Remote learning offer
Barnes Primary School is committed to the continued provision of a varied and engaging education, together with strong pastoral support, in the event that children have to experience a period of remote learning. It is also determined to protect the physical and emotional wellbeing of its staff. This page of our website aims to summarise the school’s remote learning provision so that there are consistent and well-understood expectations.
Three principles underpin the statement:
- No pupil is to be excluded from learning whilst not in school on the basis of a lack of technology in the home;
- Vulnerable children and those with SEND must be individually supported to ensure their progress is not reversed; and
- Teaching practice must incorporate both remote learners and those still in school in order that school staff workload is manageable and their wellbeing protected.
Different remote learning scenarios
Children may have to endure a period of remote learning either due to precautionary self-isolation or in the event of bubble or full school closure. In the case of self-isolation, whilst the child is learning remotely, their classmates will continue to learn at school in the normal way. Where whole bubbles must close for a period, all children in that bubble will learn remotely whilst the rest of the school will attend as normal. Where larger parts or the whole school must close for a period, either because of a local outbreak of COVID-19 or a wider lockdown, the majority of the school will be learning remotely with only vulnerable children and those of key workers continuing to learn in school. Different scenarios require different remote learning plans and solutions.
In all instances, the intended outcome is to maximise pupil learning, following the curriculum as much as is possible but also allowing opportunities for additional unplanned learning that radical changes to lifestyle and ways of working may present.
Learning from home can be challenging for a variety of reasons, especially when coupled with social or lifestyle limitations and possible illness in the family.
We are mindful of the fact that many children and young people live in households with no or limited access to the internet or to the technology required to make use of online resources. Even in households with full internet access, the number of suitable online-capable devices may be insufficient at any one time to meet the demands of home-working adults and other children attempting to access educational materials or live learning sessions.
We also appreciate the huge role that parents play during any period of remote learning. Many parents and carers will be juggling work and other commitments with their children learning remotely and some families will find it difficult to balance these competing demands. Some children will require more interaction and supervision than others, particularly younger ones and pupils with SEND. For some families, abiding by a normal school day routine and timings will be helpful, for others it may not be practical or even possible.
Children need to learn in age-appropriate ways, some of which are easier to deliver – and for the child to execute and the parent to support – in a remote learning programme than others. Whilst older children are used to learning formally at a desk for much of the day, our youngest pupils are used to a freeflow approach of exploration-based learning.
The school intends to take such constraints and distinctions into consideration when planning remote learning, particularly for periods of partial or whole school closure. We will aim to set the right amount of work, in the most accessible format, on an age-appropriate basis, to try to ensure that the largest possible number of pupils continue to flourish to the greatest extent possible during a period of remote learning. The whole school community will need to show understanding, acceptance, agility and flexibility in consideration of others’ circumstances.
Expectations and support
Not all children will work at the same pace. In the event that their child is struggling to keep up with the work set for any reason, we would encourage parents to contact their class teacher or member of support staff so that we can support them via telephone calls and other practical steps. We would also encourage those parents with children who manage the class work set and would like further opportunities to extend their learning to explore the remote learning section of the school’s website where there are a range of excellent activities from outside providers which can be used to extend the school’s remote learning.
Vulnerable children and those with SEND may be supported with tailored tasks or a mixture of whole class work and tailored content.
Delivery of remote learning
The school is mindful to explore the benefits of remote learning which allows for flexibility for teachers to set tasks of varying lengths, as appropriate to the subject and year group, and for parents and pupils to organise their day or week as best fits their personal circumstances and learning styles.
The quality of learning is at the heart of our statement and should always take precedence over the method or delivery platform.
The school’s remote learning will be delivered via Microsoft Teams (‘Teams’). Most iPhones, iPads and Android phones can connect to Teams: a laptop, computer or tablet is not required. All parents have been asked to complete the school’s technology form so that we are aware which families may have an issue with IT.
Barnes Primary has access to a limited number of laptops that will be allocated to those in need when available.
A mixed approach
A mixed approach is key to the success of learning and we will therefore plan for differentiated remote learning. ‘Live’ sessions will not always be achievable daily in the event of a whole bubble or wider school closure and not at all for those children self-isolating. Depending on the age of the children, some sessions will be very short. Very effective learning can take place through other kinds of ‘interactive’ lessons, including:
- An introduction from the teacher (either live or a recording) followed by the teacher supporting pupils’ work through live messaging
- A pre-recorded lesson with quiz-style questions
- A lesson that has teacher audio attached
- Pre-recorded videos of teachers uploaded onto Stream so that families are able to access them at a time that works for them.
Teachers and other support staff will, where possible, interact during the week via live online sessions with bubbles, or wider parts of the school, that are learning remotely. Bubbles will also have access to Teams Chat. Remote learning will be marked regularly by teachers or support staff as the school recognises that feedback to children achieves the highest engagement during a period where they cannot be in school. An outline of what each year group can expect in the event of a full bubble or wider school closure is available on the school’s website in bubble closure and self-isolation information pages.
Instances of self-isolation
The class teacher will post a self-isolation timetable as a guide to the week’s learning as soon as possible after the school is advised of the absence. This may be after school on the first day. The lessons during self-isolation periods will be a mixture of recorded lessons and independent learning. Children who are self-isolating will receive some of their learning via a system of board recording. This allows the board in the classroom to be filmed, along with the spoken content of the lesson and means that individuals not in school to continue to feel a part of school life as they hear their teacher’s and classmates’ voices in the recording. Recordings are made available on Teams the following day. Pupils self-isolating are unlikely to have manipulatives and resources with them but substitutions should be readily available in the home. Home learning books can be delivered to the home if necessary. In addition to the work set, there are a number of activities available to explore on the school website.
Instances of bubble closure
This is based on self-isolation lasting for 10 days. A bubble or wider school closure will move to SWAY learning. The SWAY will be posted the evening before the Sway is expected to be completed.
A mixture of live, interactive and recorded sessions, independent learning and project work will be structured and built in to the SWAYs. Teachers will not set more work than would normally be expected over the course of a week.
Instances of whole school closure
In the event of a wider or longer closure, the school will move to SWAY learning. The SWAYs will be
posted the night before. Examples of a daily SWAY can be seen in our Bubble Closure tab.
Instances of vulnerable children and children of critical workers learning at school during any period of wider school closure
This is based on an assumption of a continuation of government guidance for vulnerable children and those of critical workers under the first period of national lockdown. In the event of school closure, vulnerable children and those of critical workers will access the remote learning set for their class, albeit that they will do so at school. Direct onsite support will always be available to children learning remotely in school but this is unlikely to be their class teacher. However, such children will have remote access to their class teacher via Teams.
Supporting your child and their wellbeing
We encourage families to structure the day or week to give balance, variety and a sense of purpose. Parents can play a key role in helping pupils adhere to a routine. Time should be made for regular breaks, exercise, pursuing other interests (safely within the then current social distancing guidelines) and connecting virtually with friends and relatives. We encourage families to enjoy cooking and eating together and using any period of home education to pursue any particular shared interests. All pupils are encouraged to read every day as this has many benefits, including a break from screens and a personal space to unwind when indoors for sustained periods.
Pastoral support of pupils by the school
Barnes Primary school will continue to provide a strong sense of pastoral support during periods of self-isolation or any period of closure. The school’s pastoral support system will also ensure that our most vulnerable students continue to receive focused pastoral support, from their usual support-giver whenever possible, where this is needed or requested.
Children may be worried about the impact of coronavirus, social distancing or self-isolation. The school website includes links to activities to reduce stress. Pupils will be told that they can approach their teacher, support giver, or any member of school staff if they are worried about anything or need to talk to someone while school is closed. Those who already have mental health difficulties such as anxiety may find things particularly difficult and the school wellbeing mentor and SENDCo will coordinate support as it is needed in these cases.
Wellbeing of staff
The wellbeing of staff is critical to successful teaching and learning. During periods where individual pupils or larger groups are learning remotely, staff must continue to teach and support pupils who are still in school. This may be the classmates of an individual pupil who is forced to self-isolate, or vulnerable children and those of critical workers who continue to attend school daily in the event of a partial or whole school closure. In order that teachers’ and other school staff’s workload remains reasonable and achievable, the school has put protocols in place.
For cases where individual children are self-isolating, board recording of lessons for pupils still in school, which are made available to those learning remotely the next day, ensures that staff workload is not duplicated.
In the event of whole school closure, vulnerable children and those of critical workers will access the remote learning set for the class, albeit that they will do so at school, again ensuring that workload is not significantly increased.
