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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

2.if a whole class / year group is sent home to self-isolate

3.in the event of a full, national lockdown

Irrespective of the scenario, all remote education will be provided via the Microsoft Teams platform.

Any questions or concerns should be referred to your child’s Year Manager, via the main office at admin@ashingtonacademy.co.uk who will be able to support you and your child.

Sixth Form students have been using Microsoft Teams as a matter of routine and their face-to-face teaching experience has been merged with online learning. So, in the immediate days after being sent home, students will be able to access live lessons streamed on Teams. They will keep using the assignment, work-sharing and other functions they use routinely when in school.

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?

We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. However, it may be necessary to make some adaptations in some subjects.

·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.

·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.

·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 will 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.

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

 

  • The remote education provided will be equivalent in length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school and will include live direct teaching time with occasional pre-recorded content, and time for pupils to complete tasks and assignments independently.

 

  • Pupils will have 5 hours of meaningful and ambitious lessons each day and will follow their in-school timetable.

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. Assessments and feedback to pupils will also be provided via Teams Assignments.
  • 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 – 11 via Microsoft Teams. Years 12 and 13 are also set independent study work via this platform too. This will continue in scenarios of self-isolation and 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.
  • Please note that Teams live lessons can be easily accessed via a smartphone and devices such as Box/Playstation and internet-enable TV.
  • 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 Year Manager (via the school office on 01670 812166).
  • 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 Year Manager (via the school office on 01670 812166).
  • For the small minority of pupils who are completing their work via printed work packs, the Engagement Team will make regular contact with students and parents to discuss progress. Where it is safe to do so, we will arrange for work be returned to school for teachers to assess.

How will my child be taught remotely?

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

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

  • Microsoft Teams will be used across the school with all year groups to set pupils’ work and deliver lessons. Assessments and independent study tasks will also be set via this platform.
  • 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. All students will receive their full usual timetable.

Remote teaching will replicate effective classroom teaching as far as possible, including:

  • providing frequent, clear explanations of new content
  • providing opportunities for interactivity, including questioning, eliciting and reflective discussion
  • providing modelling, scaffolded practice and opportunities to apply new knowledge
  • enabling pupils to receive timely and frequent feedback on how to progress, using digitally-facilitated or whole-class feedback where appropriate
  • using assessment to ensure teaching is responsive to pupils’ needs and addresses any critical gaps in pupils’ knowledge
  • breaking content and tasks into smaller chunks to aid concentration

We recognise that different approaches suit different types of content and different pupils. In some cases, other methods of delivery may be used, for example pre-recorded lessons by teachers or use of lessons from other sources, e.g. Oak Academy.

Where printed resources are required, for example key texts or revision guides for exam preparation, these will be safely distributed to students to use at home.

 

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?

  • All pupils are expected to attend all timetabled lessons. These will be displayed on their calendar in Teams.
  • Where a live lesson is not taking place (for example if a teacher is absent), work with clear instructions for completion will be provided for that lesson in the class Teams group.
  • Live lessons are used as our primary method of delivery as they encourage greater levels of engagement from pupils and allow for interactions between teachers and pupils. Opportunities for discussion between pupils are built into lessons where appropriate, as it is recognised that peer support is an important element of pupil engagement.
  • Teachers will work with pupils during lessons to develop skills and strategies which will support them in their independent learning. These include strategies to help    pupils organise and check their own work.
  • Weekly assemblies and PHSE lessons are also used to help engage pupils by making them feel like part of the wider school community.
  • Rewards are used to motivate and engage pupils. These include virtual reward certificates, displays of excellent work every week and ‘Star of the Week’ awards from pastoral and subject staff.

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?

  • Registers will be taken each lesson each day, and where pupils are absent parents will be contacted by our pastoral support team.
  • We will similarly monitor pupils’ work rate / engagement in lessons every week and communicate with parents where we are concerned about a pupil’s level of engagement. This communication will usually come from the Director of Learning in the first instance, or from a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Ms Quinn, Deputy Headteacher, is the senior leader responsible for remote education.
  • 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.
  • Key assessed pieces of work will be submitted and assessed using Teams Assignments.
  • Peer interactions can provide motivation and improve learning outcomes (as well as building social skills): these will be enabled through chat groups in Teams where appropriate.

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 can be 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?

 

  • Remote education will differ depending on whether an individual / small group of pupils is isolating or a whole class / year group.
  • Pupils will continue to access their in-school timetable: 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.
  • Where the majority of 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.
  • Where possible, teachers will aim to adopt a blended approach, for example streaming their lesson live to students working at home as well as teaching students who are in the classroom. This will not be possible for all subjects or classes, and is very much dependent on the size of the group and age and needs of the pupils.
  • If you have any questions about remote learning while your child is isolating, please email admin@ashingtonacademy.co.uk or contact school reception by telephone, and the appropriate member of staff will get in touch to support.