Middlewich Rd, Rudheath, Northwich CW9 7DT

Young Persons Guide to keeping children safe

Young Person’s Guide to Keeping Children Safe

Dear Parent/Carer

 

 

Further to my previous letter, the Department for Education have updated guidance on reopening schools for Year 10.

School will now not reopen on Tuesday 2nd June to Year 10 students. We will remain open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children only.

Please visit the hyperlink below for the full guidance on the changes:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june/planning-guide-for-secondary-schools

As mentioned in my previous letter, plans were subject to change and the latest guidance issued has mandated this. I want to summarise the key changes at this point, with further detail to be issued at a later date.

The key changes to note are:

 

  • School will now reopen from Monday 15th June 2020
  • Only a quarter of the student population of Year 10 will attend at any one given time
  • Provision for children of critical workers and vulnerable children will continue
  • Remote education will remain the predominant form of education delivery (Microsoft Teams)
  • Reopening is still subject to UK Government’s 5 tests being met

The Trust and school leadership team will continue to work in partnership to ensure the school makes robust preparations for reopening. Next week, I will write to all parents and carers with further specific details regarding plans to deliver face-to-face support for Year 10 students.

As ever, I’m grateful for your patience and support.

Yours faithfully

Lee Barber

Head Teacher

Dear Parents,

On Friday March 20th, all schools in the United Kingdom closed to the vast majority of pupils for an indefinite period of time. All examinations were subsequently cancelled and parents were asked to educate their children at home. It is the first time in our history that such a measure has taken place during peacetime, and necessitated a fundamental change in how each of our schools operate.

From almost a standing start, our schools and teachers created online learning experiences for all children during the lockdown period. I have been incredibly impressed with how all teachers have adapted what they know, to create virtual learning experiences that are second to none. Where ICT access has been difficult, all families have been offered printed resources. In addition to this, as a Trust, we have also invested to acquire over 200 devices for those families that need them most.

Each week we monitor the engagement rates with online learning and we are very proud of how all schools, children and parents have supported each other. I hope one of the positives from this period will be the continued use of online platforms as part of our children’s lives. Looking at how well all our schools have worked, in partnership with you, it is clear that home education has been a success; but now it is time to start our return to school.

As school leaders, all our Headteachers do an incredible job for their school communities. Their leadership is what inspires the teachers, who, in turn, inspire your children. Without their expertise and management your schools would not be the places your children love.

As a Trust, we found out which year groups were to return to school from June 1st at exactly the same time as you did as parents. From that point we have worked together to ensure this can take place as safely as possible, following the guidance issued.

Last week, those of you who have children eligible to return on June 1st were issued a summary of the changes made to ensure that, when they do return, you can be confident your child will be safe and cared for in school. We can never guarantee that anyone on school premises will not catch an airborne virus, or that they will be exactly two metres apart at all times. However, we can guarantee that all schools have followed all guidance issued by the Department for Education to the best of their ability.

Your school also asked whether you plan to send your child to school, on June 1st and, understandably, there have been a number of parents uncertain about this. We hope, now you have had chance to review the changes your school has made, you will have increased confidence in how they will operate for the remainder of this school year. I know all staff will work tirelessly on behalf of every child, and we will make sure the remainder of term provides as many opportunities to make them smile as it did before we partially closed.

If the Government decide to alter the date for reopening, we will revise our date accordingly and review our procedures should there be a need to do so.

On behalf of all our staff across the Trust, thank you for entrusting your child’s education to us. Let’s hope the ‘new normal’ is similar to the ‘old normal’ in regards to schools, with the added advantages of what we have learned along the way.

Kind regards,

Steve Docking

CEO North West Academies Trust

21 May 2020

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

As I am sure you will be aware, the Department for Education released guidance last week on schools reopening, in a phased way, for some students in June. This guidance states that: “For pupils in Year 10 and 12, we are asking schools and colleges to supplement remote education with some face to face support for these year groups from 1st June”. The government have also released some information pertaining to this for parents and carers; for more information, please visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june

You will appreciate that this guidance raises many questions for us as a staff team about how we might approach any limited or phased return for our students and staff safely. There are many options and implications that we need to consider and consult upon. This week, I have asked all form tutors of Year 10 students to call home and consult parents on the reopening of school. The feedback we have received is helping inform our future plans, along with feedback from our staff team.

