Working at home brings a wide range of challenges, and while our fantastic teachers are doing all they can to continue to provide structure, resources and support for you remotely, undoubtedly keeping up with your learning away from school is still quite a daunting prospect for you.

Yes, it will be challenging at times – but it also means more family time, more self-directed time and more opportunities to pursue your interests and passions. This is likely to be a formative experience in your lives – but we believe you can come out the other side better and stronger for it.

That being said, there is still the matter of finding your way through learning at home – so here are some practical tips to help!

Eliminate distractions. It’s hard to concentrate when you’re surrounded by noise and distractions so if you can set up a table in a quiet corner it will really help you focus. A lot of your work will naturally be online – but we’d encourage you to avoid checking in on social media during the school day and plan some working time away from screens too.

Be realistic. Home school is not the same as school so try not to put too much pressure on yourselves – if you’re doing your best you’re doing enough. We don’t expect you to be hitting the books and ploughing through work from 9am to 3pm – that isn’t what the school day actually looks like. Make time for fun and practical tasks too – learning to cook a meal and how to work the washing machine will not be time wasted!

Make a timetable. We all need structure to help us make the most of our time – so begin by planning your day or your week ahead. It needn’t be too rigid, but include some periods of sustained academic working time, as well as breaks and periods for creativity.

Think about an extension project. Maybe you have a passion for photography, or you’ve always wanted to learn to draw horses, or learn to code, or to touch type. Consider setting yourself a longer-term goal based on something you’re passionate about or interested in – making progress towards it over time will give you a real boost.

Keep healthy. Even as we are all told to keep to our homes, we mustn’t forget to make room for exercise. A daily walk, a fitness session (try PE with Joe Wicks live every morning at 9am on YouTube for example) or even just some jumping jacks and a few trips up and down the stairs will give your body and brain a boost. Keep snacking to a minimum if you can, especially if you’re finding yourself more sedentary – and don’t forget your five a day!

Keep talking. This is a stressful and strange time for everyone, and you are bound to have worries. Rather than bottle them up, try to keep communicating with your family and with friends, even if you can’t see them all in person. Don’t forget your teachers and school are also here for you so please get in touch if you need some support.

Take time for reflection. It is all too easy to be overwhelmed by the myriad of different ways your life has been altered, so take time to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Incorporate a moment of silent reflection or prayer daily. Or perhaps practice some mindfulness or breathing exercises.

Stay connected. FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp video calls – there are many means to choose from, but make sure you find a way to keep in contact with friends and family during the lockdown. Just because you’re staying at home, it doesn’t mean you have to feel isolated.

Read, read, read. You might not be able to leave the house – but you can still experience the world through the pages of a book. Even if you do nothing else (not something we’d advocate by the way!) spend some time reading every day.

Check back here for more blogs to help you along in the coming weeks.

Stay well everyone.