Remote education provision: information for parents
This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to children and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.
Our Remote Learning Policy 2020 has been approved by Governors and can be found by clicking on the link below.
For details of what to expect where individual children are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.
The remote curriculum: what is taught to children 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 children being sent home?
Children will bring a pack of work home with them or this will be delivered if they had already gone home as the need for remote education was identified. The pack of work will contain a remote learning grid, giving an overview of the subjects we would teach on an afternoon and templates for children to write on for each subject. Additional resources for maths and English are also provided e.g. an arithmetic paper and home reading book.
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 to that we teach in school wherever appropriate. However, we need to make adaptations in some subjects, for example:
Art / DT – the same topic is provided but the lessons are being adapted if specialist resources are required.
Awards Assemblies - Senior Leaders record awards assemblies weekly and post these for the children to enjoy. Awards and celebrations are one of the ways we motivate our children and keep everyone involved in the school community.
Collective Worship - Teachers record a collective worship each day. These cover a range of topics from our school Christian core values to Online safety. A Makaton song and prayer is part of each Collective Worship. In addition Rev. Ann provides collective worship videos each Tuesday.
Computing - Wherever possible units of work will be provided as they would in school for home learning. If specialist resources are needed these units of work will be swapped and delivered once the children are back in school.
English – Oak Academy fiction units will be provided for remote education for our Y3/4 pupils. Our younger children need more direct teaching and resources for non-fiction units, so these will be rearranged for when the children are back in school with their teacher. In Y5/6, children have a stronger skillset of conducting research and note making. Our older children will continue to benefit from a range of writing units, including poetry, fiction and non-fiction genres.
French – Children follow the same unit of work provided in school. We use songs and videos in French lessons to further support children at home.
Geography - Units of work are adapted for remote learning. These closely follow what we would teach the children in school. Fieldwork will be delivered once the children return to school.
History - Medium Term planning of units of work are adapted for remote learning. These closely follow what we would teach the children in school.
Maths – We will continue to teach the children the White Rose Maths units of work. However, there may be a rearranging of maths units in order to keep the more challenging maths content for when children are back in school with their teacher.
Music - the children are unable to access their brass and Ukulele lessons remotely so music lessons comprise of Durham Music Service 15 minutes of music alongside Durham Music Trust’s YouTube channel with videos of songs the children are familiar with.
PE – due to the children being isolated from each other it may not be possible to teach the scheduled PE content remotely. If this is the case children will be signposted to high quality videos aimed at developing their fitness levels, endurance and enjoyment of physical activity.
P4C/PSHCE/Growth Mindset - Children have a philosophical Question of the Day and a weekly P4C session following the same format of that in school. Children also have mindfulness guided meditations and growth mindset tasks to support their wellbeing.
RE - units of work will be provided as they would in school for home learning. Where the content is particularly challenging, additional resources are provided to scaffold learning.
Reading – Individual reading is tracked on Fiction Express. Teachers provide the class novel in recorded sessions for children to listen and read along to. There are also questions to answer in response to the text.
Science – If children need equipment for their science learning, the curriculum will be amended so that children complete lessons requiring equipment once they return to school. Aspects of working scientifically, such as recording observational data and presenting findings are provided with clear instructions, video links and feedback.
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 children broadly 4 hours each day and activities will consist of:
Daily required 2h
Morning teacher briefing
English lesson – a video lesson and work to complete
Maths Lesson – a video lesson and work to complete
Collective Worship 5 x 20 min (teachers) 1 x 30 min (Rev. Ann)
PE (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 30 min)
Music 15 min daily
Daily required skills work – children choose from a selection each day (1h plus)
Class novel video and questions to think about (30 min)
P4C Hometalk (20 min)
Arithmetic questions (30 min)
Times Tables Rockstars (15 min plus)
Reading: Fiction Express (30 min plus)
Spelling Shed activities (15min plus)
Maths Shed activities (15 min plus)
Charanga Yumu (15 min plus)
Daily required other subject 1h
The children have a grid based on the topics they are learning.
Children will be asked daily to complete one of the lessons on the grid that include:
Accessing remote education
How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?
Children will use the SeeSaw app to access all of their home learning. We are required to provide the children with feedback on their learning daily. In order to do this we need to use the online system so teachers can mark work and send written / voice notes back to the children. Parents and children can chat with the teacher during the school day using SeeSaw text or voice notes.
Children will also be signposted to other apps / online platforms to support their learning.
These may include:
Espresso Coding https://online.espresso.co.uk/espresso/login/Authn/UserPassword
Oak Academy https://www.thenational.academy/
BBC Bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/dailylessons
If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?
In September 2020 we surveyed all parents to find out about the devices and wifi available at home.
School currently have:
We recognise that some children may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those children to access remote education:
Miss Mason issues devices to children and completes the loan agreement with parents. If there is more than one child in the household each child is eligible for a device.
Should parents need additional internet connectivity, Miss Mason can order Wifi dongles or Vodafone data cards.
We are only issuing printed learning materials in exceptional circumstances. Where printed materials are used, teachers are unable to provide daily feedback. Parents will be asked to collect these resources from the school office and return them through the school post box once completed. Once returned they will be quarantined for 48h before being marked. Therefore, feedback is less effective than when work is posted online.
