Remote Learning Strategy and FAQs

Tutshill C of E Primary School

Remote Learning Strategy updated Jan 2021 due to national lockdown

Section 1 Teaching and Learning Term 3 remotely and at school

Section 2 Supporting children and parents with remote learning

Section 3 Children in school

Section 4 Teams Meeting

Section 5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Section 1: Teaching and Learning in Term 3 remotely and at school:

The January 2021 national lockdown is not the same as the March 2020 lockdown for staff or for parents.

From March to June 2020, schools provided care provision in school and links to home learning activities, which were optional. In June and July 2020, teachers taught some year groups and provided links to home learning activities, which were optional. From September to December 2020, teachers have been teaching normally and provided a closely matched remote curriculum to individual children who had to isolate. Now, schools are set up for providing substantial remote learning, with an expectation that parents can facilitate it.

January 2021

Children who come to school will follow the same remote learning planning and activities as those at home, supported by their usual class bubble staff.  There are higher numbers of children attending school. The school operates at around 30% capacity most days.

The role of teachers is to plan, resource and oversee the delivery of the curriculum for parents to facilitate at home and teacher and teaching assistants to facilitate at school. This will ensure that all children will be completing the same activities and that when children return to school, they will not have gaps in their learning.

This is what the Government expect schools to provide:

‘When being taught remotely, your child’s school is expected to set meaningful and ambitious work each day in several different subjects. Schools are expected to provide remote education that includes either recorded or live direct teaching and should be of equivalent length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school. As a minimum that is:

  • 3 hours a day for Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2 when pupils are aged between 5 and 7)
  • 4 hours a day for KS2 (years 3-6 when children are aged between 7 and 11)

Those hours include both direct teaching and time for pupils to complete tasks or assignments independently.’

Our school’s provision incorporates the online learning platforms we subscribe to Tapstry, eSchools and SeeSaw; resources promoted by the DfE (eg Oak Academy) and is informed by DfE’s guidance for remote learning. We have chosen the platforms as both are accessible on a range of devices, and also on iOS and Android. Should you not have access to this, please contact the school office where we may be able to arrange for parents to collect a hard pack of the work.

 

The school’s offer must be in line with the DfE’s Guidance for Full Opening (Section 5):

  • use a curriculum sequence that allows access to high-quality online and offline resources and teaching videos and that is linked to the school’s curriculum expectations
  • give access to high quality remote education resources
  • select the online tools that will be consistently used across the school in order to allow interaction, assessment and feedback and make sure staff are trained in their use
  • provide printed resources, such as textbooks and workbooks, for pupils who do not have suitable online access
  • recognise that younger pupils and some pupils with SEND may not be able to access remote education without adult support and so schools should work with families to deliver a broad and ambitious curriculum

When teaching pupils remotely, we expect schools to:

  • set assignments so that pupils have meaningful and ambitious work each day in a number of different subjects
  • teach a planned and well-sequenced curriculum so that knowledge and skills are built incrementally, with a good level of clarity about what is intended to be taught and practised in each subject
  • provide frequent, clear explanations of new content, delivered by a teacher in the school or through high-quality curriculum resources or videos
  • gauge how well pupils are progressing through the curriculum, using questions and other suitable tasks and set a clear expectation on how regularly teachers will check work
  • enable teachers to adjust the pace or difficulty of what is being taught in response to questions or assessments, including, where necessary, revising material or simplifying explanations to ensure pupils’ understanding
  • plan a programme that is of equivalent length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school

Remote learning includes:

  • Consolidation/practice of prior knowledge (eg Letters and sounds/arithmetic)
  • Direct instruction of new content eg purposeful recorded teaching input from class teacher. Live Teams sessions, Oak Academy video lesson, White Rose lessons, Letters and Sounds lessons
  • Independent practice-eg recording answers on paper/worksheets and exercise books.
  • Checking for understanding (The platforms we use enable teachers to provide direct and personal feedback to all children as work is returned).
  • Staff are currently in school for their normal hours to facilitate this remote learning and to provide for those in school.
  • Class teachers have mapped what would usually be taught in Term 3. To ensure the same coverage, teachers will plan and deliver teaching input videos to allow children to cover the new content that would have been taught in school.
  • Children who come to school will follow the same remote learning planning and activities as those at home, supported by their usual class bubble staff.
  • Children needing support to complete tasks, can make contact with the class teacher through SeeSaw and a response will be actioned by the class teacher.
  • Three times a week children at home and school can attend Teams meetings, protocol sent to parents in advance of meetings and also remains on school website https://www.tutshillcofeschool.co.uk/website/guidance_for_online_learning_meetings/533332
  • These Teams meetings will cover a range of activities: PSHE sessions, story time, arithmetic sessions and phonics sessions, to name a few.
  • Should children not attend the Teams meeting and have not accessed learning, staff will telephone the family.
  • We have a robust pastoral offer for children and families needing additional support, if they are not on site. A timetable of telephone call and additional Teams meetings has been agreed with these families.

Section 2: Supporting children and parents with remote learning:

Weekly timetables are on Tapestry and the eSchools page. This is in line with the yearly overviews and skills webs that feature on the school website.  

Each day, the children are set 5 activities with teaching prompts, key questions are also provided for children working independently or for parents to support, and resources. The children are able to complete the tasks and return, either on line, or can take a photograph of the activity and return. Teachers and teaching assistants are available all day, Monday to Friday. Teachers, excluding their PPA time, provide direction to the children and often, not always, will be supported by the teaching assistant.  The teacher is then able to reply to children throughout the day, as children return work. Feedback and support will come through written comment to the children and parents or through a voice note, again supporting the child/parents and providing next steps. Parents can also use this function to request clarification on a task.

Timetables have been offered, however, we are aware of the pressure of home schooling and working from home. These timetables and the order in which tasks are completed, are flexible. The activities will be there for children/parents to access at a time that is suitable.  To allow staff to stay on top of daily feedback and to continue to plan meaningful lessons moving the learning forward, we ask the work is returned within 24 hours of it being set.  Outside this time, it will still be recognised and looked at but not always given deep feedback. Maths and English tasks will be prioritised.

Playstation and Xbox can be used to access the internet and mobile phones can be cast to Smart TVs. We have a limited stock of laptops/ipads which we are loaning out and urge parents to contact us if we can help. The key details are as follows:

Xbox

  1. Plug a keyboard into the Xbox USB slot.
  2. Go to my games and apps.
  3. Find and select Microsoft Edge. 
  4. Navigate to your online learning platform.

PlayStation

  1. Identify the PlayStation internet browser icon (WWW with dots around it).
  2. Press the PlayStation logo on the controller.
  3. Go to the library and find options for games and applications.
  4. Go to applications and you will find the internet browser.
  5. Navigate to your online learning platform and log in as usual.

Some parents have asked for paper based learning activities and this is arranged if a child cannot access the planned lessons online. If they can watch the lesson, they should not have to print out too much at home, if anything. If there is a worksheet suggested, children can record their answers on blank paper or in an exercise book instead for a parent to check. We encourage parents to contact school for exercise books/pens/pencils etc.

Wellbeing Activities- Every week, five ideas for wellbeing are shared with parents and children - both in school and at home.  These ideas are based on the '5 Ways to Wellbeing' - an approach which was researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation and which is promoted by the NHS and various mental health charities.  The 5 Ways to Wellbeing are: Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Take Notice and Give.  The ideas we share as a school are put together with children and families in mind and are suitable for the primary age group; children can complete activities individually, with their siblings or as a family.  As well as writing our own activity suggestions, ideas are gathered from a variety of sources, including the ELSA support website, Mentally Healthy Schools and Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning.

We have added top tips for supporting children during remote education, including links to information about the Reading Well booklist that supports mental health. We have also provided information on how to access online resources and services through your local library and online support for parents and carers to keep children and young people safe from online harm.

Section 3: Children in school:

School’s risk assessment and procedures are extremely robust and are in place to reduce the risk of transmission. Our risk assessment has been updated to reflect Tier 4 status and this was communicated before the start of Term 3. All staff are doing everything they can to keep children safe and it is imperative that we all do as much as we can to protect our bubbles.

