Remote education provision: information for parents September 2021
This information intends to provide clarity and transparency about what students and parents/ carers can expect from remote education if local restrictions require schools to reintroduce remote learning or blended learning for entire cohorts or groups of students.
Please note, that the remote learning provision will differ according to the situation, as we will be able to deliver a different model of remote learning during national or local lockdown where the majority of students access learning from home to a model where individual students are self- isolating.
The remote curriculum: what is taught to students at home
We aim to provide remote learning from the first day of a student’s self-isolation period, but ask for parent/ carers’ understanding that a student’s first day or two of remote education might look different from our standard approach, while we take necessary actions to organise logistics or to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching.
We aim to deliver remote education in line with Ofsted’s guidelines (updated 27.08.21), where we use remote learning to deliver our sequenced and planned curriculum; ensuring feedback, retrieval practice and assessment provides students with guidance and support for progress and understanding; and using variety of delivery methods.
This guidance also outlines the difficulties associated with live lessons, which we have used to inform our method of delivery. Where we use the phrase ‘live lessons’, we mean the lesson is synchronous (real time) and delivered on MS Teams to the class.
What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of being sent home?
Students will either be informed in person before leaving the school site or via Insight about arrangements for their self-isolation period, including how to access support if they are struggling. There will be remote lessons provided via Insight with expected work or activities to complete. Curriculum Teams have plans in place that enable them to switch to or provide remote learning as soon as this becomes necessary – but there may be a slight delay in getting these materials on Insight on the same day as we are made aware of a student needing to self-isolate.
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. For example, in more practical or specialist equipment based subjects, it may not be possible for the same content to be delivered and therefore, more theory based remote learning will be set, and where possible, what is covered in school will be adapted to prevent students who are self-isolating falling behind or, for example, missing key practicals or demonstrations.
Key Stage Four and Five students will be set remote learning that matches their timetables as far as possible, completing the work set for each examined class they have. We aim to have work set on Insight by 8.45am – but there may be slight delays where we have staff absence or where the afternoon’s lesson may not be posted until later that 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 Stage 4 (Years 10-11) 5 hours a day (4-5 subjects a day and independent learning – homework) Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13) 5 hours a day (3-4 subjects a day and independent learning - homework)
Accessing remote education How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?
Insight will be used to inform students of what remote learning has been set and to provide resources for this – or to provide links to online resources students have been directed to use. We are using Insight due to both students and parents being used to this platform from homework and communications and to ensure both students and parents are able to see what has been set. We will label remote learning as ‘work for self-isolating students’ to enable students to differentiate it from homework. For those classes where we are delivering ‘live’ lessons, MS Teams will be used to deliver, but information added to Insight to confirm.
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 students to access remote education:
- Our pastoral teams have identified students where accessing online remote learning is difficult and have offered support. In situations where we have evidence of significant financial hardship, parents/carers have been informed of how to borrow laptops, Chromebooks or tablets. We have also registered families for the government scheme to increase access to data through broadband and mobile phone connections in situations where this has been identified as an issue.
- Parents/ carers who are experiencing financial hardship can find out more about how to borrow equipment or increase data allowances to enable access to remote learning by emailing Mr Eadie or phoning reception.
- Students can access any printed materials needed if they do not have online access by contacting Mr Eadie who will liaise with relevant curriculum teams *.
- Students can submit work to their teachers if they do not have online access by a member of their household who is not self-isolating arranging to drop work off or by bringing it in when they return to school *.
How will my child be taught remotely?
We use a combination of the following approaches to teach pupils remotely:
All Key Stages:
- PowerPoints and worksheets
- Narrated Powerpoints (such as Loom or voice over)
- Recorded teaching from organisations where we have quality assured the content and where content matches our curriculum – such as Oak Academy, Hegarty Maths; The EverLearner.
- Key Stage specific online resources such as BBC Bitesize, GCSEPod, Tassomai or Seneca.
- Textbooks and/ or reading books that have been issues to students (we will not expect students to purchase books for remote learning).
- Where groups of students or whole year groups are accessing remote learning, we will use ‘live’ lessons where possible via Teams. 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 expect all students to engage fully with the remote learning that is set – by logging onto Insight daily and completing all work set for that day. We expect parents to support their child’s routine by keeping them to their normal school day routines and timetables as far as possible and ensuring they have a suitable place to complete remote learning. We expect all students to comply with the remote learning expectations.
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
There will be an assignment/ assessment piece set for each period of self-isolation and remote learning that students will be expected to complete. This is not only to monitor engagement and completion of work but for teachers to assess students’ progress and understanding and to provide feedback to support their learning. Where there are concerns about a student’s engagement or effort levels, either the class teacher, tutor or a member of school leadership will contact home to inform and discuss.
How will you assess my child’s work and progress?
Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children. For example, whole-class feedback or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others. Our approach to feeding back on pupil work is as follows:
- At least one assessment or assignment will be set for each period of self-isolation and remote learning that will be used to provide feedback. This may be instant (in the form of an online quiz that is self-marking) or require students to submit work either via Insight or by submission on their return to school, which will be marked by a subject teacher and improvement activities set for students to act on feedback provided.
Additional support for students 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?
Although we hope all the work we set will be accessible for students, we recognise that any student may get stuck or have questions. Where an individual is self-isolating please contact the individual teacher. Where groups are accessing remote learning we will establish subject helpdesks that worked really well during school closure last year for students to use if they need help or advice on what has been set. Please bear in mind that teachers are also teaching and in school so students may not get an instant response. These helpdesk email addresses are emailed to students and we advise students get on with something else while waiting for a response. We recognise that some pupils, for example some pupils 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 pupils in the following ways:
- Our SENDCo will be in touch with all families and students on our SEND register
- Any students with an EHCP will receive a phone call from their key worker or member of the inclusion team to support them with their remote learning.
