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Remote Learning

This policy has been written in line with the Government on-going guidance, the latest being issued in September 2020. It will be updated regularly according to further changes. 

The aim of the school is to ensure that all learners have a high quality learning experience, ‘Excellence for all’, as set out in the Teaching and Learning Policy.  In the event of school closure, remote learning via Microsoft Teams and on-going communication and feedback between teachers, students and parents will be a priority. 

The government, in its guidance, sets out four TIERS which would operate if an outbreak of Covid-19 were to hit the local or school community. A link to the guidance can be found here.

Tier 1: Individual students who still need to shield or self-isolating. Tier 2: Two - week rotation of students Tier 3: Partial lockdown with particular year groups only on site Tier 4: Total lockdown

Heads of Departments and class teachers ensure that teaching resources are organised and uploaded onto ‘Files’ in Microsoft Teams prior to the delivery of the day’s lessons.

Student shielding or isolating to: 

  1. Log onto Teams and check their Class Teams Files to access the work, according to their timetabled lessons.
  2. Refer to subject overviews for further guidance and useful websites.
  3. Use the list of topics in the subject overview, to locate a relevant lesson from Oak National Academy, or use GCSE pod to consolidate their learning.
  4. Complete Prep on SMHW

Staff move to blended subject overviews where 2 weeks of work is planned to suit either remote or face-to-face teaching.

Year group bubbles maintained.

Students on rotation at home log onto Teams, accessing live and recorded lessons via Teams, following their timetable.

Teaching staff will deliver a blend of live and recorded lessons via Microsoft Teams.  (See Remote learning expectations).

Tutors will continue to meet with their forms in tutor time via teams, following the usual activities and remote assemblies.   

Prioritised year groups would be taught on site, as usual.

Teaching staff will deliver a blend of live and recorded lessons via Microsoft Teams to students working at home.  (See Remote learning expectations).

Tutors will continue to meet with their forms in tutor time via teams, following the usual activities and remote assemblies.   

Students follow their timetable, accessing form time and lessons via Teams in line with the Remote Learning Expectations.

  Students who are considered vulnerable and those of key workers will be allowed to study on site. Where their bubble is timetabled to be on site, they would be integrated with their year group bubble. Where they are to be at home, they would be in a separated bubble.
If a student does not have access to remote learning, paper copies will be posted.  (Surveys conducted each term.) Laptops made available to us by the Government during summer 2020 have been distributed.
  • Our SENDCo and the Learning Support Team continue to support students with their remote learning. LSA available during live teams lessons to continue to support those students requiring support. 

Pastoral Support: 

  • Students are able to make contact with staff via emails and chat and meeting features in Teams.
  • Our tutor team will continue to hold tutor time, and will provide the opportunity for students to raise any questions or highlight any concerns they may have. 
  • Links to mental health resources, e-safety, safeguarding accessible to parents and staff via the website.
  • In the event of a school closure, pupils, parents and teachers are reminded that the school’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy still applies to all interactions between pupils and teachers. In that policy, there are specifically prohibited behaviours and reporting obligations to which teachers must adhere, whether they are at home, in the community or at school.

 

What do to if your child is working from home: for Parents and Students

Top tips for parents and students:
Establish routines and expectations
: start times, breaks and lunch at school are at clear times. Maintaining this routine can help maintain a positive work ethic. Avoid spending the day in your pyjamas! 

Identify a clear physical space in which to work: this will make it easier to focus on your learning, without other distractions. 

Talk about the plan for the day, and the lessons ahead: spending extended time working at home is unfamiliar territory. Talking about how things are going can help pre-empt any problems. 

Set times to be on and offline: There will be more screen time than normal whilst working at home. You may have to share devices with family members, and setting time limits in advance can help manage this successfully. Equally, spending time offline is important to maintain a sense of balance in the day. 

Remember to exercise: Your wellbeing is enhanced by physical activity, so do make time for this. The PE team have planned some excellent activities. This can really help if you are feeling anxious, which is completely normal whilst you are working from home. 

Talk about things on your mind: it will be a big adjustment working from home every day, and having done it before does not necessarily make it easier. Talk about how things are going. The international and local situation is highly changeable. It is normal to feel uncertainty about this too. Be conscious of how much of the news you watch and talk about what you are watching. There are wellbeing activities in our virtual assemblies, set up on whole year group Google classrooms. Do devote enough time for this.  

Read a book: Escape, relax, unwind. Look after yourself. 

E-Safety: Please discuss e-safety with your son(s)/daughter(s).

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where is my child's work?

All learning activities will be accessible via Microsoft Teams or will be signposted from there. Your child should access Microsoft Teams login using his/her usual login details (school e-mail address and usual password).  S/he will then see each classroom for the subjects they are taught, and the activities will be placed in the Class Files. Watch the Remote learning video for further details.

My child can’t log into Microsoft Teams. What should I do?

Please refer to the video guide

Try setting your Internet browser to Google Chrome. This can give greater functionality. 

Please check that your child is using the correct username and password, their username is the same that they use to log into the computer at school followed by @monkswalk.herts.sch.uk  

They should then use the same password that they use to log into the computer at school. 

Please check that they have spelt all log in and password details correctly. 

