Remote Learning: Information for Parents
This document is intended to provide clarity and transparency to students and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education if national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or individual bubbles) to remain at home.
For details of what to expect where individual students are self-isolating, please see the final section.
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.
What should my child expect from immediate remote education provision in the first day or two of students being sent home?
As students begin to work from home, there will inevitably be a period of transition as they (and you as parents) familiarise themselves with how they intend to learn from home. To support your child with their organisation and work ethic, we recommend that they work through the Working From Home Powerpoint on their first day at home.
The first day of isolation may look somewhat different to the rest of provision as teachers will be collating and assigning work to these students. The websites below will be particularly useful on day 1 of remote learning whilst teaching staff prepare specific learning materials to complement the normal curriculum. Search for the subject and then for a topic you have studied for additional tasks and revision activities.
- BBC Bitesize (for Key Stage 3 and 4)
- Oak National Academy (for Key Stage 3 and 4)
- Seneca Learning (for Key Stage 3 and 4)
- GCSEPod (for years 9-11)
There is a further list of suggested websites and supplementary resources here.
Students will have been taught how to access the academy’s website, how to use Sharepoint and Microsoft Teams and how to access a summary of the set work via the SIMS Engagement app, which is also available to parents.
Students will have been given guidance on the practical aspects of working from home and will already have some experiences on which they can build. The powerpoint referenced above will also support with this organisation.
Students will be able to access the academy’s website where immediate guidance will be provided on how to approach the first two days of formal remote learning.
After this initial period of adjustment, students will be able to establish a more consistent way of working remotely. Inevitably, there will be organisational and technical challenges to this; students must not worry, they and you will be able to contact staff within the academies for support. There is a list of teachers’ email addresses here.
Following the first few days of remote education, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were taught in school?
It is expected that students who are learning remotely will engage with all of their lessons at the usual times as per their timetable. Students will, typically, follow their existing curriculum.
A number of subjects are delivering live lessons via Microsoft Teams throughout the week according to the normal school timetable. Students will receive invitations for these live lessons via their emails and will be able to check ahead by looking at their Outlook calendar once they have accepted the invitations.
We know that not all students will be able to access live lessons at the time they take place, so recordings of these lessons will be made available afterwards. The lesson materials will also be online in each teacher’s folder on Sharepoint for students to work through independently if they prefer.
There will be subjects in which it will not be possible to provide normal curriculum provision, particularly the more practical and group work elements of their learning in PE, Technology, and the Arts.
Where it has not been possible to continue with the normal curriculum, alternative approaches are used and are outlined by each academy.
REMOTE TEACHING AND STUDY TIME EACH DAY
How long can I expect work set by the academy to take my child each day?
Teachers will continue to set work for lessons based on the normal school curriculum and timetable of five hour-long lessons per day.
ACCESSING REMOTE EDUCATION
How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?
The academy uses a range of on-line platforms. Many of them are already in regular use and should be familiar to students. The main two places where students can find their work are on Sharepoint and via their emails.
Log into Sharepoint through the school website and click on SUBJECTS (the picture of the bookshelves). Click on a subject, then Documents, then on the first folder titled 1. Remote Learning 2020-21. Choose the teacher’s name, then the year group, then the class.
Work will be organised into weekly or daily folders to help your child find the right tasks. Some teachers will use a READ ME FIRST document to explain the instructions and which files to open for each task.
Your Child's School Email Account:
Log into Sharepoint through the school website and click on WEB MAIL (the picture of the envelopes). Your child should be checking their emails at least once per day as teachers will send personalised tasks, messages and feedback directly to their email.
Students can also use their email account to email their teacher to ask for support or send them their completed work. There is a list of teachers’ email addresses here.
Other frequently used resources and sites are listed below. If a teacher introduces a new resource or website, an explanation as to how they are accessed will be provided.
- Teams: Live
- Teams: Streams
- Teams: Forms
- Microsoft Office 365
- YouTube Channels
- Oak National Academy
- Seneca Learning
How will my child be taught remotely?
Lessons will be set and delivered following the same curriculum that students are following in school, with tasks adapted to fit with the remote learning environment.
Each lesson will be broken down into manageable tasks and each task should have a clear time limit stated, with the whole lesson not exceeding one hour.
Increasingly, teachers are working with Microsoft Teams to offer live lessons to students who are working remotely so that they can join the lesson at the same time as the students in school are having their lesson. However, our preferred remote learning model is one of blended learning which will be a combination of pre-recorded and/or live lessons together with written and independent learning opportunities set by teachers. Students will be invited to these live online Teams sessions by their teachers via their school email account. These lessons are only available where prior permission has been given by parents/carers or the child themselves if they are over the age 14.
