Remote education provision: information for parents
Please find below useful links and information about online/remote learning in the event of lockdown situations involving year group bubbles or whole school. We will post additional information and guidance here too, as needed.
This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to students and parents/carers about what to expect from remote education if local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.
Online Learning expectations: https://www.deferrers.com/expectations
Online Learning resources: https://www.deferrers.com/onlineresources
How will my child access any online remote education we are providing?
The Academy has a long history of innovation in using online tools and mobile technology to support teaching and learning. All teaching staff have created online classes in either Showbie (most subjects) or Google Classroom (Enterprise & PE) for all year groups. Years 9 and upwards will use them on their academy 1:1 iPads as part of their usual studies. Years 7 and 8 can use them with whatever devices they have as needed.
We will share a summary of Y7 and Y8 class codes with parents via the usual secure Academy communications channels.
Staff may set online work and study including self-marking quizzes, videos, reading, PDF worksheets, videos to watch, questions and other assignments. Students can upload documents and photographs of work if it is done on paper/in exercise books. Staff will also continue to provide recorded video summaries of key ideas and explanations where appropriate to supplement other learning resources and, for older students, some live Zoom lessons.
Other online platforms may be used for work, study and self-assessment by various faculties - you can find the list at: https://www.deferrers.com/onlineresources
Students upload most files via these platforms and if necessary, can take a photo of any work on paper/in books and upload as a photo using a mobile phone.
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 pupils broadly 5 hours each day. For classes studying for exams, this may be higher if there are additional homework tasks, virtual Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs) or revision lessons.
Staff will usually set the work each lesson ready for the normal timetabled slot in the week, although this may differ for some extended assignments or subjects with additional self-study resources.
Students can also access the Knowledge Organisers for various subjects and courses as part of independent/additional study & consolidation here:
The remote curriculum: what is taught to pupils at home?
- We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do during the normal academy day. However, we may need to make some adaptations in some subjects or situations, such as changing the order of topics or reviewing some work to adapt to feedback from classes on their progress.
- Teaching staff will provide a range of quality teaching and learning materials to continue to allow students to progress and acquire relevant knowledge and skills.
- Some subjects may share resources/live teaching across several classes for part of a lesson, where it is beneficial and more efficient to do so.
- Where some students are in school (eg, key worker and vulnerable groups) and some are not, we will set the same work for students to complete within a class.
If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?
We are providing additional iPads and 3G dongles/SIM cards for Y7 and Y8 students that we know may have issues accessing suitable technology to complete online work at home, as well as many students that work with the SEN team.
We have given out around 60 devices so far since March 2020 lockdown with another 70 on the way. We will set them up so they can be managed remotely and add appropriate tools to them, as well as recording serial numbers and key information. Support & guidance teams will contact you about collecting or delivering them to students if they are not in school. At the end of lockdown, they will usually be collected back in and recycled.
The SEND hubs and teams will help produce and distribute printed worksheets/workpacks for any students that need them.
For any issues relating to remote learning policy, please contact Mr Greg Hughes (Vice Principal - Learning Technologies): firstname.lastname@example.org
For technical help, please contact email@example.com
For support & guidance issues about work/home access/pastoral concerns, please contact the relevant Support & Guidance teams.
What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?
All students should:
- Check their Academy e-mail and Showbie/Google Classroom every day for any updates/ announcements
- Complete any work set by class teachers, to a high standard, within 2 days from when it was set
- Stick broadly to their normal school timetable/class times where possible, to provide some structure and spread work out, although we know that this will not always be possible for a wide variety of reasons.
- Encourage their children to try and complete any online schoolwork to the best of their abilities, where possible, depending upon any external circumstances
- Encourage them to balance schoolwork with other creative/physical activities to keep themselves alert and engaged, including reading books/listening to audio books for pleasure - we will post ideas on Twitter and our upcoming YouTube channel
- Encourage them to only communicate with staff during the school day
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any iPad/ICT issues about hardware/apps
- Contact appropriate Head of Year about any work issues
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
Subject teachers will monitor work completed and contact students who have not completed work via Showbie/Google Classroom. They will record students not completing set tasks after 2 days/suitable deadline has passed in ‘non-completion of work’ trackers for each year group.
Directors of Learning (DLs) / Key Stage Leaders (KSLs) will monitor completion and non-completion of work and contact parents/carers where required via phone call, text or e-mail.
Support & Guidance teams will pick up ongoing issues with students regularly not completing work across the Academy after the DL/KSL has intervened and contact parents/carers, usually via phone call. They will also inform teaching staff of any relevant issues that may affect students completing work and taking part in lessons.
Students should check their Google e-mail each day: all students accounts have the format email@example.com
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.
Teaching staff will provide regular whole class or individual feedback to help students progress - this should happen weekly, in line with DfE guidance. It may include written comments, grades/marks, audio or video messages and will usually be sent via Showbie or Google Classroom. Students will also receive direct feedback through a range of self-assessment tools and platforms we use.
Additional support for pupils 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 pupils, for example some pupils 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 pupils in the following ways:
- Work packs will be created for students known to have isssues with internet/device access at home by SEN Hub staff, who will also be responsible for collating and issuing any printed packs/additional support material for students that need them.
- SEN students have been given Home Learning visual timetables to ensure they maintain their routine by staff in the SEN Hub.
- Class Showbie/Google Classroom codes have been shared with the Inclusive Learning team so they can also see work set for groups & individuals that they work with.
- A bespoke Showbie group exclusively for SEN students is also available with resources, interventions and mindfulness activities from the Inclusive Learning Team.
- Student Coaches are available to offer remote support to the other students - either via the Showbie group or by accessing their online content. Student Coaches are able to adapt work and support students in order to meet individual needs. The SEN Showbie group has support packages available for all four broad SEN categories and CSWs also have access to the group.
- All TAs/ISAs have had additional training on iPad accessibility issues and have passed this onto students to support them in personalising use for supporting dyslexia, students with HI/VI, etc.
- SEN passports have been shared with all staff so they are aware of any necessary adjustments they need to make in terms of delivery, support to teaching materials that they use.
Following the latest national closure of schools, teaching staff will be moving to remote learning for all classes. We are rolling out a program of live Zoom video lessons and webinars, initially targetting students in Years 11, 12 and 13. These lessons can also be recorded and shared via the cloud, to support students unable to be present at that time.
Faculty Directors of Learning and Support and Guidance teams will follow up students that repeatedly do not complete work, whilst being sensitive to any medical of other needs and issues.
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Update: 22/09/20 - Students isolating & remote work
A list of students absent due to covid-19 will be sent to all staff each morning by around 09:00. Although we have asked students and staff to broadly follow their existing timetables during any lockdown where possible, to provide some structure and spread work out, we know that this will not always be possible for a wide variety of reasons.
(a) Remote learning work may not be set within the first 24 hours, if students have been added to the list of student absences after it is published each the morning. Students should therefore make use of knowledge organisers and any other links above to revise work/self-study topics they are doing currently in different subjects.
(b) Staff are still teaching physical classes, so they may not be able to set work for some classes until later in the day - it may not be at the same time as the actual lesson, especially for Years 7/8.
(c) Students need to make sure they have joined relevant Showbie/Google classes - teaching staff have been asked to regularly check they any students have been accepted into classes. Please let the relevant S&G team know if there are any issues and they will pass them on.
For Y7 and Y8 students who are sent home/monitoring any symptoms/waiting for a test, please use the resources above and the knowledge organisers for the first 24-48 hours to review current topics and self-test on key knowledge and facts. Staff will then set work if necessary using online platforms.