Useful Links for parents during COVID School closure
Supporting Your Family's Wellbeing During Lockdown
It can be hard to know how to support your family's wellbeing during these unusual times. Below is a poster offering some tips to help each other.
Keep scrolling down the page to see further suggestions for supporting your family's wellbeing during lockdown
Reading at home
Why not try a reading treasure hunt at home to keep up the family's interest in reading? Reading does not just come in the form of story books. It is the print around us on food boxes, in recipe books, on the news and many more places.
Behaviour At Home
Families have been at home now for over two months during lockdown. How are you finding it? Are you having good days and bad days? It can be very hard with everyone stuck at home for long periods and no breaks from each other.
How are you finding the children's behaviour? Lockdown can be hard for both adults and the children. Try to remember to be positive with each other. Below is some great advice about dealing with children's behaviour during lockdown.
Praising Each Other
Even though we are stuck indoors every day, we should not take our family and carers for granted. Everyone is working hard at home whether it is doing the house work or doing school work. Take a moment over the long weekend to praise each other for their efforts, not matter how small. For example, 'Thank you for making my breakfast' or 'Thank you for making your bed.' Maybe you could make certificates for each other and present them like we do in assembly.
Did you know that lots of people have started gardening since lockdown? Whether it's on the kitchen window sill or in the garden, people have started to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers. There are lots of benefits to gardening. It encourages healthy eating, helps sensory development and teaches responsibility and patience. Gardening does not need to be expensive. You can use washed yoghurt pots or empty egg boxes to start growing your seeds.
Be Kind Together
This week, 18th - 24th May, is Mental Health Awareness week and the focus for this year is 'kindness'.
Be kind to yourself and be kind to others. How can you be kind today? It only takes one simple act of kindness to make somebody's day.
During lockdown, have you tried yoga as a family? It has many benefits. It helps to build strength, flexibility and balance as well as concentration and focus. If you are all feeling a bit frazzled at home, try one of the videos below and see if you all feel a bit calmer afterwards.
Valence House Museum, Dagenham is a wonderful museum that St. Teresa's often visits. They are holding a competition which will be part of a special display in the museum and there are other great prizes.
They are holding a competition for local children and adults to create a picture called 'Dreaming.' To enter the competition, children need to paint, draw or sketch a picture of what they are dreaming about seeing or doing when lockdown is over. Visiting your favourite place? Meeting up with relatives?
Enter your competition entry to firstname.lastname@example.org (remember to put your age and name)
Deadline for entries Friday 15th May
Playing Games Together
If the kids are complaining 'I'm bored', below is a list of games that require little or no set up and can be played by the whole family.
1) Charades - think of a film or book and without talking, act out the word for your family to guess.
2) Hide the thimble - one person hides an object or toy in a room without moving anything and the other family members have to find it.
3) Two truths and a lie - Everyone takes turns telling three statements (two truths and a lie), other family members have to guess which statement is the lie.
4) Hot potato - Make a potato with rolled up socks, sit in a circle and pass the 'potato' around as if it is very hot. Play music and when the music stops, that family member is out. Repeat until only one family member is left with the potato.
5) Name, place, animal, thing - pick a letter of the alphabet and write as many names, places, animals and things that start with that letter.
6) Dot and Boxes - a paper and pen game (see the video below)
Visiting Museums Together From Your Home
Usually at this time of the year, the children at St. Teresa's go on school trips. At the moment all of the museums and art galleries are closed to the public but you can still visit from the comfort of your sofa by going on a virtual tour. Click here for Google Arts and Culture
Celebrating VE Day
Tomorrow (8th May) is the 75th anniversary of VE day (Victory in Europe) which marked the end of the Second World War (WW2) in Europe. Even though we are not at school to celebrate together, there is still lots that you can do at home to mark this special day.
