The government has launched a new online learning tool for children - here’s how to use it

Monday, 20th April 2020, 1:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 11:55 am
The Academy provides access to 180 video lessons per week across a range of subjects (Photo: Shutterstock)

With schools across the UK still closed to all pupils, except those of key workers and vulnerable children, many households are having to juggle homeschooling with full-time work.

While a date for when schools may reopen is not yet able to be confirmed, the government has announced a new package to support online learning.

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What is the Oak National Academy?

The Oak National Academy is a government-backed online learning platform that launched on Monday 20 April.

The new enterprise has been created by 40 teachers from some of the leading schools across England and is funded by the Department of Education.

The Academy provides access to 180 video lessons per week, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10.

The lessons span a broad range of subjects, including maths, art and languages, and feature a corresponding quiz and worksheet.

Each lesson lasts for one hour and the portal will provide the equivalent of three hours of lessons per day for primary students, and four hours per day for secondary.

What resources will children be given?

To facilitate access to the new online learning portal, disadvantaged children across England are to be given laptops and tablets as part of a push to make remote education more accessible for those who are staying at home during the lockdown.

Devices will be ordered for children who are in the most vital stages of their education, those who receive support from a social worker, and care leavers.

Schools and colleges will be able to keep their laptops and tablets once they have reopened, helping children to continue learning even after the lockdown is lifted.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced the news at the government’s daily press conference on Sunday (19 Apr), stating: “Schools will remain closed until the scientific advice changes, which is why we need to support the incredible work teachers are already doing to ensure children continue to receive the education they deserve and need.

“By providing young people with these laptops and tablets and enabling schools to access high quality support, we will enable all children to continue learning now and in the years to come.

“We hope this support will take some of the pressure off.”

How do I access the Oak National Academy?

To access the resources on Oak National Academy, simply visit the official website where online resources are now available to use.

From the website, you can access lessons by subject and level, or follow the Academy’s planned weekly schedule.

What other online learning tools are there?

Oak National Academy joins a broad range of resources and support that are available for both schools and parents, which have been outlined on the government website.

The BBC also launched its own education package on Monday (20 Apr) across TV and online, called BBC Bitesize Daily.

The learning resource features a host of celebrities, including David Attenborough, Oti Mabuse and Danny Dyer, as well as lessons from 200 working teachers.

The education package provides three new lessons every week day, which include videos and activities, for primary, secondary and post-16 pupils.

Joe Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, launched a series of 30 minute fitness videos for children to do at home, called PE with Joe, in a bid to keep youngsters moving, while British Astronaut Tim Peake has launched a series of free learning resources for parents and children.

The astronomical-themed activities aim to offer an exciting and engaging way for children to learn about science and mathematics.

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