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Fox Hollies Special School

Fox Hollies Special School

To all 2C parents,

What a time we are currently in!  A huge thank you for all of your help and support as we had to unfortunately close the school; in testing times, our pupils were fabulous and coped especially well with so much change and confusion.  

I understand you will all be keen to continue the fabulous work we were doing at school and offer our pupils at least some semblance of normality.   I have therefore compiled a list of different learning activities for them to do, with resources that help you to replicate the areas of study we were engaged in.  I hope you will find them useful, and look forward to seeing how you are all getting on.  I would also like to add that we will upload a weekly challenge on the website every Monday, so watch out for it!  

May I finally ask that you all look after yourselves in such uncertain times.  We are facing challenges unique and without precedent with no clear end in sight.  As a father of three who I am currently home-schooling too, I can only empathise with how difficult not only our pupils, but families are finding it.  

I have therefore outlined some areas that I have focused on at my home, I hope may be of help to you too. 

May I end this message with letting you know that if you wish to share some of the things you are doing, please, send them to me!  I am here to help.  

Stick to a daily routine. For me, it is the backbone of a day and keeps a sense of normality.  I add in daily exercise, a gentle wake up, shake up/yoga session in the morning and then get the kids out in the afternoon in the garden; playing football, gardening, boxersize, yoga again, cleaning up (under duress mind!) etc.  I also put a limit on how much daily ‘tech time’ they get, making it a motivator to getting them active.  Here is roughly my routine broken down, it involves –

  • 9.00am morning exercise, shower, getting dressed
  • 10am breakfast
  • 10.30am morning activities/work
  • 12.00pm lunch and free time
  • 3pm afternoon activities/work
  • 5pm dinner, clean up
  • 6pm free time until bed 

Exercise.  This forms the underpinning of all of my education; a healthy body helps nurture a healthy mind.  Whether that be simple chair yoga or gentle stretches to slightly more vigorous wake up, shake up routines, I like to challenge both my pupils and children physically on a daily basis.  In school, I implemented movement breaks that take place throughout the day, with one taking place at 2.45pm, which actively engages the pupils in a fun, relaxed atmosphere.  At home, this is the same for my children.  I know many of your pupils took great pleasure in being active too and know that keeping to this routine would be of huge benefit to both the individual and family. 

Keep to the basics.  For me, that is reading, reading and reading. Research has shown just how powerful and wide ranging a tool reading is; from listening and being stimulated by the text, to reducing stress, giving them time to sit and relax and do nothing but listen and read!  It also helps widen their vocabulary and knowledge as well as practice how words and symbols should be pronounced. I love to read myself and know many of you do too.  I have read a variety of books in school to your pupils, from a Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens to Roald Dahl’s Esio trot and Fantastic Mr Fox to more classic pieces such as the Gingerbread man and the three billy goats gruff.  Whatever the story is, wherever you are and whatever the time, reading is the cornerstone of all learning.  

Keep the learning fun!  I love the hands on approach to learning and making it relevant.  For me, whether I am making tie dye t-shirts, pine cone bird feeders, cooking for the family or potting plants, I want to ensure that what learning is going on is enjoyable.  I have added a list of activities for you to do, I hope they are of some use.

Play.  Give pupils time to engage in activities of their choosing.  For me at home, I love to see my little one playing with his toys, but what helps strengthen our relationship, is me playing with him.  I try to engage with him in whatever he does, whether it’s being target practice for his wayward shots on goal to playing with his wrestling toys.  I know many of our children may be finding the challenge of not being in a busy classroom environment difficult to deal with, and know that giving them your attention and encouragement will be of huge benefit in their daily lives.   

The great outdoors.  There are many occasions when your children were taken out of class, whether it be for a walk in the local park to tending the school garden, I know they all took great pleasure from being outside.  I know not all of you have that option, but if we stick to governmental guidance, we can go outside, safely, for an hours exercise every day.  Try to schedule this into your day and you will reap the rewards as a family of the fresh air, sun and nature.  

Finally, good luck in your endeavours!  I hope the outline of a day in the life of the Ryder family household serves you well, as do the activities and rationale behind why those things are undertaken.