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Welcome to the Royal SpringBoard community hub. We hope that these resources will be of help to you during this difficult time.

The events of the past few weeks have been shocking and sudden. You have had to adapt extremely quickly to huge changes in your personal life and will probably be missing your friends, and maybe even your teachers.

Now, more than ever, it is important to connect with others. That is why, over the next few weeks, we will be launching a new project which we hope will help you feel connected to and supported by other young people across the country, at a time when it is easy to feel lonely or scared.

We are really excited about this next stage of the Royal SpringBoard journey, and hope you will be too. Keep your eyes peeled!

Educational resources

More resources will be added to this page over the coming weeks.

BBC Bitesize
You might be familiar with Bitesize, which has responded to coronavirus by producing special lessons for all core subjects, for pupils of all ages. For older students, BBC Four is also joining forces with Red Button for evening programmes to support the GCSE and A Level curriculum. 

Teachers across the country have come together to create the Oak National Academy, an online classroom for pupils all the way up to Year 10, with lessons in a range of subjects. 

Academies Enterprise are offering a series of online English and Maths lessons for Years 10 and 11. This programme includes live lessons, pre-lesson work and in lesson resources. Pupils can access the recorded lessons shortly after they finish. 

Blutick covers the full 11-16 Maths curriculum, aligned to all major exam boards. Students enter their working line by line and are given immediate, intelligent feedback when they make mistakes, just like having their own personal tutor.  

Maths Kitchen is an interactive GCSE revision website. 

Mr Bruff offers daily English lessons for GCSE students on YouTube. 

Physics Online provides short and sharp videos covering the GCSE and A Level curriculums. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Massolit are offering their 3000 short lectures from top university professors for free! Perfect for students in Year 9 and upwards who want to brush up on their knowledge of anything from the history of Japan to the philosophy of religion. 

The Day is a newspaper designed for young people. With talking points related to each story, it gets you thinking about the world around you. 

EtonX is a platform offering self-taught online courses in the soft skills – such as resilience and critical thinking – which are so crucial to success both at school and in the working world. Available to Year 10s and above, pupils are able to download a certificate on completion of a course. If you are interested, please email website@royalspringboard.org.uk to collect your login. 

Tips for studying while in isolation

Now more than ever you will need to learn to be a good independent learner. This is not an easy skill, but one which comes with practice. Here are some resources which might help you – we will add to these over the coming weeks.

This Action Plan for Independent Learning comes from the University of Manchester and LearnHigher (you can download the document from this website).

Updates on school-related news, exams and UCAS

22nd April 2020 – The deadline for confirming your UCAS first and insurance choice, if you have received all university decisions by 4th June, has been confirmed by UCAS as 6pm on 18th June.  

The Government has asked universities for the moment to stop making unconditional offers or amending existing offers.  

 GCSE and A Level results day will take place on the usual days of Thursday 20th August and Thursday 13th August respectively. 

These are the dates by which universities will get back to you: 

20 May 2020 – if you sent your application by 15 January 2020. 

13 July 2020 – if you sent your application by 30 June 2020. 

20 October 2020 – this is the final deadline for universities to make decisions on applications to courses starting in 2020. 

If a university you’ve applied to doesn’t make a decision by the appropriate deadline, that choice will be automatically made unsuccessful. 

17th April 2020 – You can read here a letter from Ofqual (the Office for Qualifications and Exams) to all GCSE, AS and A Level students, explaining among other things how your grades will be calculated and when you can expect to receive them. The awarding of some technical and vocational qualifications will go through a similar process

2nd April 2020 - Ofqual (the exams watchdog) has committed to outlining by Easter the process by which fair grades will be awarded.  

In addition to the above they also confirmed that they expect to publish the following information w/c Monday 30th March: 

  • A timetable for this summer (i.e. deadlines for submissions etc.)  
  • The processes that they would like teachers to follow.   
  • More detailed guidance for teachers about how to consider the full range of evidence that they will have available when submitting their assessment grades.  

Ofqual has also confirmed that that there will be arrangements offered for exams to be sat in the new academic year, if students wish to undertake them, and that there are also plans to share further details about their proposals for the appeals process for grades. 

Secondly, UCAS has confirmed new deadlines for accepting offers, as detailed below:  

The deadline for applicants to reply to any offers received by 31 March 2020. 

Original date: 5 May 2020
New date: 19 May 2020 

The deadline for universities and colleges to make decisions and reply to applications received by 15 January 2020.

Original date: 6 May 2020
New date: 20 May 2020 

University open days
Most university open days due to take place this spring have had to be cancelled, but some universities are running virtual open days in their place. You can check out the status of all open days across the country on this website.

Mental health and wellbeing

We would always recommend speaking to a member of staff at your school if you are struggling at the moment but if you feel you would particularly benefit from speaking to someone who is not a member of your family or school about how you are feeling, please do get in touch with a member of our team by email, and we will do all we can to support you.

Here are some tips from the NHS on how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home. They might not all be relevant to you, but you can decide which ones feel most achievable.

The Prince’s Trust has a Coronavirus Support Hub, which includes a live chat function and a collection of resources on how to look after your wellbeing and develop your employability skills.

Young Minds has advice on how to look after your mental health during coronavirus.

Childline provides information on Coronavirus and resources to cope with anxiety.

Here are the 5 simple ways recommended by the New Economics Forum to look after your mental wellbeing:

Connect...
With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

Be active...
Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

Take notice...
Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

Keep learning...
Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.

Give...
Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

The Free Mindfulness Project was created in response to the pandemic, and has links to many free mindfulness resources and talks, to help you stay calm through this strange period. 

Kooth is a free mental health support service. It gives children and young people easy access to an online community of peers and a team of experienced counsellors. 

ThinkNinja is a mental health and emotional wellbeing app for young people. From topics such as coping skills for day to day stresses, to more complex issues including unhelpful thoughts, a virtual avatar called ‘Wise Ninja’ guides you around the app.  

Other ways to keep yourself entertained

We might be in lockdown, but the internet can still keep us connected to cultural activities across the world. Here is a list of the best virtual tours of museums, galleries and zoos.

Famous artists are creating activity packs for you to get creative at home, without the need for any specialist materials. You can sign up to the ‘Art is where the home is’ project here.

The RHS has ideas for how to stay connected to nature, even whilst in lockdown.

The Children’s Commissioner has plenty of ideas for how to keep busy in this handy coronavirus guide.

The BBC has launched Culture in Quarantine, helping you bring theatre, dance, music and more into your home. 

Quote of the week

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~Maya Angelou