In the short term, there will be no immediate changes to our online learning provision and remote support systems. I am really proud of the way our whole school community has adapted to Microsoft Teams. As a school, we have looked to maximise the technical capability we have to ensure that the curriculum continues as positively as possible for our students. We have also been delivering home learning packs, revision guides and computing equipment for those who need it most.

I would also like to reassure you that, whilst we want to do everything we can to get our students back into education and support you as parents/carers to return to work, the health and safety of our students, staff and families will always be our first and main priority. We are working extremely hard to find a balance that is effective, inclusive and safe for everyone. We are conscious that not all families have access to sufficient IT provision at home and that Year 10 will be sitting their GCSEs in 12 months’ time.

As such, we have taken the decision to reopen school on Tuesday 2nd June 2020 for Year 10 students only, taking Monday 1st June 2020 as a staff training and preparation day. Throughout the first week of reopening, we will begin with a phased approach, with one session per day for students with staggered starting times (tbc). They will be taught in ‘bubbles’ of no more than 15 students, with one member of staff. From week commencing 8th June, we will potentially increase that offer to two sessions per day. I must stress that this will not be ‘school as normal’, there will be strict rules in place regarding the movement around the building and clear structure regarding regular hand sanitisation and toilet breaks. More specific details regarding the reopening will follow next week, pending further Department for Education guidelines. As such, our current plans are very much subject to change.

However at this point I must stress that parents must indicate in advance whether they intend to send their child to school. Please could all parents of Year 10 students send a short email to admin@rudheathsenioracademy.org.uk to confirm if you intend to send your child to school from 2 June 2020. If a student does not attend school on the first day of the school week, they will not be able to attend school until the start of the following week, in order to maintain continuity of class ‘bubbles’. This is Department for Education guidance.

I am grateful for your patience and support, as always, as we figure out the best way to move forward in the coming months. I hope you and your families are all keeping safe and well.

Yours faithfully,

Lee Barber

Headteacher

Year 10 and Year 11 Students 4 day Virtual Careers Festival starting Tuesday 19th May @ 11.00am

Register: Please can students in Year 10 and Year 11 pre-register for the event, visit the link https://learnliveuk.com/paving-the-way-virtual-careers-festival/

and clink the orange button ‘Register Now’ at the bottom of the page.  To keep up to date with all activity follow @ThePledgeCW #PavingTheWay

Dear Parents/Carers

 

We are now entering our sixth week of lockdown and we know that this prolonged time away from school, friends and loved ones will be impacting on you all in different ways.  Our primary concern for the students and families in our school community is that we are all safe and well.  There are many resources to support you and your well-being on our website and our social media platforms.  We hope you find this useful.

From the start of lock down, home-learning has been supported through Microsoft Teams and through the distribution of paper packs in an attempt to keep children engaged with learning. We wanted to reassure you that we understand how every home has their own unique circumstance. Balancing home schooling along-side work patterns, siblings, household chores amongst other factors can be very challenging. Therefore, our advice to you is to try to establish a routine with your child to develop good study habits that fits in with your own household and do not worry about completing every task that comes your way.  There are no right or wrong answers about how much you should be doing, when work should be completed or how often you should be on online learning platforms. However, we recommend that two to three hours a day is a good balance. There should be a clear focus on English, Maths and Science over the course of the week, although there should also be time for option subjects and non-academic activities to achieve a well-rounded week.  You may decide to concentrate on a different subject each day, or you may decide to have shorter bursts of a variety of subjects in one day. Find out what works best for your child and go with that! Exercise is well known to improve both physical and mental well-being. If you haven’t already, try Joe Wicks’ daily work out or Mr Russell’s weekly challenges to get you going.

Here are some tips to support your child:

  • try to create a work space with resources that your child can use to complete their tasks- such a pens, paper, colouring pens, ruler and pencil
  • try to keep get up times, breakfast times and work times to a regular pattern each day
  • keep practising academic skill such as reading, writing, times tables and basic arithmetic
  • decide which tasks you will offer support with and which tasks can be done independently
  • allow breaks around every 20 minutes or whatever work for your child
  • 1 hour of successful happy learning is better than 3 hours of frustrated unhappy learning
  • make use of a variety of learning resources including what is set in Microsoft Teams or in the paper packs
  • supplement tasks by tapping into other resources such BBC Teach, BBC Bitesize Daily or the online lessons from Oak National Academy
  • encourage your child to develop life skills such as making the bed, helping with tea and chores around the house or garden
  • try to keep up communication with the school and friends
  • find time to talk – have lunch sat together, discuss your favourite shows, quiz each other
  • if you have any worries about the well-being of your child – inform the school as there is support available

Teachers and support staff are available throughout the day via Microsoft Teams to respond to queries related to home learning. Form tutors will continue to make weekly calls home to offer a line of communication to see how you and your child are and if there is anything further we can do to support you. The school office can be contacted during normal working hours via admin@rudheathsenioracademy.org.uk

There continues to be speculation in the press about reopening of schools. The consistent advice from the Department of Education is that schools will remain closed until further notice, except for children of critical workers and the children who are most vulnerable. Schools will re-open schools when the scientific advice indicates it is safe to do so. We will continue to update you on any changes to this statement over the coming weeks.

