A student’s guide
to working remotely
It is not realistic to create a normal school day in the home environment. We know that there are many pressures and demands in the home environment, and potentially many people wanting to use the same resources.
What is most important is that you stay safe and healthy – physically and mentally. Keeping up school routines and good study habits is one way of doing that, but so is spending time with your family.
Use the ideas below as a guide to help you. With your parents, agree a schedule that suits you and helps you.
- If possible, try to create a space where home learning can happen; ideally this will be a flat, clutter free surface, such as the dining table or a desk, near a computer. If you do not have internet access, the school will provide you with a learning pack.
- A good rule of thumb with regards to how long young people should spend studying is 15 minutes per day for each year of the young person's life. For example, a 12 year old should learn for 3 hours a day and a 14 year old should learn for 3 and 1/2 hours.
- Try to break the learning time down into manageable chunks and include this time in your daily routine. (See below for more advice on your daily routine) These chunks will obviously have to fit around other commitments you and your family have. Also, allow short breaks within the home learning time.
- Try to get the balance right between prioritising the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, along with other subjects, and topics that interest you.
- Use our online resources to help with study skills: have a look at the Home Learning and Revision pages of the Student section of the website.
Your Daily Routine
It is widely accepted that young people need routine in their lives. A structure to the day improves mental health, provides comfort and feelings of safety and reduces anxiety. The need for structure and routine is even more important in times of uncertainty such as these.
There are many examples to be found online of daily routines for families and young people. As well as time for Home Learning, a daily schedule could, and often should, include the following:
Exercise and Outdoor Time
More and more of us are joining online exercise classes and some of us have home gym equipment, however, at this point in time, we are still allowed outside! Making sure that young people release their energy is crucial so try to factor in two opportunities a day for this. While keeping in mind social distancing parameters, activities could include walking (with or without a dog), cycling, or gardening.
You also need time to be creative. Activities away from screens, that are not focussed on the academic side of learning, can develop skills needed and to be enjoyed in other areas of life. They could include playing games, baking, cooking, arts, music or craft activities.
As families, we now have to spend a lot more time together - it is important that we all have a part to play. Offer to help with household chores. It will give you a sense of purpose and responsibility, as well as a change of scene.
Even if it is for just half an hour a day, an activity away from screens such as reading or drawing, will not only help improve literacy or concentration levels, but will provide a sense of calm, thus supporting good mental health.
Family Time and "Me Time"
It is also essential that quality family time is planned into our days. We all need time away from the pressures of work and learning to try and enjoy each other's company. This could be the morning walk, meal times, a board game, a game of cards or a film in the evening.
Free / Screen Time
It’s fine to have free or screen time towards the end of the day as a reward to aim for throughout the day. However, it is important to remember that screens should be turned off at least an hour before bedtime to reduce anxiety and enable a good night's sleep!
Mental Health & Wellbeing
With schools closed, people social distancing or self isolating we need to think of looking after our Mental Health. These are some free online services approved by the NHS that children and parents can access from home. Please share these with your pupils, parents and carers.
Please also see the new Minfulness page of the Student section of our website:
Kooth is a free online Mental Health and Wellbeing resource for children and young people in Derbyshire that requires no formal referral, instead only requiring the user to set up an account on the website. Available 365 days of the year via mobile, tablet and desktop devices from 12 noon to 10pm Monday-Friday and 6pm-10pm at weekends, the service provides access to accredited counselling support, peer support via online forums and relevant articles detailing a variety of topics.
To sign up, please visit www.kooth.com/
Anxiety and Coronavirus
It is natural to have concerns about the impact of the Coronavirus, especially when we’re separated from our friends and exposed to more online news and social media than ever.
Please have a look at some of the advice on the websites below and, although it may feel like it, rest assured that you are not alone.
Below is the World Health Organisation advice for children on dealing with the Coronavirus:
While you are working online, please do it sensibly and safely.
Click here for more advice: