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Remote education provision: information for parents/carers

This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to students and parents/carers about what to expect from remote education where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home. For details of what to expect where individual students are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.

The remote curriculum: what is taught to pupils at home

A student’s first day or two of being educated remotely might look different from Commonweal’s standard approach with face-to-face lessons, while we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching. We will communicate with parents/carers as soon as feasibly possible to explain expectations regarding home learning from day 1.

What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of pupils being sent home?

All Commonweal students are expected to access learning via Edulink One as per their usual school timetable. If, for example, they have maths, the student’s teacher will upload work to Edulink One with the subject and the period number i.e. Week B Friday p1 Ma-9-YC. The homework will clearly state the teacher’s intentions for the lesson and where students need to go for their learning – a live Teams lesson, an Oak National Academy lesson or a pre-recorded PowerPoint. Other instructions may be applied here.

All students have received significant training to access online learning and for those that still struggle have this multi-lingual video guide: https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/0db46fc9-6d0c-4df0-b195-c2bad4c3195a. Social media channels have also been used to keep parents/carers informed.

Following the first few days of remote education, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school?

We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. However, we have needed to make some adaptations in some areas of learning.

We can of course, provide the technology to facilitate their learning. If your child is unable to access home learning via a PC/laptop/tablet/mobile phone you can contact head@commonweal.co.uk where we can provide this technology for you.

For vulnerable students and the children of keyworkers, you can be supported at school.
Parents/carers need to e-mail keyworker@commonweal.co.uk if you wish to apply for this provision.

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 same number of hours as per the school day. We operate a 5-hour daily timetable. Students therefore have 50 hours of work to complete across the fortnight including a pastoral ‘tutor’ hour. Students in C6, depending on their hours of study, will be provided with the same curriculum hours as per usual.

Accessing remote education

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

We strongly encourage students to be technically fluent with the following programmes for maximum ‘learning success’. Here is the guidance video we refer to for students to access our most common programmes: https://web.microsoftstream.com/videoupdate/0db46fc9-6d0c-4df0-b195-c2bad4c3195a

Edulink One – https://www.edulinkone.com

Microsoft Teams – https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoft-teams/download-app

(we recommend you download the app)

Microsoft365 – https://myapplications.microsoft.com/

Microsoft Forms – https://forms.office.com/

Powerpoint – https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoft-365/powerpoint

Word – https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoft-365/word

Oak National Academy – https://www.thenational.academy/

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?

We recognise that some students may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those pupils to access remote education:

  • If your child is unable to access home learning via a PC/laptop/tablet/mobile phone or you have WIFI issues, you can contact head@commonweal.co.uk to find a solution
  • If your child is not able to work at home effectively, we will support them in school.

How will my child be taught remotely?

We ask teachers to set a mix of activities to move students through the TEEP cycle of learning. Teachers will ‘agree learning outcomes’, ‘present new information’ and ‘review’ using a variety of learning methods including:

  • Live teaching (online lessons via Microsoft Teams)
  • Recorded teaching (e.g. Oak National Academy lessons, video/audio recordings made by teachers on Powerpoint or Teams)
  • Other resources produced by teachers

Teachers will provide learning activities to enable students to ‘construct meaning’ and ‘apply to demonstrate’ their learning. Some examples of this include:

  • Using worksheets – usually on PowerPoint, Word or PDF
  • Using online textbooks and reading books
  • Accessing publicly available/subscription-based websites
  • Long-term project work and/or internet research activities

This model is based on our TEEP research alongside ongoing student and parent/carer feedback.

Engagement and feedback

What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

As per our video: https://web.microsoftstream.com/videoupdate/0db46fc9-6d0c-4df0-b195-c2bad4c3195a, we ask students to be ‘online’ and ready for learning as per their usual timetable. Students are welcome to check Edulink One from 8am onwards so they know what to do and where to go for their school day. Parents/Carers have access to the same Edulink One app – if you have problems logging on, please visit here: http://www.commonweal.co.uk/information/edulink-one/

We are aware that home contexts vary and that some families are working more flexibly because of WIFI bandwidth and the availability of shared resources etc. Please contact your child’s tutor or specific teachers if there are ongoing issues with the completion of work.

Please ensure that your child is up and ready for each day of school allowing them to be engage positively in their learning. Where possible, your child should have somewhere quiet to work and they should be regularly monitored. If we can do anything to help support you or if you have any concerns about your child’s wellbeing you can email wellbeingsupport@commonweal.co.uk or speak to your child’s tutor.

How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?

We record attendance at live lessons and ‘engagement’ of tasks through Edulink One work. Reminders are firstly sent to students for missed deadlines and then to parents/carers. Where we have a significant lack of engagement in work our teachers are setting, we may ask students to come into school to be supported during their school hours.

This is how we explained ‘online learning’ to all students on the 4th January 2021:

  1. Check your Edulink from 8am, tomorrow morning. There will be updates for each subject area explaining what you need to be doing and when. Get organised as what you are doing during each hour – you need to stick to your normal timetable with timings.
  2. Check your technology and work area– are the sound and vision working? Do you have your exercise books/paper/equipment ready? Do you need a charging lead? Is there anything that may distract you – put it out of sight!
  3. Check your Microsoft Teams calendar for live lessons – your teacher will take a register. Nothing new, but I have attached the ‘how to’ guide to log on to Teams and access your live lessons. Download the app if you haven’t done so already: Microsoft Teams | Group Chat, Team Chat & Collaboration
  4. If you are confused about anything subject-related, email your subject teacher. We are here to help you learn during this challenging year.
  5. If you are concerned about anything else, email your tutor. We are here to help you during this challenging year. You can also email wellbeingsupport@commonweal.co.uk
  6. Be a Commonwealean. Be on time (registers are taken for live lessons). Take part. Learn. Be inquisitive. Do your best.

How will Commonweal assess my child’s work and progress?

Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children – we cannot physically collect in exercise books.

Progress is monitored in and out of lessons through solo, group and whole-class feedback in a variety of ways. In the virtual world, quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms such as ‘Forms’ are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others. Subject areas may differ in their approach during this period, but they will conform to their MAF policy as much as possible.

We continue to look at ways to improve marking ‘at a distance’ (i.e. Teams Assignments). We are constantly reviewing the structures, strategies and quality of our online learning packages in response to student needs.

Additional support for pupils with particular needs

How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?

We recognise that some SEND students may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we endeavour work with parents and carers to support those pupils in the following ways:

  • If the whole year group is off, staff who normally support that year group will contact key SEND students (prioritising EHCP) either via phone, email or Microsoft Teams to check how they are finding the work and will offer support
  • SEND students who have specialist resources will be provided with them to use at home
  • All EHCP students who normally access keyworker support will continue to receive keyworker support virtually
  • TAs have been trained in how to use Microsoft Teams to contact students
  • A log will be kept of all contact the Hub has made with EHCP students and their families
  • We are aiming to set work for those that usually have in-school intervention sessions

Remote education for self-isolating pupils (September – December 2020)

Where individual pupils needed to self-isolate, but the majority of their peer group remained in school, remote education differed from the approach for whole groups. This was due to the challenges of teaching pupils both at home and in school.