Learning From Home – What Seems to Best Support Students?


The additional demands on parents during a lockdown, particularly of supervising school learning at home, are enormously challenging.

My own fleeting experiences, of trying to work on my laptop whilst my 10 month old son gleefully tries to bang on the keyboard and close or bite the screen, gave me a glimpse into the huge demands parents face in motivating, supervising and supporting your children whilst they are in distance learning. 

At MIS we have great respect for parents tackling the daunting task of supporting your children during distance learning. Hence, as experience of distance learning increases, we have compiled our insights so far into what seems to best support students whilst they are learning from home.  I hope that you find them useful and welcome any further insights you can share with us.


  • Knowing what is expected for their next day of distance learning, having a schedule and intentionally preparing for it reduces stress and ensures students are able to continue learning.  

  • In the MS/SrS, most crucial are the weekly overview spreadsheets for MS/SrS published by email to parents every Monday morning at 09:00 which provide the basis for students to plan their week, and for parents to be able to have oversight of their child’s learning. 

  • In the JS, thank you for helping your child to be ready before their video conference begins, logged-in, headphones connected and learning materials ready. 

  • Learning in a quiet space is helpful for all students. In particular, younger students benefit from learning in a place where an adult is present or regularly passing. 

  • Guiding and motivating your child to get out of their chair and away from their desk and devices between video conferences, assignments. A schedule of taking your dog into the garden or a target number of steps to walk or stairs to climb are examples of activities that can provide the structure and routine to help children to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing. 

  • Participation in before/after school activity.  From Thursday 21 January the PE and Athletics Departments are broadcasting live activity and fitness sessions for the whole MIS community before and after school.  Students and parents are both welcome to join. No previous experience in sport, athletics is required.  Students will all have access to the broadcasts via MIS Microsoft Teams, and their access will be explained to them in Homeroom and PE classes next week.  Whole family participation is greatly encouraged! 

  • Encourage your child to intentionally keep contact with friends.  A schedule of planned calls, developed with the child’s agency, can contribute to an environment of stability and empathy for shared experience. 

  • In an environment dominated by digital connectedness, the surprise of receiving a written letter can bring great delight to children.  Scheduled letter writing time/rota for the whole family can develop a focus from writing to one another to writing to organizations on themes/campaigns that interest your child. The tangible aspect of writing, sending and receiving mail can provide a different and engaging experience for children. 


Care, Respect, Integrity and Trust are our MIS Core Values. Exhibiting these qualities is important for children both during distance learning and on campus.  They are regularly addressed by MIS teachers in classes.  The following questions might help you in engaging your child in considering how they experience these values in a distance learning context: 

  • In what ways do members of your class care for another during distance learning? 

  • In which class this week did you notice that the considerate, thoughtful and positive actions of members of your class meant that the class felt most respected? 

  • In which occasion did you feel that the value of integrity (doing the right thing even when no-one is watching) was important this week? 

  • Trust is best developed in a fair and honest environment. Which actions, during distance learning lessons, struck you as particularly fair or unfair? 


The above list cannot be exhaustive but reflects some of the insights we have gained so far during distance learning.  Thank you for your continued support of learning at MIS, we are all grateful for such a positive partnership with parents of our students. 

Oliver Hartwright 
Deputy Head of School