Secondary: Remote learning update
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope this letter finds you well.
The information in this letter is intended to provide further clarity and transparency to students and parents or carers about what to expect over the next few weeks from remote learning whilst students remain at home.
We are constantly evaluating our remote teaching provision. In this letter I will explain the launch of an online form tutor period as well how welfare call will include checks on students’ engagement in learning at home.
I have set this letter out as a series of questions and answers for you to be informed and is also an easy reference for you to go back to.
Remote Learning: what is being taught to pupils at home?
Being educated remotely might look different from our standard approach of face-to-face teaching. Staff are working as hard as possible in order to provide high-quality teaching to your child. Lessons are pre-recorded and are posted in Microsoft Teams assignments along with all the resources required for your child to access the lesson and to carry out his/her work.
Lessons will include explained content through a video or series of videos - as said above, all pre-recorded. This enables the video content to be available for students to watch should they not be able to be online at the timetabled lesson time. We are giving families a degree of flexibility, especially if devices are shared.
Will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school?
Subjects are following the sequence of the spring term curriculum. We will endeavour to teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school, wherever possible and appropriate. However, we may need to make some adaptations in some subjects; for example, PE practical lessons and Art lessons, which require specialist equipment. In addition, some subjects may need to adapt the tasks they would have delivered in lessons, such as science experiments, so these can be accessed independently from teacher input. As we are following the spring curriculum 2021 in all year groups, it is important that your child engages, otherwise he/she risks falling behind in their learning.
What does my child require at home to access remote learning online?
- A device that can access the Internet, such as a laptop, desktop computer, tablet or smartphone (phones can be difficult to navigate to do work, so we suggest one of the others)
- It is ideal to have some pens, paper or a note book available to carry out learning activities
- A quiet space work without interruption is the ideal work environment; however, home life can be busy, so creating the best environment to learn in that you can provide is all we ask of you
If my child has his/her own device – If your child has access to their own device and the Internet, then we would expect him/her to be accessing their remote learning during school hours following the timetable for his/her year group and using the prerecorded resources.
If my child shares a device with other members of the family – If your child has Internet access, shares a device and is not able to log on all day, every day, we would expect him/her to access his/her timetable as close to the lesson time as possible via Teams, and to complete all lessons each week following the timetable for his/her year group using the prerecorded resources.
If your child does not have access to a device or has no Internet, please let the school know. Hopefully, we may be able to obtain further devices from the government for student use and we can add you to a waiting list. We cannot promise a device. A tailored hard copy resource pack will be available for students by request. Please let the school know if you require a hard copy pack via our enquiry email.
What is expected from my child?
It’s important that your child engages with home learning and keeps, as much as possible, to the timetable that we have posted on our school website. Link below:
Your child is expected to carry out 5 hours of lessons per working day (there is some flexibility in following the exact timetable according to device access- see above).
We have also uploaded onto the school website knowledge organisers to support your child to work independently.
If your child is not engaging with the learning, we will use the following strategies to provide additional support:
- Phone call home through our weekly welfare calls or through our pastoral staff team
From Monday 18th January will be tracking lesson engagement in more detail. Subject teachers will be monitoring engagement in subject work, especially through short lesson evaluations that your child will submit to the teachers and this will feed through to parents via the weekly phone calls.
We understand that remote learning can be very challenging for parents and students for a whole range of different reasons. As a result, we know that there is likely to be a variance in the engagement of pupils with remote learning or their ability to engage independently with the work provided.
Wherever possible, please encourage your child to complete all of the work set to the best of their ability on the day that it is given. This will stop work from building up and them feeling overwhelmed.
What you can do to help engage your child in learning at home.
We appreciate that home schooling may present some challenges for you. We kindly ask for your support as best as you can so that we can continue to provide high-quality education for your child during this time.
We do not expect you to watch your child all day, and we would not expect parents/carers to get involved in all remote lessons in place of our teachers. It would be really helpful if you can take an active role in your child’s learning by asking them about their day and what work they’ve done as well as encouraging engagement.
Our top tips to support your child to engage in learning:
- Try to encourage your child to be ready and dressed for the start of the school day (by 8.30am), and to keep to their timetable
- Distinguish between weekdays and weekends, and make it clear when the school day is over, to separate home and school life
- Plan breaks, lunchtime and exercise into the day to help keep your child active
How long are the lessons?
Lessons will last one hour, which may include time for students to complete tasks during the video (for example the teacher may ask students to pause the lesson for 10 minutes to complete a task before the student starts the lesson again to review it). Short breaks within the hour are fine to take and will help your child to focus.
When are lessons available?
Lessons will be placed in the relevant ‘Team’ area each day and available in time for your child’s lesson. Lessons will remain in the ‘Team’ after that (a period of time may be set) so that students can catch up later if they need to or can go back and review their learning again.
Will my child still have form time tutor time sessions?
We are launching a form tutor period (a live check-in/keeping in touch session) the week of 18th January to year 7 initially and then we intend to roll this out to students in all year groups.
This will be a live session of about 20 minutes led by the form tutor staff during the form time period from 8.30am. It is an opportunity to check pupil welfare and to carry out work on personal, social and health education, which will support all our students.
Please ask your year 7 child to look out for a Teams invitation to the session. The invitation will be sent out early in the new working week.
I will keep you up-to-date with how we will roll out the sessions to other year groups.
I hope you have found the letter helpful. Please do let us know if you are having any difficulties with remote learning, or if you have any questions. You can contact your child’s form tutor or Achievement Coordinator via the enquiry email about remote learning. If you have a subject specific question, you may wish to direct your question directly to your child’s class teacher or the subject leader. Please state clearly the name of the member of staff you wish to communicate with, your name and your child’s full name, year group and form group name.
Thank you for your continued support at this time.
Mrs A Lloyd
Head of School- Secondary and Sixth Form