Coronavirus implications for school and college students.

Many students will be affected by the Coronavirus school shutdowns. Looking at the latest information from the government, there will be a small number of year groups (Reception, year 1 and year 6) potentially returning to school after half term in early June. And only the following on secondary students and A level students: “Our ambition is that secondary pupils facing exams next year will get at least some time with their teachers before the holidays.”

Biggest Impacts – Year 10 and year 12

At Tutor My Kids, we’re looking at where we see the biggest impacts on students.

First and foremost, we foresee that the current year 10 and year 12s will be the hardest affected.

For year 10s and year 12s, at the moment they’ve missed almost a third of this academic year (getting close to 1 whole term). When you look at the entire GCSE or A level course of 5 terms, this makes 1/5th or 20% of their entire GCSE or A level courses missed.

Given the amount that has to be covered, it’s hard to ensure that all the topics are covered in a normal school year. We think this will be doubly hard with such a lot of time lost and leave massive gaps in the learning of many year 10s and year 12s.

Many schools are providing some good input for these students, but it’s not quite the same as being in school and not all students are taking advantage of the lessons and resources that are being provided. I think that there is a lack of understanding of this problem with many parents and students.

Year 5s impacted

In the same way the year 5s will be the next largest year group to be affected.

The primary school curriculum is so full that it is also tough to get children to the right level in time for year 6 SATs, especially those who have learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

I was surprised that the government had proposed returning year 6s to school (unless to help ‘babysit’ the reception and year 1 students). The gaps that they have, will (in most cases) be made up in year 7 as they transition into their secondary schools.

It is the year 5s have a greater need, I believe to be back in school, to prepare them for the SATs and prevent gaps in their learning becoming problematic – see Why-maths gaps occur-and-the-problems-they-cause/

I appreciate that students in year 5 have many years to catch up, but in reality, many primary school gaps in spelling, punctuation and basic maths remain uncorrected at secondary school as the curriculum moves rapidly onto secondary topics, with the assumption that these basic topics are secure.

What can you do to help?

First and foremost, regardless of their year group, take advantage of the resources that their schools are offering – be it remote lessons, links to learning, work set. One of our tutors has been putting together some amazing resources. See Mission-to-the-moon/ This is a great multi-subject topic block for primary aged children.

I know this is incredibly difficult for parents who are juggling work, caring for younger children, so do what you can. No one is expecting you to replace 5 hours of teaching each day! However, IF you’re schedule enables it, an hour a day is a massive help. See How-much-difference-can-an-hour-of-one-to-one-tuition-make/

Can you either remotely now, or face to face later, team up with other parents who can help with the maths, whilst you help out their kids with the English?

Get a tutor – either now or after lockdown. We’re quite busy at the moment, helping out students remotely, and anticipate that we’ll be called upon to help out during the summer (hopefully face to face by then) to help fill gaps ahead of the next academic year in September. Take a look at our ‘For Parents’ page for more details – For Parents.

For an informal chat about possible options for tuition – email to arrange a time to talk.


Mum helping her daughter learn

There are 3 key things to help your kids with over the summer.


Regular reading is always a great thing to help your child. For young children, read to them and with them, reading the tricky words for them. Aim for daily if at all possible; as with all things, a few minutes a day is more beneficial than an hour at the weekend.  As they get older, encourage them to read to themselves too. For older kids, getting ahead of GCSE and A level texts ahead of September can be a great help. Not all kids love reading – try getting them reading on a kindle, tablet or audio books. There is definitely a link between reading and writing; those children who read a lot tend to use better word choices in their written work.


Take a look at your child’s school report and see if school have highlighted any particular ‘next steps’ – using capital letters, commas, better word choices etc. Writing a daily journal can be a great thing for children (maybe invest in a gorgeous notebook specially for that purpose), book reviews, letters to relatives (who doesn’t like to receive a hand-written note), hand-made greetings cards, shopping lists etc.

Also take a look at How to make writing easy for kids #1 and How to make writing easy for kids #2

For older children, time spent getting ahead of texts for GCSEs and A levels over the summer can be invaluable – taking notes, mindmapping ( and revision cards, can be a great help.


Handwriting formation is a great one to crack over the summer, when you’ve got a little more time on your hands. Just check with your school that you’re following the correct style for your school. Most schools teach joined up writing because it’s thought to help spelling if you join up the word in one sweep (it’s from NLP – a thought and an action combined). However, it’s important to get the individual letter formation correct first. Some children can be rushed into joining before this is secure. This site is a great one for advice and help, from another teacher and parent, and includes free handwriting resources.


For children in years 1-2, a thorough knowledge of numbers – which ones add up to 10 and 20 (these are called number bonds). Learning doubles, halves and random single digit sums (e.g 5+7) are invaluable skills to work on. A good way to practise this is to make a game out of it. Get a 0-9 dice (type ‘0-9 sided dice’ into Amazon or ebay or use a random number generator) and throw them randomly to generate 2 numbers to add. You can throw twice for older children to get 2 digit numbers (e.g. 23 + 68). Again, 5 minutes daily is much more effective than an hour at the weekend. Children relying on adding with their fingers isn’t wrong at all, but it slows children down, especially as the maths gets harder.  It also stops these problems becoming entrenched later down the line. Our tutors in Cambridgeshire and I have seen many GCSE students who still add up basic numbers on their fingers whilst being able to do Trigonometry and other much complex maths.

Also take a look at How to make maths easy for kids #1How to make maths easy for kids #2 and How to make maths easy for kids #3

From KS2 (years 3-6) onwards, times tables are the back bone of maths success. Practise these so your kids can say them in random order and know the corresponding division facts. 25÷5=5.

For secondary age kids, after the basics (number bonds – numbers adding up to 10, 20 ,100 etc), doubles/halves, times tables), ensure that the formulae are known – area of a circle, Pythagoras, trig etc. My maths and other such sites are great for tutorials and practising tricky areas (fractions, percentages, decimals etc) over the summer too.

For more information about Tutor My Kids or private tuition in Cambridgeshire, please click the links.

If you’re a teacher who’d like to find out about Becoming a Tutor My Kids tutor, click the link, email Rachel or call Rachel Law on 01223 646421 for a friendly and informal chat.

Thanks for reading. Speak soon,


Rachel Law is the founder of Tutor My Kids, a teacher and a mum.