Covid-19 restrictions

A national lockdown is now in place to control the spread of Covid-19 as rates rapidly increase across London and the country.

Everyone must now stay at home, and only leave home for specific reasons. Full details of what you can and cannot do are available on the government’s website.

Remember, advice around Covid-19 can change quickly, so keep up to date with the latest information.

 

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Advice and support

This page contains a number of useful resources and links for parents and carers to support children's learning at home.

Contents

Mental Health

If your child is aged 11 to 25 and lives in Tower Hamlets, goes to school here or is registered to a GP in the borough, they can use Kooth for free - the online mental health community. It's free, friendly, safe, and anonymous. Learn more and sign up here.

 

Useful links

The following links will connect you to external websites which offer support, advice and teaching materials for children, young people and parents to continue learning/teaching whilst schools are closed to most children.

These links will mostly take you to external websites. Where this occurs, we are not responsible for their content.

  • Bitesize Daily content from the BBC to support learning at home from primary to secondary and post-16
  • Digital Design Museum is a a new series of online content bringing the world of design into your home
  • e-Bug from Public Health England is an international health education resource that teaches children and young people about hygiene, the spread of infections, and antibiotics.
  • Children's learning resources from Canary Wharf Group contains references to some local landmarks
  • Coronavirus facts for children (video) from Alder Hey children's hospital
  • Dave the dog is worried about coronavirus e-book for children
  • Department for Education has a list of online education resources for home education organised from ages 2 to 4; primary education; secondary education; and, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
  • East London Health & Care Partnership has useful guides on how to access services for children during Covid-19 and shielding
  • Five Minute Mum five minute fun activities for busy people to do with little kids
  • Gonna get through this from Spotlight contains links to different mental health and wellbeing organisations, educational resources and activities for children (young and old)
  • Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19
  • Hungry Little Minds Simple, fun activities for kids, from newborn to five from HM Government
  • Ideas Store children and families resources; don't miss Story Time online at 10.30am, Monday to Saturday.
  • London Libraries Consortium has an eLibrary where you can to download eBooks and audiobooks suitable for children and teenagers. You can also browse RBdigital to download the latest comics. Not an Idea Store member? Join now.
  • My Tutor has useful tips and ideas for parents homeschooling their children during the COVID-19 lockdown
  • NHS app library including apps to help you sleep and support your mental health
  • NHS Eat Well covers healthy eating advice for the general population.
  • NHS Every Mind Matters contains expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing - including help with sleep
  • NHS Fitness Studio offers a range of online exercise videos between ten and 45 minutes in length
  • OAK National Academy contains almost 10,000 free lessons and resources: made by teachers, for every teacher and every pupil.
  • Stay in, work out from Sport England offers tips, advice and guidance on how to keep or get active in and around your home
  • Teach from the BBC is home to thousands of free curriculum-mapped videos, arranged by age-group and subject
  • Tower Hamlets education psychology service (THEPS)
  • Twinkl teacher-created planning and assessment materials and teaching resources - perfect for inside and outside the classroom.
  • Words for Life from the National Literacy Trust has 'learn and play' activities arranged by age category from 0 to 12-years-old.
  • Virtual School Library  has free reading and writing activities from your favourite childrens’ authors.

Staying safe online

There is a lot of support available to keep your child safe online. Below are some useful links to help parents and carers:

  • Thinkyouknow (advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online)
  • Internet matters (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
  • Parent info (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
  • LGfL (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
  • Net-aware (support for parents and carers from the NSPCC)
  • Digital safety and wellbeing kit from the Children's Commissioner (for children and parents)

Tower Hamlets' Family Information Service

The Tower Hamlets Family Information Service is here to assist and support families.

They provide free, impartial information and advice on a variety of services for children and young people (from birth to 25 years old), parents and families. 

You can call them on 020 7364 6495 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) or email fis@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Visit the Local Offer for further resources from Tower Hamlets for children, young people and their families or explore our Stay at Home Resources.

What does remote education involve?

Your child's school will provide remote education if they are not eligible (list here) or able to attend (self-isolating, for example).

When being taught remotely, your child’s school is expected to set meaningful and ambitious work each day in several different subjects. Schools are expected to provide remote education that includes either recorded or live direct teaching and should be of equivalent length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school.

As a minimum that is:

  • Three hours a day for Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2 when pupils are aged between 5 and 7)
  • Four hours a day for KS2 (years 3-6 when children are aged between 7 and 11)
  • Five hours a day for KS3 and KS4 (secondary school up to age 16)

Those hours include both direct teaching and time for pupils to complete tasks or assignments independently. 

The DfE is also working with the BBC and others to provide resources for children to access while at home - you can find this information here.

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education has set up a helpline to offer guidance for anyone with education related questions - from early years up to universities, plus parents. You can call 0800 046 8687 from 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday) and 10am to 6pm (Saturday and Sunday).