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Miss J Wilson and Mrs Morrell

Dear Parents/Carers

 

We are now entering our sixth week of lockdown and we know that this prolonged time away from school, friends and loved ones will be impacting on you all in different ways.  Our primary concern for the students and families in our school community is that we are all safe and well.  There are many resources to support you and your well-being on our website and our social media platforms.  We hope you find this useful.

From the start of lock down, home-learning has been supported through Microsoft Teams and through the distribution of paper packs in an attempt to keep children engaged with learning. We wanted to reassure you that we understand how every home has their own unique circumstance. Balancing home schooling along-side work patterns, siblings, household chores amongst other factors can be very challenging. Therefore, our advice to you is to try to establish a routine with your child to develop good study habits that fits in with your own household and do not worry about completing every task that comes your way.  There are no right or wrong answers about how much you should be doing, when work should be completed or how often you should be on online learning platforms. However, we recommend that two to three hours a day is a good balance. There should be a clear focus on English, Maths and Science over the course of the week, although there should also be time for non-core subjects and non-academic activities to achieve a well-rounded week.  You may decide to concentrate on a different subject each day, or you may decide to have shorter bursts of a variety of subjects in one day. Find out what works best for your child and go with that! Exercise is well known to improve both physical and mental well-being. If you haven’t already, try Joe Wicks’ daily work out or Mr Russell’s weekly challenges to get you going.

Here are some tips to support your child:

  • try to create a work space with resources that your child can use to complete their tasks- such a pens, paper, colouring pens, ruler and pencil
  • try to keep get up times, breakfast times and work times to a regular pattern each day
  • keep practising academic skill such as reading, writing, times tables and basic arithmetic
  • decide which tasks you will offer support with and which tasks can be done independently
  • allow breaks around every 20 minutes or whatever work best for your child
  • 1 hour of successful happy learning is better than 3 hours of frustrated uhappy learning
  • make use of a variety of learning resources including what is set in Microsoft Teams or in the paper packs
  • supplement tasks by tapping into other resources such BBC Teach, BBC Bitesize Daily or the online lessons from Oak National Academy
  • encourage your child to develop life skills such as making the bed, helping with tea and chores around the house or garden
  • try to keep up communication with the school and friends
  • find time to talk – have lunch sat together, discuss your favourite shows, quiz each other
  • if you have any worries about the well-being of your child – inform the school as there is support available

Teachers and support staff are available throughout the day via Microsoft Teams to respond to queries related to home learning. Form tutors will continue to make weekly calls home to offer a line of communication to see how you and your child are and if there is anything further we can do to support you. The school office can be contacted during normal working hours via admin@rudheathsenioracademy.org.uk

There continues to be speculation in the press about reopening of schools. The consistent advice from the Department of Education is that schools will remain closed until further notice, except for children of critical workers and the children who are most vulnerable. Schools will re-open schools when the scientific advice indicates it is safe to do so. We will continue to update you on any changes to this statement over the coming weeks.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Mrs E Leftwick and Miss J Wilson

 

Please follow this link for the National online safety guides

 

https://nationalonlinesafety.com/guides

Activities for teenagers in lockdown. 

Parental Version

 Is your teenager grumbling they are bored, they have nothing to do or you are worried they are spending too much time gaming? Below are lots of fun activities that you can encourage your teen to participate in.

Lockdown activities for teens and tweens in self-isolation.

Take an online photography course: Now is the time to learn a new skill, and surprisingly there are tons of photography courses online. Ideally they’ll need a DSLR camera – luckily that’s one thing that hasn’t sold out on Amazon – but there are also courses in smartphone photography that focus on capturing interesting angles and concepts, and using natural light.

 Learn to touch type: Have you seen how kids type? That two-finger jab thing they do on the keyboard (or worse still, the iPad stabbing that makes me want to layer 72 screen protectors on their devices). Learning to touch type will speed up their essay work too, so they’ll stop claiming carpal tunnel syndrome as an excuse to avoid their English and History homework.

