Remote Education Provision - Information for Parents and Carers
This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to pupils, parents and carers about what to expect from remote education when national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.
For details of what to expect where individual pupils are self-isolating, please see the final section of this document.
The remote curriculum
What is taught to pupils at home?
A pupil’s first day or two of being educated remotely might look different from our standard approach, whilst we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching.
What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of pupils being sent home?
- Pupils will begin to have access to the Google Classroom, where lessons and learning activities will be available for them to access via their Google account.
- Following government guidelines, the school will ensure that pupils are offered a curriculum sequence that allows access to high-quality online and offline resources, together with teaching videos and that it is linked to the school’s curriculum expectations.
- The school will select online tools that will be used consistently across all classes in order to allow interaction, assessment and feedback.
- Where appropriate, the school will provide printed resources, such as workpacks for pupils who do not have suitable online access.
- Recognition is given that younger pupils and some pupils with SEND – (Special Educational Needs and Disability) - may not be able to access remote education without adult support. The school will work with these families to deliver a broad and ambitious curriculum.
- The school will set assignments so that pupils have meaningful and ambitious work each day in a number of different subjects.
- Frequent, clear explanations of new content, delivered by a teacher in the school or through high quality curriculum resources and/or videos will be provided.
- Our staff will gauge how well pupils are progressing through the curriculum, using questions and other suitable tasks.
- The school will set a clear expectation on how regularly teachers will check work.
- A programme of equivalent length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school, ideally including daily contact with teachers, is planned.
- The school ensures that this is a minimum of:
- Three hours for pupils in Key Stage One
- Four hours for pupils in Key Stage Two
An age-appropriate programme of learning is set for pupils in the Early Years department, including our Nursery.
Following the first few days of remote education, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school?
- Wherever possible and appropriate we teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school.
- However, in some subjects such as Art, Music, DT and PE, adaptations may be made when a lesson involves the practical use of specific equipment, so that the outcome is more easily achievable in the home environment.
- Our staff are careful to ensure that even when amendments are made, the same learning intention is maintained.
Remote teaching and study time each day
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 the following number of hours each day:
Key Stage 1
Three hours a day on average across the cohort, with less for younger children.
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 2 pupils will be set a minimum of four hours of learning assignments per day.
The school will teach a planned and well-sequenced curriculum, so that knowledge and skills are built incrementally, with a good level of clarity about what is intended to be taught and practised in each subject, so that pupils can progress through the school’s curriculum. Furthermore, the school will endeavour to avoid any over-reliance on long term projects or internet research.
Accessing remote education
How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?
- Pupils have been allocated a Google log in so that they can access Google Classroom, where their curriculum work is loaded each day from Monday to Friday from 9.00 a.m.
- The tasks have a published ‘due’ time of 5.00 p.m. However, it is stressed in all supporting communication to pupils and parents/carers that the school understands very well that a proportion of pupils will access and complete work after this time. This may be because they need to share devices with siblings or to wait for adult support that may not be available earlier in the day.
- The school continues to offer a Bug Club subscription to all pupils so that online reading and the completion of book-related activities, such as reading comprehension tasks and quizzes, can take place.
- In Maths too, our pupils can continue to access Mathletics using their individual log in to access year-group appropriate tasks and activities that have been set for them to reinforce and support in-class learning.
If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?
We recognise that some pupils may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those pupils to access remote education:
- Parents and carers are advised to contact the school by email to email@example.com if they have difficulty in accessing remote learning due to a lack of a suitable device/s.
- The school will endeavour to loan a device to a pupil who is unable to engage with their remote learning in these circumstances.
- The school will also endeavour to loan a Mifi that will enable an internet connection to be made.
- In some individual cases, or until an internet connection can be guaranteed, the school can provide printed materials that can be collected at a pre-arranged time. Alternatively, these can be posted to a pupils’ home.
- Completed work can be brought to the school at a pre-arranged time for subsequent review by the teaching staff.
How will my child be taught remotely?
We use a combination of the following approaches to teach pupils remotely:
- Video/audio recordings, created by the school’s own teachers, are used to
introduce, reinforce and consolidate key parts of the daily teaching and learning.
- These are delivered through Google Classroom, a web-based teaching platform that streamlines the process of sharing files between teachers and pupils.
- Oak National Academy, a government-supported online classroom and resource hub, created in April 2020 as a rapid response to the coronavirus outbreak and BBC Bitesize are both valuable resources for the school to use. These websites provide a wide and well-respected curriculum offer at age-appropriate levels.
- Printed workpacks produced by teachers in response to specific pupil need or used as a short-term measure when remote education is first being set up (for example, following the isolation of a bubble).
- Pupils will be directed towards Bug Club, a reading-based programme designed to support the development of reading skills for primary pupils from the Early Years to Year Six and beyond.
- They will also be encouraged to access Mathletics, an online Maths-based programme that includes Maths practice and fluency activities, together with problem-solving and reasoning questions,
- Focused use is made of commercially available websites that support the teaching of specific subjects or areas, such as Art, Music and PE. These lessons may include video clips and teaching sequences.
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?
Parents and carers are not expected to become teachers and your children are not expected to learn in the same way as they do in school. Simply providing them with some structure at home though will help them to adapt to remote education.
The following tips are designed to help you to create a positive learning environment at home.
- Create and stick to a routine: This is what children are used to when they come to school. For example, eat breakfast at the same time and make sure they are dressed before starting the ‘school’ day – avoid staying in pyjamas.
