Re: Preparation for Remote Learning due to Enforced School Closure
As I write, it is quite possible that schools in England will be facing closure in line with Wales and Scotland very soon. Staff members have been busily preparing for this eventuality and I would now like to outline our plans in more detail.
We appreciate that this is a stressful time for all parents and supporting your child in their home learning presents an additional dimension to the challenges we are all facing personally and professionally. Please do contact your child’s teacher if you experience any issues with the way in which our remote learning is working. We have worked hard to create the best possible continuous learning experience for the children but obviously have not been able to road test it! If there are issues, please bear with us whilst we try to resolve them remotely.
Online Learning – Transition-FIV
We are in the very fortunate position that we are able to use our SeeSaw Class App as the main online platform for Trans-FIV to set work. Children in these classes are familiar with SeeSaw Class, which can be accessed on most tablets devices or via a web address on a PC. Each day, staff will post activities in SeeSaw Class for the children to complete at home. Sometimes, these activities will be completed electronically but sometimes they will be completed on paper, worksheets or in an exercise book to keep screen time to a minimum. These activities will be supported by a daily email of instructions from the class teacher to parents.
Although the children use SeeSaw Class on a regular basis, and understand how to log-in, access their work and return it to the teacher, we are conscious that parents may not know how it functions. We have uploaded a video tutorial and created a user guide for parents which can be accessed via a Home Learning link on the ‘Our Day’ tab of the school website (/our-day/froebelian-home-learning ) where you can also find instructions for downloading ‘SeeSaw Class’ (https://web.seesaw.me/platforms).
Children have been provided with personal log-in information which has been stuck in their planners (Juniors) or purple books (Trans/Rem). If the log-in details get lost, please contact your child’s class teacher and they will be able to supply new log-in details.
Devices to support Home Learning
We have decided to send home a school iPad (and charger) with each child in Transition and Remove so they can access their learning with ease. We have surveyed the Junior children and ascertained their access to a device. We are aware many parents may be working from home so we have checked that they do not have to share devices with anyone else in their family. Children who say they do not have guaranteed access to a device will be provided with a school iPad to use. All iPads being sent home have been logged on our asset register with the child’s name attached.
Any family who is taking a school iPad will be required to read and sign an iPad Acceptable Use Agreement. Given our short timeframe to distribute the iPads, we request that parents and children complete and sign the agreement, photograph it and send this back on email to Mrs Towers (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can record your acceptance of the agreement.
Whilst the children are accessing or conducting any learning from home via the internet, a parent needs to be present in the room to ensure the children are safe whilst online. In school, we have strict firewalls and monitoring systems in place to safeguard children from accessing or being sent unsuitable content. We cannot guarantee your child’s safety online when they are learning at home.
I would like to draw your attention to our Online Safety Policy (click here) and also to our Froebelian Internet Safety Guide page on the Parent Portal of the school website for advice about keeping your children safe online.
In addition to online learning, all teachers have been busy creating class work packs which, in the main, have been given for the children to take home today. We know that your children will be eager to dip into them but please encourage them to resist until they are needed! It is important that the children work through their pack at a steady pace. Teachers will direct them each day to the tasks they should complete.
Continuity of Pastoral Care
We are intending to use an app called ‘Zoom’ for daily video conferencing. This will enable teachers to reach their whole class each day and essentially lead a live session for the children. We will offer this at a set time each day so that you will be able to make sure the children are prepared and ready for this. Parental consent is needed for this to happen as we need an email address for each child to invite them to take part in the video conference. You will have been sent an email requesting this along with an agreement about Video Conferencing which details all the necessary information. Class teachers may video-conference with the whole class or with smaller groups of children (minimum of five per session). Further details on how to create a Zoom account and how it works will follow in due course.
NB – we have never used video-conferencing before with pupils. This is new territory for staff and children! We have been testing it in school and believe it will work but this will depend on strong wifi signals in each home and for the national connection networks to maintain service. If the video-conferencing does not work, we will find alternative means of communicating with the children. We appreciate parents’ understanding.
Remote Learning Requirements
We have been researching the experiences of other countries that have closed schools and adopted remote learning programmes. We are conscious that parents may be working from home themselves and that children may need to work with greater independence. Therefore, we are not setting the same amount of work each day as they would have at school as the evidence shows primary age children take longer to complete activities when remote learning.
As part of Remote Learning, there will be minimum daily requirements for each child, set in an age appropriate manner by each class teacher.
These will include:
- one English activity
- one Maths activity
In addition, class and/or subject teachers will set:
- one or two topic/project activities – to encompass other subject areas
The Junior classes may also have in their packs a creative/practical task and a Class Reader.
Each pupil’s class teacher will explain the specific expectations for their own class on a daily basis via email.
Work will be marked and feedback provided in the same way as it would in school using the SeeSaw platform. Where work is completed on paper, on a worksheet or in an exercise book, the children will need to photograph their work and upload it to SeeSaw for marking. This is a practice with which they should all be familiar.
Mrs Giles and Miss Sibson will adopt their own methods of feeding back to parents and children as they will not be using SeeSaw.
The Remote Learning School Day
Our remote learning school will be open from 8:30am-4:00pm. During this time, staff will be available remotely to set work for the children via SeeSaw/email, give feedback on returned work, conduct video conferences and respond to any emails from parents. Staff have been asked not to respond to emails outside of these times so please allow time for a reply to be sent
Children are expected to be engaged in learning activities each school day but the time they spend learning may vary and we appreciate the need for flexibility to work around family life at home. The children will also need to take regular breaks for food and exercise and have their usual down time just as they would do in school.
If your child is unable to engage in their remote learning/video conference because they are unwell or if there are technological issues, please let the class teacher know so they can keep track of the children’s learning.
These are unprecedented times and we are all trying to manage new information and shifting protocols on a daily basis. We will maintain on-going communication with families during any period of enforced closure and will let you know when we have been given permission from the government to reopen.
I thank you all most sincerely for your kind messages of support and for your patience and understanding. I hope that everyone is able to maintain good health in the forthcoming weeks and months.
Yours, as ever,
Mrs Catherine Dodds
Catherine Dodds | Headteacher