Teams, Zoom, Google Meets – They are all now part of the new normal & for some crucial to ensuring they do not miss out on their education
During lockdown, teachers had little time to prepare and the main aim was to keep students safe at home or for the vulnerable and students of key workers in school.
Tasks set were often linked to the school’s website or the website referenced learning resources the students & parents could access from home.
This meant that there was little to no real-time communication between staff and students and although the term ‘home-schooling’ was thrown around, parents were openly communicating that they were not teachers and that the balance of working from home, alongside motivating their children to complete school tasks was a huge struggle. At the same time schools had to ramp up their remote learning offer and the infrastructure to support this.
In August the Department for Education sent out guidance that set out that schools must have remote teaching contingency plans ready by the end of September!
The expectations were set out as follows;
- Set assignments so that students have meaningful and ambitious work each day in a number of different subjects.
- Teach a planned and well-sequenced curriculum so that knowledge and skills are built incrementally, with a good level of clarity about what is intended to be taught and practised in each subject.
- Provide frequent, clear explanations of new content, delivered by a teacher in the school or through high-quality curriculum resources and /or videos.
- Gauge how well students are progressing through the curriculum, using questions and other suitable tasks and set a clear expectation on how regularly teachers will check work.
- Enable teachers to adjust the pace or difficulty of what is being taught in response to questions or assessments, including, where necessary, revising material or simplifying explanations to ensure students’ understanding.
- Plan a programme that is of equivalent length to the core teaching students would receive in school, ideally including daily contact with teachers.
Should the measures change – What are schools doing to prepare for remote TEACHING?
Schools are getting set up on digital platforms that are purpose-built for remote learning. These platforms allow school professionals to assign and assess work, provide feedback remotely, communicate with staff, students and parents in real time and facilitate collaboration between groups of the students and teachers.
Is there any “set-up” funding out there to assist in this? Most platforms are actually free to use; however, schools & trusts are eligible to apply for set up funding.
Individual primaries will receive £1,500 and individual secondaries £2,000. Trust ‘s will receive £1,000 per school.
If you haven’t yet applied, you can find advice on The Key for School Leaders website; (https://schoolleaders.thekeysupport.com/covid-19/deliver-remote-learning/make-tech-work-you/access-support-set-digital-education-platform/)
Engaging students to learn from home – what is conducive to a heathy learning environment?
Wake & Shake – Extensive research shows that our brains work best when supplied with oxygen and endorphins, both of which are produced through exercise. After a Wake & Shake session students will feel energised and approach the day with a positive outlook and ready to learn.
Focus – Encouraging them to find a quiet place where they can focus with minimal distractions.
Socialising with friends – Listening to the students and parents on the playground when students returned to school September there was an echoing message of how much they had missed socialising with their friends above all else. The government and educators main priority on their return was about mental health and wellbeing.
A scheduled online lunch break that allows them to socialise on the digital platform encourages them to stay connected and motivated for their afternoon learning.
We aren’t sure what the future will hold for the educational sector and remote learning – however our sense is digital platforms might not be just for COVID measures.
We would love to hear your thoughts, feel free to send us an email to email@example.com of find us on social media, Twitter or LinkedIn.
School professionals will be looking forward to a well-earned rest this Christmas, but it’s a well-known fact that some still see it as a chance