This small school with a big heart leads the way with remote learning and positivity. Read on to find out how.

 Maple Walk Prep School continues to impress with their remote learning and, with the news that a decision on when schools may return is extended to 8th March, I wanted to know how they managed it and get some tips to keep children motivated and positive. Sarah Gillam, Head Teacher, shares the schools approach, some reassuring words and helpful tips.

We’re still in Lockdown! The pressure on many parents to to balance children, work, education and emotional well-being cannot be underestimated. Unlike the novelty of the first Lockdown being back working remotely is wearing thin for the whole family and the possible length of time this situation is going to last is stressful for everyone.

I can only empathise and reinforce the message that you’re doing a brilliant job and it is important to keep a work, school and home life balance.  You are not teachers and you need to ensure that the school is providing the best possible support. 

At Maple Walk activities such as live whole school assemblies and weekly shoutouts for pupils maintain the sense of community and praise to lift the spirits. Whilst our emphasis is on the core subjects of Maths, English and Science our curriculum is creative and we also provide engaging input for all other subject areas. Live music assembly and PE lessons are the highlight of the week.

However, we stress that for the well being of everyone, times ‘off curriculum’ and having as much fun outside is important. We introduced Maple Walk Heart Beats to encourage physical activities  – press ups;  cycling;  cooking a meal for the family all earn points for their House. We are also having House afternoons and the Upper School House Quiz, run by our House Captains was a great success. This will be a regular feature and will include the younger children too. It is important to break up the routine and we have introduced fun Wednesday maths – involving more games and activities around the topic areas; hopefully fun learning for everyone.  Variety is also key and each day an optional creative activity has been set; this is not compulsory but allows parents and children to make something if they wish. 

There is no doubt that this lockdown has potentially taken its toll on everyone – it’s cold, dark and wet.  The well-being of the children is paramount and at Maple Walk, we take it very seriously:  the staff have a rolling programme to ‘chat’ to individual children on a regular basis and the Mental and Well-being Festival called Now and Beyond to help parents, staff and pupils become emotionally resilient in these turbulent times has been well received. 

 In the classroom, managing behaviour and encouraging a positive attitude to learning is relatively easy – lessons are fun, interactive and teachers and assistants support pupils to stay on task.  At home – it can be a struggle.  There are no definitive answers, but in my experience the following tips might be helpful , particularly for the younger children:

 

 Top Tips to Postive Lockdown Learning

 1. Treat the day like a school day – be up ready and in clothes suitable for learning.

2. Have a small area allocated to “school”;  perhaps your child might like to help set it up and ‘own’ it.

3. Perhaps have a visual timetable that goes through the activities of the day.

4. Have all the equipment needed for the learning ready – books, pencils, colours, etc.

5. Once the activity has been discussed with the class teacher, use a timer (a kitchen clock) for the tasks – lessons at school have fixed timings and the teacher looks at the work completed; don’t worry if the work is not finished!

6. Have regular movement breaks – run outside and have a snack.

7. Have lots of time to be “creative” and have fun.

 

 Maple Walk is pretty special and the provision they provide in person or remotely is enviable. Their staff team are always seeking to deliver outstanding lessons and provide exceptional support to ensure the children reach their full potential.  Furthermore they are proof that eduction doesn’t have to cost the earth, with their low fees and eco-friendly environment.

 Visit them, for now virtually, at one of their Q&A sessions to find out more of school life from the Head teach, Head Boy and Head Girl. Visit the school website.

Q&A sessions:

–          Monday 22 February, 11:00am

–          Monday 1 March, 11:00am

–          Monday 8 March, 11:00am

–          Monday 15 March, 11:00am

–          Monday 22 March, 11:00am

MapleWalkSchool
62aCrownhillRoad
London, NW10 4EB

For admissions & enquiries: 020 8965 7374