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Home help: Technology and learning beyond the classroom

Home help: Technology and learning beyond the classroom

Sunday, 23 March 2014

How can schools help with GCSE support at home?

Evidence shows that it’s not just what happens at school that has an impact on children’s education and GCSE results. The support and resources which they have available at home also have a significant effect.

Research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) reveals that experiences in young people’s early life tend to have the most impact on their educational outcomes as teenagers. However, the ‘Poorer children’s educational attainment: How important are attitudes and behaviour?’ JRF report notes:

“The attitudes and behaviours of teenagers and those of their parents do contribute to the attainment gap in GCSE results. For example, even after controlling for long-run family background factors and prior attainment we find that young people are more likely to do well at their GCSEs if their parents think it likely that the young person will go on to higher education, spend time sharing family meals and outings, quarrel with their child relatively infrequently, and devote material resources towards education including private tuition, and computer and internet access.”

The report also notes that confidence and self-belief are key issues, stating: “We also find that young people are more likely to do well at their GCSEs if they have a greater belief in their own ability at school, believe that events result primarily from their own behaviour and actions, find school worthwhile, think that it is likely that they will apply to, and get into.”

The research suggests that these issues could have a particular impact on pupils from poorer backgrounds, with the findings noting that poorer children are significantly less likely to have a rich home learning environment and that they typically experience less regularity in their routines, compared to young children from better-off backgrounds.

How can schools help with support at home?

So what are the implications for children who don’t have structured support from their parents at home or access to educational resources outside school?

It’s clearly a very complex issue but there are steps schools can take to support pupils affected. We believe technology could be part of the answer.

  • vision2learnforschools online learning allows pupils to work at their own pace through a highly structured programme of study from school or at home. They can log on in their own time to complete tasks or recap on learning, allowing them to keep up with other pupils.

  • Our growing suite of online GCSE resources, including Statistics, iGCSE English, Child Development, Religious Studies and Leisure and Tourism, can be used at home to support school study during this crucial time.

  • Each resource includes study goals, Learning to Learn tips and PLTS icons to help motivate students and spur them on. Journal entries, quizzes, keyword spellings and sound files help learners build confidence and reinforce knowledge, while progress tracking features help learners and teachers pinpoint areas for improvement.

  • Young people often feel confident using technology and this approach to learning can help to break down the barriers to some subjects and reignite a love of learning.

  • Investing in technology which gives the learner control and offers structured study from school or home can help to close the attainment gap and is backed by research, making it a clearly justifiable way of investing the Pupil Premium.

Find out more

Contact us to find out how vision2learnforschools could help you support pupils at home as well as at school.

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