The latest lockdown has brought with it all kinds of pressures we would not normally have to deal with – one of which is home schooling, which many of us are grappling with. But, fear not, some extra help is at hand with local, online catch-up lessons.
Local charity Znaniye Foundation received funding last year to support local children outside of their mainstream education to ensure they were able to perform well at school. Initially held at weekends, the sessions moved online when the country first went into lockdown in 2020.
The sessions expanded to help young people cope with the unfamiliar challenge of remote learning and to keep up – or catch up – with their school work, despite the challenges and disruptions of COVID-19. And the foundation then ran a summer school for more than 2,000 local pupils and a community catch-up scheme.
New maths lessons – and more
It is now being supported to start new maths lessons by fellow charity Young Ealing Foundation, which is a partner of Ealing Council, from this Thursday (21 January).
The maths lessons are for children of all ages and held online via Zoom. Sessions will be run by local teachers on a weekly basis and they will monitor students’ progress. The sessions are available for pre-school, primary and secondary level.
Other subjects being taught include science and English. The English sessions are for primary and pre-school children. Science sessions will be for primary pupils. These sessions will take place every weekend online until the foundation is able to re-open at one of its local centres.
Students sign up online for a block of five lessons, for as little as £3.50 an hour. And the sessions will continue to be available until the end of July.
‘Children are now asking for more and more’
Evie Hill, logistics manager at Znaniye Foundation, said: “We hope that by providing such sessions we will be able to support young children in the community with their core subjects.
“The greatest joy has been watching the students grow in their confidence each week. Watching students come out of their shell and find interests in brand new topics or even subjects reminds us exactly why local community led and run projects are so vital for our youth. We are in touch with the parents and community directly and so we have a very quick response time, and can consistently grow and adapt, which with COVID has been paramount.
“So often, help takes too long to reach the most in need, but our passion for, and standing in, the community enabled us to react much quicker, albeit sometimes without any funding and a lot of hard work. Children are now asking for more and more, making friends and joining sessions together online and the change in energy from back in summer is outstanding.
“The summer school would not have been as successful as it was without the support of Ealing Council’s education department, in particular Sarah Thompson, who circulated all info to the local schools. Additionally, Councillor Seema Kumar gave us continuous advice throughout. It really is people like this who allow these types of projects to flourish and reach people in need.”
Thanks to funding from Comic Relief, Znaniye Foundation will be launching another educational project, starting later this year. It is entitled Springboard into Education: Lessons, support, guidance and training for early years children, parents and carers to help with the first steps into academic life. Keep an eye on the charity’s website for more details.