This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to students and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education if local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.
For details of what to expect where individual students are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.
Remote learning will for most students be accessed through Google Classroom. Teachers will be aiming to teach the vast majority of lessons live and we intend to offer the full breadth of our curriculum to our students. For some students, in discussion with school, there may be support for accessing devices to give the access required and for some, with specific needs, there may be a modification to provide tailored resources, such as printed work packs, should that be necessary.
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 subject areas by merging remote learning groups in order to be able to staff the Vulnerable Children/Critical Worker Children students’ provision adequately.
In specialist subjects we have looked carefully at how best they can be taught, and examples include: PE where a range of practical activities are offered to be completed during the remote lesson such as a workout, a dance routine or skills challenges. In Food Technology videos are used to show skills and allow students to get active and bake. In Music and Drama, we follow the same scheme of learning as if students were in school. Opportunities for practical work are selected carefully during remote learning such as drafting, annotating and videoing a monologue which is then shared with the teacher through Google Classroom for feedback. In addition, the opportunity is taken to watch as much theatre and live music as part of the lessons. We access “Digital Theatre Plus” for this recorded material.
We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take students broadly the following number of hours each day:
The platform we are using to provide remote education is G-Suite and in particular the Google Classroom element. Staff and students have also become more secure in their use of Google Meet (video conferencing) and functions within that such as Jamboard, polls, the chat function and other Google applications such as docs, sheets and slides.
In addition to this we have the range of externally provided online resources used to support students’ progress in subjects. These include Hegarty Maths, GCSE Pod, Lexia, Sparx, Accelerated Reader and IDL Numeracy and Literacy. We also provide access to Trust based revision websites for GCSE and A Level subjects and Trust Subject Director led lessons shared through our restricted YouTube channel which have a very comprehensive bank of pre-planned and recorded video lessons.
We recognise that some students may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those students to access remote education:
We will work tirelessly with our Trust to ensure we have sufficient DFE devices to issue or lend Chromebooks to students as well as redirecting internally sourced devices and Local Authority devices.
Where possible and appropriate we will keep parents and carers informed about where they can find more information.
We will also use our safe and well calls system and our remote learning access calls (completed by Learning Managers) to identify students and families where provision does not meet a suitable standard to access remote learning effectively. However, following the Government announcement on 06/01/21 students who cannot access remote learning due to a lack of suitable device can join our in school provision.
Devices will be issued following identification of need. The allocation of a device and the confirmation of collection is through our Visitor Reception. Where possible access to or the ability to lend devices that enable an internet connection (for example, routers or dongles) will be processed, and also there will be communication on our website as to where parents and carers can find more information.
Due to reduced staffing levels we have advised families to contact the academy using the firstname.lastname@example.org email address which is monitored constantly, during working hours, by administrative staff either in school or at home.
Pupils can submit work to their teachers by dropping it off at the academy or posting it if they do not have online access. In certain circumstances it may be possible for work to be collected by academy staff. Examples here include exam subject students and also some of our SEND students within our Enhanced Resource Provision.
Our preferred method for teaching is live lessons as we believe this keeps the continuity of contact, albeit remote, between staff and students going. It also allows for other important facets of the provision such as praise and instant feedback. We have moved “Star Students of the Week” in school for Vulnerable Children/Critical Worker Children (referred to here as STARS) and also to now include “Home Learning Heroes” showcasing achievements of those students working at home.
Examples of our remote teaching approaches include:
We expect all students to access remote learning. Whilst we recognise it is not the same as, and we would much prefer to be able to offer, face to face teaching we are working hard to mirror our school provision as closely as possible. We have:
Very high expectations for pupils’ engagement with remote education and expect access to every lesson of their timetabled week.
Expectations that standards of behaviour are exemplary to ensure our remote learning is as effective as possible. We also want to encourage as much collaboration within our live lessons as possible which requires students to be respectful of each other and act in a responsible manner.
