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Buxton Community School

Buxton Community School

Remote Learning

Remote education provision: information for parents

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

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

Remote Learning Vision

At BCS we want to support your child with their learning during any COVID-19 related absences from school in order to ensure they maintain access to the curriculum whilst at home.  We are committed to implementing remote education that is both challenging and engaging, and that continues to facilitate excellent student progress. Therefore, we will:

  • Ensure students in all year groups have access to high-quality online and offline resources that are linked to the school’s curriculum expectations.
  • Provide meaningful and ambitious assignments in a number of different subjects so that students have sufficient, high quality work for each day of their absence from school.
  • Plan a well-sequenced remote curriculum so that knowledge and skills are built incrementally, with a good level of clarity about what is intended to be taught and practised in each subject.
  • Deliver the curriculum through a blended approach to teaching and learning, in-line with Ofsted guidance - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/whats-working-well-in-remote-education
  • Recognise that younger students and some students with SEND may not be able to access remote education without adult support and therefore work with families to deliver a broad and ambitious curriculum.
  • Use online platforms and tools when appropriate that facilitate interaction, assessment and feedback.
  • Plan a programme that is broadly of equivalent length to the core teaching students would receive in school.
  • Provide regular feedback on students’ work to ensure they understand how to improve their work.
  • Ensure there is regular contact with students to support them with self-regulating their learning at home.

This plan is, of course, dependent on your child being well enough to complete their work and we recognise that individual home circumstances vary.  Please do keep us informed of any issues with completing work remotely by contacting your child’s Director of Progress (DoP) and Remote Learning Champions (RLC) via the following email addresses –

Year 7

Mr Charlie Holman (DoP) – charlie-joe.holman@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Mrs Caroline Scholes (RLC) – caroline.scholes@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Year 8

Miss Lucy Ingham (DoP) – lucy.ingham@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Mr Martin Gardener (RLC) – martin.gardener@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Year 9

Mr Greg Smith (DoP) – greg.smith@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Miss Laura Bowden (RLC) – laura.bowden@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Year 10

Mrs Claire O’Brien (DoP) - claire.obrien@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Miss Claire Gillespie (RLC) – claire.gillespie@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Year 11

Mrs Claire O’Brien (DoP) - claire.obrien@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Miss Stephanie Barratt (RLC) – stephanie.barratt@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Assistant Key Stage 4 DoPs

Mr Ed Kitchen - edward.kitchen@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Mrs Haley Gardner - hayley.gardner@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Years 12 and 13

Ms Jackie Cruse (DoP) – jackie.cruse@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

Mrs Christina Warrington (RLC) – christina.warrington@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

If your child has a technical issue involving ICT such as user names and passwords for Office 365 or any other technical query, please contact our IT team by email at -techsupport@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk

The remote curriculum: what is taught to students at home

A student's first day 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?

On the first day of remote provision, staff will endeavour to upload home learning tasks, linked to the planned curriculum, to Class Charts. If this has not been possible in some subjects due to teaching commitments the previous day, students should access the materials on the website for self-isolating students. These have been designed to reflect the existing curriculum for each half-term.

You will find work for each subject in every year group here: https://www.buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk/page/?title=Remote+Work+for+Students&pid=239

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?

Wherever possible, we teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school however, we have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects. For example, in practical subjects like Art, PE and Design Technology, some activities have been postponed and replaced with ones that are more suited to remote learning and require fewer materials and equipment. 

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 students broadly five hours each day, in-line with the usual school timetable and Department for Education (DfE) guidelines.

Accessing remote education

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

Remote education will be accessed via Class Charts or students will be sent a link to a Microsoft Teams Meeting if the teacher has planned a live lesson.

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 students may not have suitable online access at home. 

Since the first lockdown, we have worked hard to order and distribute Chromebooks and DfE Laptops for students who need them, and to provide guidance or suitable alternatives for families with poor internet access. 

Please contact your child’s Director of Progress (DoP) urgently if your circumstances have changed and your child does not have suitable online access to remote education. 

In exceptional circumstances, where no alternative is possible, students will be provided with paper resources.

How will my child be taught remotely?

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

  • The majority of your child’s timetable will be delivered through pre-recorded video lessons, planned by our own teachers.  These might also be supplemented by externally-produced video lessons such as those created by the DfE-endorsed Oak National Academy.  Teachers will explain tasks and new content, and students will be expected to work independently in response to instructions given in the video, using the resources and support provided.  Teachers may also use this format to provide whole-class feedback lessons on the work your child has submitted.
  • Students may also be invited to participate in live-streamed lessons delivered by teachers via Microsoft Teams. Teachers will typically explain new content, ask questions and set short tasks to assess, and close gaps in, students’ understanding during the allocated lesson time.  Live lessons will not be recorded in-line with guidance on data protection and safeguarding from Derbyshire Local Education Authority.
  • Teachers may choose to upload resources and lesson materials for self-directed and independent learning when appropriate to the needs of the curriculum.
  • Teachers may also make use of online assessment tools such as Microsoft Forms or Carousel Learning.
  • Commercially available websites and online platforms, supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, may also be used.  Examples include Corbett Maths, Seneca Learning and Nearpod.