VE Day celebration ideas
1. Create bunting and put it up in your windows. Click here for printable VE day bunting to colour in
2. Plan an outfit to wear . You could dress in red, white or blue or maybe try dressing as someone from the 1940s.
3. Plan a picnic to enjoy on Friday in your living room or garden.
4. Paint and decorate some rocks in red, white and blue.
5. Research some ration recipes and have a go at baking and cooking. Below is Prue Leith's flapjack recipe.
6. Listen to some wartime music and think about how it is similar or different to the music that we listen to today.
7. Make your own WW2 model.
8. Design and make a street decoration to put up in your front garden / front window.
9. Write a letter as if you are writing to a hero in WW2.
10. Write a story or draw a picture of what the world would have looked like on VE day in 1945.
11. Make some hats to wear on Friday.
12. Make musical instruments out of recycled items to play after your picnic on Friday.
13. Find out if there was anyone in your family who was in WW2.
14. Make jewellery in red, white and blue to wear on Friday.
15. Make flags to wave on Friday during Winston Churchill's speech at 2.45pm on BBC1.
16. Sketch a spitfire.
17. Visit an online museum e.g. Imperial War Museum.
18. Write a poem about WW2.
19. Plan an afternoon tea to enjoy with your family over Zoom or a video call.
20. Celebrate and have fun.
Now we have been in lockdown for over a month, as a family have you started to settle into a daily routine? If you are finding it hard, try to be up, washed and dressed by 9am. When we are dressed for the day, we are ready to get going and do some work.
You might want to follow the school routine as a starting point.
- 9 - 9.30 = Exercise
- 9.30 - 10.30 = Learning
- 10.30 - 11.00 = Break
- 11.00 - 12.00 = Learning
- 12.00 - 1.00 = Lunch and free time
- 1.00 - 3.00 = Learning
- 3.00 - 5.00 = Free time / creative / screen time
- 5.00 - 6.00 = Chores and prepare dinner
- Remember this is only a guide. Every family is different and some days a routine works well and others days it does not.
- www.twinkl.co.uk has lots of examples of timetables blank and filled in. Below is an example of a timetable.
Science experiments together
If you want the children to watch an educational TV show which the whole family will enjoy, there is a brilliant YouTube Science programme broadcast daily called 'Let's Go Live' with Maddie and Greg. Everyday Maddie and Greg teach about a science concept, have a quiz and make exciting science experiments which you can too with objects in the house. Which science experiment are you going to try?
We may be stuck indoors at the moment but our imagination can take us anywhere. Have you tried making up stories as a family? Or you could listen together to an audio adventure on www.nowpressplay.co.uk
The children at St. Teresa's have used this resource at school so they can guide you along or watch the instructions below to get you started. The password to access all 21 of the stories is: nowpressplay
Where will your imagination bring you to today? Will you imagine going to space, Ancient Egypt or the Arctic? Have fun.
At the end of the school day, the children say a prayer of thankfulness and gratitude for their day, friends and family.
Now, more than ever, it's a good time as a family to continue the practice of gratitude and thankfulness. Despite the many uncertainties, we have good things in our lives or around us e.g. a blue sky, the NHS working for us, enjoying a video call with Granny.
As a family, you could each say something that you are grateful for when you eat dinner at the table or when you are going to bed and saying your prayers.
Doing Chores Together
In lockdown, everyone is at home together and there are lots of jobs to do. At school, the children have jobs to do in class and are called monitors. The children can be just as helpful at home too. Give everyone a job and praise their efforts 'Great tidying away of the toys' or 'Thanks for putting the rubbish in the bin.'
Tip: Set the timer for 15 minutes, give everyone a job to do and get it done. Maybe even play some music as you all do the chore.
There are websites offering help with a cleaning routine for families: Flylady - A weekly home cleaning routine or Organised Mum - A 30 minute a day cleaning routine
Below is a guide for age appropriate chores for your child.
Reading Stories Together
At St. Teresa's, the children love reading. They enthusiastically read their reading books, library books and to their reading buddies. As lockdown continues, it can be harder to read new material because we cannot get out. Don't worry, the internet is a treasure trove of free books just waiting to be read or listened to. Try to read with your child every day all the way up to Year 6. Younger children enjoy a picture book whereas with older children start a book and read a chapter a night. There is nothing better than sitting on the sofa and curling up with a good book.
Cbeebies Bedtime Stories - Picture stories being read for ages 4-7
David Walliams 'Fing' - Age 8-11
Sooper books - Free online stories
Storyberries - Fairy tales, bedtime stories, poems and chapter books
Puffin Storytime - 20 minutes of stories for ages 0-12 years old
Building Dens Together
The April showers have arrived and families might not be able to get outside for their daily exercise. When we are indoors, the day can seem extra long especially when we are all in the same room. Have you thought about making a den?
Using a few things around the house (chairs, blankets and cushions), you can build a den in your living room.
What will you use your den for? Get some books and turn it into a reading nook, use the den in your role play e.g. Batman's cave or The three bears' house or watch a film from your den.
