Remote and Blended Learning Policy and Contingency Plan

January 2021

This remote learning policy aims to:

  • Provide appropriate guidelines for data protection
  • Ensure consistency in the approach to remote learning for all students (Inc. SEND) who are not in college through use of quality online and offline resources and teaching videos
  • Provide clear expectations members of the college community with regards to delivery high quality interactive remote learning 
  • Include continuous delivery of the college curriculum, as well as support of Motivation, Health and Well-Being and Parent support
  • Support effective communication between the college and families and support attendance

Roles and responsibilities

  • SLT will oversee remote learning in their link areas
  • DSL will ensure the college reverts to the college COVID safeguarding policy that WCF Education Safeguarding Team sent to ALL colleges (May 2020) and will follow this policy for children who must self-isolate. The college will follow its usual safeguarding policy for those children on site. The DSL will complete a risk assessment for all vulnerable students using RED/AMBER/GREEN for keeping in touch calls for those children self-isolating. The DSL will inform the relevant social worker if a child is either on a CIN/CP/LAC
  • Heads of Department will oversee and take responsibility for the quality of remote learning in their department
  • Heads of Year will follow the college’s engagement with work protocols and monitor and intervene where necessary
  • SENCo will ensure that all students with SEN are able to access remote learning and that their needs are being fully met
  • Classroom teachers will follow the college and their department expectations on remote learning and take responsibility for their timetabled classes.

Teachers

When providing remote learning, teachers must be available from 8.45 to 3.20pm and following their normal timetable

If they are unable to work for any reason during this time, for example due to sickness or caring for a dependent, they should report this using the normal absence procedure.

When providing remote learning, teachers are responsible for:

In the event of a Year Group bubble going into self-isolation, or for a tier two local restriction, where year groups attend on rotation, students will continue to follow their existing full timetable. Teachers will be present in the classroom/in college, teaching and monitoring classwork for the full length of the lesson if classes are not on site. Student learning will take place remotely and follow a blended learning approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods.

Staff need to be prepared for this as we do not know when circumstances may change. Teachers will monitor engagement in online lessons and keep records of which students are engaging. If a student does not engage in two consecutive online lessons the teacher will first of all check if the student has been reported as being ill. If there is no apparent reason for non engagement the teacher will contact the student’s parents to alert them to the non engagement. If this does not resolve the matter the teacher should notify their head of department and the student’s head of year.

Teachers must ensure that when presenting a lesson in Google Meet they have applied the setting which prevents students from presenting material and taking control of the screen. Teachers should also note that they have the option to switch off the “chat” if they wish.

There are three key priorities in order to support the college’s blended learning offer:

  1. Students must have a Google Classroom for each subject that they have all joined. Teachers will check against class lists for any students who have not joined.
  2. New knowledge, presentations and activities delivered each lesson will need to be accessible in each Google Classroom. This will be essential for students to access from home and have the full curriculum offer readily available. It is also important for those students who are self-isolating. Department will discuss how they might best share uploading weekly tasks and lessons to Classroom, with the understanding that every teacher has responsibility for their own Google Classroom.
  3. Year 7 students will be shown how to use Google Classroom and where to find important materials. Teachers need to show students and use their Google Classroom each lesson so that students are confident in using it.

Expectations 

Students must experience some live tuition and feedback in each subject through Google Meet at least once every week. When leading a live lesson during the allotted lesson time, teachers will spend approximately 15 minutes teaching new or key information and setting tasks. The work set must be uploaded to Google Classroom by the end of the lesson. 

As teachers cannot pair up for live lessons, teachers will need to make sure that that they do not “present” through Google Meet. This will enable teachers to see who is in the classroom and monitor the chat themselves. Teachers must upload any materials and presentations for the lessons beforehand in Google Classroom and ask students to have them open on their devices as they deliver the lesson. Teachers can open up any documents and reduce their size on their screen so that they see both their materials and the Google Meet chat.

Teachers will continue to assess student progress through activities such as recall tests, quizzes and examination style questions (for KS4 students).

Feedback must take place as a live session every three weeks/twice half termly. Feedback will be given in the same way as it would be in the classroom using the college feedback sheets. Teachers are not expected to mark and annotate individual pieces of work. Teaches will refer to work that has been done well, giving praise for excellent contribution and achievement. Teachers will highlight misconceptions giving extra time to re-explaining difficult and misunderstood concepts. Teachers will also highlight SPaG concerns. Teachers will be mindful of SEND requirements; ensuring for example that material is presented on a pastel or cream–coloured background. Teachers will need to refer to information shared via pastoral briefings, Learning Support Mentors and Mintclass. Teachers will still continue to keep their Teaching and Learning folders up to date.

In the event of a partial bubble closure teachers will not provide “live” lessons but will ensure that resources for students are uploaded onto their google classroom so that students can access them in line with the normal lesson time.

Below is a list of the different types of teaching and learning activity that need to be included as part of the college’s blended learning approach. It is each teacher’s individual responsibility to ensure that they can deliver remote learning at the standard required and to attend training where appropriate.

Teaching and Learning activity
Leading live lessons in Google Meet
Giving whole class feedback in Google Meet
Pre-recording voice-over presentations
Creating quizzes on Google Forms and downloading the answers in Excel/charts
Creating question and answer assignments in Google Classroom
Uploading materials and resources in Google Classroom
Uploading video and audio files
Taking a register in Google Meet and emailing the register

Learning Support Mentors

When assisting with remote learning, Learning Support Mentors must be available between their normal working hours.

