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What will you do on your in school cover day?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by sunshineneeded, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I thought we might need a thread for ideas about what to do when you're covering. At our school, we're having EYFS together, Y1, 2 and 3 in one class and Y4,5 and 6 in another. A whole unstructured day with a mixed group and zero 'teaching' is a long day. I'm thinking: maybe a whole day DT project if I can come up with an idea and easy resources; the usual wordsearch/mindful colouring stuff; a film; benchball or games outside; board games and jigsaws.

    Hope lots of people can add more ideas - who knows how long we'll be doing this for?
    install, HolyMahogany and agathamorse like this.
  2. agathamorse

    agathamorse Senior commenter

    I'm in secondary. They will be using computers to access the work set on the VLE or reading books they've brought in from home. No teaching whatsoever.
  3. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    I suspect that most schools will make extensive use on computers in schools. At the risk of stating the obvious I suggest that each child is assigned a workstation for the duration and never touches or uses any one elses. Also each keyboard, mouse, chair etc should be wiped over with anti bacterial wipes or cleaned every morning and at end of day as well. A good exercise for the kids to learn to do.
    Their first lesson could be one on cross contamination
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    My Y4, 5 and 6s will have some time on laptops, but we have a limited number and they'll have to be shared with lower group. Also not at all convinced of their ability to wipe them over well with anti-bacterial wipes after use and not sure that there will be enough staff to cover this properly.
    HolyMahogany and agathamorse like this.
  5. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    This should be part of your schools risk assessment for opening. It is going to be difficult and we are all on a steep learning curve at present. All the best.
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    If they sit reading a book all day in school which they could be reading at home that should make sure most of them don't come back into school again. Good plan! ;)
  7. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    I'm thinking papier maché! Of what though, I don't know. Or clay/painting etc Something arty/crafty that you rarely get a chance to do these days.
    sunshineneeded and agathamorse like this.
  8. Notnewatthis

    Notnewatthis New commenter

    We are being asked to provide childcare, not teaching. Keep this in mind everyone.
  9. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Yes, I'd thought of papier mache ... maybe a volcano? Which we could 'erupt' on my next cover day. Or I'm thinking we could put on a play and invite the younger group to watch at the end of the day ..... from a very safe distance, of course!
  10. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Time to dig out those old trivial pursuit games languishing in the attic and use the questions for a quiz. Rather than just ask each team questions I used to have a 9 x 9 squared grid I projected onto the white board with a number of the squares blacked out - these were the forbidden squares. Along the top of the grid the columns were labelled A, B, C etc and the rows labelled 1, 2, 3 etc so each square could be specified. You could use Word or Paint and fill the squares in with the software. One team had go from one side of the board to the other linking the squares either side by side or diagonally while the other team had to link the squares vertically. The first team to link up squares from side to side or top to bottom were the winners. The forbidden squares caused pinch points which means some a team's progress up and down or side to side could be blocked causing them to detour or start again on another part of the grid.

    To start off I would select a square and ask both teams the question. The first person to raise their hand got the chance to answer - strictly no conferring but if there was cheating, the square would be awarded to the opposing team, a penalty square. If they got the question right then their team would get that square and it would be filled in with that team's colour and then the captain of the team would nominate the next square they wanted to go for to either extend their run of squares or block the other team.

    If the person answering the question got it wrong then the question would be passed over to the other side who would be allowed to confer but only the captain would be allowed to give the answer or nominate another player. If you don't have captains then other players will pipe up 'I said that' and you'll just get chaos. Teams can get blocked and there is no way for them to complete a link across the board but the game continues until both teams are blocked at which point the forbidden squares now become available allowing one team or the other to win the game

    I trotted out my quiz at the end of the Autumn and Summer terms and the kids loved it with real tension built up as teams were blocked and had to find other ways across the board. It's a very tactical game. I used my quiz in the classroom for 33 years and I often used it with revision classes using questions based on stuff we had done during the course.

    It worked for me and if you're in school supervising students and are stuck for an activity then my quiz may be of some help. You'll need to prepare your grid and have some questions ready but if it works as well for you as it did me then you've got a resource that will last for the rest of your teaching career.

    Attached Files:

  11. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    We are teaching a skeleton curriculum, literacy, numeracy, and also completing the work which has been sent home for their peers. Why anyone would be doing otherwise I have absolutely no idea.
  12. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    The advice is that only those who absolutely need to use the facility for key worker children ought to do so.
    So making sure they get fun, tactile messy play with plenty of physical activity, non uniform, computer use, creation of ad lib improv stage pieces across a larger area than any parent could allow them to enjoy within the home, and careful avoidance of any curriculum-all of these will certainly assist in that.
  13. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    This is not simply about covering a curriculum, some of these will be the children of front line workers in the emergency services, their parents will be at risk, exhausted and under huge stress. We are not simply acting as childminders, we have to care for these children to the highest possible standard while their parents care for us, many will be anxious about their parents, they need to have fun and enjoy their time, they need security, support and reassurance, they need to be safe, and their parents must have confidence in how their children are being looked after.
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Given that you liked my previous post, and reading this one,I have to assume you missed my sarcasm.
    My point was entirely the opposite of yours.
    I don't believe we ought to be making our schools a fun experience at all.
    The list of "key workers" admits huge numbers of kids.
    Loads of parents "fancy sending their kids in" who don't need to . I know this already from family, neighbours, friends, colleagues, my own school and others.
    Schools are one of the few remaining accessible venues of virulent capacity for the disease to spread.
    And making a fun experience for the kids encourages as many parents as possible to pack their kids off to go there. Heck, there'll be people trading NHS ID badges so they can get their kids off their backs and into the play club for a day of fun.
    You missed my sarcasm totally.
    I'm all about preventing the spread, I've no time for heroics, sorry.
  15. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Your right there will be people who take the P*** and try to abuse the system. Just remember if you need medical help I hope the nurse won't decide to treat you with just sarcasm.
  16. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Why are they not doing the work set to the students who are staying at home?
  17. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    Secondary. Expecting about 30 in.
    2 groups, 2 staff on at a time.
    Keeping to 5 period day.
    Reading hour
    1 hour on computers to do the work set for the ones at home
    Same every day.
    Staff in teams on a rota.
    One thing the head has said is she’s not putting up with any poor behaviour. We are no longer a school. Anyone messing around will be sent home and not invited back.
  18. maggie m

    maggie m Senior commenter

    Cheesypop that is the same at our place
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  19. a1976

    a1976 Established commenter

    Yep, until the parents of those disrupters began making complaints or the HT simply becomes bored with enforcing such strict procedures...whichever comes first.
  20. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Teaching a mixed years group their normal timetable with lessons set digitally by their usual teachers.
    So at any given time one teacher could have around 8 children
    2 year 3s doing English
    3 year 4s doing maths
    2 year 5s doing PE
    2 year 6s doing Computer Science
    Going to be fantastic! :rolleyes:
    agathamorse and sunshineneeded like this.

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