Remote education provision: information for parents and carers

This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to students 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 students are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.

Remote teaching and study time each day

What is taught to students at home?

We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. However, we have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects.

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

We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take students broadly five hours each day.

Accessing remote education

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

Through Firefly, our school VLE. Links to Firefly are available from the homepage of our website.

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

Please contact the pastoral team at the school if you have issues accessing remote education.

How will my child be taught remotely?

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach students remotely:

  • Live teaching (online lessons)
  • Recorded teaching (e.g. Oak National Academy lessons, video/audio recordings made by teachers)
  • Commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences
  • Static teaching (e.g. tasks provided in Firefly as instructions, together with the materials required by students for their completion) 

Engagement and feedback

What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

  • On a daily basis, students are expected to:
    • Read Headteacher’s Daily Update on firefly
    • Complete all subject work provided to best of ability 
    • Except in the case of illness, where work has been missed, it must be caught up 
    • When attending live lessons, be logged in on time
    • Access support from teachers as required and through Firefly (Question & Answer Sheets) and Online Exercise Books
    • Show resilience by trying challenging tasks again
    • Demonstrate self-direction by taking opportunities to extend learning when work is complete, including by following the challenge pages in Firefly
    • Be mindful of self control in the decisions made when using social media
    • Ensure adequate time spent away from screens
    • Show care and respect by looking after your own mental and physical health and by doing something thoughtful for somebody else   
  • We recognise the unique challenges presented by supporting learning at home, whilst also managing your own professional and domestic commitments. To this end, we do not believe in a one size fits all approach to managing your day at home. However, in our experience we have found the following to be useful guidance in enabling your child to learn at home: 
    • Provide structure and routine to help support students in completing learning, including a place for them to work
    • Involve students in planning routines – including transitioning into and out of learning time (at the beginning and end of each day), as well as making time for play and remote Social contact with friends
    • Trust your own judgement - If students need a break or a change, do it
    • Protect positive family time, such as meal times, games or exercise 

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

  • Students’ engagement with remote education is checked daily by 9am on the morning following the preceding days lessons. This provides us with an accurate picture of where to direct both additional support and challenge, as well as to celebrate achievement.  
  • More in depth scrutiny of student learning varies between subjects, but typically takes place no less frequently than once every two weeks. This process provides opportunities for formative feedback, by way of comments or whole class feedback, as well as ensuring teachers have an accurate understanding of student learning in order to guide future lessons, and how often, you will check students’ engagement with remote education.
  • In aggregate this combination of daily engagement and bi-weekly depth of learning checks enable us to proactively and promptly engage parents and carers where concerns exist, be this a drop in daily engagement, or a longer term issue with progress in learning. Typically contact is made by phone. 

How will you 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 or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others. Our approach to feeding back on student work is as follows:

  • Methods of assessment:
    • Automatically marked responses, using preset quizzes or products such as Hegarty Maths
    • Questioning in ‘live’ remote lessons - using functionality such as ‘chat’
    • Self marked responses, using material provided by teachers to check and correct learning - often used for knowledge recall
    • Daily engagement check, using student interaction with remote learning
    • Detailed learning check (at least) bi-weekly assessment of student learning, focused upon comprehension and application
    • Regular summative experiences, tailored to be delivered remotely where school. 
  • Methods and frequency of feedback:
    • Automatically marked responses - real time or immediately thereafter
    • Questioning in ‘live’ remote lessons - teacher led as required
    • Self marked responses - same day, as part of lesson
    • Daily engagement check - via call home to discuss concerns
    • Detailed learning check (at least) bi-weekly - feedback delivered in line with department policy and may include - whole class feedback, comments left in OEBs, reteaching.

Additional support for students with particular needs

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

We recognise that some students, for example some students 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 students in the following ways:

  • Students identified as requiring additional support from our SEND Team, will as far as is possible, continue to receive this support. This might be by way of live remote sessions, access to alternative online resources, additional monitoring of learning, or a combination of these tools. Where deemed necessary, and where space and safety allow, students may be invited to attend onsite provision. In all cases, SEND students and their parents and carers will receive regular contact from our SEND Team.    

Remote education for self-isolating students

Where individual students need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school, how remote education is provided will likely differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching students both at home and in school.

If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?

  • In the event your child is self-isolating, whilst the majority of students are attending school, they will be directed to work via a dedicated page on Firefly. For the duration of their self-isolation, students should follow their normal timetable and complete six lessons a day using the work provided. Some of the routine described above, including daily engagement checking, will not be possible. As a consequence, our Pastoral Team will act as liaison to triage any concerns. Work set for periods of self-isolation will meet curriculum aims, but - at the discretion of Heads of Department - may be different from that being completed by students in school. Feedback will be provided in line with Department policy and our expectation is that all work set, will be complete by the time the student returns to school. If at any stage during self-isolation the student themselves is sick, the school should be notified following our normal arrangement for absence. This will be used to adjust the total amount of work students are accountable for completing.