Remote education provision: information for parents
This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to pupils and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education provided by Highley Community Primary School where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.
For details of what to expect where individual pupils are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.
The remote curriculum: what is taught to pupils at home?
A pupil’s first day or two of being educated remotely might look different from our standard approach, while we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching.
What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of pupils being sent home?
We will ensure that activities are uploaded for your children onto our learning platforms: Tapestry (EYFS) or Seesaw (Year 1-6) or send home an email with some learning ideas for the first day or two of self-isolation or school closures. You will have contact from us and your child will have learning to complete. We will ask you whether you need support (e.g. a loan of a laptop or tablet) to access remote learning and we will do all we can to remove barriers to remote learning.
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 aim to teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate, making use of high-quality online and offline resources and teaching videos and that is linked to our school’s curriculum expectations. Some subjects will need some adaptations for example PE where children must carry out activities on their own and in a home. In Science we adapt our curriculum and have focused on activities which can use everyday objects in the home rather than specialist equipment we have in school. We may also move topics around so that the most appropriate National Curriculum topics are being taught at home. Your child will still cover the National Curriculum and have a class curriculum which is informed by our class medium-term plans (available on each class page of the school website).
For more information on our curriculum at Highley, please visit here:
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 following number of hours each day:
Early Years Foundation Stage
(Clee and Miners classes)
Up to 3 hours of activities including play. Child initiated play is extremely important. This might be inside or outside, there will be suggested activities every day.
Staff will post videos for maths, kinetic handwriting, phonics/literacy and topic work. Our phonics curriculum continues and we ask parents to prioritise watching these videos and completing these activities.
Key Stage 1
(Station, Netherton and Arley classes)
Up to 3 hours a day which follows our core curriculum content as we would be if we were fully open.
Staff will post daily videos for maths, English, phonics, reading, handwriting and topic.
Key Stage 2
(LKS2 – Ironbridge, Hazelwells and Severn)
(UKS2 – Hitchens and Wrekin)
Up to 4 hours a day
Staff try to emulate the school day with a morning check-in/register to explain the tasks for the day. A mixture of live lessons and recorded videos is then provided for children to follow before a check-in in the afternoon to feedback on learning.
Accessing remote education
In Early Years, the platform ‘Tapestry’ is used to post activities and videos for children. Parents have a profile on Tapestry where they can update their child’s learning journal by uploading observations linked to posted activities.
All children in Years 1-6 have logins for Seesaw. Each class has an online classroom on Seesaw and this is where teachers post recorded lessons and activities and it is also where children post their work as responses to set activities. The school have used Seesaw for homework in the 2020 autumn term so that children know how to use it and when school was fully open, children have been taught how to use it in class.
In addition, children in upper KS2 also have live lessons on Microsoft Teams which focus primarily on Maths and English; in Hitchens and Wrekin these currently take place at 9:30am daily. A further session at 2pm takes place where children feedback on their learning and outcomes are discussed with the class teacher.
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 pupils may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those pupils to access remote education:
We will lend you a laptop or iPad and apply to the Government fund for data/wifi support if you are eligible. We will also lend devices where there are multiple siblings in one home.
If you are not able to access online learning, we will provide printed packs of materials that do not need online access. These can be collected from school or dropped at home addresses.
How will my child be taught remotely?
We use a combination of the following approaches to teach pupils remotely:
- Regular check-ins and live sessions with all children using Microsoft Teams
- Live teaching (online lessons) in upper KS2 using Microsoft Teams
- Recorded teaching (e.g. Oak National Academy lessons, video/audio recordings made by teachers) used across the school and uploaded to Tapestry/Seesaw
- Printed paper packs produced by teachers (e.g. workbooks, worksheets) for those who cannot access online resources
- Textbooks and reading books pupils have at home – let us know at any time if your child needs a reading book and we will arrange for one to be available for you to pick up from school
- Commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences – for example BBC Bitesize, Ruth Miskin (Read Write Inc) and the White Rose for Maths - where the clip supports a recorded lesson. We also recommend CBBC in the mornings when there are occasional issues with technology (e.g. broadband dropping out which can happen in Shropshire!).
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?
We appreciate that lockdowns and isolations are hard and that you need to take care of everyone’s mental and physical health as your priority. Children will do best when they are as close to their normal routine as possible. We ask that your child tries to engage everyday with activities and online lessons and that if there are any issues you contact their class teacher as soon as possible. Try to set a routine for home learning that fits in with your responsibilities and is sustainable. Phone the school office on 01746 861541 if you have any concerns at any point in the school day.
