Becket Keys School remote education provision: information for parents
This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to students and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education (for example when we are in a period of local or national restrictions, industrial action or extreme weather which require students to remain at home).
Becket Keys Church of England School is highly committed to outstanding teaching and learning and will work tirelessly to ensure that all students can continue to make excellent progress when working remotely.
We prioritise student safety and have carefully considered systems in place to ensure that students are safe on-line and teach these skills daily in our lessons.
During extended times of remote learning parents often ask how they can help.
5 Practical Tips: how can I help from home?*
- Make sure your son/daughter has eaten breakfast and is ready before 8:30 for the first lesson to start with all that is needed: technology, paper, pens.
- Check written work as often as you can. Every 20 minutes would be ideal, but every 30 or 60 minutes is also fine. Sign your initials in the margin, that way, when you come back you can see what has been completed since you were last there. It will also show teachers that you are checking! Even if you can only do this for 30 seconds a few times a day it will make a big difference!
- If there is a live lesson going on, listen to the teacher for a few minutes and later ask your son/daughter to explain what is being taught. Encourage engagement and joining in.
- If a video or website has been provided, see if you can ask your son/daughter to explain the content. It would be a good idea to restart or rewind and watch again if a good explanation cannot be given.
- See what else is open on the desktop! It can be tempting for some students to minimise and maximise windows between schoolwork and other distractions. You can look at the ‘history’ on the browser to check this too. Remove other devices and distractions as much as possible.
What else can I do?
- Ask if there is extension work. Check with the teachers if your son/daughter is regularly finishing early. You can send teachers a message via: Contact-staff
- Check what is happening on screens in “free time”. It would be good to get away from screens during down time. SnapChat, Instagram and WhatsApp are a dangerous waste of time. Limit these to an hour per day. Netflix and YouTube are also tempting ways to while away the hours. What is being watched? How many episodes? One or two episodes a day is more than enough. Make sure that these things are not disrupting lessons!
I’m doing all this: what else can I do?
- Chesskid.com is an excellent free site to learn to play chess.
- Duolingo.com is a free site where students can practise their language skills.
- Go out together for a walk, bike ride or run.
- Joe Wicks has numerous free workouts on YouTube.
- Encourage reading for up to 2 hours a day. If you have a reluctant reader on your hands, look into audio books or read together.
- uk.smartickmethod.com, IXL and MathsWatch are all great Mathematics websites. You can never do too much Maths!
- Use www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize. It is excellent.
- Oak National Academy are offering many video lessons made by real teachers and used by real schools! Well worth a look.
The remote curriculum: what is taught to students at home?
If the period of remote learning is short. The curriculum might be different from our published materials. If the remote learning period is extended teachers will work hard to keep to the published on-line curriculum. This is available for all subjects and all year groups. If the content of the remote curriculum needs to be different this will be made clear by subject teachers and the on-line curriculum will be adjusted accordingly.
What should students expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of being sent home?
In the event of a local or national restriction, students will be expected to follow their normal school timetable. Lessons will almost all be on Microsoft Teams with occasional links to other software, as appropriate to give students variety.
Students will complete the same tasks as other students and will be able to interact with their teacher. If their normal teacher is not available, we will continue to try and use Microsoft Teams. However, tasks may be set for students to access on ShowMyHomework.
Students can talk with each other on MS Teams and staff will supervise this.
Our intention is for remote learning to be available from the first day, although it may on occasion take a second day to be fully up and running.
Work should be submitted via Microsoft Teams or Show My Homework.
What should I expect if remote learning is used during a period of industrial action?
If a union calls for industrial action then a proportion of the staff may not be teaching. All staff taking such action will not set cover and are not covered. If any teachers are ill on the day we will try to cover them, but it may be impossible.
If MS Teams is being used, teachers who are available to teach will set up the calendar of their lessons for the day and students will be able to see what lessons they have. When students do not have a lesson we will expect them to:
- Read a book
- Use Dr Frost
- Use other on-line tools eg BBC Bitesize
- Use Oak Academy
Following the first few days of remote education, will students be taught broadly the same curriculum as if they were school?
As far as practicable, students will receive the same curriculum as would be the case in school. Tasks in practical subjects such as Art, Design and Technology, Drama, Food, Music, PE and Science will be adapted when necessary for remote learning.
Remote teaching and study time each day
How long can I expect work set by the school to take each day?
We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take students broadly the following number of hours each day:
Secondary school-aged students not working towards formal qualifications this year
At least 6 hours per day including homework demands.
Secondary school-aged students working towards formal qualifications this year
At least 8 hours per day including homework demands.
Accessing remote education
How will students access any online remote education?
We will use Microsoft Teams for Live Lessons. Every student has been trained in school to log in and we have run trial sessions for all students in all year groups before Christmas. It is possible to get support if you need it from our office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will also use Satchel One: Show My Homework for communication regarding lessons. This app (which is familiar to everyone) will be used every day for students to see to receive feedback on what they hand in. Students can also use it to contact their teachers in addition to the website portal here: Contact-staff
We sometimes use You Tube for recorded lessons and various subject specific websites such as DrFrost and Active Learn. If you have any issues using these tools please contact us: email@example.com.
