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new on 12 March 2020
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Send-home resource packs are a quick, low-tech solution to continuing education that you can sort now, to prepare for closure. Here's how to go about putting these packs together and getting them out to families.

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Ask your teachers to prepare 1 week's worth of activities and resources

Do this as soon as possible. Some schools are giving teachers additional planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time or cancelling staff meetings to give teachers time to prepare these resources. 
 
When you have the materials, print them out (or ask your teachers to) and make sure they're in a resource pack and ready to go. You'll need one pack for every child that is not vulnerable or the child of a keyworker. 

How to decide what goes into the pack

This is up to your school. Consider:
  • Open-ended, self-led activities/projects that pupils can complete with minimal supervision, similar to homework
  • Including pens/pencils, blank paper and exercise books if your pupils might not have access to these at home

Lean on ready-made resources to ease teacher workload

Preparing a week's worth of work is a lot to ask of your staff. To make the task easier, direct staff towards free, crowd-sourced resource websites such as:

Look into free resources in the event your school needs to shut, e.g. from:

  • Twinkl – they've announced they'll be offering all schools free access to all their resources for one month. Find out about the offer here
  • White Rose Maths – they've said they're planning some free packages for schools when they close

Note: the websites listed here aren't an endorsement by The Key

What are other schools putting into their packs?

Robin Hood Multi Academy Trust has made its resource packs freely available to other schools. You can view and download them here. The trust has created 7 weeks' worth of learning projects for the Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1, Year 3/4 and Year 5/6.

A south London primary school we spoke to is putting together packs that contain resources for:

  • 5 maths lessons (e.g. 5 maths activity sheets)
  • 5 English lessons (e.g. 3 comprehension activities and 2 creative writing activities)
  • 2 to 3 creative activities (e.g. colouring, or instructions for a craft project they can complete at home)

The packs also contain:

  • 1 blank exercise book
  • 2 pencils 

The structure of what goes into the packs is the same across year groups. Each pack is put into a plastic wallet marked with the pupil's name and class. They're stored in the school office. 

Getting the packs home to pupils 

If you close during the school day, send pupils home with the packs.
 
Ask parents to pick up their children's resource packs from school on Friday, or set up a resource pack collection point.
 
If parents can't or won't pick up their resource packs, you could:
  • Upload the resources to your school website for parents to download at home (you might want to do this anyway as a back-up in case resources are lost or damaged)
  • Email the resources to parents if you have their email addresses
  • Post the packs to pupils' homes

Be aware that not all parents will have printing facilities or internet access, so try to get the physical packs to pupils where possible. 

What are other school leaders doing?

According to our poll, which asked schools how they're currently planning to continue education if pupils have to self-isolate or if they have to close:

  • 54% of school leaders who have responded are planning to send resource packs home
  • 60% are planning to upload resources to their website for pupils/parents to download at home 
  • 10% are planning to broadcast or record video lessons
  • 47% are planning to use an online learning platform (e.g. Google Classroom)

You can view the full poll results here.

Teachers should start preparing the next pack during the first week of closure

Ask your teachers to prepare the next week's activities and resources from home – this is so you'll have packs ready in case you have to close for longer than a week.

Of course, printed resource packs rely on staff being able to come into school to print them. If staff are able to come into school, you can get them ready as you did when school was open. 

Follow advice from your local health protection team regarding staff coming back into school if your school has closed.

When the new resource packs are ready, you can:

  • Ask parents to come to school to collect them and drop off the previous week's work, if it's safe for them to do so (again, your local health protection team will advise you on this)
  • Upload them to your school website, email or post the packs, as before  

Repeat this planning cycle for as long as you need to

You can keep this cycle going for as long as your school is closed. Some schools are planning to rely on printed resource packs for 1 to 2 weeks, but switch to online learning platforms if they're closed for longer. It's up to you. 

Read our guidance on free online platforms to support remote learning, to get to grips with the tools available. 

Keep an eye on our coronavirus resource hub – we'll be updating it with more in-depth guidance on remote learning soon.

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