A warm welcome to everyone who’s looking for some support with KS3 work – and thank you for all your efforts in working from home – it’s a very difficult and very different experience to the usual classroom routine! There have been many requests for accessible work and hopefully you will find what you need here. The focus is on developing core skills in English, Maths, and Science through a range of worksheets and books. Remember, there is no need to print off everything – every pupil was given an exercise book so the evidence of the outcomes (photos are most welcome!) should be recorded in there. Please also look at the Growth Mind Set – developing a “can do” approach is a vital life skill; it builds resilience and develops flexibility to respond to change!
Ways in which to support your child’s learning
Self-esteem needs to be carefully nurtured and improved – find something that your child does well and emphasise the success, praise their attempts and encourage their efforts to “have a go” at a task. Break tasks down into smaller steps and develop the work in many smaller parts so that the finished product comes from a result of many smaller attempts.
There are many distractions (including noise!) for young people when working at home. Try to ensure that the room is quiet, well lit, and there is a designated work area with a table and chair. Create a positive working atmosphere, with the equipment needed for your child to complete the work – pencils, pens, ruler, rubber, paper etc.
Set clear expectations about the amount of work to be finished – using a phone or egg timer might be helpful – and keep the sessions short. Remember that learning is challenging and it can lead to frustration, anxiety, and self-doubt. Allow for time out by stopping the timer, coming back to the task later.
Motivation is a vital factor for learning. However, if your child finds learning challenging this will affect their motivation (after all, nobody wants to start something that feels “hard”!) Keep the goal simple (e.g. “just 3 sentences”), achievable (e.g. “using 2 topic words”), and timed (e.g. “in the next 5 minutes”). Allow your child to have “ownership” of their work. Agree targets together before the work begins! Consider beginning with something your child already knows or can achieve easily – starting positively will make the task less daunting! And don’t forget to try and link it to the real work to show the relevance in daily life. Finally, encourage your child to “teach on” to another child, either a sibling or a friend (using technology!) – this will really improve their self-esteem!!
In addition, using positive language can help you to concentrate on what is wanted, not on what to avoid. Use expressions such as:
Give one instruction at a time. This is beneficial for those with short attention spans but also for those who cannot cope with multiple instructions. Saying a little at a time and as little as possible is much more powerful. Always try to give very clear, short instructions which require one activity at a time. Ask specific questions to ensure instructions have been understood (not just ‘Do you understand?’). Be prepared to repeat yourself – don’t just get louder! Keep instructions in the order of the activity with simple language - use simple sentences, e.g. instead of "Before you do x, do y” say “Do x, then do y”
Encourage alternatives to handwriting – use a laptop, make a model, take a photograph to record the outcomes. And break it up with lots of other activities like reading, exercise, baking (in fact, any of the 60 tasks on the challenge sheet!) Most importantly, have fun!