Tutor time will usually continue to take place every day for every student and this will always be available on Microsoft Teams. This is an important time for a daily check on learning, provide support for well-being and to offer a time of daily worship and prayer. Collective Worship times are also possible where the whole year group or even multiple year groups can gather together.
Lessons should be accessed using a device suitable for the task. The same applies to completing work. In most cases this will be a laptop or PC, however, other devices are also very suitable. We have guidance available about using X-box and PlayStation machines - please contact us if you need this. Many students use phones and iPads very successfully. Students should also be in a location where they are able to concentrate.
If we do not have digital or online access at home, how will you support us 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 students to access remote education:
- We will lend suitable devices to students who do not have access to one which can be for their sole use during the school day.
- In general, we will avoid printing materials, or receiving hard copies of work, as both the remote curriculum and the facility to submit work are available electronically whether students are in school or at home.
- If you do not have access to a suitable internet connection, and we have run out of devices which enable one, students may be classed as ‘vulnerable’ and may be able to attend school. Please contact the school, if this is the case.
You should contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Alternatively, please call us on 01277 286600.
So, remind me again, how will students be taught remotely?
We use a combination of the following approaches:
- Live lessons
- Recorded lessons
- Activities to complete and hand in
Each student will receive a blended approach, the nature of which is likely to vary from day to day. Students must be familiar with Satchel One: Show My Homework, You Tube and MS Teams to truly benefit from what the school will provide.
Engagement and feedback
What are your expectations for student engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?
Our expectations are that parents ensure:
- Students follow their normal timetable and attend on time.
- Students engage with all activities which are set.
- They read and engage with all communications which come from the school, including from their subject teachers and form tutor.
- They contact the school if they have concerns or issues.
We always benefit from working closely with parents, but this is amplified significantly during times of remote learning. Parents must feel confident to contact us if they are unsure about anything.
If you wish to contact the school about a curriculum issue you should contact the class teacher via: Contact-staff. Heads of department can also be contacted this way, but the first port of call should be the class teacher.
If you wish to contact the school about a pastoral issue you should contact your son/daughter’s form teacher via: Contact-staff. You can also contact the Head of Year via this portal, but the form tutor should be the first port of call.
If you are not sure whom to contact, you can write to email@example.com and one of our administration team will direct your message to the right person. Please be aware that this could slow down the process but our office team will always pass on messages as quickly as they can.
During extended periods of remote learning, the school will contact you to complete a survey to gain your overall feedback. However, please do not wait for a survey. Contact us at any time!
How will you check whether my son/daughter is engaging with work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
We will do this in various ways:
- Taking a register for each live lesson, every day.
- Monitoring and marking work submitted by students as appropriate. In general, work will be marked within 5 working days, and often sooner.
- Subject teachers will contact you via email or telephone if there are issues with the completion or the quality of work. Remember that teachers may be working from home and may therefore withhold their number when calling.
- The school will contact you on the day (certainly within 24 hours) if there is a serious issue with engagement or attendance.
- Feedback will be given on Satchel One: Show My Homework on a regular basis which will give you a good sense of general progress.
- The school will also send home reports to give a grade for conduct, character and effort.
How will you assess work and progress?
Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual students. For example, quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms are excellent and highly effective. Sometimes feedback will be given to a whole class or to groups within the class as students outcomes may be similar. If you have the Satchel One: Show My Homework app on your phone, you will be notified when your son/daughter receives feedback or makes a comment to a teacher.
Our approach to feeding back on student work is as follows:
- Where a teacher is presenting a live lesson, students are able to receive immediate verbal feedback on learning and tasks.
- Some tasks will be marked, and feedback given as appropriate. Through this, students will receive feedback on their work for several subjects every week.
- Some tasks, such as online quizzes, are marked automatically and the outcomes available instantly.
- Feedback will be given to individual students, or via the whole class, as appropriate depending on the task.
- Heads of department check the feedback that is provided by staff on a weekly basis to ensure that it is of sufficient quality to help students progress and to retain good levels of engagement.
If your son/daughter needs stationery (new books, pens, paper etc) please contact us, we can supply this for you. Alternatively, you can simply buy suitable items yourself - we will accept that not every student will have the 'official' Becket Keys book during these times of remote learning! Learning is more important than the colour of a front cover!
Additional support for students with particular needs
How will you work with students who need additional support from adults at home to access remote education?
We recognise that some students, for example some students 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 students in the following ways:
- Subject teachers will adapt the curriculum, including resources and tasks as appropriate, as would be the case in school.
- Subject teachers will also liaise with the SEND department for advice and guidance as necessary, also as would be the case in school.
- Our SEN department will be making regular telephone contact with home, staff will produce adapted materials, and they will advise teachers on methods that are proven to help students with SEN (particularly those with EHCPs).
*Thanks to Katharine Birbalsingh for her article which inspired much of this advice. Find the article here: https://www.thearticle.com/online-lessons-for-parents-an-open-letter-from-a-headmistress?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=dlvr.it