Home-schooling teenagers during COVID-19: Tips from a Principal ‘the students are alright’
PUBLISHED: 15:57 19 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:18 19 May 2020
(C) JAMES BASS PHOTOGRAPHY
Home-schooling students of any age can seem like a daunting task but add teenagers into the mix and you’re in for a challenge. With the uncertainty of coronavirus, you may be left worrying about their education and feeling like the responsibility falls to you.
Catherine Richards, principal at East Norfolk Sixth Form College shares her tips for home-schooling young adults and explains why you don’t need to fret about your child’s future.
Q: What advice would you give to parents wanting to home-school older children?
I think routine is really important – students are used to structure, so I’d recommend discussing keeping to a college-like routine from Monday to Friday, even if that’s just completing ‘to-do’ lists. An established routine will also ensure the transition back to college isn’t quite so difficult.
As much as it’s great to keep busy, you also need to factor in time for rest – don’t force your children to do too much and over-work yourself in the process. Encourage your children to take breaks and get outside for some fresh air.
There are plenty of online classes and activities available if your college isn’t organising this for students already.
Q: How has East Norfolk Sixth Form College adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Our teachers have been busy embracing digital technologies such as Zoom and adapting how they conduct classes online.
We’ve had incredible feedback from our sixth form students since we took their classes online – they’re enjoying virtual learning and it’s working well. They’re learning as they usually would, except via live lessons on Zoom, YouTube videos and email instead of in a classroom.
As the college is basically empty, students taking classes that require certain equipment, such as Fashion and Textiles, have been able to come in when they need to - whilst abiding by social distancing guidelines.
We would love for our students to be able to come back to the college, but until this is possible, online learning has been great for us and has enabled us to discover new things and come together as a community.
Q: Can Year 11 students still apply for sixth form?
Yes, we are still taking admissions for our new intake of sixth form students in September.
Whilst we would normally conduct an interview face to face, we will now be doing these virtually, and the rest of the admissions process is carried out online. If your child is accepted, they will be invited to join our online community and through this will receive resources to help them prepare for college life and their classes.
We understand that parents may be worried about their children being behind when they start sixth form because they’ve missed work. There is no need for concern; all teachers are aware of the circumstances and we will ensure all students are well supported.
East Norfolk Sixth Form College
We pride ourselves in being a strong institution, with a reputation for success spanning 38 years. We currently have a 99pc A-Level pass rate and are passionate about challenging students to reach their full potential and leave as a more-rounded individual with excellent exam results.