Sometimes it is necessary to clear your cache memory (by going to browser - settings - privacy and security). 

If you have more than one child using the same device, please ask them NOT to choose the prompt that allows them to stay logged in, as this will prevent others logging into the system.  If they do this by accident, please clear the cache memory as detailed above. 

If there continues to be an issue please contact help@monkswalk.herts.sch.uk

When will my child’s activities be available?

All teachers will be aiming to have lesson activities uploaded and ready for students by the time of each of their lessons. We ask students to follow their normal timetable for the week, as far as possible, and while the teacher input is unlikely to take the whole lesson (this would not be desirable), students are expected to spend the lesson time working on their allocated subject activities. Please encourage your child to reflect on their own learning and progress, rather than simply complete tasks. 

The tasks set are taking my child too long or are not long enough. How can I help my child?

Students do work at different paces and speeds, and so it is inevitable that this may happen from time to time.  Encourage your child to take ownership of their learning and feedback to their class teacher if they are struggling to complete the activities in the time allocated, or else are finding the work too easy.  You may also find the following coaching questions of use to help your child plan, monitor and review their work:-

Planning questions:

What have you been asked to do?’
‘Which strategies could you use?’
‘Are there any strategies that you have used before that might be useful?

‘Have you a model or idea of what it should look like?’

‘What sources of help have you got?’’

 

Monitoring questions:

‘Is the strategy that you are using working?’

‘Do you need to try something different?’’

Reviewing questions:

How well did you do?’
‘What didn’t go well?’ 

‘What could be done differently next time?’
‘What went well?’ 

‘What other types of problem can you use this strategy for?’ ‘What more could you do/do next?’

Where should my child complete the work set?

This will vary for each subject and each task. Instructions will be in the lesson activities. If they are not sure, they should use their exercise book or complete the work in the same forum in which the activity is set.

My child does not understand what to do. Where should they get help?

Microsoft Teams has a chat feature that enables students to contact the teacher who set the work. Students are asked to ensure their messages are in full sentences and of the appropriate tone. Teachers will endeavour to respond to questions as soon as they can. If your child can carry on with another aspect of their learning this will give the teacher time to respond to their query. If a teacher teaches six lessons in a day, some in person and some at a distance, with 30 students in each class, teachers could be interacting with 180 different students a day, each of whom may ask more than one question. This will mean responses are not immediate. Do ask your child to go back and see if they have had a response to their question if they are stuck.

Ask your child to show you work that they have turned in on their account. 

Where students are not handing work in, messages will be sent by teachers.

How do I get in contact with someone if I have a question?

If your enquiry is essential, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Please contact your child’s Head of Year or Form Tutor in the first instance.  

If it is a different urgent enquiry, please email admin@monkswalk.herts.sch.uk  or phone the school 01707 322846

I have a safeguarding issue that I would usually discuss with the school.  What should I do?

Our school website has lots of resources and links that might be able to help you.   Call 0300 123 4043 if you have any concerns to which social services should be alerted. 

My child usually has external support from a counsellor/therapist/specialist teacher. What happens now?

Contact our SENco, Mrs Boatwright sbo@monkswalk.herts.sch.uk to find out the status of your son or daughter’s additional support.

My child has a mentor. Will they have any contact while the school is closed?

Yes. Our mentors will continue to mentor students via Teams whilst they are working remotely. 

How will SEN support operate now?

Our LSAs are members of the Microsoft Teams classrooms in which they usually provide support so they can do this during remote learning as well.

What is going to happen to GCSEs?

GCSEs in summer 2021 will have slightly adapted content because of the lockdown announced in the UK on 23rd March. These details are still being finalised. We are watching closely, and collaborating with local schools to ensure we are all supporting each other and our students through this complicated time. 

My child is eligible for free school meals. Can you help?

We will follow government guidance on the provision of free school meals during periods of distance learning. 

Can my child come back to collect books while school is closed?

No. Schools have been closed to create distancing for everyone’s protection. If this changes, we will let you know. We may well be able to collect books and have them ready for you in a bag in reception. Please contact us if this would help you. 

My child is self-isolating at home, but the rest of the year is in school. Can you help?

We understand that Covid-19 testing is taking some time now and that there may be instances when children are at home while everyone else in their year group is in school. We can’t double teacher's workload by asking them to teach lessons in person and on Microsoft Teams. However, we can provide PowerPoints and resources of lessons missed, via their class Teams, and guide students towards other activities where possible. A two-week pack of paper activities is available from reception for those without internet access, for each year group. 

I’ve read about The Oak National Academy and bbc Bitesize. Are you using these in lessons?

These are great resources, and are available here: https://www.thenational.academy/ and https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize . These resources, and GCSE Pod, are especially useful when your child is at home but their peer group is at school. Your child’s teacher may also be directing your child to the appropriate resource.  

I am a key worker. Can my child come to school?

We want to support the critical key workers fighting Covid-19. We will open for key worker families, and our vulnerable students as long as we possibly can. Please email admin@monkswalk.herts.sch.uk if you need more information about this. 

If shut to year groups, how will the school decide when to reopen?

We must take advice from the Public Health authorities. We will communicate all information about reopening as outlined at the start of this plan.