Support for parents and pupils

This page provides a list of resources that you may find useful as you assist your child with learning during the period of school closures due to Covid-19 (coronavirus) and will be updated over time.

The Department is not responsible for the content of the resources linked on this page and a listing here does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the Department.

Resources to help parents

As well as this page listing online resources for children, there are a number of organisations which are happy to provide help, advice and support.

Parenting NI - Parenting NI is the leading charity for parenting support in Northern Ireland

Parenting NI Support line and web chat

Parentkind NI / Parentkind - Established in 1956, Parentkind (formerly PTA UK) is a charity that aims to advance education by encouraging the fullest cooperation between home and school, education authorities, central government and all other interested parties and bodies.

Parentkind NI has also produced a video that parents may find useful.

Surestart also provide resources that may be useful in terms of help and support.

Familyworks NI can assist you as a parent or carer if you or a young person needs help and advice. 

Supporting children and young people’s mental health and well-being

Advice is available to help adults with caring responsibilities look after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people, including those with additional needs and disabilities, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing 

In addition advice and information is also available on how to look after your own mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

A Family Support Hubs newsletter has been produced which may help with advice and guidance for you at this time. 

Simple advice has been published to help key worker parents with concerns that their children may have at this time.

Guidance has also been provided which helps children to understand what it means to have a parent who is a key worker. 

Information is also available from CAMHS that you may find useful in respect of the mental health of children and young people. 

How to assist your child at home

For children aged 0-4

As a parent, you are already your child’s first and main educator, and are well equipped to support them at this time.  If your child usually attends pre-school, you will already be aware that their education there is play based. Your child’s pre-school education provider may have already provided you with resources and support to assist with your child’s learning.  You do not need to set separate time or plan complicated activities dedicated to learning, as learning opportunities can be incorporated into everyday life and play.

You know your child best. Avoid forcing them into lengthy planned activities if they naturally respond better to a mix of shorter activities. This can help avoid them getting bored or frustrated and keep them active, interested and learning through things they enjoy.

Benefits of routine

Do not worry about trying to keep to the full routine that your child had in pre-school or with their childcare provider. But children may feel more comfortable with a predictable routine, so try to make sure they:

  • get up and go to bed at the same time each day
  • have regular meal times
  • turn off any electronic devices, including the TV, at least an hour before bedtime

The links below will take you to a range of different websites that will provide information for you that may be useful to you.

Reading to your baby

What to read to your baby

Hungry Little Minds

BBC Tiny Happy People

Download Tiny Happy People Digital Pack

BBC Afternoon Club

Parentkind learning resources: https://www.parentkind.org.uk/News--Blog

Early Years: Comet: https://www.parentkind.org.uk/uploads/files/1/Blog/Pen%20Images/Comets.pdf

Early Years and Primary: Our Hands:

https://www.parentkind.org.uk/uploads/files/1/Blog/Pen%20Images/Our%20Hands.pdf

Early Years and Primary: Zoo animals:

https://www.parentkind.org.uk/uploads/files/1/Blog/Pen%20Images/Zoo%20Animals.pdf

The Twinkl website provides further information and resources that may be of help to you if you have children aged 0 to 5.

Stranmillis PGCE Early Years students have produced a list of resources that you may find helpful

The West Belfast Partnership have produced a series of videos featuring Harper the dog that you may find useful:

Playing in the Garden 
Helping at Home
Washing your hands
Having Fun Indoors 

For children aged 4 to 11

Routine is still important as children feel more comfortable with a predictable routine. See tips under benefits of routine.

Tips for reading with your child

Parentkind NI has also produced advice on how best to read with your child

BBC Bitesize - information and tips for Primary School age children

The Oxford Owl 

Libraries NI

Mywellread provides a range of stories to read with your child

The Maths Academy at Queen's University are producing daily maths activities for primary age children.

Corbettmaths also provides a range of maths resources.

Further maths resources are available from Maths with Parents.

The Twinkl website provides information and resources that may be of help for children aged 5-7 and for those aged 7-11.

NI’s Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) website provides information and advice for parents of children at CCEA Home Learning

Additional support resources and advice for parents are available from the Education Endowment Fund website.

You can also sign up to receive activities and learning ideas every week from the Pobble website.

You can also sign up to take part in the World Challenge Club from home.

You may also wish to try doing 20 activities over 20 days. Find out more about this challenge.

The Worlds Largest Lesson also offers resources that you may find helpful.

The Goliath Trust have produced a range of materials that you may find useful including reward charts and a video.

Parentkind NI has produced a blog that records the experiences of a teacher, a parent and a child during the Covid-19 lockdown period.  

For children aged 11 and above

BBC Bitesize – information and tips for children in Key Stage Three

CCEA has a video and information explaining the Northern Ireland Curriculum, as well as learning resources for young people, including those at different stages of post primary education. All information can be found at CCEA Home Learning.

The arrangements for students who were due to take summer examinations set by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment (CCEA) can be found at CCEA summer 2020 examinations page.

The West Belfast Partnership have a series of mathematics videos that you may find useful.

Corbettmaths provides resources that may help with maths.

BBC Bitesize – information and tips for those at GCSE stage

Further information is available for children aged 11 and above on the Twinkl website.

Libraries NI provides an online resource with e-books available to read for free.

Play Matters

Play is a natural and universal drive in childhood. It is an essential element and contributory factor to supporting children’s physical and emotional well-being, growth, learning and development.

Play can support children’s creativity and cultural awareness. Play can be structured, non-structured, formal and non–formal. Through play children explore the world around them and learn to take responsibility for their own choices.

Information is available from Playboard which may assist you at this time.

Using digital devices sensibly

Your child’s school may set them work that can be done on a digital device such as a laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone.

Set age-appropriate parental controls on any devices your child is using and supervise their use of websites and apps. See advice on keeping them safe online and talk to your child about online safety.

The Consumer Council resources / activities:

Reducing screen time

Digital devices are not the only way to learn. Manage screen time with a timer and break up screen time by getting your child to:

  • use books and other printed materials that their school has provided or that you have at home.
  • write by hand – try asking them to complete work by hand, write a diary, a summary of things they have learned or done each day or ‘to do’ lists.
  • be active and get away from the screen regularly – see a selection of physical activity resources for primary school children.
  • stop using digital devices at least an hour before bed.

Special Educational Needs

If you are a parent or carer for a child or children with special educational needs then you may find the resources that are available online at the Education Authority website to be of use to you.

The team at RISE (NI) have also produced online resources that may be of use to you.

There are also resources on CCEA Home Learning that may be of use to you.

Middletown Autism are also providing resources that can assist you.

Irish Medium Resources

There are a lot of online resources available in the Irish language for Pre-School to Post Primary and including those with Special Educational needs.

There are also resources at CCEA Home Learning that may be of use to you.

Resources in other languages

The Education Authority have made resources available in a range of different languages.

These include:

اللغة العربية (Arabic)

Български език (Bulgarian)

Magyar (Hungarian)

Latviešu (Latvian)

Lietuvių (Lithuanian)

Polski (Polish)

Português (Portuguese)

Română (Romanian)

Slovenčina (Slovak)

کوردی سۆرانی (Kurdish Sorani)

Tetum

 

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