Remote Education Provision: Information for Parents/Carers
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.
The Remote Curriculum: What is taught to students at home
What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of students being sent home? 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 recognise that not all students’ home environments will fully support their education and some may not have access to a device or have an internet connection at home which allows them to learn online or join in at scheduled lesson times.
At Beths, we are committed to address any digital divide and we have endeavoured to provide a digital mobile device to any student who may need one. We surveyed all our Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 students/parents/carers in the Autumn term 2020 and allocated a school’s laptop to those who requested a mobile device. If you have not done this already, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to request the relevant form you will need to complete.
We also understand that one cannot substitute a teacher in front of a physical classroom through remote education. However, our ambition is to ensure that any remote education we provide will be as close as possible in achieving a similar outcome to that provided from a physical classroom in school.
With this in mind, we intend to teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. However, we may need to make some adaptations in some subjects to identify what aspects of the curriculum can be effectively taught remotely and what could be left to be taught face to face in school. All our subjects areas in school have a contingency plan in place to deal with members of staff/students self-isolating and provision in place for partial/full school closure.
To achieve this, we have had to be creative, proactive and innovative in our approach. We have provided our staff with the necessary training they need while working with technology and will continue to do this as new technology evolves. We have also been impressed on how our students have adapted to the changes so well.
We endeavour to provide a range of educational activities and opportunities for revisiting prior learning, chunking up new knowledge including live or pre-recorded practical demonstrations where appropriate.
We also ensure that remote education is inclusive and accessible offline. We will provide hard copies of work for students who are unable to access online learning and ensure regular contacts with our SEND and disadvantaged students.
Remote Teaching and Study Time each day
How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?
Your son’s/daughter’s teachers will deliver the lessons as per his/her timetable through two main online platforms; Showmyhomework and Microsoft Teams.
Your son/daughter will need to be prepared and ready for their timetabled lessons. Usually information will be posted by their teachers on Showmyhomework or Microsoft Teams ahead of scheduled lessons.
So on average, your son or daughter will be able to access at least 4 hours of remote education each day. In addition to this, we advise students working towards formal qualifications to spend more than the 4 hours per day and in the sixth form, at least 6 hours per subject per week including independent learning.
Departments have been uploading a range of resources on ‘Its Learning/Fronter’ and Microsoft Teams for students references alongside a variety of online resources which can also be found on the school’s website.
Please note that remote teaching will take place during normal term time school hours with communication and feedback will be provided by teachers up to 5.00pm on any normal school day.
Accessing Remote Education
How will my child access any online Remote Education you are providing? How will my child be taught remotely?
The main tool will continue to be Showmyhomework and Microsoft Teams and will need to be further supported and topped up with the following tools where and when appropriate. We will use a blended approach to remote education using a variety of teaching and learning tools;
- Microsoft Teams as a video conferencing tool. Your son/daughter has been allocated a specific, identified school’s email to use to access live lessons on Microsoft Teams. Information was also sent to parents earlier in the autumn term on how their son/daughter can sign into Microsoft 365 to access Microsoft Teams. If your son/daughter cannot join Teams, then they will need to email IT@beths.bexley.sch.uk. We have a dedicated and supportive IT team who will be keen to support. Please note that we will be phasing out the use of Zoom for teaching and learning by the end of January 2021 and all live lessons will take place on Microsoft Teams.
- Email using school email addresses only (both teachers and students)
- YouTube pre-recorded videos
- Pre-recorded powerpoints
- Microsoft Streams pre-recorded videos
- Its Learning (old Fronter)
Our different departments also use their own range of supplementary online resources, e,g Kerboodle, Edmodo, Memrise, etc. Your son/daughter will have been informed on this already by their subject teachers. This information is also signposted on the school’s website under ‘Curriculum’
If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?
Although we continue to ensure that every student at Beths has a mobile device, we recognise that some students may not have suitable online internet access at home. We take the following approaches to support those students to access remote education:
- The school will be able to request 4G wireless routers from the DfE for vulnerable and disadvantaged students.
- Printed materials, workbooks, worksheets, and any additional learning resources alongside teachers’ instructions can be requested from the Main School Reception. We will ensure that work set will be copied, sent out to the student’s home address and be for the duration of school closure or self-isolation/shielding if less than one week. This will be repeated on a weekly basis as/if necessary.
- Subject teachers will also make contact home on a weekly basis to check on progress. They will ask to speak to parents or carers at the beginning and end of the call as per our safeguarding procedures.
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?
Expectations for parents/carers
We would be grateful if you could ensure that your son/daughter has a clear set work routine at home, prepared and ready for their learning on a daily basis. They must NOT be late attending any remote live lessons as they will not be recorded to comply with GDPR.
Expectations for students regarding remote education
- Teachers will use Showmyhomework and/or Microsoft Teams as the main platforms to communicate with your son/ daughter, and live lessons will be scheduled on Microsoft Teams. We expect that your son and daughter will engage in their learning.
- To ensure that your son/daughter remains connected and engaged with their learning remotely, all lessons attendance will be done on Microsoft Teams with camera on. Their teacher will explain the work, clarify any points and will either carry on with Microsoft Teams or revert to Showmyhomework.
