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Remote Learning

January 2021 Remote Learning Q&A

What are the Government’s aims and expectations for Remote Learning during the National Lockdown? I have copied and pasted the information sent to schools from the Department for Education this week about the content and amount of contact time expected for primary schools during remote learning.

When teaching pupils remotely, we expect schools to:

  • set assignments so that pupils have meaningful and ambitious work each day in a number of different subjects
  • set work that is of equivalent length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school, and as a minimum:
  • primary: KS1 3 hours a day, on average, across the school cohort
  • provide frequent, clear explanations of new content, delivered by a teacher or through high-quality curriculum resources or videos
  • have systems for checking, at least weekly, whether pupils are engaging with their work, and inform parents immediately where engagement is a concern
  • gauge how well pupils are progressing through the curriculum using questions and other suitable tasks, and provide feedback, at least weekly, using digitally facilitated or whole-class feedback where appropriate
  • enable teachers to adjust the pace or difficulty of what is being taught in response to questions or assessments, including, where necessary, revising material or simplifying explanations to ensure pupils’ understanding

What is the aim for remote learning at Botley this term? Although the DfE expectation is for ‘at least weekly’ feedback for pupils, the aim for remote learning at Botley is that the classes will be taught as classes, whether the pupils are on site or at home and that they will have daily opportunities for live feedback through the 2 remote sessions timetabled for each class per day. Our aim is to plan and adapt the normal age-related curriculum we would be teaching in class to suit the remote learning style so that pupils do not miss out on their learning during lockdown

What arrangements will be made for home learning? Your child’s learning will be assigned to them and they will be expected to submit their work via their TEAMS classroom every day.  Teachers will be setting English, Maths, topic and PE work every day. Not all work has to be done on a computer.  Some can be done on paper and uploaded as a photograph or scanned document. 

Who will be responsible for providing the home learning? Class teachers are still responsible for setting the tasks, learning and feedback for their own class; however, as we will have one teacher in every year group teaching children of critical workers and vulnerable children in school every day, it may not always be your child’s own class teacher who responds to the home learning but it will be a teacher or a teaching assistant from the same year group.

What happens if my child cannot log onto TEAMS at the time the class live sessions have been set? We are currently looking into the possibility of recording our live sessions and will let parents know about this as soon as possible. Your child can still contact their teacher by using the ‘reply’ thread under the meeting to ask any questions about the work outside of the ‘live’ session times. If you have specific difficulties, please contact your class teacher for advice.

What happens if my child cannot complete the work during the normal school day hours or timetable? Pupils will be expected to try to stick to the normal timetable of tasks set by the teachers as far as is possible, but please don’t worry if this is not possible. We understand that every family has different circumstances which may mean they adapt the timetable to suit the working pattern at home. Please just let your class teacher know when your child will be able to submit their work.  They may not be able to respond straight away, but they will provide any appropriate feedback as soon as they can after the work has been submitted.

My child has Special Educational Needs, how will they be supported? All pupils with identified needs or EHC plans have been offered a place in school. Where it is not possible for them to be in school, we have arranged for additional face to face support with teaching assistants to provide any interventions we can remotely. These have been organised by our SENDco and class teachers. If you believe your child should be having additional sessions but have not yet received any information regarding these sessions, please email the school and we will contact you back as soon as possible.

Will we be doing live lessons? No.  We have decided not to do formal live lessons in the way that secondary schools are for the following reasons:                             

  • Not all children can access the lessons at the same time due to different levels of access to devices and support at home
  • Several of our families have siblings sharing a device at home, so we have timetabled a fair rota for all pupils to allow equality of live access to teaching staff.
  • Teachers are also providing the learning from home and often have to consider other household members and access to rooms and devices
  • Younger children cannot concentrate on a screen for hour long lessons at a time.

Instead teachers will be providing some live teaching and input during the 30-minute session in the morning and providing further feedback or information in the shorter afternoon session. They will also be teaching through a mixture of published resources from approved sources including White Rose, Oak Academy and BBC websites. 

Will the work also be uploaded to the class website pages? No, this would mean a doubling up of the teacher’s workload and the staff do not have the capacity for this. However, if pupils have access to the internet to reach the website, they will also have access to TEAMs through the browser, so they should be able to access the work online.

How will the school keep in contact with pupils learning from home? Teachers will be in daily contact with their pupils through TEAMS. We will keep a register of any pupils who do not manage to log in for the live sessions or access the work remotely and a member of staff will contact the family directly, in the same way that we contact parents if pupils do not arrive for school in the morning.

Who do I contact if I have difficulty accessing the TEAMs classroom? For all technical issues please email or telephone the school office and we will endeavour to assist you as soon as possible.

Can parents contact the class teacher if they have any questions? Yes, if you have any questions or need help with your child’s work, please email the teacher using their year group email or alternatively, support your child in asking the teacher a question on the ‘reply’ thread of the classroom TEAMS area.

Will the school be providing laptops?  We have now received 2 laptops from the DFE and a further supply from the fabulous team at Dean Court Community Association. We are hopeful that the DfE will release more laptops for schools in the coming days. That said, we will not be able to provide enough devices for all our pupils but we will distribute them where they are most needed. If you are in desperate need of a device for your child to be able to

access the remote learning, please contact the school office and we will do our best to ensure every child has access as soon as possible.   

We don’t have broadband at home and our mobile data is insufficient – what can we do? Schools can apply for mobile data increases for individual pupils to support home learning. There is more information available here. Please contact the school if you wish to explore this option and we will do our best to support our families with this, however, if there is a large uptake, this may take some time so please be patient.  

What is our Remote Learning strategy?

 

  • In preparation for any local or national lockdowns we have developed a new remote learning strategy for Botley School.
  • We will be using Microsoft Teams to provide remote learning for years 1-6 and Early Years (Nursery and Reception) will continue to use Tapestry.
  • Teachers will be planning to deliver the primary curriculum via Microsoft Teams as necessary and began training children on how to use Microsoft Teams in the Autumn term.
  • As part of this preparation all homework from Year 1 - Year 6 was set on Microsoft Teams.
  • All relevant material to your child’s learning can be found on their class pages.
  • Please see our Microsoft Teams page under the Parents section for further information and support for accessing Teams at home. Click Here

When will we be instigating Remote Learning?

 

  • Whole class Remote learning will be instigated on Microsoft Teams if a whole class is sent home to isolate or the whole school is in lockdown.
     
  • Individual families who have to isolate will be provided with links to relevant learning resources either on the class website or through Microsoft Teams, which will be updated as appropriate by the class teachers.

Guidance to help create a positive learning environment at home.

 

 Be realistic about what you can do

  • You're not expected to become teachers and your children aren't expected to learn as they do in school. Simply providing your children with some structure at home will help them to adapt. Use the tips below to help you make this work for your household.
  • Experiment in the first couple of weeks, then take stock. What's working and what isn't? Ask your children, involve them too.
  • Take care of your own health and wellbeing. This will be new for your entire household, so give it time to settle. Take a look at the links at the end of this factsheet for some advice on mental health and wellbeing.

 Keep to a timetable wherever possible

  • Create and stick to a routine if you can. This is what children are used to. For example, eat breakfast at the same time and make sure they're dressed before starting the ‘school’ day – avoid staying in pyjamas!
  • Involve your children in setting the timetable where possible. It’s a great opportunity for them to manage their own time better and it’ll give them ownership.
  • Check in with your children and try to keep to the timetable, but be flexible. If a task/activity is going well or they want more time, let it extend where possible.
  • If you have more than 1 child at home, consider combining their timetables. For example, they might exercise and do maths together – see what works for your household.
  • Distinguish between weekdays, weekends and holidays to separate school life and home life.

 Make time for exercise and breaks throughout the day

  • Try to do some physical exercise everyday. It is recommended for primary aged children to do at least an hour a day.
  • If you have a garden, use it regularly. If you don’t, try to get out once a day as permitted by the government (households can be together outdoors but 2 metres apart from others)

 Other activities to keep children engaged throughout the day

  • Where you have more freedom in the timetable, make time for other activities. Add some creative time or watch a dance video to get the heart-rate going
  • Get your children to write postcards to their grandparents or to pen pals
  • Ask grandparents to listen to your children read on FaceTime (or ask grandparents to read to younger children)
  • Give them chores to do so they feel more responsible about the daily routine at home
  • Ask them to help you cook and bake
  • Accept that they'll probably watch more TV/spend time on their phone – that's ok but you might want to set/agree some screen time limit
  • Take this time to have a go at learning some key life skills – Click here for a few ideas
     

Establishing any routine can feel overwhelming and hard work at first, but once your expectations are shared and agreed with you child/ children things should run more smoothly and happily.

 

Mindfulness and wellbeing – it is important to make sure everyone is ok.

  • Check in on your class pages to find some mindful activities you could do for your well-being.
  • Remember to talk with the people at home if you have any concerns or worries.

We hope this helps answer some of your questions – please contact us if you have any questions at office.2569@botley.oxon.sch.uk

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