Parents are asked the following:

  • Please only send your child to school if they cannot be cared for at home. If your child’s teacher falls ill, the provision of remote learning will be disrupted too.
  • Please do not send your child to school if they have been in contact with someone who has become symptomatic or has tested positive.
  • Please do not send your child to school if you/they have any symptoms themselves and get a test.
  • Please wear a mask when collecting/dropping off (unless exempt); adhere to social distancing and do not mingle.
  • Please adhere to all the rules outside school, to further reduce the likelihood of cases coming in.
  • Please adhere to the home-school agreement as this includes Covid-19 rules.

At any time, we may need to implement a full or partial closure due to a positive result or staffing capacity. We will notify stakeholders as soon as we can. Please note, this notification may come outside of school hours.

Section 4: Teams Meetings

Teams Meeting: time and day

The meetings will take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at the following times:

  • Years 5 and 6: 9:30am
  • Years 3: Monday and Friday: 10.00am and Wednesday 2pm
  • Year 4: 10:00am
  • Years 1 and 2: 10:30am
  • Reception: 11:00am

Please adhere to the following rules when attending the virtual meeting. Failure to do so will result in the pupil not being invited to further meetings and a conversation with the parent/carer.

In order for us to ensure the meeting runs smoothly and the children also kept safe online, the following rules must apply. In joining the Teams meeting, you and your child are agreeing to the rules below.

Rules for Teams meetings

  • The parent/carer must make sure their child and other members of the household aware the video lessons are happening.
  • The children must be logged on through their parent/carer email.
  • Staff, children and other members of the household must wear appropriate clothing.
  • Devices should be used in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and where possible be against a neutral background.
  • Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background.
  • The same expectations apply for remote teaching and conversations as normal school conduct.
  • Staff will only ever video call pupils with prior agreement with parents and the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher.  This will always be at a pre-arranged time.  The times of all video calls and lessons will be published on eSchools/Seesaw and logged.
  • Parents/carers will need to appear on screen at the start of the lesson to confirm they give consent for their child to be part of the group conversation and will remain present in the room.
  • If the lesson/meeting is for an individual child, the parent must be near the child when the meeting/lesson is taking place.
  • If the teacher has any concerns about children (or other members of the household) using unsuitable language, dress, location, the conversation will be ended and concerns will be recorded and passed to the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher.
  • Live sessions will be kept to a reasonable length and will take place during normal lesson times.

Section 5 FAQs

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

For details of what to expect where individual pupils are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.

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.

Q. 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?

A. In lockdowns, we now provide the same curriculum remotely as we do in school.
 

Remote teaching and study time each day

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

A. We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take pupils a minimum of the following number of hours each day. Children work at different rates, so please talk to your child’s teacher with any queries and make use of the other resources that are suggested on the website too.

Key Stage 1

3 hours

Key Stage 2

4 hours

Accessing remote education

Q. How will my child access any online remote education teachers are providing?

Reception Class:

Online learning will be provided to pupils through Tapestry. Activities will be set and staff will be able to respond and comment on work that is sent back. Please use the class email should you have any questions.

Tapestry is the usual online platform for Reception class and we know our parents are familiar with this.

We are aware that due to high levels of users across the country, speeds on the platform may be slower than normal. We are hoping this will level out over the next few days.

Year 1 to Year 6:

We have made the decision to continue to put our daily tasks and resources onto our eSchools pages whilst asking the children to post their work onto Seesaw. This worked extremely well during the last lockdown as the eSchools platform gives teachers the space to provide plenty of detail for the children to follow. The way it is set-up also allows us to organise the page so that the most relevant information is always at the top for children and parents to find and we are able to ensure the resources and files needed are clearly accessible.

In addition to the activities and recorded videos, have Microsoft Teams meetings for our pupils. Parents will receive a link to the meeting and we will be able to meet three times a week, on set days at set times. We are using the parent emails that exist on our systems. We are unable to use pupil emails due to safeguarding requirements.