If they’re unable to work for any reason during this time, for example due to sickness or caring for a dependent, they should report this using the normal absence procedure.

When assisting with remote learning, teaching assistants are responsible for:

  • Supporting students in their caseloads who aren’t in college with learning remotely. They will need to make contact with each of their students once in a two week period.
  • Attending virtual meetings with teachers, parents and students where necessary.
  • Keep the records on each student in their caseload up to date.

Heads of Department

Alongside their teaching responsibilities, Heads of Department  are responsible for:

  • Considering whether any aspects of the subject curriculum need to change to accommodate remote learning
  • Working with teachers teaching their subject remotely to make sure all work set is appropriate and consistent
  • Working with other Heads of Department and senior leaders to make sure work set remotely across all subjects is appropriate and consistent, and appropriate deadlines are being set
  • Monitoring the remote work set by teachers in their subject through regular meetings or by being part of the Google Classrooms themselves
  • Alerting teachers to resources they can use to teach their subject remotely
  • Heads of department will monitor student progress by asking teachers for evidence of feedback given during a lockdown period and monitoring the outcomes of teacher assessments. These assessments could be quizzes, recall tests or examination style questions

Senior leaders

Alongside any teaching responsibilities, senior leaders are responsible for:

  • Co-ordinating the remote learning approach across the college –
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of remote learning through regular meetings with teachers and subject leaders, reviewing work set and asking for feedback from students and parents
  • Monitoring the security of remote learning systems, including data protection and safeguarding considerations

Designated safeguarding lead

The DSL is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the college safeguarding policy and any addendums are kept up to date and regularly reviewed
  • Continuing to ensure that staff safeguarding CPD continues as normal

SENCo

  • The SENCO Is responsible for monitoring the work of the Learning Support Mentors and ensuring they are keeping up with their caseloads
  • Ensuring that the needs of students with SEN and in particular those with EHCPs are being met
  • Continue to hold annual review meetings when necessary
  • Carry out risk assessments on all students with SEN

IT staff

IT staff are responsible for:

  • Fixing issues with systems used to set and collect work
  • Helping staff and parents with any technical issues they’re experiencing
  • Reviewing the security of remote learning systems and flagging any data protection breaches to the data protection officer
  • Assisting students and parents with accessing the internet or devices

Students and parents

Staff can expect students learning remotely to:

  • Be contactable during the college day – although consider they may not always be in front of a device the entire time
  • Complete work to the deadline set by teachers
  • Seek help if they need it, from teachers or Learning Support Mentors
  • Alert teachers if they are not able to complete work
  • Students must follow the usual expectations of the college’s behaviour policy in an online context. They must not invite anyone from outside the college into any “live” lesson or give anyone outside the college community access to their Google Classrooms. This would constitute a serious breach of the college’s behaviour policy.
  • Students should submit work via google classrooms and act on any feedback given.

Staff can expect parents with children learning remotely to:

  • Make the college aware if their child is sick or otherwise can’t complete work
  • Seek help from the college if they need it
  • Be respectful when making any complaints or concerns known to staff

Governing board                                                       

The governing board is responsible for:

  • Monitoring the college’s approach to providing remote learning to ensure education remains as high quality as possible
  • Ensuring that staff are confident that remote learning systems are appropriately secure, for both data protection and safeguarding reasons

Who to contact?

If staff have any questions or concerns about remote learning, they should contact the following individuals:

  1. Issues in setting work – talk to the relevant Head of Department or SENCO
  2. Issues with behaviour – talk to the relevant head of year and their head of department
  3. Issues with IT – talk to IT staff
  4. Issues with their own workload or wellbeing – talk to their line manager
  5. Concerns about data protection – talk to the data protection officer
  6. Concerns about safeguarding – talk to the DSL

Data protection

Accessing personal data

When accessing personal data for remote learning purposes, all staff members will use their college devices and not their own personal devices.

Processing personal data

Staff members may need to collect and/or share personal data such as email addresses as part of the remote learning system. As long as this processing is necessary for the college’s official functions, individuals won’t need to give permission for this to happen.

However, staff are reminded to collect and/or share as little personal data as possible online.

Keeping devices secure

All staff members will take appropriate steps to ensure their devices remain secure. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Keeping the device password-protected – strong passwords are at least 8 characters, with a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters (e.g. asterisk or currency symbol)
  • Ensuring the hard drive is encrypted – this means if the device is lost or stolen, no one can access the files stored on the hard drive by attaching it to a new device
  • Making sure the device locks if left inactive for a period of time
  • Not sharing the device among family or friends
  • Installing antivirus and anti-spyware software
  • Keeping operating systems up to date – always install the latest updates

Safeguarding

Staff can find the college safeguarding policy on the college website or in the documents section of My Concern. Any addendums to this policy can be found in the same location .

Monitoring arrangements

This policy will be reviewed monthly by the Headteacher. At every review, it will be approved by full governing body.

Links with other policies

This policy is linked to our:

  • Behaviour policy
  • Child protection policy and coronavirus addendum to our child protection policy
  • Data protection policy and privacy notices
  • Home-college agreement
  • ICT and internet acceptable use policy
  • Online safety policy
  • Staff code of conduct