The coronavirus epidemic in the UK has so far killed 144 people with more than 3,000 cases confirmed. The increasing numbers of infection has led to drastic measures from the Government in a bid to tackle the deadly virus.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced schools will close for all children except those of key workers.
That means schools will still need to look after the children of key workers – such as NHS staff, supermarket workers and police officers – as well as vulnerable children.
The Prime Minister also announced exams will not take place in May and June as planned.
Asked about the duration of school closures, Mr Johnson said he wants to keep it to an “absolute minimum”.
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Already, letters have been sent home to parents issuing advice on how to maintain normality and routine.
A letter from Ysgol Llywelyn in Rhyl states: “Decide what aspects of the daily routine will stay the same at home and use your child’s usual school day as a starting point.
“Wake-up time shouldn’t be too late, despite what your daughter or son might prefer.
“Even if you allow them to sleep in a bit, make sure they are up, dressed and ready by whenever the school day would typically begin.
“After that, use the school schedule to pace the day.
“Keep the same times between classes and provide both structure and variety to each day.
“Also try finding different quiet places they can work throughout the day, perhaps morning study time is at the kitchen table, the afternoon might be in their bedroom.
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“Serve lunch at the same time as it would be in school and encourage your child to use that break to catch up with a friend using FaceTime etc to provide some social engagement with their friends.
“Give regular breaks as young children cannot continue to concentrate for long periods of time, generally speaking, the older the child, the longer they can stay on task.
“Most of all, try to make sure they are reading every day, accessing programmes such as My Maths and Scholastic to keep the basics from falling behind.
“Please don’t treat this time of school closure as a holiday as in normal circumstances, they would be in school learning everyday.”
Sample timetable for young children
- 9am – 9.30 – Language – reading and spelling
- 9.30 – 9.45 – Playtime (physical activity if possible)
- 9.45 – 10.30 – Writing (Phonics and letter formation)
- 10.30 – 10.45 – Playtime
- 10.45 – 11.30 – Maths activities
- 11.30 – 12.30 – Lunch
- Afternoon – Creative work
How will children be assessed?
Exams watchdogs have been working together for some time to look at alternative arrangements.
These may include:
- using predicted grades
- teacher assessments
- looking at coursework
- considering other evidence of candidate performance
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