Following on from the announcement by the Government that all schools will be closing, below is an outline of how we will be providing a ‘virtual’ school until the schools reopen.
We are committed to ensuring the very best outcomes for children and we are concerned that a period of isolation, in addition to the upcoming Easter holiday may be detrimental to the wellbeing and the educational progress of children. We wish to work with you to support your child in accessing their lessons and schoolwork from home. We are putting in place a scheme for the loan of digital devices and a package of online tools for the delivery of this remote education; using Microsoft Teams and Office365, as well as several additional online learning platforms, such as Accelerated Maths, ClickView and Literacy Planet, to name a few.
We have built this web site so you can access all the information you need to get your child online and access their lessons. There are also videos, help guides and links for you to access all the resources.
How will remote teaching work?
Teachers will be delivering lessons from their classrooms or from home through Microsoft Teams Video. These will be accessible from home, via the Microsoft Teams app. This is installed on their school computer if you have a loan device or on a home device you will need to either download Teams or use the Web App (both available at teams.microsoft.com). They will then be able to go to their calendar and join their class’ lesson.
These lessons are more than just a one-way stream but a collaborative video call and so your child will be able to participate fully as though they were at school.
Each day, every year group will have 5 main sessions in a day. An example of a day might look like this:
Wider Curriculum Lesson
We will also continue the mentoring of children in years 4, 5 & 6 and will be arranging video calls during the afternoon to chat through your child’s learning and support them individually.
Even children in the nursery will be able to join in with aspects of the learning, through activities in the Class OneNote Notebook. Similarly, the reception class teaching programme will have activities that will reflect the ‘learning through play’ approach to the Early Years curriculum.
We will be sending an email to you each week with a timetable for the week’s taught sessions with joining links, that will allow you to plan with your children what lessons they need to join and to have a quick access link that will launch the Teams video call. Here is an example of what you will be sent.
What if I have children in different year groups?
All lessons will be recorded and accessible to be re-watched, shortly after they have been delivered. This will support those families who have children in multiple year groups, who may need to rotate access to a home device. We suggest that, if devices are shared, children alternate between live attendance of sessions and watching catch-up video during gaps in the day.
There will also be some lessons that we are able to deliver that are accessible to children of different ages, for example we will be delivering art lessons and keep fit lessons that the whole family can join in with.
What can my child work on independently?
In addition to the direct teaching through Microsoft Teams, teachers will be assigning a range of activities that children can complete in addition to the timetabled sessions.
Your child will access the lesson resources, as they currently do, from the Class OneNote Notebook. On the page there will be links to access learning materials from other online learning tools, such as Accelerated Maths, Literacy Planet, Purple Mash and Espresso. For more information on how to access these resources please go refer to our learning guides.
To see the work that is assigned to your child and when it is due, please choose the ‘Assignments’ icon in Microsoft Teams where your child can find the assignment information and submit their work when it is done.
If they complete their work in an exercise book, they use the web camera built into the Surface device, on an iPad or phone to capture the work and upload it. Using an application called Office Lens, which will allow your child to easily photograph the work.
If you require a list of your children’s login details, please contact your child’s class teacher.
What if I am struggling to access the online resources or I am stuck with my work?
In addition to the range of ‘how to’ guides found on the Learning at Home web site we have added to the Class Teams ‘channels’ where your child can chat with their teachers asking for support and help. I have produced an extended version of the Headteacher’s Blog that deals with the approach that we are taking and hopefully will answer many of your questions. Please take the time to watch the advice in my video blog that we are giving at this time.
Am I able to use a school device?
An additional letter has been sent out regarding the loan devices, in order to support remote learning. You can find out more about this here: https://homelearning.education/loan-devices
What devices can I use to access the home learning from?
If you have devices at home then you can use Office 365 Microsoft Teams on a Windows PC, an Apple device and Android devices. Children will be able to join calls from laptops, tablets or smartphones, through the app. However, we would suggest that the device that your child uses has a screen that is large enough for them to easily watch the teacher’s presentation or electronic whiteboard notes.
This does not require a high-end device. Teachers will teach in a manner that is straight-forward and does not need any additional offline tools, other than Office 365 and the online resources.
You can access everything through a web browser and all the logons can be found on the Help Guides page of the web site. Please click on the links that will take you to the login pages for Office365 and the other learning resources.
You can also install the Office 365 apps onto your devices at home. Your child is entitled to install the full Office suite from the web site onto a PC and the apps for Teams, OneNote and Office on your different devices. There are also apps for Flipgrid and Clickview.
Does my child need to bring anything home from school?
In addition to the remote learning opportunities, we are encouraging children to make sure that they have three books from the school library to read at home. Also, those children who are currently working through the KS1 ReadWrite Inc. phonics scheme will be sent home with several teaching books that will match the remote phonics lessons that teachers will be delivering.
We will also be sending each child home with spare exercise books to work in along with their pencil case. This will support written workings in Maths and the drafting of any written curriculum work.
Staying healthy whilst at home – ‘10-a-day’
We are also aware that many children may find an extended period of isolation from peers difficult. We are therefore looking to encourage the ’10-a-day’ approach that we use at school. In my special edition of my Headteacher’s blog you can hear Tracey, the school Nurse talking about how important these are.
What are the guidelines for my child’s use of the school’s online resources?
There are several key guidelines that we will be following, in order to ensure positive online behaviours on the school digital platforms.
- Children will be expected to behave in a polite and courteous manner with their peers and teachers, while online.
- Staff will be available at set times within the school day for online support, outside of scheduled lessons. There will, however, be periods of the day when teachers will go offline and will not be accessible by Teams message, such as lunchtimes, outside of normal educational hours and in the evenings.
- When staff provide one-to-one support in mentor meetings, two staff members will be present on the call. The call will also be recorded and shared with the child, to allow them to re-watch the session.
- We recommend that children have adequate time away from devices and that they have enough opportunity for physical activity.
- Please set up a working environment where you can both supervise and support children during a school day. Set clear expectations for the sensible use of the device and to ensure that it does not get damaged.
- Follow our internet safety guidance.
Keeping in touch
It is important that we keep in touch with you and your children during this period of school closure. Every day we will be registering the children in the morning. We will also in each lesson be ensuring that we record who has joined in remotely. We will also be tracking the work completed and for children in Years 4 -6 carrying on with the mentor meetings.
If your child is not online and we do not hear from you then we will be in touch to make sure that you are all OK.
I would like to assure you that we, as a trust, recognise that there is no perfect solution to remote teaching and learning. We are keen to work with you to provide the best support that we can and will aim to support you to the greatest extent that we can in continuing your child’s education at home. Please bear with us as we adapt to this new way of working, which we are certain will provide the best quality of education for your children, while they are at home.
I hope that this package of support will enable your child to continue their education during this unprecedented time.