 Enrol in Stage School: It might sound strange but lockdown is the perfect time to start acting classes. Stage Academy are an established performing arts school, who like everyone else have had to temporarily stop live classes. But they’ve put together online versions that are so good they actually stand alone as a way of taking drama lessons on an ongoing basis.. They cover all ages from 4-18, it costs £10 a month (honestly SUCH good value for money), and you get a free 7 day trial – it’s a no-brainer for budding thespians.

Build a website: Why not learn to code? Code Academy offers free coding classes online. You could build your first ecommerce site, or start a blog!

Create an Anime: If your teenager is into graphic design,  Anime is a good way to use time and learn a new skill.

Write a letter: I know, I know it’s not cool. What a wonderful surprise for Grandparents who would love them even more. Failing that, a lot of nursing homes are looking for letters and drawings for their residents to read. (Check first that they’re accepting external post).

Start a podcast: If your teenager fancies having a YouTube channel but is too shy to put themself out there a podcast might be a good alternative. It’s super easy to get started, and podcasting is really taking off right now. There are lots of podcast hosting platforms, and most of them have really good idiot guides to explain how to do it. Podcast.co allows you to download a pretty comprehensive guide with no obligation to sign up. Only once you have a recording you want to put on the podcasting apps do you need to pay for an account. If you’ve never listened to a podcast, here’s mine – Teenage Kicks, a mental health podcast aimed at teens and their parents.

Simpler everyday activities for teens to do in the house.

Cook dinner: I’ve seen lots of parents say their teenagers are taking it in turns to cook dinner, and now is the perfect time. but they need to learn to cook more than beans before they leave home. I’m .going to I have one who loves to cook and one who hates it but even she is cooking up a storm at the moment.

Meal plan: Similarly, kids need to know how to budget and plan food for the week, so hand in hand with cooking, I ask mine to make a weekly meal plan together. This will either result in a chilled sandwiches, or us eating ravioli for an entire week.

Do the laundry: Again, something to teach them now, when we’re all at home. This will require supervision to ensure colour-sorting doesn’t lead to teen girl’s favourite top turning red.

Mow the lawn: Teenagers are guaranteed to love this responsibility. But again, you might want to supervise, and make sure the dog is inside the house.

Learn DIY skills: See above.

Wash the car: You’ll have to pay them by BACs transfer, obviously, as there’s nowhere for them to spend their cash right now.

Learn car maintenance: change the oil and water, and change a tyre under supervision.

Cleaning: dusting, vacuuming, floor mopping… I’m losing you here aren’t I? I’ll stop, but if you can convince your teenager to clean your house, I’d like to know your secret.

Academic activities for teens in lockdown.

Watch a TedED: From the makers of TED talks TedED offers brilliant educational talks, as well as a daily email of lesson plans for any age group.

BBC Bitesize: Revision activities for all subjects at all levels, plus daily online lessons coming from 20 April.

Online Lessons: Mr Azfar on YouTube is an utter genius in my opinion. Not only has he uploaded lessons on specific topics including Physics, English Lit, and Maths, he also livestreams lessons every day on his channel Lockdown Lessons. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still Maths and Physics, but if your teenager has specific GCSE problems to work on they might find the answers here. Also, it means I don’t have to do Physics with my kids. Which is good because I gave up Physics when I was 13.

Learn a new word from the dictionary: Quick daily English activity.

Learn about Art: Google Arts and Culture has a huge rabbit hole of art, architecture and cultural nuggets to fall down. So much to learn!

Keep on top of the news: The Day is offering their daily newsletter subscription (usually priced at £120 a year for a family membership) free of charge during lockdown. It has a readership of mostly teenagers, and covers quirky reviews and academic updates as well as keeping on top of what our politi, cians are doing. Ask your teenagers to read it and report back to you, recalling the funny memes, and debating today’s news.

Learn a language: try a new language on Duolingo. 

Activities to improve teens health during lockdown

Mention PE with Joe Wicks in front of my lot and their selective hearing kicks in. Great at first but losing its appeal 5 weeks in.. So I’ve had to be a bit inventive. Here are some things that they will condescend to do:

Just Dance: To be fair, my daughter will happily spend 2 hours exercising if it’s on Just Dance. Her younger brother will join in too, although we’ve had to buy the latest version, because she was beating him hands down on our 2014 version. And you don’t want yet another reason for a sibling meltdown.

