Helping your child to become an independent learner

Thank you for all the work you have put into helping your child with remote learning so far. It has started even better than the last lockdown. It isn’t easy – and very challenging to juggle remote learning, work, and the home. The level of resilience shown by your child and families is really impressive. We are all feeling more anxious, which gives us a greater feeling of wanting to help our children, and for our children to need help. We understand that you are all under immense stress and pressure. Whatever you can do we are very grateful.

We want to support you as best we can to ensure we can all do the best for our children. I hope this guide might be helpful. 

You may read it and be able to run with it, or please refer back to it as a guide. We are also putting on a special Zoom meeting with Mrs Beverley Cawthera next Tuesday. Please join if you would like to ask any questions, hear from or give support to other parents, or just to give us input into other ways we can help. There are two sessions using the same Zoom link:

And last but not least, your class teacher can also give you individual coaching and support. Please read this guide and have a go first!


Children do have to do work every school day. There are daily reading, writing and maths activities. Everything that your child needs to do, including support, is on their Google Classrooms.

Independent learning is a vital part in managing this challenging situation. It is a crucial life skill that all children need. You child will not do this naturally – and they might not be used to doing this at home.  

  1. Whilst there is no expectation for parents/carers to act as teachers and get directly involved in the work set, it is important that you have an idea what they are being asked to do. 
    1. The teachers will try and make the learning task as clear as possible. If you do have time to look at the resources as well, then you can point your child in the right direction AFTER they have tried to do this themselves. 
    2. By showing that you think the work is valuable and fun, then this will rub off onto your child. They pick up on negative feelings, and this can lead to non-compliance. 
    3. Younger children might need you to be more present and adventure in their learning with them. You don’t need to teach them, but being near them or regularly checking on them, is a good strategy. 
  2. We do not expect children to submit work that is 100% correct. 
    1. Do not worry if they get the odd question wrong. We need to know about errors so we can adjust the work, and teach them accordingly. 
    2. Helping a small bit and then moving away is a good strategy. 
    3. Helping with the method that the teacher is asking, is better than telling them the answers. Although using your own method might feel helpful, it can be very confusing and counter-productive. Finding out these methods, if you have time (e.g. by watching the teacher videos), would be really beneficial.    
  3. If they have spent more than the allotted or an acceptable time to do the task, just move on. The class teachers need to know what is achievable and what isn’t, so they can make adjustments. Don’t feel the pressure to work for longer than is necessary.
  4. If your child is not putting in any effort, struggling to engage or be motivated, and you have tried to solve this with positivity and the tips above, then contact the class teacher and we will support you and your child. Don’t feel you have to badger them! 

What we do know is that the vast majority manage on their own in a class of 30 plus at school, so they can do it. Some children will not feel as independent as others. We might just need to coach them along a bit more. Planning time is the most important time you can give your child. 

If your child is still saying that they can’t do something, coach them through it. Ask them specific questions like ‘What is it you can’t do? What have you tried already? Where can you look for help?’. They also have this guide to help scaffold their thinking:

Planning assignment

I have set your child a task to support this (it will appear either today or Monday on their class stream). They all have to think about a plan for their day. The major role that you can play in remote learning is assisting your child to plan out their day effectively. Having a 5 minute chat with them to cover the self-regulation that is necessary to achieve academic goals would be amazing. This includes:

  • goal-setting, 
  • planning, 
  • perseverance, 
  • management of time and materials, 
  • attentiveness, 
  • and emotions.

After they have had a think, I will share some top tips with them, to make sure they have the best idea of what to do. If you want to get a head start on them, check out the resources here

It may be beneficial to involve family members, not just the primary contact, if possible.

Help with routines

Consistent routines can be a struggle at home with changes to our home working and learning. Routines can be helpful in supporting positive behaviour and general well-being. They can also help as you and your family find a new daily routine. You could watch this video with your child  and use it to talk about the days ahead and goals they might have. Praise them for the things they are already doing. How can they become more independent in planning their time? Another good tip, is to work alongside your child (doing something else) to give them some comfort that you are still there. Checking the class newsfeed each day is a good way to check what tasks your child needs to do.

If you need more help, we can call you for some personalised support. Please do not suffer in silence. 

We also have a good supply of Chromebooks – if you need one – please ask!

Best wishes,

Steve and the team

St Peter's C of E Primary School

Moor Lane, Budleigh Salterton, Devon EX9 6QF

01395 443167

Website designed & developed by
Hambly Freeman -