- If your son/daughter fails to complete the work by the set deadline, teachers will post a comment on Showmyhomework/Microsoft Teams as a polite reminder that the deadline was missed. There may a number of reasons for this and teachers will be accommodating. They may agree to extend the work deadline for your son/daughter. If the work is not completed by the new agreed deadline, the teacher will contact parents/carers by email and ask you to support your son/daughter to ensure the work is submitted as soon as possible.
- If this work is still not completed, the Head of Department will make contact with parents/carers to explore further. If this is across a number of subject areas, the Head of Year will make contact.
Expectations for students accessing live lessons on Microsoft Teams
- Before a live lesson, your son/daughter has to ensure that they have all their necessary learning resources to hand (textbooks, notes, exercise book, paper, pen, etc.) as instructed by their teacher.
- At the start of the session your son/daughter will need to mute his/her microphone.
- They must enter the room with their full name (First name and Surname) and camera on.
- Their teacher will then take a register and camera will need to be left on during the session. We think this is important so that teachers can connect with your son/daughter and reassure them about their learning where required. Let us know if this will pose a problem depending on your circumstance.
- Dress code for both staff and students must be appropriate for a school learning environment.
- They have to ensure they are in a suitable learning environment at home with a suitable background (e.g not accessing live lessons on a bus, train, restaurant, etc.)
- They can be asked to respond to questions through the ‘chat’ feature. Their teacher may also ask to unmute themselves so that they can contribute to the lesson.
- They can use the ‘raise your hand’ feature to gain attention.
- They must use the ‘chat’ feature appropriately and sensibly, and must NOT post any inappropriate comments.
- Teachers will dedicate a lot of time and effort in preparing for live virtual lessons so we expect a full positive contribution from all students.
- Any misbehaviour or inappropriate comment will be dealt with severely by the school in line with our School Behaviour Policy.
- The school will adopt a zero tolerance to deliberate attempts to disrupt live lessons and will reserve the right to suspend any live remote lessons until a serious concern is fully investigated. During this time, the teacher will revert to Showmyhomework for future lessons until the matter has been dealt with. So, we would be grateful if you could reinforce the expectations with your son and daughter and we thank you for your support.
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns? How will you assess my child’s work and progress?
Providing feedback on work
- Regular feedback will be provided to students so that they can progress with their learning and do not fall behind. This will also be dependent on the prevailing situation, e.g on how long remote learning will be used. If remote learning is to be used long term, teachers will provide appropriate feedback to ensure that students’ learning is not hampered and they do not fall behind.
- Teachers will use a range of methods to check what students know, remember and can do. This can range from low stake assessments e.g multiple choice questions, quizzes, true or false statements to questions where short to long extended responses are required.
- Written feedback will be provided on a regular basis on Showmyhomework/Microsoft Teams. Students can upload work on Showmyhomework or Microsoft Teams as instructed by their teachers and will receive individual feedback from their teachers.
- To minimise the risk of transmission of the virus through collection of books, teachers will upload mark schemes/ answers to Showmyhomework or to Microsoft Teams so that students can green pen their work. Your son/daughter may also be asked to take a photo of their work and upload to Showmyhomework/Microsoft Teams. Teachers will also check and monitor the work in class and make a record of progress.
- Verbal feedback will be provided virtually on Microsoft Teams during live lessons. Microsoft Teams will also be used for written feedback where appropriate.
- Our teachers will endeavour to provide prompt feedback where and when possible and on a weekly basis. They will ensure that students are ready for any formal assessments and are given adequate notice before they are set.
- If there are any concerns with engagement and lack of progress, the individual subject teacher will contact parents/carers to provide feedback.
Additional support for students 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 students, eg. those 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 our supportive Individual Educational Needs (IEN) Department will continue to work with you and provide the necessary guidance on how we can support your son/daughter.
Remote Education for self-isolating and shielding students
If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating or shielding, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?
- If your son/daughter is self-isolating or shielding and well, they will be asked to access their class remotely on Microsoft Teams. As soon as the teacher has been made aware of this, he/she will send your son/daughter a Microsoft Teams invite to join the lesson live from home. All our timetabled classrooms are equipped with the appropriate hardware and software to run remote live lessons.
- It is therefore important that you make the school immediately aware if your son/daughter is self-isolating and when the self-isolation period will end.
- If his/her teacher is unable to run a live remote lesson on Microsoft Teams from the classroom, then the appropriate work will be set on Showmyhomework in line with the planned and sequenced curriculum.
b. If your son/daughter is self-isolating and unwell, we will not ask him/her to join any live lessons until he/she feels better. Instead, work will be set on Showmyhomework in line with the work covered in class so that he/she does not fall behind. You will need to inform the school when your son/daughter is feeling better so that teachers can start liaising with him/her about the work and their learning.
Will my son/daughter allow to join a live remote lesson if he/she is temporarily excluded from the school?
Any student who is temporarily excluded from the school for poor behaviour will carry on receiving work through Showmyhomework, by email or Microsoft Teams, as per our normal procedures for school exclusions, so that they do not fall behind. However, they will not be included in any live lessons on Microsoft Teams until they are admitted back in school following the normal re-introduction meeting.