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Remote Learning

Remote Education at Copthall School:

Information for Parents/Carers and Students. 

The information on this page is intended to provide clarity and transparency to parents / carers and students in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 about what to expect from remote education at Copthall School where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.

The information on this page will be reviewed regularly and is underpinned by the national expectations for remote teaching as detailed in the Restricting attendance during the national lockdown: schools (January 2021)

For a brief overview of the below information, please see our Student and Parent Quick Guide to Remote Learning.

The Remote Curriculum: What is taught to students at home?

A student'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 students being sent home?

A virtual form time session will be organised which will take place at 8.35am (the usual start of the school day). Students will be sent links to attend this session via the School’s Microsoft Teams account and all students are expected to log-on to register and participate in the form group activities.

Parents of any student who does not attend the virtual form time will be contacted by the school’s attendance officer or the Director of Learning as this will be treated as an ‘absence’.

In the first few days of a remote teaching model, the Form Tutor and the Director of Learning will communicate the expectations for learning with the students. Then individual subject teachers will share instructions about the work being set with students via Microsoft Teams.

Students should expect to receive work for each of their timetabled lessons, this is likely to include a mix of live lessons and independent tasks.

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?

Yes, in the most part, we will continue to teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school. However, some topics and activities require specialist equipment and resources that may not be available to students, where this is the case, the order in which curriculum content would usually be taught may be adapted to accommodate the period of remote learning.

Some practical subject areas such as Art, Dance, Drama, DT, Music and PE may decide to deliver more theoretical elements as part of their remote learning provision due to the limitations that students may encounter when trying to complete practical exercises. However, where possible, opportunities for active and practical learning will continue to be embraced.

How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?

Students in all Key Stages will be set work for every timetabled lesson. Students should therefore be prepared to complete five hours of learning each day, in addition to their form time session.

Students in Key Stage 5, who may have less timetabled lessons, will be expected to use their study periods to complete independent revision, practice and wider reading as directed by their subject teachers. 

Accessing Remote Education

How will my child access any online remote education that the school is providing?

All remote work will be set on the school’s Microsoft Teams platform. Details of how students can access their Teams account are included in the Student and Parent Quick Guide to Remote Learning.

Within Microsoft teams, resources and additional links to work may also be shared with students.

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will Copthall School support them 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:

  • The school has a limited number of digital devices that can be loaned to students, any parent/carer who would like to request a device for their child should contact the Director of Learning to discuss this.
  • The school can request, on-behalf of the student, that additional data is provided to them free of charge via their mobile provider through the DfE’s Get Help with Technology scheme – any parent / carer who would like to request this should contact the Director of Learning.

Where the school is able to loan a device to a student:

  • the parent / carer takes responsibility that the device will be looked after and used in an appropriate way. Laptops that have been provided by the Department for Education (DfE) have pre-loaded e-safety software installed to ensure that students are not exposed to in-appropriate material.  However, the parent/carer is reminded to remain vigilant to protect their child from being exposed to in-appropriate material.
  • at the end of the period of remote education, the student will be required to return the device to the school. 

Where the school is not able to loan a device to a student:

  • The school will accommodate the student in its ‘Vulnerable Students and Children of Key Workers’ on-site provision.
  • Alternatively, should it not be possible for the student to attend the school’s on-site provision:
    • Hard-copy work will be provided for the student to complete – this will be collated and sent out to the family by the Director of Learning on a weekly basis.
    • Pre-paid envelops will be provided to enable the student to submit work for marking and feedback.
    • The Director of Learning will make regular contact with the student so that any questions or concerns can be shared with the subject teachers who will contact the student over the phone to offer support where necessary.

How will my child be taught remotely?

