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:
activating children’s prior knowledge, e.g. referring to curriculum chronologies and completing KWL grids;
teacher modelling, including modelling of teacher thinking when solving problems;
purposeful discussion, including talk for writing;
opportunities for children to self-reflect on their learning, with children being encouraged to think carefully about how they can improve;
emphasis on teaching children how to organise and effectively manage their learning independently and be resilient learners.
providing opportunities for challenge so that every child can think deeply and be the best that they can be.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium:
Schools receive a coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium grant in academic year 2020 to 2021. Click here to view our Covid Catch-Up Premium Plan which includes:
how it is intended that the grant will be spent
how the effect of this expenditure on the educational attainment of those pupils at the school will be assessed
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.
Online Curriculum: Remote Education [in the event of pupil self-isolation or bubble/school closure]:
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 which reflects what we do in school as closely as possible. There are some adaptations to the curriculum, for example in PE and in some cases Art/DT to take into consideration resource and space implications.
How long can I expect work set by the school to take children each day, and how should they spend this time?
We expect remote education, which includes accessing activities and independent learning to broadly take 3 hours in Key Stage 1 (Y1 and 2) and 4 hours in Key Stage 2 (Y3-6). Learning in Reception looks very different and the learning is therefore not fixed to set duration of time, however our online EYFS provision includes approximately 1.5 hours a day.
To support with the structure of the day, we have created some schedules to help families to organise their time across a learning day. Click below to view. All of these suggested structures build in essential time for breaks to ensure that children are spending time away from screens. The schedules are all editable to enable families to personalise them accordingly.
How will children access online remote education in Key Stage One and Key Stage Two?
Children in all classes will access online learning using Google Classroom. This is where they will upload their learning and receive feedback too. All children are expected to engage fully with all activities.
How will children access online remote education in Reception?
Each day, the Reception teacher will upload adaily learning overviewonto Google Classroom which will be explained in a daily, live Google Meet with the children. All children are expected to engage fully with all activities. Children in Reception will primarily use Tapestry to upload responses to their learning tasks. Here are a few examples: making sandwiches, responding to the whole class text, measuring and activities and pattern making.
If children do not have digital or online access at home, we can offer support as follows:
Following the Survey in the Autumn term 2020, all parents indicated that all children have access to the internet and to at least one device in their homes. Since then, we have invited parents to contact us via the school office if there are any difficulties with access to technology. We take the following approaches to support access to remote learning as needed:
The loan of a laptop and charger e.g. if there are multiple children in the home and access becomes limited, or if there is a technical difficulty and existing devices stop working or if there are no devices at all in the home
Provision of free 30GB data SIM cards to enable internet access
Printed materials which will be sent directly to pupils if required
We work closely with our families and make bespoke arrangements to ensure that no child is disadvantaged.
How will the children be taught remotely?
Our remote education methodology includes the following:
the class teacher will post a message on Google Classroom for the class at the start of each school day with an overview of their learning for the day. This will include words of encouragement and will be phrased in a friendly and supportive way; this is then followed up with live, whole class early morning meeting to discuss the day’s learning. This also provides an opportunity for children to ask any questions.
virtual, live group work to support children who would benefit from adult led interventions or directed activities.
each day, a Maths, English and additional Foundation Subject activities will be set and learning will be expected to be submitted by the children with additional optional tasks each day e.g. meditation tasks, book activities, maths games;
daily, individual feedback will be provided on submitted pieces of work, often including questions or suggestions for improvement or prompts to self-reflect. Teachers will assess children’s understanding in an ongoing way based on their understanding of set tasks and in their responses to feedback;
the teacher will have high expectations of learning (as in school) and will ask the child to edit and resubmit learning if it has clearly not met expectation;
metacognition strategies, such as activation of prior learning (e.g. KWL grids – K(already know, W(want to learn), L (have learned by the end of the topic)), teacher modelling; encouraging the children to self-reflect on their own learning, will be used;
teacher audio narration or screen shares will be included on some PowerPoints, in order to support children with explanations and new concepts and ensure learning is accessible to all; here is an example of audio narration used in a PowerPoint for a Year 6 Coding lessonand a Y6 Science lesson about light.
