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Helping your child with home and blended learning

Although schools can now reopen, your child may still have to do some learning from home at times. The important thing to remember is that whatever happens, and whatever your child’s age, there are plans in place to make sure they won’t miss out on their education.

We have some advice on how to help support them during this time, but remember, no one expects you to be a teacher.

Each school will have slightly different plans for blended learning. So if you have any questions, it's best to get in touch with your child’s school.

How would my child’s school support learning at home?

While every school is different, learning materials would usually be made available online or there may be physical learning packs which your child would be given to take home. Depending on your child’s age and the arrangements at their school, the school might provide live lessons online, access to recorded lessons or some online learning activities. Your child’s school is expected to support their individual needs – for example, if you don't have access to the internet at home the school may send you materials through the post. If your child doesn’t have a digital device to use for learning at home, it may be possible to loan or receive a digital device from your school. 

If your child does have to switch to learning at home, remember that their school will provide all the learning materials they will need for you to follow as best as you can, that’s more than enough. No one expects you to replace their teacher. Remember, you can always contact your child’s school for help and support. They’re here for you and your child through this.

For more information, you can get in touch with your local authority or contact their school directly.


Learning at home

What is learning at home?

While it’s hoped that most children will be able to learn at school full-time, it’s important to remember that your child’s health is always a priority. That’s why, in the following situations, it may no longer be safe for them to continue to physically attend school at all, even in a blended learning approach:

  • If you live in an area in COVID-19 protection level 4, or level 3 and your child’s GP or healthcare team has advised them to stay off school 
  • If you are in self-isolation or quarantine as a family
  • If your child is having to self-isolate 
  • If your child’s school has to close in response to a coronavirus outbreak or national increase in cases.

If this happens, your child’s school or local authority will make plans so your child can carry on learning remotely from home. This is known as ‘learning at home’. It may also be called ‘remote learning’ or ‘distance learning’.

The National Parent Forum of Scotland has helpful advice on learning at home which you can download here. The Parentzone Scotland website also has useful information here.

My area is in level 4 – should my child still be going to school?

If you live in a level 4 area, your child should still go to school unless:

  • they have been shielding, or
  • the school has had to close due to high numbers of coronavirus cases.

In this case, your child’s school will provide them with work to do at home so they don’t miss out.

Blended learning

What is blended learning?

It’s called blended learning because it’s a blend of learning in school, and out of school – such as completing work at home. To do this, your child might use a mix of classroom teaching in person at their school, supported by lots of different learning materials at home.

Some of this out-of-school learning might take place online using a smartphone, laptop or tablet, while other work wouldn’t need an internet connection – for example, the school may send your child physical learning materials. Your child would also spend some time learning on their own and some learning with a teacher (or other adult, such as a youth worker).

The National Parent Forum of Scotland has a useful guide to blended learning which you can download here.

When may blended learning be introduced?

Different local councils would only bring in blended learning at schools if it’s strictly necessary in your area. Each school will approach things differently. For more information, you can get in touch with your local authority or contact their school directly. 

How would blended learning work?

While each school will be different, some things would be consistent. For instance, your child would always follow the same curriculum. Blended learning means that your child would spend some time in school, and the rest of their learning would happen away from the classroom – which could be outside, online, or at home.

To support your child’s learning, their teachers would continue to plan their learning. Your child may also get regular face-to-face or online time with their teachers. This is really important, because it means they are always able to get help with their learning from their teacher. Teachers may also send home or post home materials your child needs – whether that’s online materials like slides or videos, or physical notes and diagrams.

What are the positives to blended learning?

It goes without saying there are lots of reasons why physically going to school is great for kids. But this doesn’t mean blended learning isn’t a good option, too. It might be different to what most of us are used to, but lots of children around the world already use blended learning as a really effective way to learn.

It’s also good to bear in mind that if your child does have to do any blended learning, there are lots of skills they might get out of it, too. For instance, it could help them to learn how to work on their own, which is an important skill they will need when preparing for exams or for future study and work. It’s also more flexible than traditional learning, as they can learn at their own pace and in their own time.

How will I know if my child’s school are going to start delivering blended learning?

Your school will be in touch if they have to move to blended learning, and they’ll give you all the details you and your child will need. 

What would lessons be like?

Your child’s teachers would still plan lessons and the school would work out the best way to deliver these. For more information about this, you can call your child’s school or get in touch with your local council.

If your child has to do any learning at home, don’t worry, schools and local councils will work to get back to 100% in-school learning again as soon as possible. In the meantime, they’ll have a plan to deliver effective blended learning to make sure your child doesn’t miss out on their education. If you have other questions about your child’s education, you can contact their school or your local council. 



General questions

What if I have any other worries about home or blended learning?

Remember, you’re not expected to be your child’s teacher. You’re already doing an amazing job! And don’t forget that if your child can’t be at school, there are plans in place to make sure they won’t miss out on learning. Schools have had time to make plans for blended learning and will be prepared if this has to happen.

How could I support my child’s home or blended learning?

One easy way is to try to get excited and involved in their learning. Encourage your child to do what their teacher asks (as best you can). If they have to do blended learning, it might help to try and get them to stick to a routine on the days they have to learn from home.

What if I don’t think home or blended learning is going well?

If your child can’t go to school, that doesn’t mean the school isn’t still there for them, and for you. Whether it’s getting advice from teachers or raising any concerns you might have – don’t put off getting in touch with your child’s school for help and support. It’s what they’re there for.

What if I don’t have the technology to support my child’s home or blended learning?

Don’t worry, just get in touch with your child’s school – they are there to support your child with everything they need.

Is learning at home the same as home education?

No. Home education is where a parent or carer chooses to become the main educator of their children and takes the legal responsibility for deciding what they will be taught and in what manner. Our page on home education explains more.