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Guide on how to teach at home

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What is homeschooling?

You can teach your child at home, either full or part-time. This is called home education (sometimes ‘elective home education’ or ‘homeschooling’).

 

Why home educate?

People home educate for a variety of reasons. Most frequently the cause is bullying, while other reasons include special needs that are unmet by the school or local authority, distance to the school, lack of academic progress in school, stress or some other school-related issue. Sometimes pupils find they make more progress from home and the freedom of studying at their own pace helps them excel while at home. Some families never send their children to school in the first place. Overall the main cause of home education is that it is in the best interests of the child.

 

How do I get started?

With the current COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting school closures, many parents have found themselves in the new role as a teacher to their children. While this is a special case that requires no formal action from parents, many parents may choose to continue their child's education from home when schools are back in session. If that's the case, you must provide notice to your child's school before removing them from the school system. Parents do not need to give any reason for home educating and the law does not make any distinction between reasons for deciding to home educate.

 

What are the requirements?

A child can be taught by their parent, guardian, or tutor, regardless of the tutor’s qualifications. You do not need to be a qualified teacher to educate your child at home, and there are no home school qualifications you must have before you start home education. However, we have put together a few tips and resources to help you get started.

 

What should I teach?

This is entirely up to you. The law does not prescribe particular subjects. Though you must provide an education suitable to your child's needs. A majority of homeschoolers will teach the traditional subjects: English, Maths, Science, History, and Geography and blend other topics that interest the child. There are many resources available to help parents teach at home - including Uteach Lessons.

 

What does a home education schedule look like?

Homeschoolers structure their days in whatever way works best for them. Many begin their schooling early in the morning, as in a traditional school, but some opt to make less distinction between "school" and "home." If a child gets excited about a science experiment before bed, some parents follow the child's enthusiasm to see where it leads; this becomes part of the school day as well.

You might also be wondering if homeschoolers have to follow the traditional school calendar year. In fact, homeschoolers have complete freedom over the structure of their school year. Many follow the traditional school calendar, while others may adopt an opposite schedule to help avoid the steep travel costs and busy holiday destinations that surround traditional school breaks.

How to use Uteach Lessons

Check out our video showing you how to get started on the Uteach Lessons platform.

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As part of your new role bringing education into your home, you might have come across terms and phrases that you're not quite clear on.

Academies

Academies are independent, publicly funded schools. Academies receive their funding directly from the Department for Education, rather than the local council or educational authority. Academies must follow the same rules on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as other state schools, but they do not have to follow the national curriculum. Each academy or academy chain is run by a trust which employs the staff.

A Level

Short for General Certificate of Education Advanced Level, A Levels are studied between the ages of 16-18. From 2015 onwards, A Levels were reformed. AS Level (Advanced Subsidiary), is now a separate qualification, and A Levels are taught linearly rather than modularly. Coursework was also phased out except where strictly necessary. All exams for A Level are sat at the end of Year 13. The curriculum is set by the government but the exams and specifications (syllabuses) are set by individual exam boards.

AQA

AQA (the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) is a UK exam board offering a range of qualifications including GCSE and A Level.

Attainment 8

Used in secondary schools, Attainment 8 records a pupil's achievement across eight qualifications, including Maths and English.

Cambridge Assessment International Education

Cambridge Assessment International Education is an international exam board offering a range of qualifications including Cambridge Primary, Cambridge Lower Secondary and Cambridge IGCSE.

Comprehensive schools

Comprehensive schools are secondary level state-funded schools, that do not select their students on the basis of achievement or their academic aptitude. They should accept any applicable students from within a geographical area. They differ from grammar schools, which selects pupils on the basis of their grade at the 11+ exam. Today, most comprehensives are also academies.

Edexcel

Edexcel is a UK exam board offering a range of qualifications including GCSE.

Edexcel International

Edexcel International offers a range of syllabuses for the Edexcel IGCSE.

Framework

A guide developed for Key Stage 2 and 3 outlining how and when subjects should be taught.

Free schools

A free school is a variety of academy; a state-funded, free-to-attend, independent school which is not controlled by a local educational authority. A free school is understood to be "free" from local authority control, rather than describing free for students to attend. Like other academies, free schools may have sponsors, but the sponsor may not control more than 1/5 of a free school's board of trustees. Free schools are allowed to employ teachers who have not gained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

GCSE

Short for General Certificate of Secondary Education, GCSEs are studied between the ages of 14-16 years and are assessed by formal exams. GCSEs cover a wide range of subjects and each student chooses several subjects to study. Most are expected to take English, Mathematics, and Science. Coursework may count for part of the final mark depending on the subject and syllabus. The curriculum is set by the government but exams and specifications (syllabuses) are sent by individual exam boards.

