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Milton Road Primary School

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Remote Learning Strategy

 

Information for Parents 

February 2021

This information is always under review and will adapt over time

 

Aims

The following information is intended to provide clarity to parents or carers about what to expect from remote education where restrictions require children to remain at home.

 

Our Remote Learning strategy aims to:

  • monitor the safety and wellbeing of all children
  • support children to continue to learn through a remotely adapted curriculum
  • support parents to access remote learning with ease
  • mitigate and remove potential barriers to children accessing remote learning

 

Rationale

The school is tasked to continue educating children remotely whilst the school is closed to the majority of pupils. During this time, the school adapts methods of teaching to reflect the needs of pupils as they access learning remotely at home and the challenges that this brings for them.

We use the following principles of high quality teaching to guide our method of delivery (McAleavy & Gorgen, 2020):

  1. Planning and teaching well-structured lessons (structure)
  2. Adapting teaching when appropriate to meet individual needs (adaptation)
  3. Making accurate and productive use of assessment (assessment)

 

The EEF finds that the quality of remote teaching is reliant on many of the same factors involved in effective instruction:

  • ensuring pupils receive clear explanations
  • supporting growth in confidence with new material through scaffolded practice
  • application of new knowledge or skills
  • enabling pupils to receive feedback on how to progress

 

We use a blended approach – a mixture of styles of online learning to try and make the most that each brings (e.g. use of SeeSaw, published recorded videos to ensure well crafted focused sessions that children can repeat as needed).

 

In a review of research comparing different types of online learning, the EEF concluded that ‘live teaching’ was not superior in itself; there was “no clear difference between teaching in real time (“synchronous teaching”) and alternatives (“asynchronous teaching”). The EEF reported the following findings:

 

  • Teaching quality is more important than how lessons are delivered
  • Peer interactions can provide motivation and improve learning outcomes
  • Supporting pupils to work independently can improve learning outcomes
  • Different approaches to remote learning suit different types of content and pupils
  • Ensuring access to technology is key, especially for disadvantaged pupils

 

Guidance for Remote Learning from the DFE

 

The guidance for the latest national lockdown sets out the following expectations for remote learning.  

 

Schools and teachers are expected to: 

 

  • Set assignments so that pupils have meaningful and ambitious work each day in a number of different subjects.
  • Primary schools should ensure pupils have three hours' work a day in KS1 and four hours in KS2, on average, across the cohort.
  • Secondary schools should ensure students have four hours' work a day, with more for those working towards formal qualifications this year.
  • 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.
  • 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.

 

Online safety and remote education - DFE 

 

Keeping children safe in education provides schools and colleges with information on what they should be doing to protect their pupils and students, including online. Annex C in the guidance provides online safety support, and since September 2020, for the first time, includes resources and support on safe remote education, virtual lessons and live streaming. It also includes information on online safety for schools and colleges to share with parents and carers. In addition, in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) and the move for many children to remote learning, the department provides guidance on safeguarding and remote education to support schools plan lessons safely.

 

Schools and colleges do not have to offer live lessons. Remote teaching will include both recorded or live direct teaching time, and time for pupils and students to complete tasks and assignments independently. Online video lessons do not necessarily need to be recorded by teaching staff at the school or college. Oak National Academy lessons, for example, can be provided in lieu of school or college led video content. Schools and colleges are best placed to decide on the most appropriate approach to teaching their pupils effectively.

Further guidance on providing remote education can be accessed through our get help with remote education service. The EdTech Demonstrator Programme also offers free peer-led support to schools and colleges for remote education.

Remote Learning Provision – SeeSaw Lessons & Pastoral/Academic Daily Check-ins 

 

Thank you so much for all of your support with remote learning provision. We recognise the considerable challenges this poses and we are so grateful for all that you are doing. Please remember that home learning will look different in every household, so please do not feel undue pressure. No one knows your child better than you and if you feel they (or you!) need a break, please do whatever works best for you.

 

You are doing an incredible job, juggling so much. We endeavour to support you to the very best of our ability, so please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. We know your concerns around children learning from home are not just based on children missing out academically but also socially and emotionally.

