Supporting Learners at Home: COVID-19

Coronavirus (Covid 19)

Covid 19 has brought huge challenges and changes to all our lives. Children and young people may find coping with the uncertainty and significant changes to their routines particularly stressful and challenging. 

The emergence of a new variant of COVID-19 meant that reopening early learning and childcare settings (ELC) and schools in January 2021 would not have been consistent with a safety-first approach for children, young people and  staff. Exceptional arrangements were put in place as a precautionary measure while schools were closed to the majority of pupils. The roll out of the vaccinations across Scotland has supported the reopening of ELC and schools for children and young people, however some may still experience time at home if they are isolating. The information and links on this page hope to provide some support to families and their children.

The Scottish Government continues to publish updated guidance which is intended to provide clarity on arrangements for school education. 

Select here to access the Scottish Government guidance for early learning and childcare settings 

Select here to access the Scottish Government guidance for schools

Vaccinations for children and young people

Coronavirus | Parent Club

COVID-19 vaccinations for children and young people | Parent Club

Remote Learning 

National expectations for remote learning were published by Education Scotland on the 8th January 2021. Select here to access the guidance. 

Education Scotland is worked with schools and local authorities to support and improve the delivery of high quality and effective remote learning. A national overview called ‘What Scotland Learned’ was published on the 29th January 2021.

What Scotland Learned

What Scotland Learned is a collection of inspiring stories about how practitioners across Scotland have responded during the COVID-19 crisis. It is structured around the five themes of How Good is OUR School? and includes contributions from children and young people, adults, families and communities.

Select here to access further information. 

Online Support and Remote Learning 

The increasing volume of information on the internet about how to support all children, young people and their families during the Covid 19 outbreak may feel overwhelming at times. This page aims to provide a small selection of helpful resources and links recommended by the Toolkit for practitioners and families who are supporting children and young people who are learning at home because they need to sheild or isolate. Resources can be selected which are most appropriate for the child or young person being supported. ELCs and schools will be required to support their learners during these times. 

Covid 19 Information

NHS Covid 19 – advice for everyone 

The Scottish Government – information on supporting pupils, parents and teachers 

NHS Clear Your Head 

Information for parents and carers

‘It’s ok to worry about going back to school A resource pack for parents of neurodiverse children to help with going back to school

Explaining Covid 19 to children and young people.

The BBC Newsround site has a comprehensive section on coronavirus developed for children and young people.  

CALL Scotland have some visual support resources to help explain Covid 19. 

Childline has a comprehensive range of information, support, activities and suggestions for children and young people. 

ENABLE has produced some easy read Covid 19 fact sheets on their website. 

Mencap has created some easy ready information about Coronavirus for you to use based on the latest guidance from the Government. (March 24th). Select ‘here’ to download a copy. 

Parent Club – Coronavirus

Young Scot Covid 19 – helpful advice and suggestions to reduce stress and anxiety which may be felt by children and young people at this time. 

Supporting a return to early years and school

A range of information and resources to support learners, their families and practitioners in the return to full time education can be found in the Transitions section of the Toolkit. This includes information from the National Parent Forum of Scotland. 

Supporting extended time at home

It is important for parents and carers to understand that no one expects parents/carers and family members to be the teacher. If a child or young person is required to stay at home then schools will be providing activities and work for home learning and monitoring their learners’ progress. 

Things to Remember

Things often thought are needed by children when not in early years settings or schoolThings actually needed by children when not in early years settings school
Time tabled activities from 09.00am – end of school dayBalance of activities
No Screen TimeFlexible routines
Lots of school workLearning / School work
Rigid RoutinePractical learning activities e.g. cooking, gardening, art
New ToysConstruction activities, den building, model building
Interaction with adults – also using social media
Play – games – could include electronic devices
Relaxation times

Adapted from a resource developed by the Inverclyde Psychology Service) 

Below are some suggestions which can complement the work provided by schools. Please note that:

  • Schools may already have subscriptions to learning websites and may have shared the passwords with learners and their families.
  • Some of the sites are offering free subscriptions during school closures.
Support for practitioners to use

Education Scotland Website  | Sign up to newsletters

Top Ten Resources for teachers outlines a range of free resources from Dyslexia Scotland

Dyslexia Scotland training

Supporting learning at home

Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit A range of learning and teaching resources which support literacy and numeracy skills. The resources are helpful for all learners including those who are not dyslexic.

‘At home with Dyslexia Scotland’  Useful films on Dyslexia Scotland’s YouTube channel including recorded Parent Masterclasses.

BBC ‘How to keep your kids learning at home’

BBC Teach   A range of live lessons for primary and secondary pupils.  

BBC Bitesize  This site is accessible, and learners can access a wide range of learning resources appropriate to their need and interests.

GLOW  is the Scottish Schools National Intranet. This is a major national ICT and telecommunications programme managed by Education Scotland. It is available to all learners in Scottish local authority schools. GLOW has a wide range of learning opportunities and is commonly being used by schools as a way to support distance learning while they are closed.

Glasgow Dyslexia Support Service (GDSS) and English as an Additional Language Services (EAL)– provides a range of resources to support home learning. 

The James Dyson Foundation introduces young people to the exciting world of engineering, encouraging them to think differently, make mistakes and realize their engineering potential. Dyson engineers have designed fun and free challenge cards with activities specifically for children and young people which can be done at home. 

Call Scotland provide a wide range of information and accessible resources to support home learning. See their Wheels of Apps here

SCHOLAR supports independent study; students can use the materials to study anytime, anywhere, in school, college or home.

If you have any suggestions to include within this page please email the Toolkit working group at

Some resources have made available free during school closures 

Audible have made their children’s stories free to stream for as long as schools are closed.  

Barrington Stoke – a range of free resources and author videos

Clicker and DocsPlus


Activity Village 


Languages Resources and links

Parentzone Scotland – supporting Literacy at home 


Gaelic resources and links

Parentzone Scotland  – Supporting Gaelic at home

Activities, Links and Ideas

Below are a few suggestions – there are many more.

75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day – Join Discovery Education as they commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. Through a series of activities, learn what life was like in Britain during the Second World War culminating in a national virtual tea party.

Arts Awards 

BBC ‘How to keep your kids learning at home’

Glasgow Science Centre daily scientific video #GSCAtHome

‘The Great Indoors’ (indoor activities from the Scouts)

Chris Packham – Spring Blossoms – Daily films by Chris Packham exploring nature and biology    #WildMorningswithChris

Listening to stories /audio books – see the Language tab.

Yoga  – A wide range of free online Yoga lessons are available online. 

Den Building in the house or garden 

Live web cameras/animations at Museums, Zoos and Wildlife Parks 

The British Museum – interactive experience –

The British Museum’s learning team create and deliver accessible world class cultural learning experiences for all ages and levels. They have developed some resources which support learning at home. . Although the resources are linked to the English curriculum levels, the content is appropriate. For example

Egyptians – ‘How were mummies made?’  

British Natural History Museum  – Virtual Tours and activities to try at home 

The Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History – Virtual Tour (America)

Art Galleries 

Tate for Kids – Play free art games and fun quizzes, find art activities, read about artists and share your art

National Portrait Gallery – Edinburgh – At Home resources (scroll down the page)

National Portrait Gallery – London Virtual Tours 

The Louvre – Paris Virtual Tour and 

“One minute in a museum” – Fun 60 second animations about works of art featuring three cartoon characters who react to works of art from the Louvre museum.

Zoos and Wildlife Parks 

Edinburgh Zoo –Animal Live cams 

Highland Wildlife Park Animal Live cams 

Blair Dummond Safari Park – Animal Webcams