Studying at sixth form and college is a key opportunity for young people to develop independent study and life skills. Your children’s school or college has probably already contacted them about how to manage their learning and what activities to do while face-to-face teaching is suspended. If you or your children need advice, or they are feeling overwhelmed by their work, contact your school or college. They will be able to provide help and support. 

Remember that you are not being asked to teach your children, only to help support their learning. You can do this by giving them encouragement and company and by providing a suitable learning environment. Find a comfortable and quiet space where they can set up easy access to their notes, online materials and other helpful resources.

Here are some other ways that you can help to support your children’s learning.

  • Encourage them to establish their own structure to the day with clear boundaries between learning and relaxing. Young people differ and will manage learning differently, they will know what works best for them. Finding the right balance isn’t easy, but protecting them from doing too much school work is as important as encouraging them to engage with their learning.
  • Most young people will be missing their friends. They will be used to learning and socialising with them and will be making use of different ways to stay in touch. They will benefit from discussing their work and collaborating with their friends, but you may also want to discuss together how to recognise when communicating with friends becomes a distraction.
  • Some young people may be anxious about what this situation may mean for their results and their futures, or they may be finding it difficult to motivate themselves to engage with learning after being told that their exams or assessments will no longer take place as normal. Reassure them that they will not be disadvantaged by the current situation and that the work they have done and continue to do, as well as the skills and knowledge they are developing, will prove valuable in their future study or work. Speak to your children’s school or college first if you need advice and support. Further information about grades and how they will be awarded can be found on the Qualifications Wales website and careers advice about post-16 options, including information about vocational courses, can be found at Careers Wales.
  • Some young people will still need to be assessed in order to achieve their qualifications this year. Awarding bodies will decide how assessments will take place and are currently working on guidance about this. Make sure you look out for information from them and check that your children are keeping in regular contact with the school or college. If assessment arrangements require your children to return to college or school and you have any concerns about this, it is important that you raise these with the school or college.
  • There are a range of post-16 distance learning resources along with resources for Year 13 learners aiming to go onto university or higher education. Resources include a number of helpful online lectures, master classes and tutorials developed by universities, colleges and other organisations to help young people learn at their own pace. There is also more general information about university life.

You should contact your children’s school or college if you have questions about how to support your children’s learning. If you require any further help you may find the following information useful.

Information about exams and how grades will be awarded

Information about starting university or college in the autumn

  • Visit individual university or college websites to get up-to-date information. Many are running virtual open days and live chat sessions to answer any questions you might have as well as providing online learning experiences and events to help prepare young people for higher education.
  • Student Finance Wales can help young people explore what support is available, whether they are studying now or planning to go to university or college later in the year.


Hwb recourses and information about university life and preparing young people for higher education.

BBC Bitesize careers section