Berwick Academy Remote Learning Provision: Information for Parents and Carers
This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency about what students, parents and carers can expect from remote education if students are required to self-isolate, or if local or national restrictions should change, requiring larger groups of students to remain at home.
Remote education for self-isolating students
Where a student is required to self-isolate, learning will be set using the approaches and platforms outlined below, reflecting the topics, content and amount of learning that they would have engaged in in school.
Work will be set in Microsoft Teams Classes and will reflect the student’s in-school learning and lessons. The material provided will include a variety of resources determined by most effective way to support the continuation of learning in each subject. Content will include recorded learning which may comprise recordings made by teachers, or be provided through school-approved platforms such as Oak Academy and Hegarty Maths.
We fully understand that students isolating due to COVID may be unwell and unable to complete a day of school work. However, in line with our statutory obligations, the school will continue to set work and we ask that you help your child to only complete work as and when they are able to do so within their isolation period.
Remote teaching and study time each day
We expect that remote education (including remote lessons and independent work) will take students approximately five hours each day, following their in-school timetable. Further homework-style tasks may also be provided where appropriate.
Accessing remote education
How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?
Microsoft Teams Classes is the main platform that students will use to access, complete and submit their remote learning, as our research, benchmarking and work with students has shown that this provides the most effective learning experience. In some cases, students will be asked to submit their learning in another platform as directed by their teacher, for example Hegarty Maths for Mathematics, or Seneca Learning for Science; however, all initial instructions will be provided in the class team.
Students can access their Microsoft Teams Classes by logging into their Office 365 account. We would like to ask all students, parents and carers to watch this video which gives more information on how to use and access Microsoft Teams Classes. This document provides further guidance for student and parents/carers on how to access learning in Microsoft Teams Classes on different devices. Further guidance on Microsoft Teams.
If you or your child have any difficulties with access to Microsoft Teams Classes, please email email@example.com
How Remote Learning will be set for students who are isolating
On the day that we receive a notification that a student is isolating, they will be added to the ‘Remote Initial Learning’ team on Microsoft Teams Classes; this will be the case even if the student attends school for part of the day. In this team, they will have access to appropriate lessons and learning resources in a range of subjects:
- On the day of notification, and the following day, students should complete learning using the lessons and resources in this team, wherever possible focusing on the subjects on their timetable on those days.
- They should submit their completed learning through the assignments on the team.
On any subsequent days of isolation, students will access lessons and learning tasks set for them in their class teams:
- Learning will be available to them each morning for the subjects on their timetable that day.
- Teachers will check on the student’s engagement in each lesson, and work to support and encourage them in their learning.
- Should a student need any further support in accessing or completing the learning set, a member of the team will get in touch to provide this.
The remote curriculum: what is taught to students at home?
Will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school?
- When delivering learning remotely, we continue to offer an ambitious and engaging curriculum to our students, reflecting our Curriculum Vision, Aims and Principles.
- We continue to offer a knowledge-rich curriculum, planned and sequenced to optimise student engagement and learning.
- We provide the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate; however, we may at times need make some adaptations. For example, learning for subjects with practical elements may need to be adapted to ensure that students can access and complete activities from home.
- During a lockdown scenario, in addition to the taught curriculum, we offer students a range of opportunities to enrich their learning and build cultural capital and critical literacy, for example through weekly virtual assemblies and The Berwick Reads project, which allows students to listen to audio recordings of seminal classic and modern texts read by their teachers.
How will my child be taught remotely?
We use a range of approaches to remote education. These are evidence-informed to ensure that we are using best practice, and based on ongoing dialogue with students, parents/carers and teachers about the most effective approaches.
Our remote curriculum is delivered principally through recorded and guided learning, using carefully selected platforms and clearly guided tasks to simulate effective classroom learning. This allows our students access to a high-quality remote education in a flexible way that is appropriate to their home circumstances.
During a period of full or partial lockdown, we also offer some face-to-face online seminars for Sixth Form students to complement recorded, guided and independent learning. In addition, we offer face-to-face online sessions for our Reading Support Programme, as this approach allows us to provide the most effective one-to-one support to participating students.
Further details of our approach to remote teaching:
- We use recorded learning to give students clear explanations of new material and learning tasks, to provide modelling of the type of work that is expected, and, where teacher recordings are provided, to help them to feel a connection with their teacher.
- We use the following ‘active ingredients’ of our face-to-face teaching in our remote learning, wherever possible and practicable. These are:
- Retrieval practice, at the start of lessons.
- Do Now Activities – DNAs – in which students are guided to work more independently.
- Teacher narration, with the teacher providing a summary of the learning at the end of the lesson.
- We make use of quizzing as part of remote learning to further support the consolidation of knowledge.
- Teachers use a range of resources, including Word Documents and PowerPoints, that students can access and, where appropriate, edit and submit, to support learning activities.
