We'd like to update you about our plans for remote learning this year in Rise schools and what this means for our school.
During lockdown earlier this year, we developed a model of emergency remote learning that was accessible to families in a wide range of circumstances. Some of our families are well-equipped with high-speed broadband and suitable devices for their children to access online learning, but of course many are not and we had to react quickly in a way that suited the majority and that was manageable and sustainable for teachers.
Since Autumn Term 2020, we have worked towards moving more of our remote learning online so that children who need to self-isolate can have more contact and interaction with their teachers and their class peers.
This has been a huge undertaking. First, we needed to establish the digital learning platform; for RISE schools, this is Microsoft Teams. We started using Teams for staff communication and collaboration about two years ago and more recently, to learn about the possibilities it offers for remote learning has taken time to establish and ensure initial training for staff has taken place. It has been invaluable during the lockdowns for meetings and to support communication between colleagues and with parents, as well staying connected with our children. More importantly, expanding it so that teachers can use Teams in the classroom, support individual pupils who need to stay at home and teach ‘live’ lessons to classes of children during the most recent lockdown has enabled us to ensure continuity of learning across our school.
This has involved careful planning, and regular training for teachers and support staff at each stage of implementation as well as considerable financial investment in the necessary IT infrastructure.
All children have their own unique log-in for Microsoft Office 365 (MS 365) and older children are able to manage their on-line learning independently, within the e-safety guidelines that we have agreed with parents. Younger children still need assistance and mainly use Seesaw to communicate their learning with the class teacher.
We have developed the necessary safeguarding protocols, codes of conduct, guides and policies, some of which are Trust-wide documents; you can access them below. If a bubble has to close, we are able to provide access to continued learning immediately by providing access to work through MS 365; then from day 2 of closure, remote learning through live lessons will become the norm. In this way, there is no disruption to the continuity of learning. All of this is explained in the documentation. Please do take the time to read them and if you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please email the school office.
While ultimately nothing can replace the classroom, pupils can learn well through remote education. It requires schools and families to work together to ensure that children and young people continue to access education, and while this has always been true, it has never been more important than amid the continued disruption of this pandemic.
- Rehearse the ground rules. Ensure they know that working at home is not optional; that a high standard of good behaviour and positive attitude is required; they must follow the ‘rules’ for live lessons that the children have agreed. Make perfect punctuality a priority!
- Distinguish between weekdays and weekends, to separate school life and home life
- Designate a working space if possible, and at the end of the day have a clear cut-off to signal school time is over
- Create and stick to a routine, as this is what your child is used to at school. For example, eat breakfast at the same time each morning and make sure they're dressed before starting the ‘school’ day
- Stick a timetable up on the wall so everyone knows what they should be doing when, and tick activities off throughout the day
- Provide support if needed, especially the younger children but take over; let them lead their own learning under the guidance of their teacher.
- Enable them to say what they want to type if they struggle to write independently. Use dictation software such as OneNote (with Office 365) so that you can give feedback without even having to touch the keyboard
- Help them to use the technology: ensure everything is set up and ready to access MSTeams, upload pictures or work assignments for them.
- Make time for exercise and breaks throughout the day to keep your child active
- Keep communicating with us.