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

A. 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:

We will provide 1:1 support to parents where there are difficulties accessing online learning and arrange a solution on a case by case basis. This could include:

  • Support with how to use mobile/gaming devices to watch lessons and how to record responses/their learning in an alternative way
  • Loan of laptop or tablet to pupils
  • Support with extra data allowance or connectivity on request
  • Providing printed materials needed if they do not have online access
  • Supporting pupils to submit work to their teachers if they do not have online access

Q. How will my child be taught remotely?

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

Some examples of remote teaching approaches:

  • Planned activities, in line with the school curriculum, on Tapestry, ESchool/SeeSaw
  • recorded teaching (e.g. video/audio recordings made by teachers, BBC Bitesize Oak National Academy lessons, Letters and Sounds videos,)
  • access to learning platforms/online resources the school subscribes to (Reading Eggs, Times table Rockstars)
  • use of White Rose maths, BBC Bitesize, Times Tables Rockstars etc to consolidate learning, enable mastery and to introduce new learning
  • printed paper packs produced by teachers (e.g. workbooks, worksheets) if required
  • commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences
  • Live sessions through Microsoft Teams

Engagement and feedback

Q. What are school’s expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that parents and carers should provide at home?

A.
  • it is expected that children will work through all activities on the timetable, watching the lessons and completing the activities set
  • parents are expected to access the timetable on the website and enable their child to work remotely, so that they do not fall behind
  • parents are encouraged to set good routines and expectations to support their child’s education
  • parents are expected to communicate regularly with the class teachers, particularly if they are experiencing problems with the remote learning
  • We are fully aware that some parents are working at home and understand that some parents will find this a very difficult time. Please contact us if we can offer any support.
  • It is important that children engage and return work; failure to do so will mean we cannot fully assess the level of understanding your child has of the task. Without this, we may plan lessons that your child cannot access as they have not followed the sequence of lessons.
  • Teachers are still assessing children so that we can provide full curriculum coverage. We won’t be able to reteach missed content when school reopens.
  • Please support your child in completing the activities in the time frame, so your child does not fall behind.

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

A.
  • Teachers can see via the learning platforms Tapestry and SeeSaw whether activities have been completed
  • Teachers will be on line during working hours to ensure they can provide timely and personalised feedback to your child
  • Teachers will phone parents/carer’s when needed and inform them of any concerns about lack of engagement
  • Teachers will monitor emails daily and reply to support parents/carers with queries
  • Children that are not on Teams meetings will be telephoned also- welfare and safeguarding checks.

How will teachers 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, verbal or written, or the use of the ‘like’ icon. Our approach to feeding back on pupils’ work is as follows:

  • Teachers can see via the learning platforms Tapestry and SeeSaw whether activities have been completed
  • Teachers will be on line during working hours to ensure they can provide immediate and personalised feedback to your children
  • Teachers will phone parents/carer’s when needed and inform them of any concerns about lack of engagement
  • Teachers will monitor emails daily and reply to support parents/carer’s with queries
  • Staff will be using the assessment package to identify if the objective has been taught, if it has been understood or exceeded.
  • Staff may provide next steps in their feedback
  • Staff may provide a voice note of next step or how to improve
  • Staff will use the assessment tracking system to ensure that we are covering planned curriculum objectives

Additional support for pupils with particular needs

Q. How will staff work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?

A. We recognise that 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:

  • SEN children are catered for within the class teachers’ planning and provision and some activities are open-ended so all can respond
  • Resources are loaned eg phonics mats/counters/writing slope if used at school
  • EHCP/My Plan+/TAF/TAC meetings will continue via Teams meetings or telephone calls
  • EHCP children are invited into school to have support.
  • EHCP- live teaching sessions are offered to allow continued provision if the child is at home.

Q. What will remote education look like for self-isolating pupils when the majority return?

A. Where individual pupils need to self-isolate, but the majority of their peer group is in school, we will revert to how we worked in the Autumn term of 2020 (ie teachers will revert to planning and teaching in school and providing a timetable with comparable activities for anyone at home.) Please refer to the ‘Home learning Matrix’ on the school website https://www.tutshillcofeschool.co.uk/website/home_blended_learning_matrix/506613