Since the first national lockdown in March 2020, we have provided all students with high quality lessons for every lesson that they are timetabled. As we move into this academic year, our remote learning strategy has to evolve based on the context of the pandemic. We know students self-isolating at home are likely to have Covid, rather than being a close contact of somebody who has tested positively. This means that many students will not be well enough to access work during part, or all of their period of isolation. Therefore we are requesting that parents inform us when it is appropriate to send work.
As with all of our teaching, learning and assessment strategies, our remote learning is driven by evidenced informed practice from the Education Endowment Foundation (available to download below).
Our remote learning strategy is based on 4 scenarios:
Full lockdown where staff and students are at home - all lessons will be provided for and be a combination of live lessons and recorded presentations which will include videoed voice overs of PowerPoints or slides through the use of Microsoft Teams or Stream. This will incorporate modelling and teacher explanations, and also allow students to pause and rewind if required.
Full year group bubbles sent home – this could be all year groups or individual ones, but staff are able to attend school as normal. Our strategy will be to deliver Teams live lessons from the desktop computer in our timetabled room.
Partial lockdown and groups of self-isolators - where a selection of students and staff are unable to come into school, but school is fully operational. All lessons will be provided for students self-isolating and be uploaded onto Teams or emailed directly to the student. This includes a range of different remote learning strategies such as inviting the student to participate in the lesson live, video recorded presentations, PowerPoint lessons, tasks via Microsoft Teams and interactive online learning programmes. Please watch the guides below which explains how students access their work.
A small proportion of students are absent with covid – parents and students are encouraged to inform us when they are well enough to complete work. This will be managed carefully via our pastoral teams to ensure a suitable amount of remote learning is available for those well enough to access it.
What does remote learning look like in the school?
Our remote learning strategy relates directly to our ethos of developing students as independent and lifelong learners. Therefore, we encourage subjects to use a combination of video recordings, live lessons, lesson tasks and online programmes which exposes them to a diverse range of experiences at this stage; which we believe is developmental, motivational and more engaging for students working at home. Although we provide students with every timetabled lesson when they are self-isolating, we trust our department experts to use what they believe, is the best form of remote provision for the students that they teach.
A lot of platforms we use, such as Microsoft Teams are industry standard now, consequently we are developing directly transferable skills which will help them make a positive contribution to their workplace and community in the future.
Students are also regularly in contact with their teachers via school email accounts, which can be accessed for additional and more directive support.
Video Recorded Presentation
We know that strategy 3 is the most frequent scenario we are faced with in school, and as a result we have increased the amount of online video content which include teacher explanations and modelling online. We use a variety of platforms to do this including Microsoft Teams, Stream, PowerPoint and YouTube.
An example from an English lesson is included below.
Many subjects have also invested in or are using online interactive programmes. The feedback from our students suggests that they are more confident when they have immediate access to the correct answers; therefore our online programmes help to facilitate this. The links to some are included below:
Unfortunately, remote learning provision in all subjects is a complex situation as this is impacted by the size of the department. It is easier for larger departments to share resources and produce recorded content than for other smaller teams. However equality of provision will be provided as all students who study the same subject will have access to the same remote learning programme.
For students who have additional needs, or those who have several periods of self-isolation, the pastoral teams will contact individuals through a keeping in touch email or via a Microsoft Teams call, on a more frequent basis to provide support to their learning and wellbeing.
Live lessons will make up part of our provision in strategy 1 and 2, but as in the case of recorded presentations, equality of provision will be achieved by ensuring all students who study the same subject will have access to the same remote learning. Therefore if a live lesson is being delivered to one English class in Year 11, all Year 11 students will have access to a live English lesson.
Recent research has suggested that the best form of remote learning is a combination of pre-recorded content which ensures explanations and teacher modelling is of high quality and a series of interactive activities for students to complete. There is much current educational debate regarding the effectiveness of live lessons, particularly when the teacher is teaching a class in front of them at the same time. Delivering a live lesson for students at home, whilst teaching a lesson can reduce the quality of learning for all, therefore if we believe the quality of provision is effected by this, we may revert back to work being set for students at home.
To ensure live lessons are effective students should be in an appropriate location, keep their video off and their sound muted unless they're contributing to the lesson as directed by their teacher. Students should also use headphones so that they're not broadcasting the sound to others for GDPR reasons. Students conduct during live lessons will be monitored and they may be muted or removed from the lesson if they are causing disruption to learning. We will contact you directly to let you know any concerns.
All live lessons are recorded, so that students can watch them which includes all of their contributions and the conversation window too. Some will only be available for 20 days on the Microsoft Team channel after the lesson, therefore if students have not managed to attend, they should download the video before it expires.
The current Government advice for high quality remote learning explains that it should be available on several platforms. All content that the school shares with students at home, can be accessed on a range of IT hardware which includes desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones with large display screens.
When contacting the school to confirm a student absence for covid, and they are well enough to work, please ensure you request IT if this is not available at home.
We have recently discovered that all content for Office 365 including email and Teams is also available on the PS4 and X Box. A short video via the link below explains how to do this:
Our strategy for remote learning, which asks students to follow their usual timetable, also allows flexibility for those who are sharing computer provision due to the context of the household. Students can choose to complete the work outside their usual hours if this helps in scenarios such as devices being shared.
If a family has no access to any device or internet provision, if you have not already done so, please contact your child’s Head of Year as there is provision in place to support those who require it. Hard copies of resources can also be made available via parental request to the Head of Year.
Remote Learning Assessment
Your child should complete work at home as if they were in class and share this with their teacher as they normally would who will look at this. If this a formal piece of work or a test, then it will be assessed by the teacher either by this work being sent via email or when your child returns to school. A lot of assessment we use for self-isolators incorporates regular low stakes quizzes, which are endorsed by many educationalists and are popular with students. This then impacts on future lesson planning and catch up sessions. If work is not formally assessed, teachers will acknowledge receipt of work via Teams or an email like notification.
We also track students who do and don’t complete remote learning lessons and keep you informed if there is a problem.
Pastoral Care and Wellbeing
Students who self-isolate will also participate in our pastoral curriculum and assembly programme. This will include video assemblies being shared with them, and also other initiatives such as ‘mental health Monday’ which encourages students to adopt strategies that promote positive wellbeing. Students will also receive further guides and information on how to do this whilst self isolating.
Three useful guides are included below to help students and parents access remote learning work.
1. How to access SharePoint and subject folders via a desktop or laptop.
2. How to access SharePoint and subject folders via a mobile device (example shown is from Year 9).
3. How to use Microsoft Teams - a guide for students and parents.
- Education Endowment Foundation Research on Remote Learning Download