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Remote education provision: information for parents

This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to pupils and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education at Colchester Academy if local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.

For details of what to expect where individual pupils are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.

The remote curriculum: what is taught to pupils at home

Colchester Academy will provide work for all students on-line as soon as we are notified that a student is self-isolating. Where entire bubbles are self-isolating live lessons will be provided from the first full day of isolation.

What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of pupils being sent home?

Work will immediately be available through Google Classrooms as an assignment. The curriculum offered will match the curriculum available to each child in school. Where students do not have immediate access to on-line provision due to limited IT equipment or internet access, paper copies of work will be provided and can be posted or delivered.

Our website (https://www.colchesteracademy.org.uk/StudentNet-Home/) details all our provision for remote learning and gives contact details for support if students are unable to login to Google Classrooms.

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?

  • We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school. A full timetable is provided. If whole cohorts are self-isolating this includes Form Time.

Remote teaching and study time each day

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

We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take pupils broadly the following number of hours each day:

Years 7,8 & 9 5 hours and twenty minutes per day consisting of one 20-minute form time session and 5 one-hour lessons.
Years 10 & 11 5 hours and twenty minutes per day consisting of one 20-minute form time session and 5 one-hour lessons.

Accessing remote education

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

All work and classes will be “assigned” using Google Classrooms. All live lessons will be conducted on Google Classrooms. Every class on a student’s timetable has a matching Google Classroom that they are a member of, here they can access resources as well as live lessons using Google Meet.

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?

We recognise that some pupils may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those pupils to access remote education:

  • We will loan laptops to students that are required to self-isolate where they do not have adequate IT equipment.
  • We have access to free sim data cards and dongles that can be provided where students do not have access to an ISP.
  • We are able to deliver IT equipment, sim data cards and dongles to self-isolating students.
  • We are able to provide paper copies of work in extreme circumstances.

How will my child be taught remotely?

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

  • live teaching (online lessons) via Google Classrooms and Google Meet
  • recorded teaching (e.g. Oak National Academy lessons, video/audio recordings made by teachers), as part of our live lessons
  • textbooks, revision guides and reading books pupils have at home, where these have been previously provided

Engagement and feedback

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

We expect all students to engage fully with full time on-line learning. On-line learning, including live lesson follow the same timings as the school day. By maintaining these routines students will be best prepared to return to school. Lessons are live and not recorded, students must follow their full timetable at the appropriate time. The full curriculum is delivered, students must engage to ensure they do not fall behind.

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

  • We will monitor Google Classroom and submitted work to see if students are accessing the work.
  • We will take a register in form time activities and for each lesson during the day. Attendance is monitored through this method and also through log ins to individual Google Classrooms.
  • We will contact home weekly and will increase contact with home where we are concerned that students are not accessing work regularly.

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. For example, whole-class feedback or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others. Our approach to feeding back on pupil work is as follows:

  • Lessons are live and so verbal feedback will be given in every lesson.
  • Additionally, feedback can be requested and given using the chat facility in each Google Classroom.
  • Where on-line quizzes are used feedback will be provided in the same way as in the classroom.
  • Where worksheets and other material are used on Google Classrooms this work can be uploaded or submitted for teachers to mark and feedback given in line with the school’s guidance on feedback and marking. Work is then returned electronically.
  • Feedback will be provided regularly, subjects are expected to provide written feedback fortnightly as a minimum but in KS4 this will be more regular.

Additional support for pupils with particular needs

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 pupils, for example some pupils 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 pupils in the following ways:

  • In addition to weekly contact with students at home those with SEN will also be contacted by their support worker or LSA. This contact will be weekly as a minimum but some students might need more regular contact to support their learning, the SENCO will risk assess all SEN students that are self-isolating to ensure the appropriate levels of support are available.
  • The SENCO is available to offer advice to staff and parents with concerns regarding supporting specific students.

Remote education for self-isolating pupils

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

For students that are not self-isolating with a bubble the school will provide work for them as soon as we are notified that they are self-isolating, this usually is available from day one.

The work in these circumstances is set using Google Classrooms as an “assignment”. The work will mimic the work being completed in the classroom as closely as possible, students will not have access to form time or live lessons.

Where a student does not have access to IT equipment or the internet, equipment, sim data cards and dongles can be loaned and delivered to them. In exceptional circumstances paper copies can be provided and delivered to their home.

Work can be returned to teachers either electronically via email for electronic documents or using photographs of completed work. Feedback will be provided in line with the guidance on feedback and marking.