Gifted and Talented

Gifted and Talented is a phrase used to describe high ability children. The gifted are those with high ability in one or more academic subject, and the talented are those with high ability in sport, music, visual arts and/or performing arts.

Grammar schools

Grammar schools are schools that select their students on the basis of their academic aptitude. Historically, grammar schools were the selective level of the Tripartite System of secondary education in the UK from the 1940s to the 1960s. With the introduction of comprehensive schools in the 1970s, many grammar schools converted to comprehensives or became independent, fee-paying schools. Some areas of England, such as Kent and Lincolnshire, retain most elements of the Tripartite System, and select students for grammar schools on the basis of their results at the 11+ exam.

Guided Reading

Guided Reading bridges the gap between Shared and Independent Reading. Children are grouped by ability, with up to six children in a group. A book is chosen at 'instructional level' so that children will only have difficulty with one word in ten. The teacher leads the session, reinforcing various reading strategies and focusing on individual children as they read.

IB

The IB (International Baccalaureate) offers three programmes used in many schools all over the world: PYP (Primary Years Programme), MYP (Middle Years Programme), IB Diploma Programme.

IB Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Programme is offered by the International Baccalaureate (IB) for students aged 16-19 years. It is a demanding two-year curriculum that leads to a qualification recognized by universities around the world.

IGCSE

IGCSE is an international qualification for 14-16 year olds offered by Cambridge Assessment International Education and Edexcel International.

Key Stage

The national curriculum in the UK defines the minimum educational requirements for students of compulsory school age (5-16 years). It is organised on the basis of five Key Stages. At the end of each Key Stage, students take assessments to determine the levels they have reached.

Foundation

Foundation is the Key Stage (Reception/3-5 year olds) - Infant

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 1 (Years 1-2/5-7 year olds) - Nursery

Key Stage 2

Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6/7-11 year olds) - Primary

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9/11-14 year olds) - Lower Secondary

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4/GCSE (Years 10-11) - Upper Secondary

Multi-academy trust (MAT)

A multi-academy trust (MAT) is a a group of academies run jointly by one board of directors, working together as one entity to pool resources and improve standards across the trust. A multi-academy trust is usually headed by a CEO, who differs from a traditional headteacher, and may not be a qualified teacher themselves.

National Curriculum

The national curriculum is set by the government in the UK and is a program of study outlining what must be taught at each level and giving attainment targets. Not all schools have to follow the national curriculum (such as academies and private schools).

National Literacy/Numeracy Strategy (NLS/NNS)

The NLS and NNS were approaches to teaching the reading, writing and mathematics elements of the national curriculum. They defined the objective of the English and Maths curriculum at Reception to Year 6 (3-11 year olds). The National Strategies were abolished in 2011.

O Level

The General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level is an international qualification for 14-16 year olds offered by Cambridge Assessment International Education.

OCR

OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) is a UK exam board offering a range of qualifications including GCSE and A Level.

PYP - Primary Years Programme

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is offered by the International Baccalaureate (IB) for students aged 6-12 years and focuses on the development of the whole child in the classroom and in the world outside.

Private schools

Private schools (also known as independent schools and in some cases public schools) are schools that charge fees in order to attend. They do not get funding from the government, and do not have to follow the national curriculum. About half of private schools are inspected by Ofsted, while the other half are inspected by either the Independent Schools Inspectorate or the School Inspection Service. Some older and more expensive private schools are known as "public schools" although they are not part of the public sector; these schools were considered historically public because they were open for anyone to attend, provided they could pay the fees.

SATs

SATs (officially known as National Curriculum assessments) are the national curriculum tests that are taken at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2. They are designed to help teachers measure students' progress, how much of the curriculum they understand and what they might achieve in the future. SATs attainment levels were abolished in 2016 and replaced with a new judgement framework.

SEN (Special Educational Needs)

Children with special educational needs all have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn or access education than most children of the same age. These children may need extra or different help from that given to other children of the same age.

Shared Reading

Shared reading is a whole class activity where the teacher demonstrates reading strategies using a shared text. Texts should be large enough for all children to see. Big Books are perfect for this. Shared reading sessions are very interactive.

The Simple View of Reading

The simple view of reading is part of the renewed UK framework for primary literacy and places increasing importance on the role of speaking and listening in developing children's early reading skills. It focuses on two core areas: word recognition (phonics and high frequency words) and language comprehension and reinforces the importance of embedding reading within a broad and rich curriculum.

Whiteboard

An interactive whiteboard is a teaching tool that enables anything you can do or see on a computer screen to be projected onto a whiteboard for all the class to see. It is made up of a computer, a digital projector, and a whiteboard which acts as a touch-sensitive screen.

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