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?

Working at home

Our expectation is that all students working at home will broadly follow the school day. This means a normal get up time and being ready to work and learn from 8.50am.  We would be grateful if you could ensure your child goes to bed at a reasonable time so they are fit to learn each school day.

Students are to follow their normal timetable and complete all the work set for them by the teacher. They should take breaks and lunchtime; we recommend this time is spent away from a screen to support their well-being. Ideally, they should work at a desk or kitchen table, with regular check-ins from an adult if possible. They can email their teachers if they need to and teachers will respond to their queries at the earliest opportunity. There will be sufficient work set for them by their teachers for them to be proactively engaged in learning throughout the day.

DoPs, Senior Leaders and RLCs will produce short, video assemblies on important themes as per our standard wider curriculum and these will be uploaded to Class Charts each week.  We ask for your support in ensuring your child views these in addition to the work they have been set. Our assemblies will sometimes provide parents and carers with useful reference points and advice to help with remote learning so if you are also able to watch these with your child, please do.

Parents/carers must inform school if their child is unable to complete remote learning.

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

Submission of work to Class Charts will be closely monitored by teachers, DoPs and senior leaders. Parents should expect to hear from class teachers via alerts and announcements on Class Charts in the first instance if their child is not engaging with remote learning.  When there are serious concerns about a student’s engagement, Progress Teams will be in touch with parents to offer support and discuss strategies to re-engage their child with our remote learning provision.

Teachers will keep records of attendance for live lessons and parents will be notified if students repeatedly miss these lessons. Parents will only be notified if they have given their consent to their child participating in live lessons. Reminders will be sent to parents who have not given consent unless we are made aware of reasons not to do so.

Teachers will continue to award R Points for good quality work submissions and in response to how well a student is engaging with remote learning.  Progress Teams will also send other rewards, including Praise Postcards, in recognition of outstanding effort and engagement with remote learning.

How will you assess my child’s work and progress?

Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean 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 students’ work is as follows:

  • A minimum expectation of feedback on work submissions once every two weeks either via whole-class feedback or individual feedback through Class Charts
  • Opportunities for students to redraft and improve their work following feedback when appropriate
  • Self-marking quizzes
  • Instant verbal feedback if participating in a live lesson
  • Summative feedback on assessments

Additional support for students 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 students, for example some students 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:

  • All SEND students have been given support in accessing remote learning in school before lockdown; including understanding the functions of Class Charts
  • Students with outside agency provision will continue to receive this provision in a remote capacity.
  • Students with an EHCP or GRIP funding will have weekly contact from their lead worker who will conduct welfare checks and aid in the differentiation of work (where needed).
  • School will support students with SEND who do not have access to technology by loaning them a laptop. Adjustments to laptop settings will be made to ensure any required accessibility features are activated.
  • Students requiring interventions for Numeracy and/or Dyslexia will be given access to IDL Online Learning Software. Other useful software will be shared as appropriate and relevant, for example, online touch typing tuition.
  • A dedicated IT support email has been set up to help parents. For example, advice on adjusting screen colour/enlarging font size for those with a visual impairment.
  • Staff will take into account the SEND needs of students when providing feedback.
  • Staff will continue to award R Points for any SEND students who are working remotely.
  • Students with SEND (and parental consent) will be offered small group, live Learning Support sessions via Microsoft Teams at least once a week.
  • Places are available in school as part of our vulnerable students’ provision.  Students complete the same work, but in school with close support and supervision. Children with EHCPs will be actively encouraged to attend school (where safe).
  • Teaching Assistants will be in school supporting students with SEND in each year bubble.

Remote education for self-isolating students

Where individual students 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 students both at home and in school.

Information for parents/carers of students who are self-isolating but the majority of their year group are still in school

How will work be set during my child’s absence from school?

For each subject, teachers have provided work on the school website to cover any period of self-isolation as required. This work has been quality assured to ensure that it is meaningful and ambitious, and aligns with the curriculum content taught in school at that time.

Please follow this link https://www.buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk/page/?title=Remote+Work+for+Students&pid=239 to access folders containing work for each year group in subject specific folders.

Students should also check Class Charts regularly for any homework that will have been set for all students, whether self-isolating or still in school.

In certain circumstances, teachers may make the decision to supplement the work on the website with additional activities via Class Charts if deemed appropriate to the learning needs of self-isolating students at that time. This may vary across different subjects and, if no additional work is set, this is because subject teachers have determined that the work on the website is sufficiently challenging and appropriate for the period of self-isolation.  Students will be notified by their teacher if they are required to complete any additional work.

How can my child ask the teacher questions if they need support with the work?

Your child can send a message to their teacher via their email address. These can be found on the school website at https://www.buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk/page/?title=Staff+Team&pid=16.

Can my child submit their work to the teacher?

Students can submit homework by uploading to Class Charts if this has been required by the teacher of all students in the class. They will receive feedback on this work either via Class Charts in-line with other students still in school or upon their return to school if whole-class feedback was given. Other work should be saved until your child returns to school and can be shared with their teachers who will provide further feedback if necessary.

What should I do if my child doesn’t know their password to log into Class Charts?

If you, or your child, needs a password for Class Charts, please email their Director of Progress (DoP) at the earliest opportunity.

What should I do if I want more work for my child?

The remote work that has been set on the website would normally be sufficient to cover each day of your child’s self-isolation when all assignments in each subject have been factored in and planned for.  We also highly recommend revisiting previous subject material remotely to embed knowledge and understanding to support long-term learning. This can be done by attempting assignments on material that students may have previously studied in class during the current half-term or even attempting work in the folders from the previous term.  Students are also encouraged to study ahead and attempt work that they will covering in class upon their return to school.  Research evidence on the science of learning is clear that the more exposure students get to the same subject material, the better.

We would also suggest that your child makes use of the online lessons that are available on the Oak National Academy website - https://www.thenational.academy/. These online lessons are approved by the Department for Education (DfE) and have been made freely available specifically for students who are self-isolating across the country.  

What should my child do when they return to school?

We would encourage your child to be proactive and to do the following:

  • Show their teachers any work completed during remote learning period (if they haven’t already returned this electronically).
  • Ask for any resources they may have missed during this time.
  • Asks their teacher for advice if they experienced any difficulties with understanding the content of the remote work.

What if my child’s teacher is self-isolating?

Teachers who are self-isolating and considered fit to work will typically produce a pre-recorded Loom video lesson for the lessons on their timetables.  These will be designed for both students who are either still in class whilst being supervised by another teacher and for those that may be self-isolating at home.  All links to pre-recorded video lessons will be on Class Charts on the day of the lesson.  Alternatively, teachers may use externally-produced video materials that support direct instruction or provide lesson materials to be delivered in the classroom by a supervising cover teacher.

Information for parents/carers of students who are self-isolating because their whole class or year group bubble has been told to isolate

The latest guidance from Public Health England (PHE) now means the likelihood of an entire class or year group bubble being asked to self-isolate has now diminished, although in certain circumstances this may still be necessary.  If so, the following principles will apply to our remote learning offer:

  • Safeguarding procedures from the previous period of lockdown will be immediately re-instated to ensure monitoring of student well-being.
  • Students with SEND will receive support to ensure they can access the remote learning.
  • Students will continue to access the full breadth of their curriculum.
  • Students will have access to new learning in order to continue to progress through the curriculum. This new learning will have regular, clear instruction.
  • Students will receive feedback in line with our subject departments’ assessment and feedback policies.
  • Students’ interaction with Class Charts will be tracked to monitor student engagement with remote learning and submission of work.
  • Students without online access will receive appropriate printed resources if required.
  • Students will have regular contact with their progress team and teachers, and will be able to access support with learning when required.

What work will my child be set if their whole class bubble or year group bubble is sent home?

Students will be expected to complete their normal timetabled lessons at home and should access Class Charts every day to complete their work.

On their first day of isolation, if no work has been set on Class Charts, students should use the self-isolation materials on the website as a buffer to allow teachers sufficient time to plan lessons for the second day. https://www.buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk/page/?title=Remote+Work+for+Students&pid=239

How will the work be set?

Work will generally be set according to the same procedures as those for remote provision during lockdown (see above) although there is likely to be less flexibility as staff will still be working in school teaching other year groups.  Teachers will aim to ensure that at least one of every three lessons they produce for the year group affected is enhanced to provide high-quality, direct instruction. This would normally take the form of a pre-recorded video lesson with the link uploaded to ClassCharts.  In some circumstances, teachers may be able to deliver a live lesson and, if so, sufficient notice will be given.

Teachers may also decide to set a test/quiz (e.g. through Microsoft Forms) to assess student understanding of the previous learning. This would be completed online so that the teacher can see the results.

Students will be instructed to upload their completed work to ClassCharts for feedback at least once over the period of isolation if this extends to ten school days. This is in accordance with lockdown feedback requirements and would not be expected for every lesson.  Please note that effective feedback can be seen in a variety of different ways. Teachers may decide to use the feedback function on Class Charts to provide individual comments on students’ work.  Alternatively, staff may adopt whole-class feedback strategies whereby common strengths and misconceptions are determined by looking at the totality of evidence from the range of uploaded work.  

What should my child do if they need to ask a question?

Your child can send a message to their teacher via their email address. These can be found on the school website at https://www.buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk/page/?title=Staff+Team&pid=16.

What should I do if my child doesn’t know their password to log into Class Charts?

If your child has forgotten their login details for Class Charts, please contact the relevant DoP for their year group as soon as possible.

What should I do if I want more work for my child?

Based on evidence from a previous period of year bubble isolation, we feel the work that will be set will be appropriately challenging and substantial enough for all students. However, should your child require additional work they can access the materials on the website for students who are individually self-isolating or are affected by partial year bubble isolation.  We would also recommend that your child makes use of the online lessons that are freely available on the Oak National Academy website https://www.thenational.academy/