Since our return to school in September ’20, some aspects of teaching and learning within classrooms is approached differently compared to before COVID 19, due to the need to follow our return to school risk assessment in order to keep everyone as safe as possible. For example, children can no longer collaborate within mixed groups; there is less movement around the classroom; there is restricted independent accessibility to some classroom resources; children are sat in rows at tables.
Even though there are these unavoidable restrictions in school, in order to keep everyone as safe as possible, there are still many wonderful teaching and learning opportunities for the children, meaning progress can be made and children are still excited about their learning. Staff have approached learning opportunities creatively to ensure the quality of experiences despite Covid restrictions.
Metacognition strategies are embedded in classes, which aim to increase children’s independence and resilience, when engaging in challenges across the curriculum. These metacognition strategies include:
Since September ’20, all of the children’s home learning has been set, completed and submitted via the platform, Google Classroom. This follows our ‘return to school’ risk assessment, which aims to minimise any opportunity for transmission of COVID 19 between home and school.
The content of the home learning is the same as before, with teachers setting weekly tasks related to the children’s current learning in English (including spellings), Maths and/or Topic. As previously, the teacher provides feedback on submitted pieces of home learning, however, this is done via a private comment on Google Classroom.
In line with our risk assessment, children are no longer given paper reading diaries for home and school. In place of these, teachers have created an online reading record on Google Classroom, which parents are expected to comment on (on a weekly basis) if their child is in EYFS, KS1 or reading a book from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. The class teacher or TA will also comment on the child’s reading on a weekly basis, which the parent can see. This creates a running reading record and provides a form of communication between home and school.
In the event of a bubble closure (due to a positive case of COVID 19 or staff shortage) or school closure (due to government request for a full lockdown or staff shortage), we will provide an online curriculum for the children.
This will include the following:
In the event of a child needing to self-isolate at home (but are well themselves), the class teacher will provide an overview of the learning (via Google Classroom) that will take place in class that week. This ensures the child is not missing out on the learning that is happening in school and will mean they are at a similar point in their learning as the rest of the class, upon their return to school.
On 30th December 2020, the government decided to delay the return to school for Primary and Secondary schools in Barnet along with the majority of London boroughs, owing to a worrying rise in Covid-19 case numbers. St. Mary’s will therefore be operating full, online learning from Monday 4th January 2021 until full return is reviewed and confirmed by the government.
As we did following the enforced closure in March 2020, we will be offering provision for identified vulnerable children along with children of critical workers to support these parents and carers to continue to work in their key roles. Provision will be offered to cover the days that critical workers are working.