Staff are instructed to limit correspondence with parents and pupils to reasonable working hours in line with our general statement on Emails to Teachers.
Guidance for Video sessions
The purpose of this guidance is to support effective remote practice at Barnes Primary School. Some live sessions will take place for every year group, and for identified children with SEND or other needs, in the event of a bubble or wider school closure. There will not necessarily be daily sessions and, depending on the age of the children, some will be very short. They will enable both pastoral care and teaching and learning. This sets out the expectations for staff, parents and pupils, with attention to the important considerations of safeguarding and the maintaining of professional standards. In developing this guidance, the school has referred to the Acceptable Use Statement and our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy. If any safeguarding concerns arise, the School Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy must be followed and the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or a member of the Safeguarding Team informed.
Roles and responsibilities
- To ensure that everyone is able to contact the DSL or a member of the Safeguarding Team if they have any concerns about a child.
- To ensure parents, carers and children understand the benefits and risks of live online sessions and get written consent for children to be involved.
- To ensure the IT Technician has audited system settings.
- To ensure that a member of the Senior Leadership Team is invited to video sessions to facilitate ‘drop ins’ to oversee the safeguarding of pupils and to monitor the successes and drawbacks of video sessions.
Teachers’ and support staff’s responsibilities:
- To ensure that only pupils who have parent/carer approval participate in online video sessions.
- To set up all video sessions in advance, preferably with 24 hours’ notice.
- To contact parents and pupils through school email only.
- To deliver online sessions only on the school approved platform, Teams.
- To invite a member of the Senior Leadership Team to sessions where appropriate, to support ‘drop ins’.
- To keep a log of who is invited to a video session, who attends and anything that went wrong.
- To use the ‘record’ option.
- To ensure pupils do not have the option to record video sessions.
- To conduct all video sessions in a professional manner, including being suitably attired and ensuring that they are broadcast from an appropriate location.
- To use professional and appropriate language during video sessions.
- To ensure that all other members of the staff member’s household who may be visible or audible during the lesson are suitably attired and use appropriate language.
- To prepare for the video session:
- Where possible, webcams/video cameras should be used against a neutral background;
- A clear background, free from distractions or unwanted imagery and personal items or information should be found;
- Ensure there is a strong Wi-Fi connection to ensure quality video and audio (a wired connection may need to be considered);
- Ensure that there will not be interruptions;
- Be aware you will be visible at all times.
- To ensure that the code of conduct for pupils and their households is adhered to and, in the event that any are breached, terminate the video session immediately.
- To be the last person to leave the video session, terminating it upon departure.
- To give their approval before pupils can participate in online live video session using the form requested.
- To identify a suitable location for the child to use for the video session, for example a living room or dining area. A bedroom is not permitted.
- To ensure that as far as possible distractions are removed and there is quiet.
- To make every effort to support lessons delivered in this way by ensuring the child is dressed, prepared and ready to learn.
- To understand the expectations on pupils in this guidance and ensure the child adheres to them.
- To ensure that the privacy of other family members is maintained during video sessions.
- To ensure that anyone in the household that might be seen during video sessions wears suitable clothing.
- To ensure that anyone in the household that might be heard during video sessions uses acceptable language.
- To ensure that mute is enabled when required.
- To ensure that no recording (either audio or video) of the session is made.
- To treat your video session as you would a lesson in the classroom: be on time and be prepared.
- To remember to behave as you would in school. Use the toilet and eat before (not during) your session.
- To make sure you are in a suitable location and that you are suitably dressed prior to the beginning of each scheduled video session.
- To make sure you have class resources, pen, paper, etc, at hand.
- To check your camera and microphone are working prior to the start of the session.
- To mute yourself during the video session until your teacher tells you that you can use the microphone.
- To only use the ‘Chat’ function to ask questions and to answer the teacher’s questions.
- To use chat functions responsibly and as directed by your teacher.
- To raise your hand if you have a question and use hand gestures such as thumbs up to show understanding.
- To listen and focus on the lesson and to learn.
- To avoid having distractions such as mobile phones nearby.
- To respect your teacher, your fellow learners and yourself by doing your best, just as you would in class.
- To remember the school is putting these lessons on for your benefit but not everyone who tries to contact you online has your interests at heart. If you have any worries or concerns about something you have seen or heard online, please speak to your parents or contact your teacher.