As the school summer term begins in lockdown, how can parents educate their child at home?

As a new term begins, schools across the UK remain closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed school closures in March, and across the four nations, schools will remain shut "until further notice".

As children return to learning for the summer term, schools do remain open for vulnerable children and those of key workers.

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Damon Green

But for those with young ones at home, school closures have had a major affect on parents, many of whom are also juggling working from home with childcare responsibilities.

After the Easter break, where can parents go to get help on how to plan a home schooling day? And what should a typical day look like?

How long will schools be closed for?

What do the closures mean for children? Credit: PA

Schools across the UK have been closed since Friday 20 March and England's education secretary said as of April 19 that there is as yet no date set as to when schools in England will open. A message reiterated across the four nations.

Children of [**critical workers**](http://critical worker list), such as NHS staff and delivery drivers, are still able to go into school so that their parents can continue to work.

But most parents are looking at least a few more weeks of home schooling their children.

Work with your child to create a timetable that works for all of you. Credit: PA

How should I plan a home school day and where can I go to get help?

For parents with children under five-years-old, who have not yet started school, the Department for Education Hungry Little Minds campaign features tips and practical activities you can do at home with children to support their early learning.

The DfE said: "No one expects parents to act as teachers or childcare providers" and says, for young children, having everyday conversations, make-believe play, and reading together, all make a big difference to a child’s development.

Keeping a routine is important - it doesn't have to be as regimented as a typical school day, but some kind of structure will make it easier for your child to adjust.

Most secondary school children will be following a timeline through remote learning, but there is less structure for many primary school children.

Parents should break up their child's screen time with printed material and physical activities. Credit: PA

The DoE and a teacher give some recommendations on how to structure a home school day for under-11s.

  • Structure the day so children get up and go to bed at the same time each day, have regular meal times and regular breaks.

  • Make time to be active - children are used to regular play at lunch and break times.

  • Reduce screen time - while the government advice recognises that devices will play a key role in a child's home schooling, they also recommend using a timer to limit screen time and using books and other printed materials inbetween.

  • For children aged 4 to 7 the advice is to sit with them as they learn, have frequent breaks, read with them and praise or reward them for their efforts.

  • Concentrate on the cornerstones of the curriculum: phonics, numbers, writing and reading, and vary them throughout the day and week.

  • The best way to help children aged 7 to 11 learn is to leave them to work independently as much as possible, but support them where necessary.

  • Reading should be encouraged across all age groups. Take an interest in what they are reading, ask them about the story and what they are enjoying about it (or in some cases, perhaps, what they are not enjoying about it - and that's OK too).

  • Mix up periods of sitting with active and practical things, and break up the work into shorter periods, allowing for frequent breaks.

  • Communication is essential - ask them what they have been learning that day, whether they have any questions or concerns.

  • For children aged 10 and 11, the government advises looking beyond the curriculum and allowing them to "follow their own interests" such as exploring the nations' history, for example by visiting the English Heritage or Scotland's 'kiddle' website; trying the activities on TATE Kids; learning about geography by researching other countries.

  • While libraries are currently closed, but you can find any digital services they are providing at Libraries Connected

  • Be aware that this is not a one size-fits-all situation. Katy Simpson, a teacher and mother from Nottinghamshire, told ITV News you should be "guided by your child". Some children respond well to a strict routine, while others require more flexibility, she said.

  • She also suggested working with your child to draw up a timetable so they feel involved. Collaborating will help "alleviate conflict".

  • Create a pattern in that timetable, for example get your child to write a daily diary first thing, Ms Simpson said, which will also give them an outlet to express how they are feeling throughout the coronavirus crisis

  • When schools first closed, Katy Simpson, a teacher from Southwell in Nottinghamshire, told ITV News: 'I think the main advice really is not to panic', advice which still stands as the summer term begins

What will happen with exams?

It was announced on 18 March that exams in England and Wales will be cancelled this year.

The Department for Education has said pupils in England will instead be awarded grades based on teacher assessments.

Students will receive a calculated grade which will be reached taking into account a number of factors.

Teachers will be asked to give their judgment about the grade they think the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.

They will consider evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment, and exam boards will then combine that information with other data including previous attainment, to come up with the calculated grade.

The department is aiming for all students to have their grades by the end of July. A-level and GCSE grades are usually published mid-August.

Scottish students can resit their exams next year. Credit: PA

The Scottish Qualifications Authority issued new exam guidance on April 2, telling teachers that estimated grades will be “the core element of the certification process” this year.

In a statement, SQA chief executive Fiona Robertson said schools and teachers do not need to gather additional evidence through the setting preliminary exams or homework.

She said: "An estimate is a judgement of a grade and band based on a holistic review of a learner’s performance in the assessment evidence available”.

What about free school meals?

Free schools meals will not be lost, ministers have said. Credit: PA

Children entitled to free school dinners will receive supermarket vouchers or meals during the coronavirus outbreak.

There are around 1.3 million children who are entitled to free school meals.

Schools can order vouchers directly from local supermarkets and shops to be emailed, or printed and posted to families, with costs covered by the Department for Education (DfE).

The value of the vouchers offered to each child per week is higher than the rate usually paid to schools to provide free school meals in recognition of the fact families will not be buying food in bulk and may face higher costs.

Around 140,000 children and young people across Scotland are being supported with the provision of a free school meal.

Local authorities are providing the majority of meals through vouchers, direct payments or home deliveries, according to the latest monitoring data.

And what about childcare?

Boris Johnson warns against leaving children with their grandparents. Credit: PA

Boris Johnson told families not to leave young children with grandparents leaving many parents with few options as nurseries are also closed.

Learning and childcare hubs for the children of key workers remain open across Scotland.

Are nurseries closed?

Nurseries will be closed too. Credit: PA

Yes - a move that has been described as "absolutely devastating news" that will see early years providers forced to shut down.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know