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach students remotely:

  • ‘Live’ virtual lessons – these may last for a whole lesson or make up a part of the lesson to support students to complete the learning tasks
  • Narrated PowerPoints
  • Demonstration Videos
  • Independent Research Tasks
  • Practice Exam Questions
  • Quizzes and tests
  • Textbooks and reading books students have at home
  • Subject Specific online learning platforms and apps (such as Doctor Frost, Seneca, EducationCity)
  • Long-term project work and/or Internet research activities

Engagement and Feedback

What are the school’s expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

The school expects students learning remotely to:

  • Be contactable during the school day either by email, Epraise Messenger or telephone – although staff should consider that students may not always be in front of a device the entire time.
  • ‘Attend’ all timetabled lessons – either virtually or completing all independent work.
  • Complete all work to the deadline set by teachers
  • Seek help if they need it from the most relevant member of staff:
    • Teacher
    • Teaching Assistants / SENCO
    • Director of Learning or other Pastoral Staff
    • Form Tutor
    • Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
    • Member of the Senior Leadership Team
  • Alert teachers via email or Epraise Messenger or email if they are not able to complete work.

The school expects parents/carers with children learning remotely to:

  • Make the school aware if their child is sick or otherwise cannot complete work.
  • As much as possible, support their child in completing their work remotely. This may include:
    • Dedicating an appropriate space for their child to work without distraction.
    • Supporting their child with accessing resources and understanding tasks.
    • Monitoring that their child is logging onto the school’s platforms at the right times and engaging with the work set.
    • Seek help from the school if they need it by contacting the relevant Director of Learning.
    • Be respectful when making any complaints or concerns known to staff.

How will the school check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?

Attendance registers will be completed by Form Tutors each morning during the live virtual form sessions. Where students are absent, parents / carers will be informed either by text message or a phone call.

Where absence is continuous, the Director of Learning or Attendance Officer may arrange a virtual meeting with the Parents / Carers to discuss ways of supporting the student to engage.

Where student engagement to lessons drops, or where students do not submit work in a timely fashion, subject teachers or the Director of Learning will communicate with the parent / carer, detailing the concerns and working with the student and family to find ways of supporting the students’ engagement.

How will the school 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. At Copthall, our approach to feeding-back on student work continues to sit in line with the whole school Assessment and Feedback Policy.

During a period of Remote education, students can expect:

  • Regular verbal feedback from subject teachers based on the work that is completed and submitted.
  • General and personalised improvement prompts offered from the subject teacher in response to work that has been submitted.
  • Peer and self-assessment activities to be included in lessons.

Additional Support for Students with Particular Needs

How will the school work with families to help children who need additional support from adults at home to access remote education?

We recognise that some students, for example those 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:

  • As much as possible, where students would typically have support from a Teaching Assistant, the Teaching Assistant will continue to join live lessons to support the student. During these lessons the Teaching Assistant may also offer one-to-one withdrawal support to meet the needs of the learner.
  • The Teaching Assistant and the Subject teacher will continue to provide differentiated, personalised tasks that enable the student to access the work at an appropriate level.
  • The SENCO and Deputy SENCO will work closely with the parents / carers to agree appropriate support to ensure that the student is able to access a full range of learning.
  • The parents / carers of all students with SEND will be offered the opportunity for their child to attend school as part of the ‘vulnerable students and children of key worker’ on-site provision, during which time they will be able to access some support from a Teaching Assistant.

Remote Education for Self-Isolating Pupils

Where individual students need to self-isolate, but the majority of their peer group remains in school, the way that remote education is provided will likely differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching students 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?

Students who are self-isolating will be given the opportunity to join their timetabled lessons ‘remotely’ via the school’s Microsoft Teams platform. Resources and activities will also be made available for all students who are self-isolating via Microsoft Teams.

At the beginning of the ‘self-isolation’ period, the parent / carer should discuss with the Director of Learning the most appropriate provision to be in place.  The Director of Learning will then maintain regular contact with the student to ensure that they feel supported to access a full range of the curriculum.

Questions / Concerns about Remote Education:

Copthall School is dedicated to ensuring that we continue to offer an ‘excellent education for all’ our students, despite the challenges that a remote learning model present. To this end, we are keen to work collaboratively with parents / carers to address any questions or concerns that they may have around the school’s remote learning offer.

Should parents / carers wish to raise any concerns around the quality of the remote work being set for your child, please contact Mr Beavis, Deputy Headteacher (Academic) via email at a.beavis@copthall.barnet.sch.uk who will be happy to discuss your concerns.   

Where parents / carers have more general questions about the school’s remote learning offer, these should be directed to your child’s Director of Learning who will be able to forward your queries to the relevant member of staff.

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