Blended Learning (including remote learning) at West Coventry Academy
The current context requires the school to prepare for all eventualities including a possible local or national lockdown. Please see below the National Guidance.
Where a class, group or small number of pupils need to self-isolate, or there is a local lockdown requiring pupils to remain at home, we (DfE) expect schools to have the capacity to offer immediate remote education. Schools are expected to consider how to continue to improve the quality of their existing offer and have a strong contingency plan in place for remote education provision by the end of September 2020.
For this reason, we have introduced some changes to how we set all home-based learning to better prepare our students for another lockdown should they be required to work from home. This change is informed by research provided by the Education Endowment Foundation and their evidence base, to promote best practice. In the situation of another lockdown we will fully utilise the capabilities of Microsoft Office 365 to provide students with varied and meaningful learning experiences.
Our key aims for remote learning
Remote learning will differ from subject to subject depending on the nature of the subject but it will have the following aims:
- The Right Knowledge – Our curriculum plans have been carefully designed to ensure students learn the best that each subject has to offer. Remote learning should reinforce learning that takes place in the classroom.
- Spaced Knowledge Recall – Research suggests that practising recalling knowledge (remembering) strengthens the brain’s ability to recall knowledge in the future. Therefore, revision that takes place the night before a test is not as effective as revision over several weeks/days leading up to a test. Teachers will therefore set work that asks students to practice recalling knowledge.
- Application of Knowledge – Remote learning should provide students with opportunities to apply their knowledge to new contexts. The application of knowledge helps students to develop more complex thinking.
- Meaningful activities – remote learning should not be a bolt-on activity that is isolated from the wider curriculum. It should be an integral part of the learning journey that students are on.
Work for students who are self-isolating
Unless a student is too unwell to work, the expectation for a student who is self-isolating would be that they would be working at home to keep up with the work that their peers are completing in school. It is therefore vital that the school is notified when a period of self-isolation begins. This can be done using the usual absence procedure.
In this situation, students who are self-isolating will need to follow the school timetable as they work at home. For example, if a student has English and then Science on a day which they are isolating then on this day they should complete the work set from these subjects and these subjects alone. Work will be set on Microsoft Teams. Work will be set by the student’s class teacher following the school timetable.
If there are any questions or queries relating to the work set, then students will need to contact their class teacher using their school email account. However, it must be noted that staff will still be in school and teaching their normal timetable so the reply may not be during the timetabled lesson.
The setting of work in a lockdown scenario
In the instance of a lockdown taking place students will have work set that mirrors their timetables.
For example, if on a Thursday a student has English and History on their timetable then they will be set work by their English and History teacher on that day. The student can log onto Microsoft Teams at the time that their lesson will be taking place and all their work will be available to them. The work that is set will vary from subject to subject and work may take the form of a pre-recorded video lesson or a series of tasks set in chunks on Teams.
During the scheduled timetabled hours our staff will be available on live chat on Microsoft Teams or on email to respond to student questions and support their learning. Unless directed otherwise by their teachers, students will complete work in their class workbooks as they would in lessons. Students will be required to maintain the same standards of presentation as they would do in school. However, we are aware that, in the situation of a lockdown, it isn’t always possible for students to be online at the specific time that their lesson is taking place. We know that many students have to act as carers and support their parents in caring for younger siblings. Work will therefore be set on Teams in a way that allows students to complete it at a time that is convenient for them in their household.
Making home learning accessible
It is our intention that where possible all home learning will be ‘mobile friendly’ so that all students can access the work that is set. This is to help the numerous households where students are sharing access to a computer/laptop/tablet device with family members as well as the households who do not have access to a computer at all. To support in the delivery of remote learning on a mobile device it is recommended that students download the Microsoft Teams app onto their mobile device. The app doesn’t have the full functionality of the desktop version but will allow students to access all their work.
Trouble shooting: My son/daughter has forgotten their password
If your son/daughter needs their password to Office 365/emails reset then you will need to email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for a reset. Please clearly state the student’s full name and tutor group in the email. A new password for the student’s account will then be emailed out to your email address that is registered on the school system. If your email address has changed and needs amending, then please inform the school as a matter of priority.