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Remote education provision: information for parents

This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to pupils and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education if 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 page.

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, while 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?

 

Remote education will begin from the next school day for any pupil who is expected to ‘work from home’ because of self-isolation.

Please note: remote education will differ depending upon: 1) if a child is self-isolating because they have been identified as a close contact OR 2) a whole class / year group is sent home to self-isolate.

All remote education will be provided via the Microsoft Teams platform. All appropriate work will be set for pupils prior to the start of lessons.

Any questions or concerns should be referred to your child’s head of year, who will be able to support you and your child.

 

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?

 

  • Remote education, where and when required, will be of high-quality and aligned as closely as possible with in-school provision and curriculum content.
  • Pupils will access and be taught our intended curriculum. This is well-planned and well-sequenced so that knowledge and skills are built incrementally and pupils have opportunities to retrieve and recall previously taught content.
  • Pupils will have meaningful and ambitious work each day in several different subjects. Pupils will follow their in-school timetable.
  • Microsoft Teams will be used across the school with all year groups to set pupils’ work and deliver lessons.
  • On the ‘virtual school’ area of the school website, parents/carers will find support guides for Microsoft Teams and for pupils so that they can access the platform easily.
  • As of September 2020, all staff set homework for Years 7 – 13 via Microsoft Teams. Years 12 and 13 are also set independent study work via this platform too.
  • Pupils who do not have suitable online access will be provided with printed resources until they have access to a suitable device.
  • Those pupils with SEND who may struggle to access the remote learning curriculum will be provided with appropriate support and resources to ensure they can engage with remote learning. 
  • Clarity about what is intended to be taught and practised in each subject will be provided through individual and class assignments on Microsoft Teams. Heads of department will carefully monitor and adjust curriculum plans, where it is deemed appropriate.
  • Frequent and clear explanations of new content will be provided, either delivered ‘live’ by teachers, through pre-recorded teacher videos or carefully selected high-quality curriculum resources (e.g. use of GCSE POD). Where pupils are in school and only a small amount of pupils are self-isolating, all relevant resources will be uploaded to the Teams channel for that subject and class, pupils have the ability to ask questions via the ‘posts’ section and, when convenient to do so, teachers will endeavour to respond.

 

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:

Secondary school-aged pupils not working towards formal qualifications this year

All pupils will follow their in-school timetable. Therefore, accessing a minimum of 5 hours of learning per day. Pupils are also expected to undertake routine homework, as per the homework timetable, of approximately 1 – 2 hours per evening.

Secondary school-aged pupils working towards formal qualifications this year

Accessing remote education

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

 

  • Microsoft Teams will be used across the school with all year groups to set work. Staff, pupils and parents will continue to receive training in the use of Microsoft Teams (where appropriate) via the ‘virtual school’ section of the website.
  • As of September 2020, all staff set homework for Years 7 – 13 via Microsoft Teams. Years 12 and 13 are also set independent study work via this platform too. This will continue through all scenarios of self-isolation / lockdown.

 

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:

 

  • Pupils who do not have suitable online access will be provided with printed resources until they have access to a suitable device.
  • If a parent or carer requires more information or feels their child has not got access to a suitable device, in the first instance they should contact their child’s head of year (via the school office on 0191 388 7161).
  • We will make every effort to ensure all pupils have appropriate access to a suitable device / work packs so they do not fall behind with their studies. Again, any concerns, in the first instance, should be directed to the pupil’s head of year (via the school office on 0191 388 7161).
  • Where a pupil is completing their work via work packs, they should submit the completed work to their class teacher as soon as they return to school so it can be checked and assessed.

 

How will my child be taught remotely?

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

 

Some examples of remote teaching approaches that we will use at Hermitage Academy:

  • practical, live teaching (online lessons) will be the main source for delivering learning; this provides pupils with curriculum continuity and the opportunity to be able to ask questions and speak to their subject teachers
  • recorded teaching (e.g. GCSE POD, video/audio recordings made by teachers)
  • use of assignments, one note and forms to capture pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding at planned opportunities
  • printed paper packs produced by teachers (e.g. workbooks, worksheets, revision packs and knowledge organisers)
  • textbooks and reading books, provided by subject teachers in specific subjects, e.g. English
  • commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences, e.g. Hegarty Maths.

                                                                

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?

 

  • In short, any pupil who is self-isolating is expected to ‘attend’ their timetabled lessons. Where practical, this will be either logging in: to engage in the ‘live’ lesson (where it is a whole class isolation) or to download the work and completing it in the given timeframe and to the best of a pupil’s ability (when it is an individual pupil isolating).
  • Parents can support their child’s education by:
  • planning each day with their child so they establish a routine and have clear expectations about the importance of engaging in their subjects and learning
  • ensuring they have a clear and quiet place to study and engage in their learning with no distractions, e.g. television / games console
  • checking that they have the necessary materials, e.g. a pen and paper to make notes
  • making sure children have the planned break / lunch time they would in school
  • checking that students have completed the necessary work for that day (and whether they have homework to do also)
  • supporting the school and keeping in contact so we can help if there are any issues/questions.

 

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

 

  • Teachers will take a daily class register where they will check pupils’ engagement with remote education (where it is a whole-class isolation). Teachers will also check pupils’ engagement with set work (in the case of individual pupil isolation). This information is then passed to heads of year who will then check it. If pupils are not engaging in their scheduled lessons / work then contact will be made with home to check on the pupil and provide support, should it be necessary.
  • We ask that parents/carers fully support us so that all pupils access and engage in their online learning.

 

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:

 

  • Teachers will use questioning and other suitable ‘tools’ to help gauge how well pupils are learning and progressing through content in the curriculum. This information will be used to adjust the pace or challenge (or intervene) of what is being taught, or to revisit explanations to ensure pupils’ full understanding.
  • Regular quizzes / recall activities will be set and checked via self-assessment, where pupils will be expected to check what they have completed and act upon any feedback from their class teacher.
  • Regular and meaningful feedback will be provided to pupils, in line with school policy. This will include both whole-class and individual feedback. Pupils will be given opportune times to act upon feedback so that misconceptions / errors are rectified quickly.
  • During lessons, pupils will be asked questions and expected to respond to their teachers. Responses will be verbal, using the chat facility or via ‘hands up’. Such characteristics of teaching are important so pupils feel engaged and valued and teachers can check on pupils’ understanding and tackle misconceptions quickly.

 

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:

 

  • Class teachers ensure remote learning is accessible for SEND learners by clearly identifying each part of the lesson, chunking the tasks set, providing differentiated tasks, model answers and suggested time limits. This is done across all subjects and year groups.
  • Where appropriate, support staff will make welfare calls to check the work is accessible and offer further support.
  • Alternative work is sent home to SEND learners who may struggle to access online learning. This can be in the form of paper-based work or alternative tasks to make the content more accessible for them.
  • Advice is given to parents/carers on strategies known to work in school to help support the engagement of individual pupils. 
  • Support is also given in terms of establishing a routine and realistic work expectations. 
  • Any concerns can be raised through the SENDCO.

 

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 will likely 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 their remote education differ from the approaches described above?

 

Pupils will continue to access their in-school timetable (albeit this is different during a full lockdown). This is, 3 subjects per day for Years 7 – 13 (our revised timetable for September 2020 is a two-week timetable comprising of [approximately] 2 x 2-hour lessons and 1 x 1-hour lesson each day).

Where appropriate, student will access an extended tutor/PSHE lesson, as per calendar.

Work to be set using Microsoft Teams, although direct teacher input will be more difficult as teachers are still teaching the remainder of the class in school. 

Pupils will access their work via the Microsoft Teams platform. All work will be set in assignments and accompanying resources supplied via this platform too. Pupils can ask teachers questions via the chat or posts facility. Class teachers will respond to pupils as soon as is practically possible.