The academy uses the on-line platforms listed above in a range of ways. The activities on the list below are examples – more specific details will be included in your child’s specific remote learning plan:
- Teams: Live: during these lessons students will be in ‘live lessons’ with a teacher and other members of class. This might be for an entire teaching hour or for shorter periods to enable students to work independently on tasks. This might be video/audio or audio/screen-share.
- Teams: Streams: this is a recorded lesson or a recorded PowerPoint session that students will work through.
- YouTube channels: staff will, at times, ask students to use recorded lessons and other learning materials.
- Curriculum based on-line resources: students will be directed to subject specific learning materials that can be used as instructed by the teacher.
- Home Learning booklets: provided by subjects/phase etc. It is important for parents to appreciate that not all learning will (or indeed should) be on-line).
We fully understand that students might not have access to a computer/laptop or might have access at specific times of day.
We have consulted with all of our parents/carers and students on their access to online learning and devices at home. We will endeavour to provide a device and access to the Internet where the need has been identified. If you need any further support in giving your child access to the online learning resources, please contact the school at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students will also be able to access on-line materials outside of specific lesson time using the instructions to access Sharepoint as outlined above.
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?
Students are expected to engage positively with remote learning:
- Teachers will continue to set work for lessons based on the normal school curriculum and timetable of five hour-long lessons per day.
- Our remote learning model is one of blended learning as outlined above. Therefore, students will not be expected to be in front of a live lesson for 5 hours each day – in any case, this practice is not educationally sound.
In supporting their child, parents/carers must appreciate that:
- Younger students will require more support and guidance at home.
- Students will have received guidance on approaching remote learning including on how to structure their day. Further guidance is available here: Working From Home Powerpoint
- In an ideal world, students will have an appropriate workspace with a computer. They will also have a settled routine that fits into the academy timetable.
- We do not live in an ideal world. A considerable degree of flexibility is required.
- Students will inevitably feel anxious about their work and must be encouraged to contact a member of staff at the academy if they have not understood an aspect of their learning or if they are not able to access it. There is a list of teachers’ email addresses here.
- Staff are on your side. They want the best for your child.
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
Our academy will work in partnership with you to ensure that your child is engaging with the work:
- Teachers will take registers when in live lessons and report any ongoing absences to the pastoral team. Parents will be informed if there are concerns.
- Teachers will set work that needs handing in. If work is not handed in, or is not of the expected standard, the usual pastoral systems are in place at either subject or year group level. Parents will be informed if there are concerns.
- Each subject will have different requirements for the frequency of handing in work – this will be dependent on the hours a week they are studied.
- Teachers use a wide range of assessments in a lesson to gauge whether a student has understood the work. Any immediate concerns will be addressed with the student. If there are deeper concerns, parents will be informed directly.
- Reporting home will be maintained throughout the year and, unless there are notified, will follow the published timelines.
How will you assess my child’s work and progress?
In line with academy feedback procedures, teachers will regularly use a wide variety of methods to provide feedback to students to enable them to progress with their understanding and skills development. Not only will this serve to determine progress and developmental steps to improve, but it will also allow teachers to monitor the ‘attendance’ and engagement with the remote learning set as outlined above. Where there are concerns, individual teachers will contact parents to make them aware.
For example, online quizzes, self-assessed tasks, modelled answers/tasks which demonstrate expectations of quality, content and approach, consolidation tasks, directed questioning and written teacher feedback are all utilised throughout lessons to ensure students understand how they can improve their work.
A wide variety of methods and online resources are being used by teachers to enable them to monitor students’ progress and give feedback to support progression, including Microsoft Forms, GCSEPod, Seneca Learning.
Teachers will continue to use these methods, tailoring them to the remote learning environment as necessary. Where students are able to take part in live lessons via Microsoft Teams, teachers will be able to respond directly to questions and give feedback on any ideas that are shared as part of the lesson.
Where a class in school is completing a more formal style of assessment or where a teacher intends to assess the work of the students in the classroom, those students working remotely will be asked to submit their work via email to be assessed in the same way.
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 those 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.
Students on the SEND register will receive a weekly phone call from a member of the SEND team to support their learning. This will be tailored to the student’s individual needs, so could cover wellbeing, organisation, workload and specific discussion of individual subjects and tasks. The SEND team will meet regularly to review these students and plan additional provision where needed.
REMOTE EDUCATION FOR SELF-ISOLATING STUDENTS
If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?
The approach to learning will be broadly similar:
- Students will access curriculum materials that are consistent with those being used in class
- If appropriate, students may be invited to join a live class with video and or audio.
- Students will be set normal homework/extension activities that will be marked once submitted. Where a class in school is completing a more formal style of assessment or where a teacher intends to assess the work of the students in the classroom, those students working remotely will be asked to submit their work via email to be assessed in the same way.