Sophia EdTalks

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Sophia High School
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Sophia EdTalks

Postby Sophia High School » Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:33 pm

After a wonderful pre-Covid launch last February and a brilliant response from parents who attended, we are bringing back our EdTalks sessions in a virtual format for 2021.

With so many of us questioning education during this unprecedented time, Sophia Edtalks are one of the ways we like to connect with the education community by providing parents with the opportunity to ask our Education team the questions you want to have answered regarding your child and the state of education today.

At Sophia, as an Education Team that has over 50+ years of Independent School Leadership and Teaching Experience and 8 of our own children between us, ranging in age from 0 to 38 years, we are frequently asked for our thoughts, support and opinions on educational matters facing us as parents today.

We hope you will join us for our free virtual Q&A sessions where we aim to address important themes and topics in Education.  


Think of it as your chance to get free educational advice and insights from our team, as we all share the same desire for children, yours and ours, to achieve their very best. 

From questions you may have around navigating the U.K. Education system, state vs private education, curriculum, advice regarding school choice, entrance examinations, assessment, reports and academic potential and advice on how to ensure the welfare, mental health and happiness of children.  

We would love to know what your questions are and to use both our experience as educators and this wonderful NVN community to connect parents in a topic which is central to us all; ensuring the very best educational outcomes for our children, during what has been in 2020 and looks to continue to be in 2021, unprecedented times in education.

As we plan our first free virtual event for 2021 and use our social media pages over the coming weeks to address the top questions, please feel free to post your questions for our team and wider parent community below as these will form the basis for our conversation.


If you have any questions, please drop us a note.
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Re: Sophia EdTalks

Postby Sophia High School » Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:54 am

As our traditional school structures are once again challenged with news of a UK wide lockdown that will see schools close their doors until at least February half term, families will once again be asked to embrace online learning.


In every dark cloud there can be found a silver lining as this digital revolution in education is sure to open new opportunities for our children.  Yet for many of us, as parents, we are left with a huge amount of questions about how we can best support our children with home learning and once again step into the role as teachers in our home classroom settings.

Over the last few days, our education team has been answering a flurry of enquiries from parents who have concerns and we thought it might be helpful to share some of the most frequently asked questions we have received and our responses to them.  

We hope you find them helpful.   If you have questions that we can help answer, please get in touch with our team or feel free to comment below
 
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Re: Sophia EdTalks

Postby Sophia High School » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:54 am

What is the current situation about school closures?
  

  • Boris Johnson has announced that all primary and secondary schools in England will have to close from Tuesday, January 5th, as England moves into a third national lockdown.
  • The Prime Minister said schools will need to offer remote learning until at least mid-February and GCSE and A-level exams face cancellation for a second year
  • Schools in Wales will be closed until at least January 18th, although this is likely to be extended in the near future.
  • Schools in Scotland will be closed until at least February 1st
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Re: Sophia EdTalks

Postby Sophia High School » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:18 am

Why can’t we go to school? 

Helping children understand why schools are closed

1. Explain the virus: 

• Explain what coronavirus is using simple words: “You know what it’s like to have a cold or the flu — how sometimes you get a cough or have a fever? The corona virus is a bit like that. 
• Reassure that most people who have COVID-19 stay at home, rest and get better. Some people who have the virus can get very sick and need more help, sometimes from doctors and nurses. 
• Explain that it is important for us to stay at home to protect our older family members, neighbours, friends and community – this is why schools are closed – to keep us all safe at home. 

2. Answer questions: 

• Ask children what they already know and lif they have any questions. Listen carefully to children’s fears and gently correct any misunderstandings they might have.
• Although it can be overwhelming, it is important to answer your child’s questions about the virus. Be as honest as you can be, and if you don’t know the answer, say so. 
• Tell children you will let them know as soon as you have more information about schools reopening.
• Tell children that it is common to feel confused or afraid – tell them that you are there to protect and help them. Do not make false promises, for example about people not getting ill. 