 

Furthermore, we recognise that it can be particularly tricky to keep children motivated to work when they are out of the classroom environment and deprived of this social contact with their peers. We have been striving to find new ways we can increase children's connection to their class to provide these important social opportunities. In light of this, we intend to use Zoom across the school, to supplement our provision on Seesaw.

 

This will provide twice daily live, communication platform between home and school and will allow children to interact with their teachers and classmates. Using Zoom is only one part of our remote learning strategy as we know that the requirement for children to be online at a specific time can be problematic and impractical for some families, particularly in cases where siblings may be sharing devices. It is essential that we provide an equitable learning experience to all, for this reason we will not be using Zoom for live teaching.

 

These twice daily sessions will prioritise welfare to serve as a pastoral 'check in' sessions, to talk together, share stories and PSHE/circle time activities alongside academic formative assessment. Work, resources and feedback will continue to also be provided through Seesaw. Discussion of work set, further exploration of topics, and whole class feedback of the work completed are likely to feature during these live sessions alongside the pastoral check-in and social connectivity between classmates. They will therefore operate as both pastoral and academic check-ins.

 

As this progresses, we hope these sessions will replicate authentic teacher/pupil interactions and relationships. We will create a recurring zoom meeting for each year group, this will be invite only to ensure these are secure areas. You will be sent joining instructions in due course. Pupils will be able to join using a computer, laptop, tablet or even a phone. Children's display names should only consist of their first names. Please note, for safeguarding reasons parents and children must not record or screenshot these sessions.

 

All children will begin "on mute" and the class teacher will "unmute" them when it is their turn to speak. The children will be able to see each other and interact. However, this is optional, you are welcome to turn off the camera setting and your child can join via voice only if you would prefer. Short five minute snippets of the live sessions can be shared on Seesaw, for any children who missed them. Children who missed the live session can also use the chat feature to add their own thoughts and connect with their peers retrospectively, to ensure they do not miss out on this social connection.

 

Each year group will have a time-tabled daily slot for these sessions. This will ensure siblings will each be able to attend their own session, without overlap. The sessions will be at the same time each day, to aid organisation of your day. These sessions will be joined both by critical worker children who are educated onsite and children who are learning at home as we hope to encourage cohesion between these two groups. Zoom is a secure online system, however it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that your child is supervised whilst using Zoom as with any other online learning, so internet safety guidelines are being followed at all times.

 

As with all of the approaches and adaptions we are making we too will be learning along the way and will be refining our offer as we learn more. Teachers are balancing on-line learning with being in school for critical workers. Your patience and understanding of this phenomena is as ever appreciated.

 

Online Safety – Parents/Carers please ensure you have looked at the following There are many benefits to the internet for connecting and learning. We want to ensure that everyone in our school community has a positive experience and is familiar with how to keep themselves safe online.

 

For information on keeping your child safe online you can access the following links: https://www.childnet.com/resources/video-lessons/the-r-rule

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/ https://parentinfo.org/articles/games,-apps-and-tech/all

https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/

Home Learning in General

 

Professor Janet Goodall of Bath University, says that parents' active involvement in their child's education has a significant impact on their academic achievement, behaviour and attitude towards school and can have more of an impact on outcomes than the quality of school that a child attends. 

 

At Milton Road we value parents as "Partners in Learning" and appreciate parents as the child's first teacher. We want to work as closely with you as possible in addition to encouraging you to support your child's learning at home as much as possible. 

 

Learning at Home takes many forms, reading stories to your child, helping to learn spellings and times tables but the most important activity is talking with your child and allowing them time to learn about the world through walks and visits to interesting places and supporting them to share their thoughts, ideas and opinions. 

 

To compliment the in-school curriculum teachers will invite children to undertake a variety of activities at home including tasks and projects. In March 2020 Milton Road implemented SeeSaw Learning Platform as a way to communicate with families and to provide teaching and learning opportunities.  We will continue to use this moving forward and look forward to seeing all the wonderful outcomes of the children's learning in school and at home! 

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