Den building encourages teamwork, communication skills and a quiet space for children to relax.
Don't worry if your den falls down, you can build it back up again.
The children at St. Teresa's are fantastic singers. Every assembly, hymn practice, Mass and concert, we are in awe of their singing voices. Singing is wonderful for children and adults. It helps to lift your mood, helps memory and improves communication skills. During lockdown, singing can be a great social activity as a family. You could sing karaoke, hymns, traditional songs from your culture or even make up your own songs. What is your favourite song?
Did you know that certain activities are good for relaxation? One of these activities is drawing. There is a fantastic website and Youtube channel called 'Art For Kids Hub' that teaches you how to draw. Why don't you try it as a family? www.artforkidshub.com
Currently we cannot go to church for both the spiritual and social support in our lives and our faith. But no matter where we are, we always have the power of prayer to give us strength and support during these times. The Catholic Church website for England and Wales
Daily Mass services can be viewed from your tablet, phone or computer from a local parish, SS Peter & Paul's Catholic Church in Ilford.
During these unsettling times, there are many people working hard to keep us safe. To give thanks for all the hard work that people are doing, we are being encouraged to #clapforourcarers. Every Thursday night at 8pm, people all over the country are standing on their doorsteps, balconies or at their window and clapping to give thanks for all the hard work that the NHS, pharmacies, health care workers, delivery drivers, cleaners and all the key workers are doing to keep us safe. Are you joining in with the weekly thanks?
You can also decorate your window with rainbows and posters for the NHS to show your appreciation. There are posters to download and colour in on www.nhsmillion.co.uk/nhs-posters or you could create your own pictures.
If your child is worried or anxious about coronavirus, below are ten tips to help you from www.youngminds.org.uk .
- Try not to shield your child from the news, which is going to be nearly impossible at the moment. The amount of information on the internet about coronavirus can be overwhelming, so ask your child about what they’re seeing or hearing online and think together about reliable sources of information.
- Talk to your child about what’s going on. Find out how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking about, let them know it is okay to feel scared or unsure, and reassure them that this will pass.
- Try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age appropriate manner. Remember, you do not need to know all the answers, but talking can help them feel calm (below is a child friendly book on youtube to explain about coronavirus written by doctors and teachers) .
- Reassure your child that it is unlikely they will get seriously ill, and if they do you feel ill you will look after them. Your child might be concerned about who will look after you if you catch the virus. Let them know the kind of support you have as an adult so that they don’t feel they need to worry about you.
- Give some practical tips to your child about how they can look after themselves. For example, show them how to wash their hands properly, and remind them when they should be doing it.
- Keep as many regular routines as possible, so that your child feels safe and that things are stable.
- Spend time doing a positive activity with your child (such as reading, playing, painting or cooking) to help reassure them and reduce their anxiety. This is also a great way of providing a space for them to talk through their concerns, without having a ‘big chat’.
- Encourage your child to think about the things they can do to make them feel safer and less worried.
- Be aware that your child may want more close contact with you at this time and feel anxious about separation. Try to provide this support whenever possible.
- Remember to look after yourself too. If you yourself are feeling worried, or anxious about coronavirus, talk to someone you trust who can listen and support you.
Taking breaks during the day is important and a quick dance is a great way to get up and get moving. Dancing has many benefits. It improves your fitness, mood, lessens anxiety and improves your memory. At St. Teresa's, our children are great at dancing in their lunch break in the playground. Here are three new dance routines to learn and we cannot wait to have a dance off in the playground when we see you all again.
Further dance routines can be found on www.gonoodle.com
Keep up the great work that you are doing at home. Home schooling your child can be hard work and you are doing a great job. Don't forget that you are your child's first teacher and so much more is taught at home than just the subjects. Children love helping in the kitchen and it's a great way to teach everyday Maths, reading a recipe, talk about family recipes and enjoy some time together.
Below are some useful EAL learning resources in different languages.
|Home learning - Croatian.docx.pdf
|Home learning - Dutch.docx.pdf
|Home learning - English.docx
|Home learning - English.docx.pdf
|Home learning - Estonian.docx.pdf
|Home learning - Farsi.docx.pdf
|Home learning - Finnish.docx.pdf
|Home learning - French.docx.pdf
|Home learning - Italian.docx.pdf
|Home learning - Norwegian.docx.pdf