Free live Personal Training: live workouts with a personal trainer. A reason for teens to join Facebook if ever there was one.

Yoga with Adriene: Free online course, surprisingly engaging to teen girls. Also to stressed out mums.

Headspace: I know, they’re going to roll their eyes, but make them do it. I bet by the end of a week of Headspace meditation they’ll enjoy it (although they probably won’t admit it to your face). It’s seriously good for changing how you think about things, including coronavirus anxiety.

Take a course with the OLLIE foundation: A fabulous teen mental health charity, the OLLIE offer online courses to help teenagers understand their own anxiety, and cope with feeling overwhelmed during this very difficult time.

Take Ballet lessons: English Youth Ballet are live streaming classes on Instagram. Also see this post on how to get your ballet fix in lockdown for real dance enthusiasts.

Strava a bike ride: Encourage them to use that expensive bike they wanted that’s been sat in the garage or shed for the past two years. Taking their bike out and trying to improve their distance on Strava. Can be achieved even with lockdown rules.

Fun stuff for teens to do in lockdown

Go to the theatre: Every Thursday at 7pm National Theatre are showing free full length productions of their best shows such as One Man Two Guvnors with James Corden,

See a ballet: Likewise, the Royal Ballet is uploading full productions to its YouTube page. Try Peter and the Wolf, and see where you go from there.

Online Quiz Night: The teenager version of the virtual quiz night that’s had so much success on Facebook. I would try and get mine to join in as a family. Lots of fun.

Camp out: One for siblings that actually get on well, given they can’t invite their friends.

Make cake pops: I know, it’s just baking, but seriously, have you ever tried to make cake pops? Very fiddly, very time-consuming, very addictive once you have all the sprinkles and melted chocolate buttons to play with. Guaranteed to keep them occupied for a whole afternoon. Any baking is fun to do right!

Crack the Rubik’s Cube: Remember doing that as a teenager? I think there was a book in place of the internet instructions our teenagers have. Bet you can’t do it now though.

Create bespoke art for their rooms: You can still buy spray paint and a giant canvas on Amazon, then let them loose in the garden to come up with their own design.

Spin a basketball on your fingertip: Wouldn’t it be so cool to be able to do that in a TikTok?

Make a photo book: You know all those family holiday photos you’ve been meaning to put into an album..? Alternatively, let them design a photobook of their own – maybe even a Year Book if they’ve just left school more abruptly than they were intending!

Learn to Juggle: Careful with this one. Mine are not happy with me as I hold the family record, 15 seconds with three  so far J, this has turned competitive.

Plan a holiday: Give them a budget then set them loose on the internet to plan the perfect family holiday.

Do a virtual dive or space trip: Watch 3D underwater videos or space

exploration on YouTube for a bit of escapism.

Search Rollercoaster POV: Rollercoaster videos from the perspective of the person in the front row.

Visit a museum: art galleries and museums are putting some of their collections online, so there’s an unprecedented amount of things you can now see up close without the queues! Take a look at the Natural History Museum‘s fossil exhibition – it’s very cool.

Learn an instrument: Ukeleles or harmonicas are inexpensive, or give them spoons and put in your ear plugs, and they can start to learn online.

Have a Nerf gun battle: Also doubles as exercise.

Check out the Scouts website: There are fun things for all ages including older teens.

Have a virtual film night with friends: Netflix Party allows them to watch a film with friends – and the upside is that this time no one else can hog the popcorn. Advise parental control.

Play Dungeons & Dragons: You can play D&D online.

Useful things for teens to do in lockdown.

Learn to read a map: One of those things you never really do with the advent of Google Maps on your phone, but fascinating once you get started. If your teenager has taken you up on the holiday planning activity this could work well alongside it. Get them to plan routes, and work out places of interest you could get to from your resort for a day trip.

Learn to sew: If you have a sewing machine they can pick up basic sewing techniques through YouTube videos. Once they’ve done that, they can create scrubs, bags and facemasks for NHS staff – how cool is that?

Learn First Aid: a brilliant general life skill.

Learn to change a lightbulb, change a plug: Another life skill. Your babies won’t be living with you forever (is that a cheer I hear J).

Sew on a button, learn to iron: Similarly, this is a task everyone should learn to do for themselves before leaving home.

KS4. Plan a career: research jobs you might find interesting, from pay scales and promotion paths to what’s needed at entry level.

Make a business plan: If you have a good business idea now is an ideal time to get stuck into the planning. You can find free business planning templates to guide you on the government business website.