Expectations that all students engage in lessons by answering questions when asked, either verbally or in writing through functions like Google Meet’s ‘chat’ or applications like Jamboard. We also expect them to complete work to the best of their abilities.
Expectations of parental support in, for example, setting routines to support their son/daughter’s education. To support this, we have adopted a single school day model removing the staggered breaks and lunches we would have were we open. This should support students and families in establishing structure and routine.
Students attend the full 5 lessons and tutor time. Punctuality standards must be adhered to as we believe that this helps provide additional and necessary structure to their day.
Through our structured series of calls and contact points and through the availability of our email enquiries line we hope we will be able to support all of our families to overcome access issues to remote learning.
Teachers complete live registers at the start of each lesson. Attendance is monitored by SLT and Learning Managers and absentees are contacted to log on and attend. This also helps troubleshoot access issues. The tracking system we use allows real time attendance tracking to be possible.
Teaching staff will check pupils’ engagement with remote education by using a range of teaching strategies. These may include extended writing tasks posted on the Google Classroom, exemplar questions from past papers followed by group solution modelling, comments asking for responses in the chat function, Jamboard collaboration tasks and targeted or randomly generated questioning using our Teacher Toolkit.
Where we have a concern regarding engagement or behaviour we will contact home and discuss this with the family. In the first instance this will either be teacher contact or Learning Manager contact. SLT will also support this process. Lessons are recorded so engagement and behaviour can be monitored as well as providing a catalogue of lessons that can be used for future learners.
Assessment of students’ progress and giving feedback is crucial to the success of remote learning.
One effective method begins with modeling good practice and then providing an opportunity for students to respond or complete their own task. We use a variety of methods to model such as pre-prepared videos e.g. art skills in paint brush use or pastel crayons and workings out to maths questions.
We are able to use Google forms to assess and feedback on pupils’ work as it provides both instant feedback by students/class group to the teacher, and more importantly to the students.
We will establish work tasks in Google Classroom to be handed in and marked. This can then receive individual feedback interspersed with whole class feedback. This may be delivered through modelling, a recording/video, an audio recording or a written response using a function on smartphones called speech to text.
Ongoing AfL (Assessment for Learning) is an integral part of teaching face to face and so we intend to keep that as an integral part of our teaching remotely. Examples include using the “polls” function of Google Meet, the “chat” function or a Jamboard. In addition we know that verbal feedback is crucial and this ties in with our approach to modelling and to praise.
Where possible we always want to provide our students with instant feedback on their work. This is partly due to the fact that we are not seeing them in person and so is even more important. Critical features of effective feedback are that it is timely and impactful. How this looks will differ from subject to subject.
Work submitted through Google Classroom will be assessed and the most appropriate way of feeding back determined by the teacher with feedback given in a timely manner.
We recognise that some students, for example 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. It is imperative that the support we provide in school, when fully open, is as closely replicated in remote learning settings.
We will work with families to deliver remote education for pupils with SEND by trying hard to remove access issues both technologically and academically
We would expect and will work hard to ensure those most at need of support are in school as part of our Vulnerable Children/Critical Worker Children provision. This way they can access support such Teaching Assistants. Where this is not possible Teaching Assistants will support through Google Classroom and “breakout” rooms in Google Meet which allow 121 or small group support. We would also support via phone calls from Teaching Assistants to support task access.
Where we have the resources, we will work hard to ensure our interventions continue to run remotely for our students. For example, our Literacy interventions in Years 7 and 8 run as a distinct lesson as if they were in school. This is competed through Lexia, IDL Numeracy, Accelerated Reader, Sparx and Hegarty Maths,
As the number of students self-isolating increased, we adopted a blended learning solution where teachers taught the lesson to some students face to face in the classroom with those self-isolating accessing from home. Similarly, staff self-isolating were able to access lessons and teach from home. This is something we became more skilled at over time and has served us well for this current remote provision.