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Spalding Grammar School

Home Study Guidance

Guidance for parents and students to maximise home study during School Closure

A Guide to Home Study

When absent from School for a period of time during these unprecedented times, it is normal for students, parents and staff to face a number of changes and feel a degree of uncertainty.  It is really important that we learn to cope with these changes, and this guide provides ideas of how to do this in two sections: 

  1. ‘School Time’
  1. ‘Leisure Time’ 

One of the most important changes to adapt to is the additional time you will have. For example, you will not be travelling to or from school or attending most of your hobbies (that involve social contact).  Therefore, it is important to structure your time to maintain a sense of routine and control.  We recommend you retrain your mindset to have ‘school time’ and ‘social time’. 

“School Time”

During a normal school day, you spend 325 minutes learning, through lessons and Tutor Times, plus additional time with homework. We want to continue your learning process as much as possible whilst at home, and therefore teachers will be emailing you work. It is expected that you complete this work.

To take into account the challenges of ‘distance learning’, teachers will aim to set you approximately 30 minutes’ worth of work per 50-minute lesson you would usually have.  This builds in time for you to read the emailed work, find any resources needed, complete the work, proof-read/check it, and send it back (if required). 

Teachers are likely to send you all/most of the work for completion in one block/email. Do not let this overwhelm you; they will be giving your clear guidance on how to break this work up, any deadlines required, and how long each piece should take. 

You have been sent a ‘work plan’ template (also appendix to this guide), which you can use to fill in what work you aim to complete and when, thus helping you keep organised. An example has been given below.

In order to make the most out of your “School Time”, we recommend you follow the guidelines below: 

Get into a good routine and good habits 

  • Try to treat “School Time” as closely to the real thing as possible – this will take a lot of self-discipline
  • Set targets for the day – plan to complete a certain amount of work (you can use the work plan template to help you) 
  • Plan to stick to the same school routine where possible.  For example, divide up your periods of work with breaks (like in the work plan template) 
  • Take breaks to rest and reward yourself. Spend breaks in a different environment, get up and move around, go outside etc.
  • Prioritise work to be completed by its deadline; those with the earliest deadlines should be completed first. 
  • Set an alarm to wake you up in the morning and carry out your usual routine before school, including breakfast, shower and clean clothes (do not remain in your pyjamas for long periods) 
  • Do not be tempted to chat to your friends or turn the games console or TV on first thing -  what would you do on a normal school day? 
  • Motivate yourself. Home working is a great opportunity to develop your independent learning skills. 

 

 

Create the right environment 

Ideally, you need to dedicate a space at home that will be your learning environment (“classroom”) for the period of home study.  This will really help your mindset to differentiate between work and social.  This needs to be an area conducive to working, and away from distractions. This could be an office or another quiet area of the house.  It may be useful to temporarily convert an area into your ‘classroom’ for the home study period. 

Useful tips to create a positive learning environment are: 

  • Remove distractions (phone, computer, TV etc) – whilst working have devices in a different room – would they distract you during lessons in school?  This will improve your focus and concentration.
  • Plenty of water to keep you hydrated and energised during your time at home – brain usage burns energy! 
  • Comfortable desk and chair 
  • Good light and comfortable temperature 
  • Storage to keep your space tidy and decluttering of items that are not useful 

 

 

Eat and drink well

Like in School, studying at home burns energy. Therefore, ensure you consume a good diet to fuel your “School Time”:

  • Eat a balanced diet, including fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of water 
  • Limit junk food or empty calories (food that does not fill you up)

 

“Leisure Time”

Your leisure time during this period will also be different to normal.  Depending on Government guidelines (which we recommend you check regularly and follow), there may be limitations on what you can do with your leisure time (for example, your local clubs are likely to be closed).

Looking after your health 

Health is divided into three categories:

  • Mental Health: your mood, confidence and mindset
  • Social Health: your interaction and relationships with others
  • Physical Health: your body’s physical systems

In your normal lifestyle, you are likely to undertaken activities that help maintain or improve your health. However, the current situation may limit these. Despite the limitations, it is possible to find ways of adapting your leisure time. Here are some guidelines and suggestions.

 

Mental Health

Social Health

Physical Health

Stay in control - the current situation is beyond your control, but you CAN control what you do in your leisure time

Communicate – ensure you maintain communication with people. Ideally in person, but if not possible, use technology

Exercise – perform exercises that raise your heart rate and muscular activity, even if different to what you are used to (ideas below)

Stay optimistic – the current situation will end at some stage, and you will be ‘back to normal’!

Face-to-face? – where possible, make this contact visual, audio, or both (even via technology) rather than just by text

Nutrition - If you are doing less physical exercise than normal, limit your food intake accordingly

Keep occupied – stimulate your brain (ideas below) in order to keep your mood and spirits high

Deepen relationships – take this opportunity to improve your relationships with those you are home with

Sleep – maintain normal bed times and get at least 8 hours quality sleep. Avoid laying in

Change scenery – where possible, change your environment; go into different rooms or outside

 

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