Remote education provision: information for parents
This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to students and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home. We would like to reassure you that we have plans in place to support any of these scenarios and we will be here to support you throughout.
The remote curriculum: what is taught to students at home
A student’s first day or two of being educated remotely might look different from our standard approach, while we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching. Over the first couple of days, students should use their knowledge organiser and online homework to start. They should then use Oak Academy to support their knowledge organiser work by linking the Knowledge Organiser sections to Oak Academy lessons. If you would like a physical work pack instead, please let the school know via reception.
If the requirement for remote learning extends, we will continue to set lessons in-line with the normal school timetable; this will ensure students are continued to be taught their full broad and balanced curriculum. As we will be setting work for our full curriculum, as per the timetable, school work should take approximately five hours each day if done to the full extent; in addition, students should continue their Knowledge Organiser homework each day (one hour).
Teachers will make sure work is set before the lesson; sometimes this will just be for one lesson or for a sequence of lessons; the teachers will explain this in the instructions. Teachers will provide regular feedback via Google Classroom comments to enable students to know how they are doing and improve their work; this could be through individual or whole class feedback or via Google Forms and quizzes. The frequency of feedback will depend on the type of feedback and the frequency of lessons in that subject.
To support your child, please try to provide a quiet space for them to work; encourage them to tackle problems and read through tasks carefully before asking for help – more times than not, the information is there. At the end of the day, ask them to talk you through their learning and show you what they have done; this is a great way to reinforce learning and a great way to get yourself involved. You will also be able to see that they have completed the work to a suitable standard. We are using the school timetable so please use this to support routines during the day and to check work on Google Classroom.
Teachers will be checking the engagement of students and the quality of work as work is due. They will be feeding back to individuals and groups of students through Google Classroom. We expect students to respond to this feedback as appropriate. If appropriate, they will contact parents via email or phone to support engagement and let you know. On a fortnightly basis, the school will collate engagement across all subjects and year groups to celebrate those students who are working hard and engaging fully and support those who are struggling to engage with the lessons online. The school will use email and phone calls to communicate with parents/carers. We will report this home to parents at appropriate intervals depending on the length of remote learning.
We are aware that not all families have access to broadband and devices suitable for home learning. Please let us know via the school office or email@example.com and we will attempt to provide you with IT access or provide your child with an alternative. We are aware that the best way of accessing the full school curriculum is through our online provision, therefore, we will do everything we can to provide resources to allow students to access the online provision either at home or inviting them into school if that is possible. If there is no way of accessing online learning, we will liaise with you directly to support your child with physical packs. Again, please contact the school office or use the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
To ensure that students continue to be successful in their education, it is important they carry on with as much work as possible during their time off-site. Students should try their best to complete all set work and contact the school should they need any support. Class teachers will be monitoring work to praise, reward and raise any concerns as appropriate.
Parents and carers can help their children by talking through the work for the day, asking questions about what they have learnt and looking at the work they have done for the day. If parents and carers need support on checking what work has been completed or set, please contact the class teacher in the first instance.
How will my child be taught?
The main platform that we will provide remote learning through is Google Classroom (as was the case in the first partial school closure). All students are taught to use this platform in school so it will be familiar to all of them. Please use this Google Classroom Guidance and the above videos to support your child in accessing Google Classrooms if they are struggling. Other subject specific platforms such as Hegarty Maths and Kaboodle will also be used, login information will be provided by subject teachers as relevant.
Should your child forget their password for Google, this can be reset by emailing email@example.com. Please include the student’s full name and year group and explain that they can’t access their Google Account.
As a school, we have decided the best way to deliver lessons is in an asynchronous manner; that is lessons will be posted to Google Classroom so students can access them when a device is available to them at home. Our lessons mirrors what students would have been learning in school using a blended approach of instructional videos, links to slideshows, external videos (Oak Academy, BBC Bitesize, Greenshaw Trust), shared documents and other resources. Students can post responses to assignments and questions and receive feedback on these via Google Classroom.
Students should continue to follow their normal school timetable with 3 lessons per day. In order to read, respond and complete the work to the best of their ability students should spend between 60 to 90 minutes per lesson with a minimum of one hour of Knowledge Organiser work per day in-line with the schedule.
In addition to our online learning we will also have ‘live’ tutor sessions while the school is partially closed. These will run at the usual registration time. Monday will be a live tutor session for students in Years 7, 10 and 11 and Thursday will be for students in Years 8 and 9. Students will receive information from their tutor as to how to access the Google Meet sessions.
Some parents may, quite rightly, wonder why all lessons are not ‘live streamed’ with a teacher. We have given this considerable thought and trialled this with several classes during the previous lockdown. Our research and findings told us that this method of learning, whilst having some benefits had more limitations over time, these included:
- The need for every student to have dedicated access to a quality device with fast broadband access at the exact lesson time every day; many of our families work on shared devices and with less than ideal internet access.
- A robust broadband connection with no data limits. In many households several family members share broadband connectivity and many students use mobile data with strict limits. We are also mindful of our families who live in remote areas and cannot access a reliable connection.
- In a Zoom, Google or Teams video call involving 25 or more participants any interaction is extremely reduced and the ability to speak or ask questions is limited. Due to minor time delays participants can confuse each other and as a result lessons often become a ‘lecture’ with only the teacher talking.
- Students have to be available at the right time for the lesson, following their daily timetable. This reduces flexibility when there are multiple device users in the same household.
- From our research it would appear that, at best, attendance in live lessons across the county has averaged 50%, meaning that many students are excluded or not engaging with this style of learning.
- In the previous lockdown around 2% of state schools used ‘live teaching’. The figure only rose to 28% for private schools for whom they have the benefits of significantly smaller class sizes and many of the technology barriers are removed.
- Our blended approach allows students to pause, rewind or rewatch elements of the pre-recorded lessons if they do not understand a point.
- Making our lessons a ‘one off live’ event which, if missed, meant students were even further behind. This caused frustrations which can be easily avoided through the use of recorded asynchronous content.
- Teaching staff are also likely to be delivering lessons to students in school and cannot be in two places at once.
How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?
We recognise that some students, for example some students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we will work with parents and carers to support those students in the following ways:
- Scaffolded/supported materials in the main Google Classroom from the main class teacher.
- Provide “Study Buddies” from our team of Teaching Assistants to talk through the work on Google Classroom and support your child. If required, they will also support the differentiation of the work and liaise with the class teacher.
- If complete Teaching Assistant differentiation is required in school, the Study And Support Centre (SASC) will work with the student and family on a one to one basis to support home learning.