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Andy Falconer

Mr Andy Falconer, Head of St Peter's 8-13, has been speaking to Attain's editor Matthew Smith about how to keep cheerful and stay motivated during lockdown. 

In conversation with Tim Smith of Hampton Pre-Prep, Mr Falconer discussed the challenges facing parents and pupils during this difficult time. 

Mr Falconer emphasised the importance of structure throughout the day:

"Most children like structure, even though they may say they don't! They like the reassurance and almost the safety net of structure. I think most schools in the country will now be operating on some form of timetable... so I think trying to maintain structure to the day, particularly in the learning part, is really important and helps to make parents' lives an awful lot easier."

Mr Falconer also encouraged parents to be kind to themselves:

"Lots of parents beat themselves up because they think they are letting their children down with their home learning. They're not teachers! Our teachers didn't become amazing teachers overnight... they spent years on their craft becoming better and better – and that's why they are amazing... Parents can only do what they can do."

Finally, Mr Falconer revealed that home learning can have some surprising benefits, enabling children to develop new skills from problem-solving to resilience:

"When things go glitchy with the technology resist the urge as a parent to step in and fix it. The children... are brilliant at problem solving when things go wrong and if they can't work it out themselves they will probably send a message to one of their friends who will tell them how to sort it. And of course that massively empowers them so next time when something goes wrong, they are not running to find Mum or Dad to fix it..."

Visit the Attain website to read the full article.

You can also listen to the full interview in Episode 13 of Fresh Thinking, Attain's weekly podcast for parents.