabuse: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Btxws8qvYAA

Disney Theatrical Productions: Free downloadable creative activities for educators and parents based on the West End shows The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Frozen and Aladdin. Ages 6 to 14. There is also a podcast series featuring careers advice from the West End, including technical production, carpentry, wardrobe, and make-up: https://disneyonstage.co.uk/education/

Little Angel Theatre: Free daily story readings and activity packs. Ages 3 to 11: https://littleangeltheatre.com/schools-and-community/at-home-resources/

National Theatre: The National Theatre Collection is available via remote access in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing. Schools and colleges can share log-in details with pupils. Includes recordings of 24 productions and counting. Includes Shakespeare set texts, novels such as Frankenstein and Peter Pan, and more: www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/ntcollection

Nature Detectives: A range of activities, some which can be done from a garden: https://naturedetectives.woodlandtrust.org.uk/naturedetectives

Poetry Society: Poetry learning resources for teachers, parents, carers and students: https://poetrysociety.org.uk/education/learning-from-home/

Red Ted Art: Art and craft activities: www.redtedart.com

Royal Shakespeare Company: Games, ideas, exercises, images, videos, galleries and more in the Shakespeare Learning Zone: www.rsc.org.uk/education/about-rsc-education/home-learning-with-the-rsc

Shakespeare’s Globe: Digital content, six free films, and Mark Rylance's “Shakespeare Walks” among other materials: www.shakespearesglobe.com

Tate Galleries: Students can explore the Tate Galleries online or find out more about particular artists. Includes a regular podcast: www.tate.org.uk

Wind in the Willows: The West End musical is available to stream for free during the lockdown period: www.willowsmusical.com

Other subjects

Anne Frank: Gillian Walnes Perry, co-founder of the Anne Frank Trust, has converted two of her most popular talks into an online illustrated presentation with her own recorded narration. Entitled The Life and Surprising Legacy of Anne Frank, it is suitable for students aged 10 and above and can be delivered directly to an in-box or accessed by a private link on YouTube. There is a nominal fee of £3.50: http://gillianwalnesperry.com/

Commonwealth War Graves Foundation: Downloadable, curriculum-linked resources examining the scale of the world wars and how we commemorate those who died. A new resource on the life of Second World War heroine and secret agent Noor Inayat-Khan is also available: www.cwgc.org/learn/resources/learning-resources

Economist Foundation: A free weekly bulletin and critical thinking resources for secondary students: https://economistfoundation.org/resources/

British Nutrition Foundation: The Food for Life Classroom is an online hub offering activity ideas and resources for pupils aged 3 to 16: www.foodafactoflife.org.uk/whole-school/remote-learning/

Geographical Association: Geography from Home offers schools, parents and students access to geographical ideas, activities and quizzes. Teachers will also find resources for setting remote work for students of all ages: www.geography.org.uk/geography-from-home

Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues: As well as its usual resources for teachers, the Jubilee Centre at the University of Birmingham is offering parents reading and writing resources and activities focused on character education traits, such as empathy, courage and bravery, compassion and kindness: www.jubileecentre.ac.uk/1777/character-education/parent-resources

National Geographic for Kids: Resources and activities covering geography, science, history, the animal world and more. Ages 6 to 13: www.natgeokids.com/uk/

Ocean Wise Conservation Association: A free online ocean-literacy resource called Online Oceans. Includes ocean-inspired crafts, activities, DIY videos, live-streamed learning, and animal content: https://ocean.org/learnonline/

Royal Geographical Society: Online resources spanning everything from colouring in sheets on weather for key stage 1 pupils to podcasts for A level geographers. There is also online CPD for teachers: www.rgs.org/resources

Mental health and wellbeing

Alcohol Education Trust: Online PSHE alcohol awareness resources, games and activities for 11 to 18-year-olds: www.alcoholeducationtrust.org (teachers and parents); www.talkaboutalcohol.com (pupils)

Bounce Forward: Online lessons to help parents learn how to help teenage children maintain a positive mental attitude during the lockdown: https://bounceforward.com/

EduCare: Safeguarding training company EduCare has some online courses and resources available for free. This includes CPD courses for teachers as well as wellbeing resources aimed at families: www.educare.co.uk/coronavirus

Focus Games: A free, simple online Covid-19 game offers facts and challenges myths: https://focusgames.com/index.html

Mentally Healthy Schools: Quality-assured resources to help primary schools promote children’s mental health and wellbeing. Specific resources have been collated focused on the Covid-19 outbreak: www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk

World Health Organisation: Advice for parents on how they can best support their children, including ideas for one-on-one time, advice on “keeping it positive”, how to manage stress, talking about Covid-19 and behaviour tips: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/healthy-parenting

Zoo webcams: The Holiday Pirates website has compiled a list of zoos with live animal webcams: www.holidaypirates.com/travel-magazine/13-zoos-that-offer-live-streams-see-giraffes-koalas-pandas-tigers-penguins-more_35765

Other parental support

National Education Union: The NEU has a website for parents with advice on exams and assessment, learning outside of school, child wellbeing and mental health, SEND, and communication with schools. The NEU also has recommended resources for parents and tips from its members for home learning: https://coronavirusandschools.org.uk/

Parentkind: A Parents’ Hub has information to help families, with tips for reading with children, games that support maths, supporting homework and more: www.parentkind.org.uk/For-Parents/Parent-Hub/Supporting-Learning

Teacher or school support

Association of School and College Leaders: Compilation of latest government information and other essential advice and guidance for school leaders: https://ascl.org.uk/Help-and-Advice/Leadership-and-governance/Health,-safety-and-safeguarding/Coronavirus-essential-information

BTS Spark: Free leadership coaching/CPD course on leading schools during this time of uncertainty. Open to all those in leadership roles in state-funded schools or colleges and includes one-to-one support: www.bts.com/en-gb/spark/our-programs/coaching-through-covid-19

Impero: Back:drop is a free digital safeguarding tool to support the recording and management of pupil wellbeing and which is being offered free during the crisis. The software enables teachers and safeguarding staff to access a history for each student and can flag warning signs: www.imperosoftware.com/uk/impero-backdrop/

National Association of Head Teachers: Frequently asked questions for school leaders, including latest government advice: www.naht.org.uk/news-and-opinion/news/leadership-news/frequently-asked-questions-about-coronavirus/

National Education Union: Remote learning guidance for school staff: https://neu.org.uk/what-you-need-know-distance-tea...

NetSupport: Offering free use of its remote support software to all education establishments for free for the next few months. NetSupport Manager can support staff working at home, while home workers can use it to access resources and desktop apps: www.netsupportsoftware.com/NSM-offer

NordVPN: Free cyber-security products. Educators facing lockdown can apply for six months of free services from NordVPN, NordLocker and NordPass: https://nordvpn.com/social-responsibility/educators/

One Team Logic: Free access to the MyConcern Safeguarding Software to all schools that do not currently have an electronic recording system. Allows staff, remote or on-site, to record safeguarding concerns, with notifications for safeguarding leads: www.myconcern.co.uk/national-safeguarding-emergency-response

Further information

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