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KS1 Online education: Interview with Mrs. Clarke, primary school teacher

Updated: Jun 28

Today, we welcome the esteemed Jemma Clarke, our dedicated primary school teacher, who is graciously addressing the most frequently asked queries posed by concerned parents about KS1 online education.

Mrs. Clarke will provide valuable insights into this matter, drawing upon her wealth of experience and expertise.

What are your thoughts about online education for KS1 children?

LEO school provides a wonderful opportunity for the youngest children to develop and learn a range of lessons at a very young age, through the English language, which they may not be exposed to otherwise.

Do you find that children take time to adapt to online schooling format?

Children nowadays are used to working, playing, talking online so an online education is the next logical step for most. They make friends with peers, support each other as they would in a physical classroom.

Are children able to stay concentrated during lessons?

Fun, engaging lessons ensure that even the youngest children concentrate throughout every lesson. Every child is focussed because they are questioned throughout every lesson to ensure engagement and involvement.

How are your teaching methods beneficial for KS1 children at an online school

Personally, I am a very experienced primary school teacher with 15 years experience in teaching children of all ages.

I think it is crucial to develop a positive relationship with every pupil so they feel valued and safe; this is something which I endeavour to do with every pupil in my care.

Very young children learn best when taught in a fun and creative way, through a topic, the use of songs and stories.

What is a Topic lesson in a KS1 school and what is the advantage of topic lessons at this stage, rather than separate dedicated lessons?

Topic lessons build and develop vocabulary. In year 1, the focus of topic lessons is to teach children every day vocabulary which is meaningful to them. When the children are ready, the topic lesson focus is on more complex spoken language and semantics.

As the children progress into year 2, the curriculum builds on their growing understanding of English. Each week, the Topic lessons have a theme as the focus - each week is a 'mini topic'. The aim is to revise previously taught vocabulary whilst introducing new words to the children in a very age appropriate manner.

Within each topic, some traditional subjects, such as Geography, History or Science are introduced to give the children a 'taster' of such subjects. This gives them a strong foundation in preparation for when their English is developed enough to access more formal subjects.

How well do children participate in class when prompted at an online school?

Extremely well - they are addressed by name and very happily share their answers, thoughts and ideas.

What is a perfect setup for lessons at this age (parents being nearby/independent learning, relaxing comfortable environment/classroom environment)

This depends on the child's age and confidence levels. Some children lean best with parents present, others having access to parents for trouble shooting is good. As children become more independent; we often find they like to be more independent in their learning too.

What equipment is necessary for your lessons?

A notebook so children can record learning and keep it for follow up from lesson to lesson. Basic stationery is good too. Pen pencil, ruler and a few coloured pencils will be helpful. Ideally, pupils would have separate books for English, Maths and Topic.

At KS1 level, how do children learn best? (Reading/games/problem solving etc)

Children learn best through fun, engaging activities, such as games or through stories. In both year 1 and year 2, vocabulary is embedded through the systematic teaching of phonics, learning songs and listening to stories. In maths lessons, children consolidate their learning through the use of games.

What advice can you give to students to improve concentration during lessons at an online school?

Children at LEO school concentrate well due to quality first teaching. Remaining away from distractions is always a good tip.

At this stage, how can parents support their children if they are studying at an online school?

Parents can best support their children by providing a quiet space to study, ensuring they have exercise books to write in and equipment to write with. Ensuring they are up to date with homework is beneficial too.

How involved do parents need to be?

Ideally, parents of the youngest children would support their children during lessons if at all possible. If parents do not know English, they could learn with their children by sitting with them in lesson time.

Which extra curricular activities which can be done online would you suggest for children of these age groups?

Maths games at the appropriate level and accessing the online phonics books.

Which extracurricular activities would you suggest at this age outside of school?

Sports or practical music skills lead to well rounded healthy children. Also quality time spent with parents, family and friends enjoying the outdoors is paramount to development.

Are there any resources you would suggest for parents or pupils, which can help with learning, concentration, adaptation and confidence?

The phonics sounds mats are an invaluable resource during English lessons for both year 1 and year 2. The online phonics books will help to embed the phonics the children learn and build their confidence with reading outside of lessons.

How much work/homework/learning would you say children need at this stage outside of lessons?

In year 1 and year 2, children are given one piece of homework in English or Maths every day, which is due the following day where we review what the children have done.

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