This third lockdown perhaps heralds many more teachers/teaching assistants and schools in general experimenting with some sort of live/recorded teaching. Therefore, we thought it may be helpful to pull together some of the advice on offer in addition to the DfE guidance (p46); which states the amount of remote education provided should be, as a minimum:
- Key Stage 1: 3 hours a day on average across the cohort, with less for younger children
- Key Stage 2 : 4 hours a day
- Key Stage 3 and 4: 5hours a day.
For starters, watch below for some fabulous top tips from Harlow College Director of Quality, Kelly Edwards on delivering teaching and learning online.
Harlow College is one of the 50 schools and colleges offering peer to peer support through the DfE funded EdTech Demonstrator Programme. To register your interest and receive free support, visit here.
You could also read the Best evidence on supporting students to learn remotely from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). The key take away from the guidance is that synchronous (live) teaching input is not proven to be superior; they found a combination of live and pre-recorded (asynchronous) is perhaps the preferred method to try and stress the quality of the input matters most, not the method.
We think the best advice is to keep the lesson aligned to what best reflects your teaching and your student’s needs and don’t jump on to live teaching just because you have seen others are doing it.
Let the teachers in your school share ideas and collaborate on what has worked so far and perhaps equally as important, what hasn’t. Invest some time in training people with video conferencing (Teams, Meet, Zoom) and as Kelly says, in the video above, encourage the teachers to pair up to practise with each other and also consider the use of screen recording software such as Screencastify to name but one.
In a few weeks decide as a school team what works best for your community and share the guidance and approach with Governors/parents and of course pupils. Also remember, to be realistic – it will take time for staff to become familiar with this new way of teaching and some pupils won’t have devices and/or won’t have quality Internet. You won’t solve this! However, there may be some organisations that can be of help as listed below:
Neverware – Installing CloudReady breathes new life into old hardware, enabling schools to get extra use out of devices that may otherwise sit collecting dust. Neverware’s CloudReady operating system is built to run on almost any computer from the last 10 years, turning them into fast, secure devices using the same technology foundation as Chrome OS. Each LGfL secondary school can claim 120 CloudReady licences (saving £1200), and each LGfL primary school or special school can claim 30 CloudReady licences (saving £300) as part of their existing LGfL subscription.
BridgetheDivide – MATs and schools can benefit from unprecedentedly low costs that can’t be matched anywhere in the UK; with an array of different specification devices and accessories available to suit all needs.
EdTech Demonstrator Programme – offers free peer-to-peer support and training in your school/college. In addition, there are free webinars/events you can watch;click for the catalogue of previously recorded sessions (Accessible Tech Tuesdays are also here – These cover topics around using technology to make learning more accessible but also ideas for providing therapeutic input remotely).
Things to consider:
- Pre-recording lessons; this helps with those households who need flexibility with timings and also where pupils might need to watch and rewatch the teacher input/pause at various steps. Powerpoint allows you to record voice notes, Just2easy also has an audio function or you may want to record instructions whilst demoing the IWB screen with something like screencastify.
- Live lessons; keeping the teacher input short and then set pupils a task to complete as a follow-up. The teacher can be online to offer additional help to those that need additional input. Video calls can be exhausting, so be realistic with the timetable if this is the route you as a school want to follow.
- Have you seen our top tips and pointers for safe settings for the three most popular platforms to put safeguarding at the heart of teacher student interactions for home learning? Find out more at coronavirus.lgfl.net/safeguarding – scroll down to Google, Microsoft and Zoom platform-specific settings.
- Sharing the workload; if you are in a two, three or more entry school the teachers could take responsibility for the teaching of one subject say maths, whilst another delivers/records/arrange the English lessons for the week.
- Set Up Sessions for Socialising; pupils will be missing the human interactions. Arrange sessions where they can just catch up with each other and talk about other topics. For tips and ideas to share with parents in order to keep children safe during lockdown and promote those vital conversations, share our fridge-friendly poster and video, as well as our activity sheets, animations, quizzes and story-time ideas – find out more in our blog post here.
