Monday, 15 May 2017

History - Learning resources.

This is the first of a series of Blog Posts based on traditional School Subjects. The goal is simply to help show those new to Home Education what a wonderful range of FREE learning resources are available for people to use. There is no intent whatsoever to suggest that you should be using these resources, or that you should follow the National Curriculum etc. The nicest part about Home Education is the freedom of choice it affords us to tailor our education provision to meet both the needs and interests of the child.

FREE - One Year out of the Box courses.
KS1/KS2 Primary History Project - a nice range of resources and lesson plans for KS2 ability level learners. Most people will probably find they want to dip in and out of this for the first few years of Home Education before moving on to one of the courses listed below as their child reaches Year 5/6 ability level.

Upper KS2/Lower KS3 Ability
Unit studies on History. Includes lesson plans, videos. upper KS2/lower KS3 Ability level. Six Units in total taking you from the Renaissance to Nationalism & Imperialism.  Would nicely cover an academic year if you chose to use it in that way if you allowed 6-8 weeks per unit.
Another choice for use as a one Year World History Course is here.  Contains unit guides, printable lesson notes, text book pages and suggested activities.

Pre-GCSE One year Course.

Upper KS3 Ability Level and wanting something that you could use to progress into an IGCSE course?  The Khan Academy World History Course is a wonderful foundation upon which to build upon.

The Big History Project. The vast range of resources available here can be tweaked to create your own one year course plan that is tailor made for your child.

General Resources for all Ages.

The History of the World in 2 hours. Wonderful Video Documentary for wet afternoons.

How far back in time could you go and still understand English? 3 minute video. Ideal for injecting some fun into a learning break.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art digitalized over 375 000 works of art from their collections, and made the images available for online viewing. You can filter when searching, which means if you are studying Ancient Greece, or Asian Art, you can filter to search for just that.…/digi…/2017/open-access-at-the-met

Time Maps - a really handy resource to supplement World history courses showing what was happening around the World and when

General Resources for KS3 -for those children with particular passions or interests. 

Literacy - writing Historical diary entries based on real journal entries.
UK Years 7-9  The Art of History Course from Scholastic. Covers fashion, music and art for creative types.
Black History Month - 45 activities for Home Educators here

The Electric Telegraph is one of the most important inventions in the history of science ! It directly led the way to the development of all digital communications including computers, fax, the internet, email, and text messaging. A project for tecnhical types to cover as they learn about the early 20th century. It's perhaps worth noting here for our keen techy kiddos that the RAF cadets does a BTEC in Radio Comms.

Author - Steph Shobiye. 

Monday, 13 February 2017

How to bake a cake - by Dawn Baxendale.

I've been home educating for over 10 years and 3 out of 4 of my children have never been to a school for one single day of their lives. Over the years one repeated theme crops up asked by many in the same way....How do I teach them everything - English maths, science, art, etc. They are flabbergasted and astonished when I simply reply "Bake a cake" - "What" and then I show them this picture. I explain that baking a cake is very pleasurable for most people and is a delightful activity to be shared with all the family....but when I explain, do it for the love of doing it then strip out the subjects that you can from the activity rather than trying to cram in many seemingly unrelated activities in to you day, your week or even your year. This is a philosophy through all activities as a home educator and perhaps where we differ most from the school model - we teach and support in harmony each element of living rather than teach them in isolation and hope we can join them up as adults.
Let your imagination run wild - this is just the starter for ten.
I even managed at cooking club to become on first name terms with the local fire brigade...a lesson in itself and the uses of a stone floor 😉

Dawn Baxendale.

#RAK2017 #CyrmuALN.

Monday, 9 January 2017


NEWLY updated Elective Home Education Guidelines published 9.01.2017

Direct link to the guidelines on the Welsh Government Website.

Common Terminology & the Law in Wales

SEN Special Educational Needs. With the advent of the Additional Learning Needs Bill the phrase Special  Educational Needs has been superseded for all but the still current SEN CoP.  Thus instead of SEN departments we now hear the term ALN department. In schools the job title SENCO is currently being replaced by ALNCO (Additional Learning Needs Coordinator).

ALN - Additional Learning Needs. You'll hear this phrase used more and more as local authorities begin to prepare for the anticipated rollout of new legislation in 2018. The two phrases should be considered interchangeable during this transition phase.

Current SEN Code of practice - The SEN CoP This document should be considered every parent/carer and education professionals main reference as it clearly outlines what the Welsh Government considers to be best practice. 

EHE - Self-funded programmes are called EHE (Elective Home Education). No formal monitoring of provision, but an annual meeting outside the home is now expected. Parents are expected to show willingness to engage with their Local Authority on an annual basis.  Parents who are funding their child's education themselves already know how well their children are progressing. The parents assume full legal and fiscal responsibility for the education a child receives. Many parents who feel their children have been failed by the system, resent attempts to monitor them by that same system. Elective Home Education Government guidance here.  We keep a list of local EHE groups in our online support group for newcomers to enable newcomers to Home Education to be able to go and meet their local group/s.

- LA funded home programmes are commonly referred to as EOTAS (Education Other Than ASchool) in official documentation. The Local authority is responsible for the Education be provided. This group of pupils includes those in Hospital schools & PRU's as well as those receiving Home Tuition from LA tutors,  ABA or II programmes in the Home environment. Monitoring of the LA funded provision is right and proper to ensure taxpayers money is spent correctly. Welsh Government guidance here. In many areas these services are under threat due to funding cuts. 

It is incredibly important for ALL parents of children to be aware of the very clear difference in status between EHE & EOTAS, both in terms of funding expectations, and their own duties under the law.  

FORCED Home Educators - This is a grey area which covers children who are not currently in the school environment for a variety of reasons from bullying to illness and lack of support at school for special needs. Legally children in this group may fall into either of the two categories listed above. This group has become and increasing phenomenon in recent years as sadly cuts to NHS & Education services have begun to bite. The shortage of specialist teaching facilities is a contributory factor, as is the overload on child mental health services at present.  It is in everyone's interest to ensure that this growth is halted. This term is used a lot in Home Education support circles but we'd really rather not have to!

is a term often used to refer to illegal exclusion of ALN pupils and if this happens to your child we'll happily put you in touch with organisations that can help. 

FLEXI - schoolers. There are children who spend part of their week in school and part of it being educated at Home. Permission to do this is at the discretion of the individual Head Teacher so arrangements vary, and the child remains on the school roll.

Access to Education and Support for Children and Young People with Medical NeedsUseful for parents trying to avoid joining the ranks of forced home

Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014 which replaces part III of the existing Children's Act from April 2016.  This is a crucial change of approach from "welfare" to "well-being" & now covers whole of life from birth to old age. Many parents will first notice the implementation of this act via the new "person centred planning" approach being rolled out to many Local Authorities for transition etc.

Estyn - The Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales. 

Common Acyronyms

ADHD: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
ALN: additional learning needs
ASD/C: Autistic Spectrum Disorders/Conditions, includes Asperger’s Syndrome
ATR: additional teacher resource
BESD, ESBD or SEBD: Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulties
CoP: Code of Practice
DCD: developmental coordination disorder
HI: hearing impairment
MSI: multi-sensory impairment
MLD: profound and multiple learning difficulties
SpLD: specific learning difficulties, including dyslexia
VI: visual impairment 

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Article by Steph Shobiye