STUDENTS from Knutsford and Alderley Edge are among a group of sixth formers who have launched an Instagram home learning platform.

The nine-strong team are from three Manchester schools, and have joined forces to launch HomePal, a programme aimed at helping younger pupils enhance and enrich their education during the current school closures.

Easily accessed as a free resource through Instagram, @HomePal_ ( has been developed by volunteers from Withington Girls’ School, The Manchester Grammar School (MGS) and Manchester High School for Girls.

The team includes Amelia O’Hara (WGS) and Harrison Kaye (MGS), both from Knutsford, and Hattie Frew (MHSG), from Alderley Edge.

With followers able to take short study sessions in Chinese, geography, German, English, history, maths, mindfulness, science or Spanish, content is targeted at children in years 7 to 9, but HomePal’s contributors say their lessons are attracting users of all ages keen to learn a new skill or subject during lockdown, regardless of where they are based.

HomePal was established as schools across the country closed due to Covid-19, when sixth formers from Withington, Manchester High and MGS decided to work together on a joint educational project.

Knutsford Guardian:

Harrison Kaye

Subjects were chosen according to the HomePal team members’ personal preferences and are composed based on Key Stage 3 curriculum guidance and the students’ knowledge.

Though most of the topics on offer have an academic element, they are intended to be fun and interaction is actively encouraged. Mindfulness was included to help support mental health and wellbeing during the lockdown period.

Amelia, who writes HomePal’s History lessons, said: “HomePal is an exciting opportunity, particularly for younger children, to engage and expand educational horizons.

“Whilst it is not designed to replace the school curriculum and remote learning, it provides the chance to extend existing studies and try subjects they may not be currently taking, such as Chinese or mindfulness. With HomePal being so accessible via Instagram, even parents and siblings are having a go.”

Knutsford Guardian:

Hattie Frew

Harrison, who is responsible for HomePal’s Chinese posts said: “All of us in the HomePal team recognise the value of education at all levels and so we were extremely concerned at the prospect of an entire generation of children being out of school for an extended period of time.

“We hope HomePal can keep helping students learning from home and maybe even help develop new areas of interest.”

Hattie has designed HomePal’s Instagram branding, and is enjoying working on the programme’s English lessons.

She said: “The content we create provides the educational continuity KS3 students need right now, takes pressure off parents to home-school their children, and is something to enjoy in the process.”