3. Working together to stay healthy: 

• Explain that some people are working as doctors and nurses to take care of people who get sick. Other people are studying the virus to find ways to stop it. 
• We also have a very important job to do: to stay at home and keep healthy. This is why we cannot go to school. 
• Reassure your child that the schools will not be closed forever, and that you will help them to continue learning until they are able to go to school again.
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Re: Sophia EdTalks

Postby Sophia High School » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:03 pm

How do we cope with closed schools?  - Caring for your children and yourself 

Managing stress:  
• This is a new and stressful situation – a range of reactions are completely normal for children and adults. Boys and girls and children of different ages will react in different ways. Some common reactions: change in sleep patterns, anger, fear, withdrawal. 
• Try to be patient and find ways to manage stress for the whole family. Your family probably already does things that help you all to relax – singing, games, dancing or slow breathing can help everyone
• If children are feeling very upset, you can say: “What you are feeling is very hard right now, but it is very common to react this way when you are afraid/angry/sad. Many boys and girls are experiencing the same feelings as you.”
• For younger children, continue to engage in playful activities. For older children, try and talk to them about ways to manage their distress.  
• Staying connected to friends, teachers, grandparents, or distant family can also help children cope – write or draw pictures to give later, send messages or speak on the phone.  

Positive Care: 
• Instead of scolding or punishing, use positive words to encourage your child. If you are frustrated with how your child is behaving, take a pause and breathe deeply before you respond. Show your child the behaviour you want to see, for example talking respectfully or solving arguments peacefully. 
• Reassure your child that going to school is very important and many people are working hard so that the schools can reopen as soon as possible. 
• Explain that until schools reopen, there are lots of things to do together so they continue learning.

Caring for yourself: 
• As parents or caregivers, your own wellbeing is very important, especially during this stressful time. 
• Your children will feel more relaxed and will be better able to cope with the situation if you yourself are able to stay calm and healthy. 
• Explain to your children that sometimes you also feel uncertain, frustrated or worried. 
• Show your children how you take care of yourself when you feel this way – do whatever helps you cope the best and is healthy. Or you can try: listening to music, singing, exercising or dancing, talking or sending messages to your friends and family 
 
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Re: Sophia EdTalks

Postby Sophia High School » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:25 pm

This week, as we move into week 2 of National Lockdown in the UK, parents across the UK are once again finding their feet as home educators; whether our normal roles see us as working parents, a stay-at-home parent, or part-time working parent.

Working, parenting and teaching are three different jobs that are incredibly difficult to be done at the same time. As parents we find it very difficult to balance these new responsibilities, not because we are doing it wrong, but more often because it's too much.

Last week, Chris Stokel-Walker from The Times, wrote and excellent piece for parents which we highly recommend entitled:
"How to make online home school work for your child — and you"


As a full time online school offering the UK National Curriculum for students from Year 1 through to Year 9, every aspect of our educational provision, DNA and core values have been designed with ensuring that the best student outcomes are achieved for children when learning online.  


If you have questions about online learning or how best to support your children, please do reach out to us and remember to follow us on social media (We are on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook)
 
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Re: Sophia EdTalks

Postby Sophia High School » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:38 am

How do our children keep learning, with schools closing down?
Help your child continue learning even when schools are closed 

You are already their teacher: 
• As a parent or caregiver, you can support children’s learning even if you are not a trained teacher.
• Even a few minutes every day sitting with your child and discussing what they were learning in school is useful. 
• Adults can take turns – it does not need to be only one person helping a child learn.
• Remind your child that they are still a school student, even if the school is closed.
• Supporting children to continue learning will help them feel positive about the future and ready to return back to school as soon as they reopen. 

Structure the day:
 • Continue your household’s usual daily routine, close to the school hours if possible
• Create a schedule with input from your child to give structure to the time between sleep and meals. 
• Allow for normal chores and play time.  Play is one of the best ways for children to learn and to support their wellbeing.