- Where necessary, work will be differentiated to provide more accessible remote learning.
Remote education for self-isolating students
Where individual students need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school, how remote education is provided will differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching students both at home and in school.
If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?
Curriculum Teams have prepared a fortnight’s worth of remote learning lessons/ resources/ instructions for each subject that follows and links to, as far as possible, the curriculum being covered in lessons. The names of students who have reported the need to self-isolate is centrally compiled on a daily basis and a member of our support staff/teachers send students the work via Insight on the same day as they report in that they are self-isolating.
Remote education in the case of local restrictions due to a local/ school outbreak
If we had to send groups of students home within a year group for a defined self-isolation period, we would move to a hybrid model of remote learning, where teachers deliver ‘live’ lessons on Teams at the same time as delivering the lesson in class.
Remote education during a national or local lockdown
Where the school is required to close to all students during a national or local lockdown, the principles and provisions outlined above will stand – along with the following provision and support.
This model has been designed from research (including other schools’ approaches and experiences), to provide a blended learning approach that supports student engagement, progress and in consideration of staff capacity and both student and staff’s access to technology.
- Timetable and guidance on remote learning hours
We will manage the school day timings so that all students follow same timetable.
- Period 1: 09.05
- Period 2: 10.05
- Period 3: 11.25
- Period 4: 12.25
- Period 5: 14.05
Where lessons are ‘live’ on MS Teams, these will be 45 minutes rather than the full hour and scheduled by the classroom teacher on MS Teams to show on students’ calendar at the correct time.
Lessons will be recorded on MS Teams for students to access if unable to attend, although the expectation is for students to attend and teachers to log consistent non-attendance in the same way as where work is not completed.
- Remote ‘blended’ Learning according to key stage Key Stages 4 - 5:
- · At least a third of lessons will be delivered ‘Live’ by the classroom teacher – interactive, with microphones and chat function enabled.
· A third of lessons will be narrated/ video style – content delivery and activities to support student understanding and progress.
- · A third of lessons will set independent work– eg pre-reading/ essays/ textbook/ video clips to watch/ assessments.
- · Students will be expected to submit at least a piece of work each fortnight – for feedback on either Teams/ Insight/ an online platform students are already familiar with – providing feedback that students can act on as part of the independent part of their work.
- Student engagement
Virtual rewards We want to recognise students’ efforts and reward them when doing well – House Points can be awarded and E-Postcards sent for exceptional work. Where there are concerns about student engagement or attendance, contact will be made with home by either the class teacher or a member of the pastoral team.
- Support for students who are struggling or have questions about their learning
Hopefully, the live lesson addition will help to alleviate some of these issues, but our SENDCo will support SEN students with contact home. In line with DfE guidance, all vulnerable students should attend school for face-to-face teaching and learning. Where this is not possible due to shielding or isolation, we will provide remote learning. The Trust understands that remote learning can be difficult for some children and young people with SEND and can pose unique challenges for children and families. It is for this reason that we encourage all children with EHCPs to attend school during lockdown period. Where remote learning is provided, we will communicate frequently with parents/carers and families to ensure continuous guidance and support. Bespoke remote learning will be personalised to individualised needs and may include on-line teaching and learning, on-line meetings, regular communication by telephone or email and bespoke learning packs. Meetings will continue during this time to keep ILP target meetings on track, hold Annual Review meetings and provide additional support where appropriate. Meetings will be by telephone or online.
- Provision for students accessing the Critical Worker hub
For those students attending the Critical Worker hub, parents will be communicated with around the provision on site. Students will be based in either a Key Stage 4 or 5 hub where they will be able to access and complete their remote learning, alongside some additional activities to support their well-being and to avoid them being on a screen for the whole day.
Clarification of key terms and processes
What is a Live Lesson?
Answer: A live lesson is a video lesson conducted on ‘MS Teams’, which students can access through the school portal at www.rmunify.com . Students will receive scheduled appointments through MS Teams to attend their live lessons. All live lessons run for 45 minutes and provides the teacher an opportunity to deliver new subject content and also allows students to ask questions and ensure they understand the work being set. Students can use the chat or microphone functions to ask and respond to questions. In the case of staff absence, there may be lessons where we combine students into a different class or where cover is set instead of a live lesson.
What is a PowerPoint/Loom Video?
Answer: A PowerPoint lesson or a Loom video lesson is a lesson that has been pre-recorded and should include, as a minimum, a teacher talking over a PowerPoint presentation. For many it may be a video recorded lesson created using an application called Loom or it could be a video lesson taken from a national resource bank such as 'Oak National Academy' or 'Greenshaw Trust'. The lesson should include subject content and opportunities for students to complete work independently.
What is an independent assessment lesson?
Answer: An independent assessment lesson is an opportunity for students to work independently on content learnt during a live lesson or a PowerPoint/Loom Video lesson. Usually this would be an activity set on MS Teams or ‘Insight’ where the teacher will expect learners to complete work and submit it electronically; either using Microsoft products such as Word or PowerPoint or perhaps completing the work by hand and submitting a photograph of the work completed. This type of lesson could also be delivered as an Insight post with instructions to complete work on an online platform such as MyMaths or Seneca learning.