- Be involved with your children and their timetable: Remote learning is a good opportunity for children to begin to manage their time and take greater ownership of their learning but younger children will need your support in this.
- Check in with your children and try to keep to the timetable, but be flexible. If a task or activity is going well or your child wants more time, let it extend where possible.
- If you have more than one child at home, consider combining their timetables. For example, they might exercise and do Maths together - see what works for your household.
- Designate a working space if possible and at the end of the day have a clear cut-off to signal that school time is over
- Display a general timetable up on the wall so that everyone knows what they should be doing when and then tick off the activities throughout the day
- Encourage your child to log in at the beginning of the day and to greet their teacher.
- Let the school know if your child will be absent from remote learning, just as you would notify an absence if your child is unable to attend school.
- Take stock at the end of each week. What is working and what is not? Ask your children, involve them too in this discussion.
- Distinguish between weekdays and weekends, ensuring that you separate school life from home life
- Give children small chores to do at home so that they begin to feel more responsible about the daily routine. For example, you could ask them to help you to cook and bake
- As your children are based at home, accept that they may watch more television, especially if you are also accessing the primary curriculum lessons provided by CBBC, which is a recommended additional resource available daily to support children’s learning. You may wish to set and agree to some screen-time limits.
- During the remote learning day, remember to try out some of the suggested Screenbreak activities that you will find on the Google Classroom learning streams. These are uploaded by our teaching staff at age-appropriate levels.
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
- The Google Classroom stream is monitored each day by the classteacher who is there to support and guide children, especially if they are having difficulty with their learning. If they feel unsure about the task ahead, they are encouraged to ask for help through the pupil stream. If the teacher thinks the child is still in need of further guidance, s/he can arrange to telephone them to offer further explanation, discussion and the opportunity to complete some examples together.
- Parents/carers can communicate learning-related concerns to the classteacher through use of the Google Classroom ‘private messaging function’.
- If engagement in daily learning is perceived by the classteacher to be less than expected, a telephone call to the home will be made to discuss any reasons for this and to see if the school can offer support to improve this situation.
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 pupil work is as follows:
- Completed tasks on Google Classroom are marked each day by the classteacher who will add an advisory comment or voice-note to provide verbal feedback.
Telephone conversations with pupils and/or parents/carers can provide more focused feedback that is ‘live’.
- Teachers may comment on whether a learning outcome has been achieved. Alternatively, they may advise pupils by identifying areas for development, so that work can be edited and re-submitted for marking.
- On-going assessment may be made of both spelling and handwriting, both of which can be judged against year group expectation.
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. We work with parents and carers to support these pupils in the following ways:
- A high level of communication is maintained with families who have a child/ren on an Education and Health Care Plan – (EHCP) - so that work towards individual targets can continue.
- Additional resources are provided for children with specific needs and these help them to access individualised work programmes that are led and managed by the school’s SEND team, working in conjunction with the classteacher.
- Regular meetings between families, the school and external therapists continue on a remote basis.
- For younger pupils, using elements of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, differentiated tasks are allocated on an individual basis and these are personalised to the needs of the child. Parents and carers are supported through regular telephone contact to ensure that the pupil is managing the tasks and to monitor whether further assistance is required to complete the assignments. This process is carried out in conjunction with the Inclusion Manager.
Remote education for self-isolating pupils
Where individual pupils need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school, how remote education is provided may differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching pupils both at home and in school.
If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will his/her remote education differ from the approaches described above?
- Pupils will initially be asked to access their Bug Club and Mathletics accounts as the self-isolation commences, with regular re-assigning of books and tasks to allow time for the school to set up a programme of personalised remote learning for the pupil/s concerned.
- The school will aim to ensure that self-isolating pupils are taught a planned and well-sequenced curriculum and that meaningful and ambitious work is assigned each day in a number of different subject areas.
- Teacher monitoring and feedback will be intrinsic to this programme.
Google Meet Protocol
As part of our safeguarding procedures, all participants are required to agree to the following guidelines before joining a meeting.
As a safeguarding measure, all of the school’s Google Meet Class Meetings are recorded. The recordings are stored on a secure drive in the Buckingham Primary School domain, in case they need to be reviewed.
Guidelines for joining a ‘Google Meet’
Parents/carers should go through the requirements, as shown below, with your child/ren and then to tick the permission box on Scopay to indicate your agreement.
By ticking this box, you are confirming that you have discussed the requirements for a Google Meet with your child and that s/he understands them.
If you have more than one child in the school, it is only necessary to tick this box once, as this indicates your family’s agreement to the guidelines shown below.
- When active in Google Meet, pupils may use their device’s camera to make themselves visible.
- The meeting should take place in an appropriate area, ideally not in a bedroom.
- The background should, if possible, be neutral, for example, a blank wall.
- Pupils should be wearing appropriate clothing - no pyjamas!
- Pupils should behave as if they are in the classroom.
- They should mute the microphone until it is their time to speak. This will eliminate background noise for all.
- Pupils are expected to show respect for other participants by being kind, using appropriate language, co-operating with others and sharing screen-time.
- If parents/carers, siblings or other family members are unavoidably in view, they must be wearing appropriate clothes and should not make comments or try to join the meeting in any way.
- Recording or the taking of any kind of images of the meeting by parents, carers or others is prohibited.
Finally, for data protection and identity reasons, please note that children must using their own Google Log-in when entering a meeting.