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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Teaching for Home Learning: Primary Science. Join the course to learn more.

Expectations for your pupils

At the start of each school year, when you meet your new classes, you begin by establishing clear routines and expectations for behaviour and learning, so that students can work together in a positive and safe environment. Pupils begin to get to know what is expected of them, the patterns of activity during the day, and become familiar with the types of learning activities within the classroom. Home learning has a new set of routines and expectations, not just for learning, but also for family life.

The types of learning and activities your pupils will be familiar with, usually involving discussing their work with peers, working in groups, or taking part in class discussion, are not available to them in the same way when learning at home. Further, the interactions you have as a teacher with your pupils will be very different. When communicating electronically, often there will be delays in responses, written words can generate ambiguity, and the non-verbal clues (such as a look of confusion or a smile) which we rely on in face to face discussion are missing, making it easier for misunderstandings.


As we will explore in the next step, the role of parents may be crucial to establishing routines and expectations for home learning. We’d like you to think of three expectations you would want to convey to your pupils (or for younger pupils, convey to their parents) about how to approach their learning at this time. Post these in the comments below.

You might find this is useful for the basis of a short video, email or poster you could send your pupils to reassure and engage them with learning at home.

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This article is from the free online course:

Teaching for Home Learning: Primary Science

National STEM Learning Centre