Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January 2021, all learning will take place on Microsoft Teams until at least February half-term. Students in Years 7-11 should log into Teams each morning for tutor time at 08:50, followed by the subsequent lessons that appear on their timetables. Sixth Form students have been briefed separately on their arrangements.
How can I access Microsoft Teams?
The Microsoft Teams platform is highly versatile and works on PC, Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, iPhone, iPad and Android mobiles/tablets. It is possible to access Teams without installing any special software by logging in using a web browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.
To support students, we have prepared detailed guides including both documents and in-house produced video tutorials to help students access their lessons. The most recent guidance can always be viewed here. Note: If you are prompted for your logon credentials, please enter your school username and password.
In the event of difficulties accessing Microsoft Teams, contact [email protected] for assistance. Please include screenshots of the problem where possible and include as much detail as you can, to help us to resolve your issue promptly.
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 as far as possible. We have made adaptations in some subjects, such as practical subjects like PE and Design Engineering.
How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?
We expect that remote education will follow the established timings of the school day (i.e. 08:50-15:35), delivered live by their normal subject teachers using Teams ‘meetings’.
What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents/carers should provide at home?
Your child should ensure that they are logged into Teams and ready to start learning for a prompt start at 08:50 each morning. The Sixth Form start times are slightly different and have been communicated separately.
Students should attend all their timetabled lessons throughout the day, completing work and submitting ‘assignments’ as they are set.
Students should complete any homework tasks that are set by their teachers, as they normally would.
Students should leave their microphones muted unless they are actively contributing to a lesson, and only use in-lesson chat facilities for work-related purposes.
Students are encouraged to ask school-related questions using the dedicated ‘Question and Answer’ channels that have been created for them on Teams.
To support your child’s education, Parents/Carers are asked to:
- Encourage your child to actively participate in their lessons, by putting their hand up and asking questions
- Encourage your child to contact [email protected] if they encounter any difficulties with using Teams
- Continue normal routines at home as far as possible. E.g. normal term-time bedtimes, etc.
- Encourage your child to take screen-breaks from their computer throughout the day, and to take outdoor exercise each day in accordance with government guidelines
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
Registers are taken at the start of each lesson, and students are asked to respond in person to confirm their presence.
Students will be asked to submit work for marking by using the ‘Assignments’ feature of Teams. This work will be marked and feedback given digitally.
Where a member of staff has concerns, parents/carers will be contacted directly by an appropriate colleague, such a class teacher, form tutor or head of year.
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. This may include:
- Whole-class feedback,
- Quizzes that are marked automatically,
- Individual written feedback on submitted work,
- Verbal feedback during the course of a lesson.
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 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. Parents wishing to seek additional support should email either [email protected] or [email protected].
My child is unable to access remote education
Some pupils may not have suitable online access at home. The Government has made available a limited number of laptop computers which we are able to loan to students for use at home during the lockdown period. Parents/Carers should contact Mrs Ford by email or calling 01778 422288 if:
- there are no digital devices in the household,
- the only available device is a smartphone, or
- a single device in the household is being shared with more than one other family member
My child has limited mobile data which is being used for remote learning
The DfE are running a pilot programme to provide families with extra mobile data, where they have no broadband connection at home OR cannot afford additional data. You can read more about the pilot here.
One of the following must also apply. They are children:
- in years 7 to 11 and whose face-to-face education is disrupted
- who are clinically extremely vulnerable and need to shield on current official advice (this could be from a doctor or hospital consultant)
- who live in a household that’s been advised to shield because a family member is clinically extremely vulnerable
- who cannot attend school – even though theirs is open – because restrictions prevent it
This pilot is currently only available to users of a participating mobile network: Three, Smarty, Virgin Mobile, EE, Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile.
Parents/Carers wishing to apply for additional mobile data should contact Mrs Ford by email or calling 01778 422288.
Remote education for self-isolating pupils
Post-lockdown, where individual pupils need to self-isolate but the majority of their year group remains in school, remote education will differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching pupils both at home and in school.
On these occasions, teachers will set work for each lesson on the MILK platform at the start of each lesson, so that the affected student(s) can work independently from home.
Where they have questions about the work, students are encouraged to email their normal class teacher, who will aim to respond at the next available opportunity.
Work that students complete during this period which would normally be submitted for marking should be photographed by the student and emailed to their teacher for marking.