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Educating the Rainbow Children: The Impact of Lockdown on Children’s Wellbeing and Learning

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On Friday 2 October, ahead of World Teachers’ Day which is held annually on 5 October, FutureLearn organised a lunchtime discussion on the impact of lockdown on children’s wellbeing and learning.

We heard from four experts who addressed different aspects of the current disruption in education and how it’s affecting school children along with their families and teachers:

Dr Helen Bilton is a Professor of Outdoor Learning and Play at the University of Reading with 36 years of experience in researching and teaching. She’s also the lead educator on two FutureLearn courses: Supporting Successful Learning in Primary Education and Supporting Successful Learning in Secondary Education.

Dr Martin Boulton is the High Master at The Manchester Grammar School which was founded in 1515 and remains one of the country’s leading academic schools. Before joining the teaching profession, he trained as an engineer and worked at De Beers and Arthur Andersen.

Dr Eleanor Overland is Head of the Secondary PGCE at Manchester Metropolitan University, one of the largest teacher training providers in the UK. She’s also the lead educator on two FutureLearn courses: Preparing for Teaching and How to Succeed as a Newly Qualified Teacher.

Dr Sue Pattison is the Deputy Chair of BACP’s Children, Young People and Families Division. She’s had a long career working with children, young people and families, in addition to her academic career at the Universities of Durham and Newcastle and presently at Arden University.

The session was moderated by Dr Monty King, a learning designer at FutureLearn.

The speakers addressed the challenge of teaching and learning in the current context before taking questions from the audience. How can teachers build resilience and protect their own mental health? Will school closures affect the children’s academic future? How has teacher training been affected? Should parents prioritise learning or happiness? 

There was a focus on how parents can support their children during this period of unknowns, and our panellists shared tips and personal opinions on how this can be done while all agreeing that all any parent can do is do their best and understand that learning happens in all kinds of environments away from the classroom.

Watch the discussion and share your thoughts with us!

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