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
Class teachers will email you regularly and be in touch if they have concerns about your child and their engagement in remote learning. School will also ring you weekly and you can raise any concerns with us.
If children are not engaging with remote learning, we may offer some follow-up ‘support’ such as email contact, virtual check-ins and telephone calls.
How will you assess my child’s work and progress?
Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children. For example, whole-class feedback or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others. Our approach to feeding back on pupil work is as follows:
Teachers provide feedback/marking on work uploaded to Seesaw and work is individually commented on. Where feasible, online quizzes are used as part of remote learning which give pupils a score and enable them to see where they have made progress, and where they need more practice. For example, in KS2, ‘Reading Theory’ is used as an online comprehension tool which tracks children’s reading progress.
In live teaching teachers are also able to give verbal feedback, address misunderstandings and encourage children individually.
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 pupils, for example some pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), 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 will work with parents and carers to support those pupils in the following ways:
- Children with an EHCP are offered a place in school.
- Teaching assistants are available to give extra support to children and this can be done via Seesaw or individually arranged live ‘catch ups’ using Microsoft Teams.
- Younger children (Reception and Year 1) are set activities which do not place an unrealistic burden on families and we ask parents to prioritise recorded phonics teaching if they are finding it difficult to complete all the suggested activities.
Speak to us and let us know individual difficulties and we will do all we can to help. You can bring it up when school phones weekly or email or phone specifically to let us know.
Remote education for self-isolating pupils
Where individual pupils need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school, how remote education is provided will likely differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching pupils both at home and in school.
If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?
Y5/6 children will be given the opportunity where feasible to join the learning taking place in-school using Microsoft Teams.
In Reception to Year 4, children will have activities and suggested timetable emailed to their parents. This will have a full day of timetabled learning on it. This may be directed to specific lessons using the White Rose (Maths) or lessons from Oak National Academy or BBC Bitesize (recorded lessons with independent tasks set afterwards) which will enable them to follow National Curriculum objectives and consolidate learning. Lessons set will have been carefully chosen for that child by their class teacher.
Logging onto Seesaw
We have chosen to use Seesaw in the 2020-21 academic year as it is a good way of sharing spellings, mental maths activities and other home learning.
We are able to offer log ins to virtual classrooms using the seesaw website or app. Go to http://web.seesaw.me and use the QR code to log into your child’s classroom.
This is given to your child at school at the start of the academic year. Most children were using seesaw confidently:
- On the bottom tab the ‘Journal’ button shows the class’ completed tasks they have sent to the teacher – where teachers have shared children’s work to the class journal, children can comment on friends’ work (any comments have to be pre-approved by teacher before they are shown).
- To look at work that has been set and start a task, go to the Activities tab.
- Children should click on their own icon (a picture or their initials) and then ‘add a response’ or post their work.
- Remember they can also respond by recording their voice and asking a question, recording a video or writing and drawing.
- They can also work in a book and upload a photo of what they have done.
Should a whole class (‘bubble’) need to self-isolate teachers would deliver the usual curriculum using a mixture of Seesaw and Teams.
How we have used Catch-Up Funding So Far…
Many parents are concerned at the amount of formal in-school learning their child missed when schools were closed in the first lockdown. On return to school, we carried out assessments of reading, spelling and mental maths facts and we are aware of the gaps.
This data has been shared with Staff and we have detailed plans to help children catch up their learning. If we had particular concerns about your child, we would have shared this with you using our autumn term report and phone calls home in place of Parents Evenings in October, and we would have let you know how we are helping them.
By our December 2020 assessments (we use standardised national tests in Maths and Reading across the school termly), our data showed that many children were back on-track to be ‘secure’ and consequently had made up gaps from learning which happened in the first lockdown.
To support children to catch up – and of course this will now include learning gap from January 2021 lockdown, the Government have given us some additional funding of £17,920 of which we have currently received £4,480.
Governors have discussed how to use this money for maximum impact to enable catch up of children, particularly those who are from a disadvantaged background. We have bought 50 new pupil laptops (5 per classroom) to enable small group interventions to take place by making use of our many online subscriptions (e.g. spelling shed, times tables rock stars and numbots).
These can also be used to deliver a personalised approach – either by setting online work for individual children (such as using White Rose, BBC Bitesize or Oak Academy lessons to go over a curriculum objective that a child has struggled with or missed in the summer) or by setting work directly on Seesaw.
We also plan to use the funding to purchase the premium version of Seesaw over the coming year as a platform for setting such activities.