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Remote / Blended Learning (Out of College) January 2021

Remote education provision: information for parents

This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to both pupils and their families about what to expect from remote education, where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home. 

We know that being at school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing.  Time out of school is detrimental for children’s cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children.  This impact can affect both current levels of education and children’s future ability to learn; therefore, we need to ensure all students continue to engage with their remote learning as much as possible during times when public health guidance advises they not attend school in person.

The remote curriculum: what is taught to pupils at home

A pupil’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.

We have, however, been asked by the government to plan for the possibility of local restrictions and how we will ensure continuity of education in exceptional circumstances (where there is some level of restriction applied to education or childcare in a local area).  The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has recently issued an overview of the stages of intervention for educational settings when managing local outbreaks and implementing restrictions:

Stage 1: All pupils attend full time

Stage 2: Part time rota system in place

Stage 3: Most secondary school students studying from home

Stage 4: All schools back to full lockdown

We have adopted this advice and developed a comprehensive strategy to our approach to remote learning across a range of scenarios.  This includes the support of individual and small groups of students, who may be self-isolating/shielding, to ensure they can access high quality resources during their period of absence. 

What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of pupils being sent home?

All teachers will follow the guidance set out in the stages below. We hope that the following table clearly outlines how the College, students, and their families, will work together in partnership to ensure minimal disruption to the education of our young people during this time.  We will continue to keep you informed if, or when, we move into any of the stages outlined below.

 

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3/4
Who is working from home? Individual Students Class/Classes Year Groups/College
What form of remote learning will be taking place? Short term Remote Learning  Medium term Remote Learning Extended Remote Learning
Student independent learning (supported by teachers) Student learning directed by class teachers Student learning directed by Head of Faculty or Subject Lead
How will remote learning be set? Remote learning resources on platforms used in the curriculum

 

Setting of assignments is undertaken with direct communication and deadlines are clear

Remote learning resources on digital platforms

 

Setting of assignments is undertaken with direct communication and deadlines are clear

Remote learning resources on digital platforms (to ensure consistency, directed by Head of Faculty or Subject Lead)

Setting of assignments is undertaken with direct communication and deadlines are clear

What type of lessons will be set? Work will follow the curriculum for the classes and subjects that the individual student is absent from.  Work will include a range of lessons, including:

– live lessons

– pre-recorded lessons with live teacher support

– resources with narration

– use of nationally available resources, such as Oak Academy

– clearly explained tasks to be completed

Work will include a range of lessons, including:

– live lessons

– pre-recorded lessons with live teacher support

– resources with narration

– use of nationally available resources, such as Oak Academy

– clearly explained tasks to be completed

How should work be submitted? Hand in or return on digital platforms Hand in via digital platform or on return (if back in two weeks)

Feedback in line with College Policy

Hand in via digital platform or on return (if back in two weeks)

Feedback in line with College Policy

College expectations Where possible, all work must be undertaken by the students and must be their own work Where possible, all work must be undertaken by the students and must be their own work Where possible, all work must be undertaken by the students and must be their own work

 

Following the first few days of remote education, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school?

We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. However, we have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects. As an example, practical subjects in the creative arts, physical education and some of the technology subjects have had to be adapted to accommodate remote education. Faculty areas will advise students of revised curriculum. 

Remote teaching and study time each day

How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?

We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take pupils broadly the following number of hours each day:

Key Stages 3 and 4: 5 hours a day

Accessing remote education

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

As a College we continue to use various online learning resources through ‘Google classroom’ and ‘ClassCharts’ to bring a wide variety of learning material to students.  ‘Google classroom’ will remain our main platform for setting work, sharing resources, uploading completed work (where applicable), delivering pre-recorded and live lessons (where applicable), giving feedback, and hosting Q&A meetings with classes (where applicable).  Students will be able to find their timetabled lessons on ‘ClassCharts’. We are confident that most of our students are already familiar with how to access and utilise this platform following a full College closure.   Other digital platforms used by the College to enhance our online offer include Seneca Learning, GCSEpod, Sparx Maths, MassoLit, and Oak Academy.

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?

