Remote Learning

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for the safe and effective use of ICT for remote teaching and learning during a full or partial closure.  It also covers the ongoing education of pupils who cannot be in school due to self-isolation or other reasons.

To be fully prepared in the event of future closures, partial closures or isolation of bubbles, St Thomas More Primary School has carefully considered, consulted on and developed this policy for remote learning. The overarching goal is to enable pupils to access high-quality teaching and learning even when they are unable to attend school. 

Section 1 – Remote Teaching and Learning in the event of a full closure

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.  This may mean that the pupils will be sent home with books and resources to complete the learning.

In the event of a full or partial (bubble) closure the school will endeavour to provide continuity of education in the following ways:

  • All year groups will have access to Google Classroom where they will be provided with learning opportunities through work set by the class teacher on a weekly or daily basis
  • Using Google meet to produce recorded and live lessons
  • Other learning tools that teachers will use and signpost to are Oak Academy. YouTube, Busy Things, Phonics Play and BBC teach 

When teaching pupils remotely we will:

  • Set assignments via google classroom so that pupils have meaningful and ambitious work for English, Maths, RE and other foundation subjects that support the wider curriculum
  • Have a well sequenced curriculum so that knowledge and skills are built upon so children understand what is expected in each subject
  • Monitor how well pupils are understanding the work set and progressing through the curriculum using questions and other suitable tasks. This will be done on google classroom and on google meet
  • Each class will have a daily live meet, this will take the format of a lesson/walk through the day’s work and a social/well-being session. Adjusting or providing additional work/links of what is being taught in response to questions and feedback and have an opportunity to simplify explanations to ensure a pupil’s understanding.
  • Share a timetable of live sessions with parent to allow them to plan space, equipment and supervision

Section 2 – Home and School Partnership

St Thomas More is committed to working alongside our families during this time and very much recognise each family is unique and because of this home learning will look different in every household.  Where possible we would encourage parents to support their children’s work by finding them a suitable place for them to do this in and encourage them to work with good levels of concentration. Where children are attending a google meet we suggest that parents are present in the room to help facilitate positive behaviour throughout the meeting.

The staff at St Thomas More will make every effort to ensure work is set promptly Teachers will check work daily but there may be a delay in responding to student comments or work if the Teacher is in class as part of our staff rota.

Should accessing work be an issue, parents should contact the school office as soon as possible as alternative solutions may be available which will be discussed on a case-to-case basis.

If parents or students have questions about a particular piece of work, they should reply using Google classroom. If there is a more detailed query or a longer parent comment, then they should write to the school for the attention of the teacher.

Section 3 – Safeguarding and Emotional Wellbeing

In the event of a school or bubble closure staff are reminded that the Schools safeguarding policy still applies to all interactions between pupils and teachers.  Teachers must ensure their pupils are engaging with the school community.

Where the school is unable to ensure regular contact with a child the class Teacher will inform the Senior Leadership Team and the school will phone home to check. If we cannot make contact with a family, then the school may contact the Borough welfare services for support.

If a family is struggling with home learning the school will endeavour to provide support where necessary in ways such as: paper based work, providing equipment or further interaction with the family. Although paper packs may suit some families, we will encourage all to access online learning as a preference. For those who are only able to access learning through the paper packs it is essential that these are collected promptly and not left at school.

Packs are printed and left in the front office for those families that have made contact to request them.

Staff and children should engage with Google meet in a safe place, they should be fully dressed and children should follow the school’s usual behavioural expectations.

Teachers and TAs may also use Google meet not just for live lessons but also to provide pastoral support as well as small group check ins and focussed teaching.

Mrs Barnes (SENDCO) will maintain contact with our more vulnerable/SEN families. A register will be maintained to track engagement and access to work.

St Thomas More Primary are aware of screen time recommendations and recommend that learning is done in bitesize chunks and is dependent on the age of the child and their concentration time.  Older children should be able to complete work independently, younger children will need more adult support at home. As well as online work teachers will encourage children to be active in their home environment.

With children being away from their friends and Teachers at school they are missing much of their social, behavioural and academic structure. Some lessons may have a pastoral or wellbeing focus involving games and discussion.

Children may experience anxiety or worry due to not seeing family and friends or because of the repetitive environment that we all find ourselves in. If any parents have any welfare or safeguarding concerns then they can contact the school using normal contact details or via this mail:

The NSPCC has a wealth of advice and resources to support parents in keeping their children safe online and helping with home learning: Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers | NSPCC

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:

Section 4  – Subject specific information and resources

Google Classroom – The main platform we will be using to issue work.  Each child has their own log in and classes are password protected.

Oak Academy – A national programme providing lessons for all ages

BBC Teach – A free site run by the BBC with videos and activities specific to Primary curriculum

And commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences