Please see below information regarding remote learning
Following the recent government announcement that remote education will continue until 8th March 2021 at the earliest, I thought you might appreciate some additional information on our remote learning provision and how we expect this to further unfold over the coming weeks.
Firstly, I would like to say a sincere and heartfelt thank you for your support so far with remote learning. I completely understand that this is an incredibly challenging time for us all, so everything that you are doing to support and encourage your child is always greatly appreciated. As we enter our second month of remote teaching, we thought it would be useful to remind you of our approach.
At Buxton Community School (BCS) we have worked hard for several years now to base what we do on what the research evidence says is most likely to work, rather than adopting strategies we think might work. We believe this is vital because the education of our students is too important to be left to chance. In terms of remote teaching, there two general approaches that schools can take:
Recorded lessons – where the teacher records a video of themselves teaching a topic and/or introducing a task and then shares this with students.
Live lessons – where the teachers use a platform such as Microsoft Teams to have a ‘live’ session where students can speak to and interact with their teacher in real-time.
Alongside this, students might also be set a task that they complete independently. However, when direct instruction is required these two approaches tend to be used.
Schools are taking different approaches to this. At BCS most of our remote teaching so far has been based on teachers recording a Loom video and then sharing it with students via Class Charts. These videos either give instructions to students on what to do so they can work independently, or directly explain the concepts being taught. Teachers will carefully explain new ideas, model to students how to use this new knowledge and sometimes use this approach to give whole-class feedback emphasising what has been done well and how to improve. During these lessons, students are asked to pause the video at key points to enable them to complete the tasks successfully. This method is also effective because it means students are able to go back over the videos to help embed their understanding of the lesson material. Students then submit their work via Class Charts when requested, for teachers to review and assess. This approach is based on evidence from a number of sources:
In April 2020, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), who are a charity that undertake and share educational research with schools, said the following:
“Pupils can learn through remote teaching. Ensuring the elements of effective teaching are present – for example clear explanations, scaffolding and feedback – is more important than how or when they are provided. There was no clear difference between teaching in real time (“synchronous teaching”) and alternatives (“asynchronous teaching”). For example, teachers might explain a new idea live or in a prerecorded video. But what matters most is whether the explanation builds clearly on pupils’ prior learning or how pupils’ understanding is subsequently assessed.”
More recently (January 2021), the Research Team at OFSTED said the following:
“Some think that a live lesson is the ‘gold standard’ of remote education. This isn’t necessarily the case. Live lessons have a lot of advantages. They can make curriculum alignment easier, and can keep pupils’ attention, not least as the teacher has more control over the learning environment. But live lessons are not always more effective than asynchronous approaches.
So to summarise, it is the quality of the teacher instruction that matters more than the way in which it is delivered. Our priority is always to ensure that the quality of teaching at BCS is the best it can be.
However, we fully recognise that live lessons can also play an important role in remote learning. That is why some of our teachers have been successfully running live lessons in the 6th Form over the last two weeks. Moving forwards, this will be gradually rolled-out to Years 7 -11 from the 1st February 2021 meaning that more teachers will be introducing a live element to their teaching over the coming weeks. The live lesson schedule will be shared every Friday for the week ahead and teachers will also email students with the Teams meeting invite in advance which they will need to access the lesson.
Thank you to everyone who has completed the live lesson consent form which is a prerequisite for your child’s participation in live lessons. If you have not yet done this, the link to the form is here –
I would also strongly encourage both you and your child to watch the following instructional video made by Miss Barratt, one of our Remote Learning Champions (RLCs). This explains how to access and participate in live lessons from a student’s perspective and we would urge you to watch this prior to the first live lesson they may have.
Our progress teams are also utilising a range of approaches to stay in contact with students and can be contacted via the relevant Director for Progress (DoP) if necessary.
In terms of how you can continue to support us, please ensure that your child has all the resources they need to learn effectively. e.g. pen, paper and pencil, and a quiet place to work away from distractions. We would also welcome you asking them questions about their learning and checking they are submitting work to Class Charts when required. Periods of relaxation and exercise in between lessons are also really important. The following document might be useful to support you with this:
I hope this helps to further clarify our approach to remote learning. Full details on our provision can be found on the website at -https://www.buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk/page/?title=Remote+Learning&pid=289.
Once again, thank you for all you are doing to support the school and, as ever, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Simon Gort - Assistant Headteacher, Teaching and Learning