- For your learners with SEND; keep in mind that they may not be ready to learn at a specific time so may benefit from the flexibility that recorded lessons provide over live-streamed lessons. If you are live streaming lessons make sure you record them so that these learners can access the recording at a time when they are ready for learning or their family members are able to provide the support they may need.
Other SEND Considerations:
One of many differences between this lockdown and the first lockdown is that the statutory responsibility for ensuring EHCPs are being met. The short term goals in EHCPs are so important to those learners who have them that they are not neglected due to everyone focusing on meeting the needs of curriculum subjects. For those pupils who have annual reviews coming up do make sure that everyone who is writing short term goals keeps in mind the current situation and ensures goals are written which can be achieved whether the learners is in school or not.
For many with SEND, providing some level of structure to their day will be invaluable for the individual and their family; we should try to ensure we can do this with enough flexibility to support families to tailor it to their own home situation.
Another key consideration is engagement. Now, more than ever, it is important to try to use learners’ interests and strengths as a hook to learning. For each learner with SEND who is reluctant to work at home we need to find ways of drawing them into the learning. That might be through using a special interest, it might be by using interesting ways of showing their learning such as building a website or recording a vlog rather than filling in a worksheet or writing a report.
Parents wanting more!
Remember, for those parents who want more than you are able to provide, there are plenty of people (LGfL, celebrities and companies) offering help – so suggest they use some of these. As a starting point here are some suggestions :
‘Home Learning Using LGfL Resources’ page could be shared with parents supporting their children with Home Learning. To help schools offer continued meaningful education during school closures, the majority of LGfL’s learning resources remain open access (no login needed) for the LGfL school community (this was implemented in March 2020).
IncludEd@Home – You Tube – example below
Discovery Education – free grammar and punctuation resources and daily challenges
Pobble 365 – free daily writing resource
How will we know we are getting it right?
- Set assignments so that pupils have meaningful and ambitious work each day in a number of different subjects.
- Provide frequent, clear explanations of new content, delivered by a teacher or through high-quality curriculum resources or videos.
- Have systems for checking, at least weekly, whether pupils are engaging with their work, and inform parents immediately where engagement is a concern.
- Gauge how well pupils are progressing through the curriculum using questions and other suitable tasks.
- Provide feedback, at least weekly, using “digitally facilitated or whole-class feedback where appropriate”.
- Enable teachers to adjust the pace or difficulty of what is being taught in response to questions or assessments, including, where necessary, revising material or simplifying explanations to ensure pupils’ understanding.
At the heart of everything remember to think about what will have the greatest impact for your pupils, whilst ensuring the staff don’t suffer from burnout. The challenge is exhausting! First and foremost look after one another and be kind and forgiving to yourselves. Also remember, at LGfL we are providing online training sessions suitable for varying roles/needs within the school. These are free and if they are scheduled at a time that is inconvenient to you, you can sign up and then receive the recording of the session (usually the subsequent day) and watch at a time convenient to you.
The LGfL DigiSafe team has also updated their staff training programme with the latest safeguarding guidance to promote parental engagement, keep children safe during lockdown and remote learning. All their training is also remote, with courses including Online Safety featuring CEOP, County Lines, Prevent, Preparing for RSHE and more. Sign up and find out more at safetraining.lgfl.net.
To Share With Parents:
Finally, just before Christmas Digisafe hosted three live sessions with expert guests from CEOP, the Parent Zone and other leading organisations, featuring the latest trends and risks, simple strategies to keep children safe online at home and top tips for parental settings and gaming. If you missed it, you can watch all three here. Do also share the link with parents and carers via your communication channels and school website.
… And Remember
It’s important to note that each school has its own context, and all are at different stages regarding their digital transformation journeys and the adoption of online technologies. Planning for widespread school closure still is complex and it is vital that schools ensure that as well as providing meaningful learning activities during school closure, pupils also are kept safe and secure online at all times.
Keep safe and healthy all; do try to get some “downtime” over the weekend if at all possible!