- We have identified and invested in some additional carefully-selected virtual learning platforms to enhance our remote learning offer and meet the requirements of different subjects:
- Hegarty Maths
- Seneca Learning
- Oak National Academy
- The Everlearner
- Internet Geography
If access to printed materials is required this should be communicated to your child’s Pastoral Lead and arrangements will be made to provide these for collection from school, or they will be delivered or posted home. Completed work can be submitted by returning it to the school reception, or requesting support with collection or postage.
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?
Our expectation of student engagement in virtual learning is high, and we continue to educate students in The Berwick Way of being On Time, On Side and On Task.
We encourage all students to:
- Log in each morning to access the learning set.
- Work through the learning provided for each remote lesson in turn, following their in-school timetable where possible.
- Use chat to communicate with their teachers if they would like advice or support.
- Where the teacher asks that learning is submitted, do so on the same day that the task is set wherever possible.
We recognise that there may be times when it is not possible for your child to work in this way, but if they can form good habits that are similar to the routines of a school day, they will find it much easier to continue effectively with their learning
We ask all parents/carers to:
- At the start of each day, talk with your child about the learning, helping them to plan when and where they will complete their work, including when they will take breaks.
- Check in with your child during their study sessions to provide encouragement and support.
- Watch this video which gives more information on how to use and access Microsoft Teams Classes.
- Contact the school if you require any further support with your child’s remote education, for example, with ensuring that they can get access to and complete the learning.
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
We will check your child’s engagement with their work in a number of ways:
- The class teacher will monitor your child’s engagement with each remote lesson and offer regular feedback within the relevant platform. If your child has not engaged in the learning set, or if they may require further support with remote learning, a member of the pastoral team will contact you in the first instance.
- If there are any concerns, these will be explained to you during this phone call, and we will work with you and your child to identify ways forward.
- A member of the leadership team will co-ordinate information about student engagement regularly. This information will be used in conversations with parents and students about how to support engagement in learning.
How will you assess my child’s work and progress?
Feedback on remote education follows the principles of our whole-school assessment and feedback policy. Wherever possible, we will continue with planned assessment remotely, and your child will receive feedback which is timely, addresses misconceptions, and helps them to improve.
Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual students. 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 work is as follows:
- Your child will receive feedback in each subject at least weekly.
- The methods used to provide feedback will include:
- Comments next to or within the body of a piece of work.
- ‘Www’ (what went well) and ‘ebi’ (even better if) comments.
- Whole-class feedback delivered as a document or audio-recording.
- Marks, scores or grades.
- Where students have engaged in a planned, formal assessment, they will receive more in-depth feedback, including literacy marking for spelling, punctuation and grammar errors.
- Teachers may ask students to act upon feedback by completing corrections and doing improvement work, as they would in school. ‘Improvement Work’ should be clearly visible in students’ virtual learning with the use of green text where possible.
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, for example some students 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 students in the following ways:
- We will ensure that students with Special Educational Needs have the resources they need to access the virtual learning provided as a priority.
- We will take an individualised approach, using our detailed understanding of students and our Pupil Profiles to identify individual needs. The SEND Team will work in collaboration with teaching staff to support them in using this knowledge to plan and deliver teaching materials to meet the individual needs of students.
- The SEND Team will maintain regular contact with families to maintain a relationship with the school’s staff and environment.
- Students with individual needs and their supporting families will have the opportunity to work closely with the SEND support team to identify any barriers to learning and be supported to overcome these in the most effective way possible.
- Students with an Education and Health Care Plan that is due to be reviewed will continue through this process, with the review being carried out remotely and support in place by the relevant professionals from the Local Authority.
- We will seek support from others outside of the school where additional support is required, and maintain a regular contact and positive relationship with those in the Local Authority who can help us to help our students.
We fully understand the students may face lots of changes in their day due to the COVID-19 situation, as their routines, regular support and the people they see will be different. Every child with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is different and will have different support needs in the current situation. The SEND Team is here to support students and help parents and carers, and we can help to advise and support you as you support your child at home to continue to make individual progress.
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 students may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those students to access remote education:
- Surveying Year 9 students on entry regarding remote learning and access to devices and the internet at home.
- Encouraging all parents and carers to communicate any remote and online learning needs via letters home and whole school surveys during each lockdown period.
- Laptops, 4G routers and 4G data SIM cards are loaned to students to use at home where a need is identified and a device is available (note, there is a limited supply). Equipment is allocated based on an assessment of need, and priority access may be given to students who are supported by pupil premium funding arrangements, have an identified Special Educational Need or are part of a school or wider services support plan.
- Students and parents in receipt of loaned IT equipment will be required to sign loan agreements and adhere to the school’s acceptable use and online safeguarding policies. When a device is no longer required, is shown by monitoring programmes not to be used regularly, or if acceptable use policies are breached, students will be asked to return equipment to school so that it can be redistributed as required.
- If access to printed materials is required this should be communicated to the relevant Pastoral Leader and arrangements will be made to provide these for collection from school, or they will be delivered or posted home. Completed work can then be submitted by returning it to school via the main reception, or by requesting support with collection or postage.
- Concerns about access to online learning or requests for further information can be shared at any time with school reception staff, the relevant Pastoral Leader, or during phone calls home from staff.
Emails can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org to access support, guidance or advice.