Remote Education: Information for Parents
This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to families about what to expect from remote learning at St. Peter's C.E. Primary School where national or local restrictions require entire groups or the whole school to remain at home.
This information was written during the Spring term 2021 when schools were closed to most pupils. During that time, our remote learning provision changed significantly when compared to the #homelearning provision that families engaged with so fantastically well with during the Spring term 2020. Much of this information has been distributed to families via ParentMail or through the school newsletter. For details of what to expect where individual pupils are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.
What does a remote curriculum look like for my child?
On the curriculum page of our school website parents can find a curriculum letter from their child's class teacher giving details of the topic theme and cross-curricular learning planned for this term. As families will no doubt be aware, plans changed in January 2021 and the move to remote learning had an impact upon some elements of the curriculum for all learners. Class teachers still strive to teach the same curriculum remotely as they do in school wherever possible. However, some adaptations are necessary in some subjects, for example practical subjects such as science and art where resources may be limited at home.
How can my child access their learning?
Every child at St. Peter's has been provided with a username and password for a school Microsoft 365 account. These details must be kept secure and are specific to each individual child. Our school licencing agreement means that whilst pupils are on roll at St. Peter’s they can be granted access to a number of Microsoft apps for educational use including Teams.
Wherever possible, we recommend downloading the Microsoft Teams app to access Teams to avoid pupils always having to sign in through a web browser. Despite being a Microsoft piece of software, it is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
Most families gained some experience of using Microsoft Teams in the Spring term 2021. Whether at home or at school, every pupil at St. Peter's is part of a class ‘Team’ where they are able to access activities, engage with their class teacher submit learning and receive feedback.
How is my child taught remotely?
Class teachers use a range of approaches to teach pupils remotely through Microsoft Teams including:
- live sessions;
- recordings made by the class teachers;
- recordings made by education specialists such as White Rose Maths; and
- purposefully chosen websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas of the curriculum including video clips or sequences.
As part of teaching and learning, they deliver mathematics, reading, writing, phonics, spelling and topic activities as they would ordinarily do in class, but these appear on Microsoft Teams. Class teachers consider the best use of the daily live sessions. During a live session, class teachers may:
- introduce learning for that day or subsequent days and explain new concepts;
- check in with pupils to support their emotional wellbeing and find out how they are engaging with the learning;
- facilitate question and answer sessions;
- share presentations, websites and resources; and
- provide feedback to groups or the whole class.
We are all aware that the use of technology can often be frustrating. However, it is not the class teacher’s role to provide technical support to individuals during the live sessions as time is limited. In addition, despite supervising the use of technology, it is not appropriate for parents to intervene and attempt to engage with the class teacher during sessions on their child’s behalf. Class teachers can always be contacted by telephoning or emailing the school office: email@example.com.
In line with our previous use of video conferencing technology for parental consolations and collective worship, we ask that prior the live sessions equipment and internet connectivity are tested. We also ask that the children are online at least 5 minutes before the session is due to start. When the class teacher is ready, they will grant access to the session. As a reminder, parents are asked to take the time to read and inwardly digest the Video Conferencing Policy which outlines the acceptable use of video conferencing at our school.
What if my child does not have online access at home?
As part of the transition to remote learning, a Remote Learning Access Survey was sent to parents and carers on Tuesday 5th January 2021. The purpose of this was to better understand the challenges that some families may face in supporting access to our remote education provision. As a direct result of this survey, laptops were distributed to some families where access was identified as a potential issue due to devices being shared with siblings and in some cases with adults working from home. No family indicated that they did not have internet access at home.
How long can I expect learning activities set by the school to take my child each day?
The government expectation of remote education is that it should be equivalent in length to the teaching your child would normally get in school. Parents and carers should expect this to include a mixture of:
- recorded or live direct teaching time; and
- time for pupils to complete activities independently, such as working through assignments, PE or reading in a comfortable space.
It is stipulated that the amount of remote education on average should be a minimum of:
- 3 hours a day in Greenfinch and Cuckoo class (EYFS & KS1); and
- 4 hours a day in Robin and Swallow class (KS2).
Class teachers plan daily remote teaching and learning with these expectations in mind. Whilst the class teachers endeavour to cover as much of the curriculum as possible, they often post links on the class Teams page to various websites and resources for the children to access. Some of these may lead to the exploration and learning in other areas. It is important that the children understand that they are expected to complete the planned daily teaching and independent activities before exploring other avenues online. In addition to Teams, some additional activities are still posted on the remote learning page of the our school website.
How does the school check whether my child is engaging with their learning?
Every day, every pupil is expected to join a video conferencing session led by their class teacher. Currently, on days when the class teacher is in class, this is a morning session, and when they are out of class, this is an afternoon session. EYFS/ KS1 sessions start at 9.15am and 1.00pm respectively, whilst KS2 sessions begin at 11.00am and 2.15pm.
No ‘formal’ register will be taken however there is a clear expectation from the government that all children will participate in teaching and learning on a daily basis. We fully appreciate the challenges of a busy family household however when pupils do not appear online, class teachers will contact parents in the first instance to find out if we as a school can support in any way. School staff look to identify those pupils who are not engaging with learning as expected and will also contact parents if engagement is a concern to further unpick how both school and home can work together, just as we ordinarily would do during the school day.
How is my child's learning assessed and feedback given?
Our Assessment, Marking and Feedback Policy is at the heart of both classroom practice and our current remote education provision at St. Peter’s. Assessment and feedback can take many forms and does not always mean extensive personalised written comments, especially under the current circumstances. Class teachers will make use of live sessions to provide group or whole-class feedback whilst using the assignments function of Teams to identify specific assessment activities. The assignments function enables work to be submitted and written feedback to be given online. Class teachers will endeavour to check that learning activities have been completed however parents, carers and pupils are asked not to email the school office with work. Instead, parents and carers are asked to support their child by maintaining a remote learning exercise book which class teachers will collect in upon a return to school.
How will the school work with parents and carers to support children who may require additional support?
We recognise that some pupils, for example those identified as having special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may not be able to access some elements of remote education without significant additional support from adults at home. We fully appreciate just how difficult managing remote learning can therefore be for some families and will always endeavour to work with parents and carers to support pupils in the following ways:
- differentiating activities to ensure all pupils can access the learning whilst being sufficiently challenged; and
- grouping pupils by year group or ability for live sessions where appropriate.
In addition, support may also be coordinated by our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator, Ms Vicky Price. As Deputy Headteacher and SENCO, she will be happy to help with any queries that you families may have and can be contacted by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?
Where individual pupils need to self-isolate, or parents choose to keep their child at home, but the majority of their peer group remains in school, remote education will differ from the approach for whole groups. With all the additional measures and extra vigilance required, together with teaching all of the children in school and looking after the emotional wellbeing of everyone, it is important to consider staff workload.
If a child is not in school because they are self-isolating then we will endeavour to use the systems described above so that pupils are still able to join the classroom learning.
If parents and carers decide to keep their child at home but they are not self-isolating then the Oak National Academy videos and resources are available to support learning at home. These are set out in key stages and can be viewed by visiting: www.classroom.thenational.academy/subjects-by-key-stage.