Remote Learning

Dear Parents / Guardians,

The purpose of this letter is to outline to you the approach that we will take to remote learning, should it become necessary. This is not to suggest that it will be necessary, thus far our arrangements are working well and attendance is excellent, on average over 95% each day. We will endeavour to keep the school open for as long as possible for all pupils. However, in the current circumstances there are a range of scenarios that may require some students or staff to stay at home. There are also circumstances where the school may be directed to close for a proportion or even all of the students for a fixed period of time. The purpose of this document is to outline how we will manage the range of circumstances that we may be faced with.

The key principles that underpin this remote learning plan are set out in the Government Guidance on the Reopening of Schools (August 2020). This guidance states that, “remote education, where needed, is high quality, safe and aligns as closely as possible with in-school provision: schools and other settings should continue to build their capability to educate students remotely, where this is needed.”

In developing this contingency plan, we are expected to:

  • Use a curriculum sequence that allows access to high-quality online/offline resources and teaching videos that are linked to our curriculum expectations.
  • Give access to high quality remote education resources.
  • Select the online tools that will be consistently used across the school in order to allow interaction, assessment and feedback, and make sure staff are trained in their use (Google Classroom).
  • Recognise that younger students and some students with SEND may not be able to access remote education without adult support, and so we will work with families to deliver a broad and ambitious curriculum.
  • Assess appropriately, providing suitable guidance and feedback based on the work that is undertaken.

Currently the small number of pupils who are absent from school each day are able to collect the work that they have missed from their Google Classroom. Teachers will upload the lesson resources they have used each day and pupils, once they are well enough, should use these to stay up to date and catch up if needed. These resources will not have the same depth of explanation as lockdown work, but I am sure you will appreciate that teachers need to be spending their time teaching the pupils who are physically present as a priority.

There is a possibility in the future that if Medway becomes an area of concern that all schools will enter the government’s ‘Contain’ strategy (see annex 3 of the following document for the full detail: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers) .

Tier 1 of this strategy would not change our current arrangements, but if the government put us into Tier 2 schools would be required to undertake a two week rota for students. In these circumstances approximately half of the students would be off for two weeks, followed by the other half for the next two weeks. We would keep year 11 and 13 in school full time, and then rota other year groups so that half of year 7, year 8 and year 10 would be in one timetable cycle and then half of year 7, year 9 and year 12 would be in the next cycle. Teachers would:

  • Teach their lessons as normal to those pupils physically present, these would be whole classes.
  • Deliver live lessons from school, supported by resources on google classroom for those groups not present.

In the case of a whole year bubble being required to self-isolate, teachers will deliver ‘live’ lessons from school as per the timetable. Students will be expected to log in, if they are able, at the time of their lesson. A register will be taken and absence followed up centrally. We appreciate that not all pupils will have access to appropriate equipment to do this, but as we begin to roll out Chrome Books to pupils in Years 7 to 11 this term, this will become less of an issue.

If at any point in the future we were facing the prospect of whole school closure, our response will be dependent on the circumstances at the time. In a regional lockdown staff will be expected to place detailed and comprehensive resources on the google classroom by 6pm for lessons taking place the next day. As much as possible, these will contain rich media such as video and audio linked with presentations. These will be supplemented by live lessons, but the frequency of these will need to be determined based on the local situation. In a localised SJWMS closure staff will provide live lessons as per the timetable for pupils to log in and access augmented materials placed on google classroom.

Whilst we fervently hope that these arrangements will not be required, I would reassure both parents and pupils that we remain committed to all our pupils regardless of their circumstances. Whilst there is no doubt that being physically present in school is by far the best option for all pupils, if circumstances arise that prevent this we will do our utmost to ensure a positive learning experience continues for all.

Yours sincerely

E Hodges
Principal