April 20, 2020

How to stay productive and focused in lockdown

Our community is currently faced with more challenges now than many of us have ever known. Students all over the world are having to learn from home, adjust their goals and find new ways to motivate themselves without the structures and human contact which usually keep them on track. 

Role Models and Holland Park Education have partnered to provide a cohesive package of online tutoring and life skills sessions to bring support to your family’s new routine. Find out more information about this exclusive offer here.

In order to help launch this initiative, the Director of Consulting at Holland Park Education and ex-Deputy Head of Dulwich College Simon Northcote-Green offers us more ideas on how to maintain productivity, stay focused, and get the most out of the long days confined to the house.

  1. Getting ahead. It is worth exploring the school’s website which will contain what is on the curriculum for the rest of the year. For older pupils it is worth doing the same with the relevant exam boards who will have published what is to be examined next year (set texts, areas of study, reading lists, past papers etc). Schools will have also published schemes of work for next term.
  2. Diversifying how the student reads. Pupils should read a book which they have chosen themselves to embrace responsibility and independence. A parent might want to read the same book at the same pace. This can lead to a discussion about the narrative, the characters, the language, word meanings and so on. Write a review of each chapter. Predict what is going to happen next. Look at alternative twists and turns that might arise. As a follow up, watch the film version together and discuss the similarities and differences.
  3. Finding out the answers to big questions. Encourage students to answer a big question which may need some research. For example, why do we dream? What is our carbon footprint? Imagine the world in 2050 – what will it look like? Help the pupils use reliable sources online, contact professionals via email or set up interviews over Zoom, there are a lot of expert adults stuck at home who no doubt would be happy to help! When pupils have completed the project, students can give a presentation on the findings. Alternatively, students could research the family or local history and give a presentation on that.
  4. Becoming a journalist. Help students with the culture section in the newspaper and encourage them to review a film or a book in the style of an arts critic. This will develop their skills of evaluation and critical thinking.
  5. Making cooking fun and educational. Creating challenges is a great way of encouraging kids to think creatively, work hard to reach a goal and learn a valuable lesson in keeping busy and making independent decisions. Help them decide the dinner menu for the week by choosing a delicacy from a different country around the world. Encourage them to research this meal, teach the family about the culture, create a list of ingredients to shop for and help to cook.