Stationery and workbooks are available from the school office if your child needs paper to work on. We encourage all children to upload a photo of their work for teacher feedback.
How will my child be taught remotely?
We use a combination of the following approaches to teach children remotely. At the start of each day, class teachers record a welcome message for their class, which reflects on child achievements from the previous day and gives clear explanation as to what is expected in their new learning.
For daily maths and English sessions, we use recorded teaching videos from Oak National Academy and White Rose Maths. We have found that our Y3/4 pupils, alongside those students with SEND in Y5/6 need voice recorded messages, verbalising the instructions on each task, alongside these videos. We use BBC Bitesize and other websites to support the teaching of specific subjects, including YouTube video clips and teacher-made recordings.
Where children do not have suitable technology or access to the internet, we either provide temporary paper packs collated by teachers while awaiting technology, which follow what is being taught online and textbooks.
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?
Children are expected to complete the required 4 hours of learning each day, which totals 20 hours of learning across the week. We understand that these are challenging times for parents, so class teachers and support staff will be in contact with parents on a daily basis via messages on SeeSaw, telephone and/or email to offer support.
As there are different circumstances in each household, we are working with families to try and make remote learning as successful as possible. We understand that the hours of 9:00am to 3:30pm may not be appropriate for parents to concentrate on remote learning with their child. Therefore, we have a flexible approach to remote learning and expect that the total requirement of assignments for the week are posted by Sunday evening.
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
We check whether children are engaging with their work on a daily basis. Most children will have their work checked by their class teacher and teaching assistant, however all Y6 children will have their worked checked by Miss Cooper (Miss Cail will be working with the bubble in school).
Teachers and support staff will contact parents:
Weekly, as a wellbeing call, to discuss how they are doing and problem solve any issues that have arisen. They will also speak with the child.
If work that is expected has not been posted on SeeSaw staff will contact parents to problem solve any barriers to learning.
Staff will reply to messages on SeeSaw or e-mail on a daily basis as required.
Any wellbeing concerns will be passed onto Miss Mason
Children continually disengaging from online learning will be contacted by the Senior Leadership Team by telephone.
How will you assess my child’s work and progress?
At St Francis’, our written feedback policy is that children should receive quality marking with specific praise for what they have achieved. They will be given further challenges to support and move on their learning three times per week in writing and three times per week in maths. We have the same expectation of feedback during remote learning.
Teachers and support staff may give whole-class feedback via Student Announcements on See Saw, they can provide group feedback by messaging groups of children and individual feedback can be commented on child assignments. Staff have the option to type written feedback, voice record their message or design a Kahoot quiz as a means of assessing child knowledge and understanding on a given topic.
Additional support for children 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 children 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. We differentiate assignments for children with significant SEND. If the child is unable to access their learning remotely they are allocated a place in school, where they will receive the support they need.
Firstly, we have adapted the way we communicate we have with children with barriers to learning involving processing and cognition. We record instructions in small sections to allow children to digest the information and carry out tasks in shorter bursts.
We appreciate that sitting at a computer for the duration of a lesson is not what our children are used to and so sessions are amended to accommodate for dipping in and out of the lesson and responding to content over time.
See Saw has a ‘Draft’ option whereby children can save work as drafts and return to it after a short break. After the child selects the draft button, child work is then visible to the teacher/support staff working with the pupil. Staff can then give further information, verbal communication or encouragement to support the child in completing said task. If needed staff will telephone the child in order to give them further teaching.
Remote education for self-isolating pupils
Where individual children 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 children 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?
In school, we offer a blended learning approach to those children self-isolating. We are aware that we will have children and families who have to isolate due to symptoms therefore we have prepared paper work packs for the children to access at home during times which they are unable to attend school due to a period of isolation/waiting for test results.
Staff are continuing to support parents and families with well-being. Staff are carrying out weekly welfare calls to all children. Staff are speaking directly to children over the phone and offering helpful coping strategies for their emotions.
Sometimes, children are using Seesaw to record their thoughts and feelings. Through this, we have had some messages from children which have shown they are struggling and may be feeling isolated. Miss Mason has contacted parents of these children via phone call to offer support, which has been appreciated by parents. Miss Mason has also sent over useful resources to parents using email check ins.
Our school website has a vast array of resources and helpful links on mindfulness and well-being. This was accessed frequently during lock down one and resources are continually added.
There is a class BLOG on the school website that pupils can use to keep in touch with each other while they are isolated at home. It is important that our pupils can continue to be in touch on a safe platform. All posts are reviewed and posted live by staff. Parents will be contacted if there are concerns regarding their child’s posts.
At school we are working with “Trailblazer” or the mental health support team. As the MHST is working remote, they are still able to offer their services to families with children who are struggling with low level mental health issues (anxiety, low mood, sleep etc). They offer parent-led CBT over phone call/teams calls which has been extremely helpful to our school community. They can also help parents in signposting to other relevant agencies (e.g CAMHS crisis, Harbour).
· FSM food hampers are the government FSM voucher scheme are used to support families.
· We still have access to Lord Crewe’s charity grant to provide all children and families with coats, uniform, shoes, socks etc. should they need extra support.
· We have access to Greggs COVID impact hardship fund. They are able to provide families with access to white goods (washing machine, fridge, freezer), cookers, beds and mattresses.