Our schools have closed and the children are now home for the foreseeable future. These are uncertain times and we are entering unchartered waters. In my house, we are making plans for the next few weeks and months as well as occasionally, casting our minds towards distant horizons. No-one knows what lies ahead, but one thing is certain: we can and should live for the moment.
While some schools plan to provide quite a rigorous home-learning regime, if you think your Junior school child needs more of a challenge, this could be the time to test some online resources. Today I want to share a gem that I discovered last year.
I remember looking for online revision material a few years ago when my daughter was in Year 5. At that time, I was searching for alternatives to practice papers and workbooks and I was disappointed to find that there wasn't a great deal of choice.
Today things have changed: if you search 'Key Stage 2 online learning', your computer will deliver enough results for you to keep reading until well after your child has taken the 11+. So where do you start?
Atom Learning, is an online learning platform that combines industry-leading content, written by teachers, with sophisticated technology that keeps every pupil on their optimal learning path. It is tailored for those in Years 5 and 6.
The company's co-founder, Alex Hatvany (right), and his team of computer scientists and learning experts, showed me how the site operates.
Pupils work through maths, English, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. All the graphics are clear and colourful and the platform is very easy to use. Content is handwritten by leading UK teachers and each question has a detailed, individual explanation. If you get stuck on a question or can't remember how to do something, video tutorials and revision sheets which have been individually designed by teachers and education experts are available to help you. And a real bonus is that the software adapts to an individual student's level. This means that weaker students don't become demotivated while more able students are pushed. And there is little or no chance that your child will exhaust the content: the database has more than 20,000 questions, covering all the topics in the Key Stage 2 syllabus.
As Alex says, great teachers are hard to beat ... but they are not always available when you need them. Atom Learning wants all students to have access to unbeatable teaching. Using machine learning, they claim their platform creates the optimal learning path for your child in the quickest time possible.
My opinion: this is a great option for anyone trapped at home in the coming months. Out of school, it will keep any 9-11 year old on track, giving their learning a boost and keeping it appropriately focused in the long days ahead.
Good luck! And stay safe.
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