Keep learning simple: 
• Your children may have access to learning materials through books, radio, television or the internet. If you have these resources, don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your children to complete all available tasks. 
• If you do not have access to learning materials, you can still help children learn:
• Talk to your children about your daily tasks.
• Share positive memories from your own childhood.
• Explain what you liked to learn at school or from your own parents or other family members.
• Count aloud together, invent games or songs, or discuss a big idea or tradition. 
• Encourage your child to practice skills and knowledge that they already have.
• While academic learning is important, remaining safe and well is the most important priority for everyone. Learning how to cope with this crisis is also important learning. 

Children learn from children: 
• Encourage children living together to learn together. Older siblings can help explain difficult subjects to younger children. This supports joint problem solving and reinforces learning for both. 
• Give your children a task to work on together. For example: draw a map of your community, list all the animals found in your area, build the tallest tower with stones, write and draw a family story.


For more information, go to sophiahigh.school/QA3

___________

If you have questions that we can help answer, please get in touch with our team or feel free to comment below
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Re: Sophia EdTalks

Postby Sophia High School » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:56 pm

Should you choose an online school to help with the online learning?

Despite the best effort from teachers and parents, students are still struggling to cope with what their school is offering them.  Parents are also getting frustrated, as many of them are working from home, and they do not have the time to give up to see if their children are doing their school work. Other parents are finding that the time they are dedicating to home-schooling is getting in the way of doing their jobs effectively and successfully.


Some of the advantages of online schooling include:
• E-Learning is easy to use and is more effective
• Whilst students are not attending school during COVID-19, you can guarantee that they will be completing all their required work, and not falling behind.
• Students stay motivated, and do not lose focus, or become too easily distracted by outside influences.
• The work cannot get lost
• It offers unlimited access to education resources
• It offers more opportunities for sharing and presentation
• It offers real individualised learning
• It improves computer skills
• It offers an interactive and innovative learning environment
• It can be accessed anywhere in the world
• It can be accessed at any time of the day
• It is good for the environment
• There are fewer cases of bullying and feeling intimidated in the classroom

Interested in discussing your options with our education team? Schedule a call

___________

If you have questions that we can help answer, please get in touch with our team or feel free to comment below
 
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Re: Sophia EdTalks

Postby Sophia High School » Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:46 am

What is the difference between a physical and an online school?
Image
 
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Re: Sophia EdTalks

Postby Sophia High School » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:04 am

Can my child get access to mental health services during the pandemic?

Your child can still access emotional support from helplines, textlines and online chat services any time they need to. Childline, Samaritans and the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger all provide 24/7 support. The Mix is also providing online, phone and counselling support as normal. You can find other organisations offering support for young people around specific mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating problems in the YoungMinds Parents A-Z Guide.

If you are worried about your child’s mental health and need professional support, contact your GP. This is still the right thing to do, and it’s important that you know that you will not be wasting anyone’s time. You may still be offered a face-to-face appointment, or they may ask you to speak to them via phone or video call. To book an appointment without going into the surgery, you can contact them by phone, use their online contact service if they have one, or visit the surgery’s website to find out the best way to get in touch.

If your child is already being treated by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) or another mental health service, many are offering telephone or online support in place of meeting face-to-face or in groups. You can still get in touch with the service and/or your child’s key workers by phone to discuss anything you need to, including how the pandemic might be affecting their treatment.

If your child is already seeing a therapist or counsellor, or needs emotional support and would benefit from starting therapy or counselling while the pandemic is happening, it may be possible to arrange online or phone sessions in place of face-to-face. You can ask the counsellor or therapist about this over the phone.

If your child experiences a mental health crisis and they need urgent care, you can seek professional support in the following ways:
• If you are worried that your child is at immediate risk of harm or cannot keep themselves safe, or they have already been injured, call 999 or take them to A&E.
• If the situation is not life threatening, and a health professional has already given you a crisis number to call in this situation, call this number.
• Or, if your child is already under the care of CAMHS or another mental health team and they have a crisis plan that states who to contact when they need urgent care, follow this plan.
• You can also call your local NHS mental health helpline or 111 for urgent advice.
 
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