KS4. Start a LinkedIn profile: it’s the most successful platform for building a network and finding new jobs, so you’ll need one at some point. It might as well be now.

KS4. Join a careers workshop: If you’ve no idea what you want to do with your life don’t worry. None of your parents did either when they were your age. A careers workshop might help you rule things out or in.

Whole family activities during lockdown.

Play Come Dine with Me: Everyone hosts a night, everyone gives a score, and the winner gets… a cooked meal of choice and a satisfaction of a job well done? I’m being totally honest here, my son just may get top prize.

Complete an Escape Room: Teenagers love an escape room, and now it’s possible to do it virtually. Have a look at Durham Escape Rooms for their online challenge. A must as a family. So much fun.

Decorate a room: Now’s the time with the extra hands.

Play a board game: Add your own spin to it to make it your family experience.

Make a Time Capsule: There’s no doubt about it – now is an unprecedented time in their lives, and having something tangible to look back at in the future will be both fascinating and iconic. You’ll find some tips on how to make a time capsule worthy of the Coronavirus lockdown here.

Do a jigsaw: Have a dig around the house – there’s bound to be at least one. If not Amazon have some great ones.

Make your own quiz: Have a look at the Virtual Pub Quiz for ideas. This is a regular fixture in our house.  So we decided that to keep the quiz bug going, we’d create our own. Each member of the family chooses their own specialist subject and makes 10 questions for the rest of us. This could take on all sorts of angles – how well do you know your teenage daughter? What pranks did your Dad pull as a teen himself? How goody two-shoes really was mum? The possibilities are endless!

Things for teens to do in lockdown that will blow their minds;

Clean windows with newspaper and vinegar: .Here’s hoping it works with yours! Who can resist ink fingers! And if you manage to find a trick that excites them about bringing cups, glasses and bottles down from their rooms please share with us.

Make giant bubbles: Traditionally an activity for small kids, but I defy anyone not to love a giant bubble.

Lots of activities that don’t involve Fifa, Fortnite or Call of Duty, Have fun and enjoy.

Awesome Activities for Teens to Do While Having To Stay At Home

Student Version!

Lots of activities that don’t involve Fifa, Fortnite or Call of Duty. Try out as many as you can, I’m sure you will have your favourites. Enjoy and have fun.

Lockdown activities for teens and in self-isolation.

Take an online photography course: Now is the time to learn a new skill, and surprisingly there are tons of photography courses online. Ideally you will need a DSLR camera – luckily that’s one thing that hasn’t sold out on Amazon (remember to always get the bill payers permission)  – or there are also courses in smartphone photography that focus on capturing interesting angles and concepts, and using natural light.

 Learn to touch type:  Do you do that two-finger jab on the keyboard (or worse still, the iPad stabbing then wonder why it’s not working properly). Learning to touch type can reduce your time and will speed up your essay work too,

 Enrol in Stage School: For all those wannabe budding actors this might sound strange but lockdown is the perfect time to start acting classes. Stage Academy are an established performing arts school, who like everyone else have had to temporarily stop live classes. But they’ve put together online versions that are so good they actually stand alone as a way of taking drama lessons on an ongoing basis. They cover all ages from 4-18, it costs £10 a month (honestly SUCH good value for money), and you get a free 7 day trial – it’s a no-brainer and lots of fun.

Build a website: Why not learn to code? Code Academy offers free coding classes online. You could build your first ecommerce site, or start a blog!

Create an Anime: Are you into graphic design?  Anime is a good way to use time and learn a new skill. Try it and see how much fun it is.

Write a letter: I know, I know it’s not cool. BUT. Imagine if your boyfriend or girlfriend could one day look back on the one that got away (or your life partner could quote it in their wedding vows) by reading an actual hand-written letter. The romance of it! (I have a tear in my eye already) Or send a letter to a family member who would love you even more and cheer them up during lockdown. Failing that, a lot of nursing homes are looking for letters and drawings for their residents to read (Check first that they’re accepting external post).

Start a podcast: If you fancy having a YouTube channel but is too shy to put yourself out there, a podcast might be a good alternative. It’s super easy to get started, and podcasting is really taking off right now. There are lots of podcast hosting platforms, and most of them have really good easy guides to explain how to do it. Podcast.co allows you to download a pretty comprehensive guide with no obligation to sign up. Only once you have a recording you want to put on the podcasting apps do you need to pay for an account (ask permission first). If you’ve never listened to a podcast have a try.

Simpler everyday activities for teens to do in the house.

