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The home schooling survival guide for Suffolk parents

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Many Suffolk parents have been dreading Home Schooling: The Sequel, in between a maths question and a Zoom call for work.

The thought of occupying children for a whole day with just two printed worksheets and a Youtube PE session with Joe Wicks has not been relished in many quarters.

But this time around looks likely to be much better. Not only are schools ahead of the game but there is lots more home education content available for parents to access. Here is our guide to it.

home schooling (43990438)
home schooling (43990438)

Morning lessons on the BBC

A full morning of educational TV shows that follow the curriculum will be shown every week day, starting this week.

CBBC will see a three-hour block of primary school programming from 9am, including BBC Live Lessons and BBC Bitesize Daily, as well as other educational programming such as Our School and Celebrity Supply Teacher and much loved titles such as Horrible Histories, Art Ninja and Operation Ouch.

BBC Two will cater for secondary students with programming to support the GCSE curriculum, with at least two hours of content each weekday.

Content will be built around Bitesize Daily secondary shows, which are available online through BBC Bitesize. This will be complemented by Shakespeare and classic drama adaptations alongside science, history and factual titles from the BBC’s factual programming units.

Bitesize Daily primary and secondary will also air every day on BBC Red Button as well as episodes being available on demand on BBC iPlayer.

Tim Davie, BBC director general, says: “Ensuring children across the UK have the opportunity to continue to follow the appropriate core parts of their nation’s school curriculum has been a key priority for the BBC throughout this past year.

“Education is absolutely vital – the BBC is here to play its part and I’m delighted that we have been able to bring this to audiences so swiftly.”

Online BBC Bitesize

For primary, BBC Bitesize online has structured lessons in Maths and English for all year groups – these can be used at home or in the classroom. ‘This Term’s Topics’ also covers other curriculum subjects and curates learning content that works for the spring curriculum. This content can be easily incorporated into a learning plan or used to explore different topics at home. Visit bbc.co.uk/bitesize, click on the year group and subject and all the content is there.

For secondary pupils, Bitesize is also home to two-week learning packs for English and Maths in KS3 (years 7, 8 and 9) as well as ‘This Term’s Topics’ for other subjects to be used at home or to support teachers in the remote classrooms.

For students in Years 10 and 11, the Bitesize GCSE offer allows students to pick their exam board and subject to find everything they need to help with their studies. Visit bbc.co.uk/bitesize/secondary for details.

Oak National Academy

There are almost 10,000 lessons and free resources for pupils of all ages on the Oak National Academy website.

The lessons cover a wide range of subjects, from Early Years Foundation Stage to Year 11.

Each lesson is one hour long and they are delivered by a teacher, with a pre-recorded video as well as quizzes, worksheets and creative activities. It is all easy to use, there is no login or password, you can access the lessons on any device.

Many schools are likely to be using the Oak teaching resources as they allow teachers to download and adapt worksheets and lesson slides.

Over the past few months, the website has added creative and practical subjects to its lessons including art, craft, design technology and drama.

Visit thenational.academy.


A paid for site that offers extra support in maths has proven popular with many parents this year.

A Mathletics subscription offers hundreds of hours of maths activities per year group as well as printable workbooks for working offline.

Primary school pupils can access an online maths game called Live Mathletics, which allows them to compete with other children. Parents are emailed a weekly report of their child’s progress and can print out certificates of achievement.

Access costs £11.95 for one month, £59 for 12 months. Visit mathletics.com.


If you want to inspire your children to write their own stories during lockdown, Scribeasy is a subscription-based creative writing app that gets children of all ages into storytelling.

It uses tools and creative writing prompts as well as a library of thousands of images to help children invent their own stories. The site has a customisable writing screen, an interactive thesaurus and allows children to co-write stories with friends. Visit scribeasy.com.

Plan Bee

A group of former primary school teachers has created Learn at Home Packs, which are available from Plan Bee. Each one contains eight lessons with teacher-led teaching input videos, parent-friendly lesson plans, slideshow presentations and printable worksheets

PlanBee spokesperson Ollie Ryan said: “We hope these packs will take some of the pressure off parents who are new to home schooling. They’re designed specifically for mums and dads, so there’s no educational jargon. Educating your children at home can seem a pretty daunting prospect, but with these packs, we think we’re helping with the heavy lifting.”

The packs cover topics such as forensic science, Italian culture, women’s suffrage and easy-to-follow cookery lessons.

Parents can purchase the work packs by topic. Visit Planbee.com.

Furlough for childcare reasons

If home schooling while you try to continue your job from home is proving impossible you may be able to ask your employer to consider putting you on furlough for childcare reasons.

You can ask to be furloughed from your job if you cannot continue your job, even at home, or need reduced hours, if you have children who need to be looked after who are at home as a result of school or childcare facilities closing.

To find out more visit gov.uk

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