pre-recorded video demonstrations by teachers, using methods, explanations and language the children are used to. Children are reminded that they can rewind and listen as needed. These pre-recorded models also aim to facilitate independence. Here are some examples: a Y2 maths video modelling language, methods and jottings, a Y3 computing video focusing on subject specific vocabulary in addition to modelling the learning task and a Y1 history lesson supporting children’s understanding of chronology and encouraging enquiry skills at the start of their Great Fire of London topic.
whole class questions may be posed to establish what children understand about a specific theme see an example below. Children can post their responses which provides a quick overview of existing knowledge and misconceptions.
teachers also use whole class questions to support positive reflections during challenging times
whole class feedback as audio files may be used where this is most efficient way to address common areas of misunderstanding or misconception. Teachers may also provide whole class feedback in live meetings with the children.
pre-recorded spelling tests so the children don’t need to rely on an adult at home
differentiated PowerPoints/tasks/resources (e.g. word banks/sentence starters) so that learning is accessible for all (as it would be in class)
Collective Worship (pre-recorded) is provided every day by the Head teachers, via Google Classroom to ensure that the school’s Christian vision and ethos helps to guide the children. Friday is a celebration ‘Specials’ worship in which children are celebrated for demonstrating the school’s vision in their learning. This worship also celebrates children who have had birthdays to help them to feel ‘held in mind’ while they cannot all be at school.
opportunities for groups of children to meet up, live – on ‘Google Meets’ in order to see each other and take part in a fun activity;
use of existing pre-recorded materials e.g. Oak National Academy lessons and BBC Bitesize are used to supplement existing planning as needed.
online reading services for children so that they can access E-books and virtual libraries at home
How will we check if children are engaging with their online learning?
Staff will monitor learning throughout every school day in order to provide feedback and respond to questions that children might ask. Children are expected to complete all tasks by 5pm each day.
Where there are concerns regarding engagement or quality of learning, a member of staff will contact parents to establish why. If there are concerns about the quality of children’s learning in upper Key Stage 2, the teacher will initially provide specific feedback to the child before contacting parents should there not be an improvement.
If there are any barriers to engagement, including anything related to emotional well being, staff will work with families to provide advice and signpost parents and carers to resources including beyond the school.
Additional support for young pupils with those with particular needs: How will we ensure that these children can access learning from home?
We recognise that some pupils, e.g. some pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and those that are in Reception and KS1, may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may lead to and we work with parents and carers to support those children in the following ways:
carefully planned and differentiated tasks and activities designed around knowledge of individuals and groups of children
the offer of bespoke advice to support parents with remote learning e.g. phone calls home, EYFS Zoom meeting in January 2020
where children are receiving targeted, specialist support e.g speech and language therapy, this is coordinated so that it can be accessed virtually from home
pre-recorded ‘how to’ videos, e.g. how to access new learning platform Purple Mash so that children and adults who may be supporting them have step by step, modeled instructions.
provision of reading books for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2
the SENCO works closely with families of children with SEND in order to establish how online learning is going and whether there are any ways that we could support them further
provision of home packs of handwriting resources, so that children in Year 1 have access to learning that will support the accurate development of their handwriting
Role of the Teaching Assistant (TA) (if self-isolating due to bubble/enforced closure):
support the class teacher with the management of home learning on Google Classroom. This may involve the TA providing comments on home learning; the teacher will submit these comments so that they have the opportunity to see the child’s learning too;
support the class teacher with preparation of resources and differentiated tasks;
attend Google Meets sessions
preparing and leading virtual live group work with key children
Self-Isolation of Individual Children:
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. Some of the learning may differ e.g. if specialist equipment is required. Teachers will provide feedback on this learning each day.
Click to see Weekly Newsletters provide ongoing guidance and updates in light of local and national information with regard to Covid-19. We communicate any changes to practice and policy on this matter in newsletters so parents and carers are well informed.
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.