Cook dinner: I’ve seen lots of parents say their teenagers are taking it in turns to cook dinner, and now is the perfect time. Why, I hear you ask yourself, I can just tell my parents I’m hungry and the magic wand gets waved and I have a meal. I will be honest with you and say you are in for a shock, all teens need to learn to cook proper meals to stay healthy and learn to cook more than beans before you leave home. Start easy meals or help your family to prepare a meal. In our house whoever cooks gets out of clean up duty, Win Win.

Meal plan: Similarly, when you eventually leave home you will need to know how to budget and plan food for the week, so hand in hand with cooking.  Ask what the food budget is in your household and eat that costs less than the budget.

Do the laundry: Again, something you may want to learn now, when you’re all at home. This will require supervision to ensure colour-sorting

doesn’t lead to your Mum’s favourite white top turning red. Top Tip. Don’t be surprised if the odd sock disappears, happens to us all.

Mow the lawn: You may love this responsibility. There is something calming about mowing and it doesn’t have to take very long.  Avoid if you have hayfever though. Ask for help and supervision and keep your pets inside.

Learn DIY skills: See above .Remember safety first.

Wash the car: You can use your negotiating skills and earn pocket money too.

Learn car maintenance: Ask permission first. You can look online or in the cars service manual and learn how to check the oil and water and change a tyre.

Cleaning: dusting, vacuuming, floor mopping…I know, I know but think of your families shocked faces. You may not clean like your Mum does but I can guarantee that it will put a smile on their faces especially if they are still working. At the very least sort your bedroom out!!

Academic activities for teens in lockdown.

Watch a TedED: From the makers of TED talks TedED offers brilliant educational talks, as well as a daily email of lesson plans for any age group.

Online Lessons BBC Bitesize:  is just one of the online resources you can access for revision activities for all subjects at all levels, plus daily online lessons are available.

Learn a new word from the dictionary: Quick daily English activity.

Learn about Art: Google Arts and Culture has a huge rabbit hole of art, architecture and cultural nuggets to fall down. So much to learn!

Keep on top of the news: The Day is offering their daily newsletter (free of charge during lockdown, but a parent will need to sign up). It has a readership of mostly teenagers, and covers quirky reviews and academic updates as well as keeping on top of what our politicians are doing.  Have a daily read and report back to the family, it’s a great way to talk to each other, you can debate, discuss and laugh at the funny memes.

Learn a language: try a new language on Duolingo.  They have lots of languages and you can start basic or more advanced.

Activities to improve teen’s health during lockdown

We know Joe Wicks and Mr Russell are keeping us active in the most awesome way but if you want to go further below are some ideas to keep you healthy and active. Try them all and choose your favourites.

Just Dance: So much fun. Become advanced and challenge family members.

Free live Personal Training: live workouts and wellbeing with your own virtual personal trainer via facebook..

Yoga with Adriene: Free online course, surprisingly engaging for teenage girls but hey boys can try it too.

Headspace: Meditation and mindfulness really does work. It’s seriously good for changing how you think about things, including coronavirus anxiety.

Take Ballet lessons: English Youth Ballet are live streaming classes on Instagram. Also see this post on how to get your ballet fix in lockdown for real dance enthusiasts.

Strava a bike ride: Take your bike out and try to improve your distance on Strava. Stay local though.

Fun stuff for teens to do in lockdown

Go to the theatre: Every Thursday at 7pm National Theatre are showing free full length productions of their best shows.

See a ballet: Likewise, the Royal Ballet is uploading full productions to its YouTube page. Try Peter and the Wolf, and see where you go from there.

Online Fun Quiz : The teenager version of the virtual quiz night that’s had so much success on Facebook.

Camp out: You can have one in your back gardens with your siblings.

Make cake pops: I know, it’s just baking, but seriously, have you ever tried to make cake pops? Very fiddly, very time-consuming, very addictive once you have all the sprinkles and melted chocolate buttons to play with. Guaranteed to keep you occupied for a whole afternoon. Baking in any form can be fun especially the testing and eating part at the end.

.Crack the Rubik’s Cube: I remember doing this as a teenager?  Crack the cube, time yourself then time your family members to see who has the fastest time.

Create bespoke art for your rooms: Any budding Banksy’s out there? Firstly discuss this with your parents and come up with a plan of action. Ask your parents if there is any spare paint or ask to buy some plus a giant canvas or cardboard.  The garden may be the right place to create your masterpiece.

Spin a basketball on your fingertip: Wouldn’t it be so cool to be able to do that in a TikTok? The more practice you do the better you become.