We recognise that some pupils may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those pupils to access remote education:

  • Families will receive a survey, allowing us to assess their access to devices and working internet. This survey will be  communicated through social media, our parent communication newsletter, and it will also be available on the school website. It will also inform families that if a student does not have access to a laptop/chromebook or have a working internet connection then they should get in touch with the school and we will do our best to assist them.
  • During periods of ‘in-school’ learning, we have followed this procedure in order to proactively identify any students who need support with devices or wifi, and to source a chromebook and/or a dongle for them.
  • If a student requires printed materials these can be requested by contacting the college’s reception or the relevant HOY admin. In this scenario we would request that affected students and their families contact their HOY or HOY admin to arrange alternative procedures to submission of completed work. 

How will my child be taught remotely?

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach pupils remotely:

Remote learning is based on sound pedagogical principles: end-point tasks, big questions, and the use of retrieval practice; and is based on the following platforms:

Google suite:

  • Features available within Google classroom include: retrieval practice quizzes, recorded lessons, online documents including, Google docs, sheets and slides.
  • Teachers are able to give personalised and whole class feedback where appropriate. Live comments (verbal or written) can be fed back on work during timetabled lessons. 
  • Live classrooms enable us to maintain important interaction between teachers and pupils through, for example, questioning, checking for understanding, and reflective discussion. This allows teaching to be more effective, support pupil motivation, and lead to better progress.
  • Feedback can take place in ‘live streamed’ lessons, using Google meet; via google classroom; and shared google docs, as well as through formally assessed work.
  • Feedback expectations are in line with College assessment policy.

Examples of other platforms we use are:

  • Oak Academy resources, where appropriate, specifically in key stage 3 English and mathematics.
  • White Rose booklets utilised in year 7 mathematics.
  • Lexia UK used as part of our key stage 3 reading catch up program, led by both our ATs and English staff.
  • BBC online resources where appropriate
  • MassoLit is used in English, particularly for GCSE and A Level students.
  • Other online platforms, including GCSE Pod and Seneca learning, which are already commonly used across the school. 

Engagement and feedback

What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

We understand that a period of remote education is a very challenging time for everyone involved. With that in mind, we would appreciate it if families could:

  • Where possible, ensure that your child has all their books and resources needed to complete their remote education successfully. 
  • Support your child with accessing and completing the remote education curriculum through Google classroom and ClassCharts.
  • Encourage your child to make email contact with their tutor or class teachers if additional support is required with remote education. 
  • Support your child to submit their remote education work to their class teachers (on return to College, or as directed by online deadlines set by their teachers). 
  • Encourage your child to act on any feedback given to improve their work.
  • Encourage your child to engage with any additional support offered remotely, or provided on their return to College. 

How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?

The school has systems for checking daily whether pupils are engaging with their work, and informs parents and carers immediately where engagement is a concern.

Engagement will be recorded for high quality remote learning and a lack of engagement. Teachers will record via ClassCharts and parents will be alerted via the ClassCharts app. This is intended to be supportive and not punitive. Individual subject teachers and tutors will also get in touch with parents if they are concerned, or in order to offer support.

How will you assess my child’s work and progress?

  • The college follows its normal feedback policy as far as possible in relation to offering feedback to students, with the main changes being that feedback will now be digitally facilitated or using the ‘whole class feedback’ model where appropriate.
  • Teachers are able to give personalised and whole class feedback where appropriate. Live comments (verbal or written) can be fed back on work during timetabled lessons. 
  • Live classrooms enable us to maintain important interaction between teachers and pupils through, for example, questioning, checking for understanding, and reflective discussion. This allows teaching to be more effective, support pupil motivation, and lead to better progress.
  • Feedback can take place in ‘live streamed’ lessons, using Google meet; via google classroom; and shared google docs, as well as through formally assessed work.
  • Whole-class feedback or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others.

Additional support for pupils with particular needs

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 pupils (such as some pupils with special educational needs and disabilities), 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 pupils in the following ways:

  • Vulnerable and high needs students are able to work on site on a daily basis if suitable.
  • The College’s ‘anchor’ provision is running with specialist TA support on a daily basis.
  • The SEND team provides weekly or twice weekly (for EHCP students) phone contact for SEND students at home, and provides advice on learning strategies and wellbeing.
  • The school engages regionally with Early Help at a strategic level, through DCC Early Help Strategic Partnership Forum, to ensure that hardship and disadvantage support is accessed quickly and support is targeted.

Remote education for self-isolating pupils

If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above? 

If your child is required to self-isolate, they will follow the guidelines for stage 1 in the table above.

 

Google Support

Class Charts