Providing excellent educational experience, including pastoral support, when remote learning is required.
By building on our experience, honed during the Covid pandemic, we believe the school is now in a very favourable position to deliver an excellent educational experience, including pastoral support, when the need for individual or group remote learning is required. If a student needs to self-isolate or has a medical need that may lead to a prolonged absence, the school will provide synchronous delivery of lessons via Microsoft Teams so that the student never misses the opportunity to be part of the learning within the school-based classroom even though they are at home.
In terms of when online provision goes live, it has been agreed that resources should be ready as soon as possible for the delivery of online teaching and learning. But we remind both students and their parents that it is likely, in some cases, that there will be a ‘breathing space’ of 24 hours between when the school is informed of a child having to self-isolate and the start of online lessons. The same 24-hour leeway period also stands in the unlikely event that the school has to close prior to any potential lockdown.
Teaching staff have been fully trained to be able to support remote learners in order to ensure not only their engagement and involvement in lessons, but via uploaded work and assessment. Teachers are also able to provide feedback to remote learners and maintain good levels of student progress.
When the school is subject to enforced closure as it was during lockdown, online provision and continued pastoral support and signposting are also maintained with all pupils. For those who may be disadvantaged, the school ensures that they are equipped with the necessary hardware to access both online and blended learning.
At the end of any extended closure, the school prepares for the return to normal operation by employing aspects of the Recovery Curriculum and ensuring students provide feedback to departmental leads as to where gaps in their knowledge may exist so that teaching and learning can reflect this and provide both timely and specific support where required.
Parents have praised our approach to remote learning in the past and continue to provide positive feedback when more recent, personalised cases of online provision have been needed (see below).
We also endeavour to provide remote learning to support students who may not be able to attend lessons for a significant medical reason (other than Covid). However, this may not always result in access to online learning. Instead, it may be that lessons are uploaded onto Google Classrooms, or Microsoft Teams, work sent home via email or another form of provision. The reasons for this are:
- If the student is ill or recovering from surgery or other intervention, attending an online lesson may not be the most appropriate action. Indeed, it may be counter-productive at a time when the student needs to rest and get their strength back.
- Some cases of absence will be less pressing in terms of the need for online lessons compared with others (e.g. a student in Year 7 with a minor fracture, as opposed to one in exam years who may have a severe clinical vulnerability preventing them from attending school).
- There may be a surge in requests for online lessons from a class or year group, meaning there is potential for an individual teacher or groups of teachers to be overwhelmed having to manage a significant number of students both online and in the classroom.
It is important to stress that we have lots of experience of supporting students when they are absent and are committed to ensuring work is available to limit the impact associated with prolonged absence and recovery. Work provided by email, Google Classroom or MS Teams has proved very effective at keeping students up-to-date and should not be viewed as a lesser option. For some lessons, it could be the most appropriate and effective means of learning and for students, one that may be more suited to a period of recovery, as it allows for students to access and complete work at a pace that is appropriate to this. Furthermore, it also assists the teacher and student, allowing both to track work submitted and assignments/activities that are completed, thereby providing information for both parties as to where any possible gaps in knowledge are.
Taking the above into consideration and to be fair to students and staff alike, if your child is going to be off school for a prolonged period (at least two weeks) other than for Covid, we kindly ask that parents contact the Attendance Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving as much information as possible about the illness or surgery and the approximate time they will be absent from school. Requests will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the same member of the Senior Team ensuring that each one is looked at and treated fairly, and the response is in line with similar requests.
The sooner parents inform us, the sooner we can make a decision, so that whatever provision is decided upon, you will know of it in advance and teaching staff can be informed and prepare for this with sufficient notice.
The school politely requests that parents do not call the school in these circumstances or ask your child to speak to individual teachers to arrange for remote provision but instead, follow the process outlined above.
Requirements for the effective running of remote learning
Attendance at all online lessons is compulsory and students should join their lesson punctually using the email link sent to them from their teacher or following an individual call to them. If a student knows they are going to be absent from the lesson with a valid reason, notice must be given via email to their teacher explaining the reason why.
High standards of behaviour and co-operation which would be expected from students in the classroom are also expected online. (Further details can be seen in The Protocol for Online Teaching & Learning).
Students who know in advance that IT accessibility will be an ongoing problem are required to let their Head of Learning know so that contingency arrangements can be put in place to support remote teaching and learning.
Students are expected to complete all work and homework that staff set and evidence this where required using either Google Classrooms, email or CamScanner.
The online lesson is between the student and the teacher and nobody else. Parents and family members are requested to respect the online student and teacher session and not to get into conversations with the student or teacher whilst sessions are underway.
Parents and/or family members are not to make any comments verbal or in writing about the content of the lesson nor should they access the student’s Microsoft Teams account or email.
Parents are expected to ensure that their son/daughter is punctual to and attends all online lessons and are familiar with the expectations for Behaviour for Learning as set out in the Protocol for Online Teaching and Learning.