Make a photo book: You know all those precious family photos that are in your house. Buy or design a photo/memory book of your own (ask first though) or a Year Book if you have just left school more abruptly than they were intending!

Learn to Juggle: I can do three on a good day, 😉

Plan a holiday: How hard is it to plan a holiday that the whole family will enjoy? Ask your parents for a holiday budget and away you go.

Do a virtual dive or space trip: Watch 3D underwater videos or space exploration on YouTube for a bit of escapism.

Search Rollercoaster POV: Rollercoaster videos from the perspective of the person in the front row.

Visit a museum: art galleries and museums are putting some of their collections online, so there’s an unprecedented amount of things you can now see up close without the queues! Take a look at the Natural History Museum‘s fossil exhibition – it’s very cool.

Learn an instrument: Ukuleles, harmonicas are inexpensive, Spoons are free (ask permission before you raid the cutlery draw) and you can start to learn online.

Have a Nerf gun battle: Also doubles as exercise. So much fun.

Check out the Scouts website: There are fun things for all ages including older teens.

Have a virtual film night with friends: Netflix Party allows you to watch a film with your friends – and the upside is that this time no one else can hog the popcorn.

Play Dungeons & Dragons: You can play D&D online.

Useful things for teens to do in lockdown.

Learn to read a map: One of those things you never really do with the advent of Google Maps on your phone, but fascinating once you get started. This will help with your holiday planning activity too. You can plan routes, and work out places of interest you could get to from your resort for a day trip.

Learn to sew: If you have a sewing machine you can pick up basic sewing techniques through YouTube videos. Once you’ve done that, you can create scrubs, bags and facemasks for NHS staff – how cool is that? This can be a whole family activity so get them involved too.

Learn First Aid: a brilliant general life skill; and you can also add this to your CV!

Learn to change a lightbulb or a plug: Next to making a really good cup of tea or coffee, this has to be on everyone’s need to know list.

Sew on a button, learn to iron: Similarly, this is a task everyone should learn to do for themselves before leaving home. Nothing worse than a missing button or a creased shirt.

KS4. Plan a career: research jobs you might find interesting, from pay scales and promotion paths to what’s needed at entry level.

Make a business plan: If you have a good business idea now is an ideal time to get stuck into the planning. You can find free business planning templates to guide you on the government business website.

KS4. Start a LinkedIn profile: it’s the most successful platform for building a network and finding new jobs, so you’ll need one at some point. It might as well be now.

KS4. Join a careers workshop: If you’ve no idea what you want to do with your life don’t worry. None of your parents did either when they were your age. A careers workshop might help you rule things out or in.

Whole family activities during lockdown.

Play Come Dine with Me: Everyone hosts a night, everyone gives a score. The winner gets a meal cooked for them of their choice and satisfaction of a job well done?

Complete an Escape Room: Ever done the scape room challenge, No? well now it’s possible to do it virtually. Have a look at Durham Escape Rooms for their online challenge. Teamwork is the key so get your family involved. This is really cool. No tantrums now.

Decorate a room: if unlike me your parents thought ahead and has the resources at home decorating a room can be fun and the end result extremely satisfying. It’s definitely the right time.

Play a board game: The oldies but goodies Monopoly, Cluedo always puts a smile on my face as this can be played with family members or if any of your friends has the same board game as you why not set up a virtual board game session.

Make a Time Capsule: There’s no doubt about it – now is an unprecedented time in your lives, and having something tangible to look back at in the future will be both fascinating and iconic. You’ll find some tips on how to make a time capsule worthy of the Coronavirus lockdown here.

Do a jigsaw: Have a dig around in the loft, cupboards etc. – there’s bound to be at least one. Or ask parents to buy you one. Some great ones on Amazon.

Make your own quiz: Like the board game this can be played with family, or a virtual version with friends or why not both. It’s can be a regular fixture (we do ours once a fortnight each member of the family chooses their own specialist subject and makes 10 questions for the rest of us) or choose a weekly topic. To play a virtual quiz with your friend, each friend takes it in turn to produce a quiz based on knowledge you should all know about and all of you has interests in, for example The Last Five Years of the Premier League. The possibilities are endless!

Things for teens to do in lockdown that will blow their minds;

Clean windows with newspaper, water and vinegar:  This actually works, if you don’t believe me try it and see them sparkle. Expect paper ink hands.

Make giant bubbles: The biggest are the best. Research how and Tik Tok your efforts.