Coronavirus update - Parents & Carers
I am sending out regular updates, and this week I wanted to focus on those people who have children. I have been contacted by many organisations with resources to share with parents and carers. Our teachers are doing an amazing job - both in school looking after the children of keyworkers, and those who are more vulnerable - and also setting work for our young people at home. I have been in contact with all of our local schools, hearing about what they have been doing, and addressing concerns they may have.
As a parent of three children myself, I understand the challenges of working from home, and coordinating school work. School work does not however take up the whole day, and without the possibility of getting out and about, you may need more things to fill your child's time. I've gathered together a few of these below. I hope they are useful!
Dorset libraries provide a variety of digital services - you can download e-books, borrow audiobooks, download magazines & comics, join virtual book groups & get advice and help on a range of topics. They have links to a wide variety of children's activities which you can access here https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/libraries-history-culture/libraries/library-services-during-covid-19/childrens-activities.aspx
Online Resources - plays, musicals & things to do!
The National Theatre are putting some of their productions online - at the moment it's Twelfth Night and you can find more details here https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/
Andrew Lloyd Webber is making his musicals available to watch at weekends - you can find details here https://www.andrewlloydwebber.com/the-shows-must-go-on/
The Primary Shakespeare Company have put their curriculum online here
The Scouts have a new campaign - The Great Indoors - with lots of ideas and resources for keeping kids of all ages occupied. https://www.scouts.org.uk/the-great-indoors/
The BBC are providing a wealth of resources online, and they are also providing educational content daily via the red button on your TV. www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
Tops Day Nurseries have collated lots of useful links for activities at home https://www.topsdaynurseries.co.uk/category/home-learning-activities/
It can be difficult keeping active whilst staying at home. Please do go out for local exercise, and keep to social distancing rules. The NHS have ideas for keeping the kids active at home www.nhs.uk/change4life/activities/sports-and-activities
As do Sport England with their #StayInWorkOut campaign https://www.sportengland.org/stayinworkout
And the Premier League with their #WeAreOneTeam https://www.premierleague.com/news/1647476
Help & Advice for Parents
The National Education Union have put forward some advice and help for parents with questions about education and you can access that here https://coronavirusandschools.org.uk/
BT have advice on keeping your children safe online, with guides on keeping safe, using technology & learning from home https://www.bt.com/skillsfortomorrow/
The National Literacy Trust have a wide range of resources and links to age-appropriate websites https://literacytrust.org.uk/family-zone/
There is government advice on educating at home and more advice for families https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-support-for-schools-and-parents-to-help-cope-with-coronavirus
Help with mental health
If you are concerned about how your child is coping with the lockdown, you can chat to an educational psychologist. Consultations are available Monday-Friday 9am to 4.45pm. This is a confidential service, unless there is risk of harm to you, your child, or someone else. To book an appointment call 01305 228300
Alternatively, there is help and support available for young people through Young Minds: https://youngminds.org.uk/
Young People & Local Councils
I am in regular contact with Dorset Council and BCP Council, hearing about the work they are doing with our young people. Amongst many other things, they have been refurbishing IT equipment to ensure vulnerable children can access their schoolwork, making contact with children with additional needs in vulnerable situations and ensuring that families in need are prioritised.
Dorset Council have collated links to lots of useful support & resources online here https://mailchi.mp/dorsetcouncil/online-resources
BCP Council have lots of useful ideas and links here https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID19/Find-help-or-help-your-community/Lockdown-lifestyle/Fun-activities-for-young-people.aspx?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialSignIn&utm_content=COVID19
Family Information Service
If you need help finding childcare and you are a key worker, you can get information from the family information service. In Dorset you can call them on 01305 221066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or in Poole visit their website https://www.fid.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/kb5/poole/fis/home.page