Remote Learning, Curriculum, Teaching and Assessment
Students in Years 7-13 are taught through our chosen platform of MS Teams. Students should follow their existing school timetables, and complete work in their timetabled subject. Students in all years should be spending the same time working remotely as they would spend in school, spending 1h and 5 minutes per lesson. We will, wherever possible, follow the existing curriculum, however, in some subjects e.g PE, Art and Performing Arts there will be some changes to allow for the particular challenges of working from home.
Work will be available in one of three ways:
- ‘Live lessons’ these lessons can be accessed through the TEAMs calendar and will only take place when that lesson was scheduled to be taught. E.g., if a student has an English lesson timetabled between 10am and 11:05am this is the time the live English lesson will be scheduled. Not all lessons will be taught ‘live’.
- Resources accessed through the ‘files area’. If a live lesson is not scheduled, then this should be the area that a student accesses to find their lesson work. It can be accessed by going into the relevant TEAM and clicking on the files TAB at the top. Lesson resources are dated and subdivided into folders.
- In line with our assessment policy, every 4-6 lessons subject teachers will set an assignment. These assignments can be viewed by clicking on the ‘assignments tab’. These assignments should be completed by the deadline set and returned to the teacher using the ‘submit’ feature.
Details on how to access and use TEAMs is included in the file “How to access Microsoft Teams”.
Accessing Microsoft Teams for Students
Engaging with Live Lessons, Resources and Assignments
The live learning sessions can be accessed using a computer, tablet or smartphone. No extra equipment is required. If your child is uncomfortable sharing live video of themselves, they can disable the video function or put in a different background. Instructions for doing this have been shared using your child’s school email address. We have in place policies and procedures to ensure appropriate online safety for both students and staff.
We would like to remind you that not all teachers will have the necessary IT equipment at home to carry out these sessions, so these will not be available from every teacher or every subject.
We have been very impressed by the engagement of our students in remote education and have sent hundreds of positive emails to praise this engagement. We do recognise that working remotely is not easy, however, we must inform you if your child is missing learning opportunities. If this is the case you will receive an email similar to the one below, it is not intended as a punishment or criticism, but just to alert you that some learning has been missed, and hopefully to prompt a discussion with your child and/or with the school.
‘St John Fisher School – SchoolVue Sanction Alert
Engagement concern for Name of Pupil for possible lack of engagement in remote learning. Your child has recently missed at least two live lessons/assignment submissions. We understand that remote learning is extremely challenging, but we wanted to let you know that your child has missed some learning opportunities. If you would like to discuss this further, please get in touch with your child’s PCL or Head of Year.’
I would like to stress that we are required to provide you with this information and recognise that in many cases you and your child will be working very hard. Please do not view it as a reprimand but as information that you may wish to follow up. The reference to sanction reflects the limitations of the platform that we are using to deliver these notifications, and I would like to reassure you that there are no negative consequences associated with receiving this message.
Support for Students with Particular Needs
As well as teaching our vulnerable children and children of key workers, support staff in school continue to support students with particular needs through participation in live lessons and scheduled support meetings. In addition, teachers continue to differentiate the work that they set remotely ensuring that learner’s needs are met.
Students required to self-isolate
Once we return to school there may still be instances where students are required to self-isolate. Teachers will continue to upload lesson resources for every lesson to TEAMs as outlined above so that students have access to these resources. These resources can be used if a child is required to self-isolate as well as for revision and consolidation purposes. If an individual or small group of children is isolating, they are less likely to receive live teaching, although in some cases this may still be possible.
Devices and Internet
If your child does not have access to a device in order to attend remote learning opportunities, please contact Mr Willsher at the school on email@example.com to make a request. We have a limited number of devices provided by the government and may be able to provide one, should your child meet certain criteria. We are working hard to ensure everybody who requires a device to engage with remote learning receives one.
Microsoft Teams can be accessed on a wide variety of devices. It can be accessed through computers, tablets and phones and can also be accessed through games consoles including Xbox (One and Series X) and PlayStation (4 & 5). The link below is for a YouTube video explaining how an Xbox or PlayStation can be used to access MS Teams.
We are aware that some parents will not have access to traditional wired broadband and will be accessing the internet via a mobile device. The DfE has recently introduced a scheme by which mobile customers on certain networks can gain access to free additional data during the lockdown period. I include a list of the providers and the conditions below. If you subscribe to one of these networks and do not have access to a traditional broadband network, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
SUBJECT LINE: INTERNET
- Name of Child
- Name of Account Holder
- Mobile number (for the account that should receive extra data)
- Mobile Network
- Contract or Pay as you Go.
This data will be submitted by the school and you will receive a notification from your provider once the additional data is activated. A number of these networks have caps in places for these offers and it should be noted that additional data is at the discretion of the mobile operator, not the school.
If you do not have wired broadband and the above offers will be of no help, please email email@example.com using the subject line INTERNET.
Please include the name of the child, confirmation that you do not have access to wired broadband and a brief outline of your remote learning circumstances. There is the ability for the school to apply for mobile broadband ‘dongles’ through the DfE.
These devices are subject to certain criteria that are outside of the school’s control. You will be notified if the school’s application on your behalf has been successful.
Other resources to support learning
There are two new sources of online learning available to students and parents, one from BBC bitesize and one from ‘Oak National Academy’ which has been set up by the DfE We have looked at the resources on these sites and they are really high quality. BBC bitesize, in particular, has tutorial videos, excerpts from textbooks, and exam questions from the exam board of the child’s choosing. It also has video lessons that can be found on BBC iplayer.
Both of these resource banks are based around a virtual curriculum with lessons released day by day (bitesize uploads week by week). Some of our teachers may be using parts of these lessons if it fits into what they need to teach. If you would like extra activities for your child please do give them a look, they are interesting and informative.