Working from home/Remote learning

Dear Parent/Carer,

As you may be aware, schools are required to have a remote learning plan in place so that any child who cannot attend school because of COVID-19 does not miss out on their learning.

This letter explains our updated plans for remote learning for pupils who have to self-isolate, or where local or national restrictions mean that pupils need to stay at home.

Changes to our remote learning plan

As a school we recognise the need to review and evaluate our remote learning plan and as a result we have decided to make the following changes:

From Thursday 19th November 2020 all work set for remote learning will be set via Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams will replace Show my Homework as the main remote learning platform used.  Show my Homework will revert to being used for standard homework tasks.

We have made this change as we feel that Microsoft Teams provides features that will improve our remote learning offer. Teachers will be able to provide more focused and meaningful feedback on student work via this platform; students will be able to access and organise work through one central location and it also offers the facility to provide live lessons as part of the offer.

Remote Learning Live Sessions

Live sessions will be provided in the following circumstances

  • Whole school closure as part of national or local restrictions
  • Part school closure (closures of year group bubbles)
  • Self-isolating staff displaying no symptoms will be asked to provide live lessons
  • Staff remaining in school will be asked to provide live lessons where in school cover requirements allow

In these instances it would be expected that students’ remote timetables follow the pattern of timetables in school.  Students will be invited to join the live sessions via Microsoft Teams and these invites will appear as calendar reminders for them.

Live sessions will last between 15 and 20 minutes per timetabled hour which will give teachers time to introduce the lesson and the lesson aims, share any resources and explain tasks and also to answer any questions that students have prior to completing the work.

Students must join the live sessions with microphones and video cameras off and these should remain off throughout the session – questions can be typed into the conversation box so teachers can then answer.

It is important that students are reminded of and remember that the conversation facility, in live sessions, is not social media and should only be used for communication with the class teacher in a professional and courteous manner.  Also students are to be reminded that the opportunity to seek advice, support, guidance and help relating to the set work is available via Teams but teachers are not expected to answer after 4:00pm.

Any concerns or questions that parents have relating to remote learning or other school issues should be raised through the appropriate channels and not directly with teachers during live lessons. 

What you’ll need at home

To access the remote learning from Thursday 19th November 2020, students will need to download Microsoft Teams to a device at home that can access the internet– this can be a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

Microsoft Teams provides students with an online work space and also offers access to the Microsoft applications such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

We would recommend that students have a quiet space to complete their remote learning and access any live sessions using headphones to avoid any distractions.

If your child does not have any of the above, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can help support you.

Students who are unable to access the electronic versions will continue to be provided with printed resources.

What we expect from your child

It’s important that your child engages with home learning and keeps to their timetable.

Expectations of student behaviour is the same for remote live lessons as it is for lessons in school – inappropriate behaviour during live lessons will be dealt with via the school consequence system and in more serious cases students will be removed from the remote learning platform(s) until discussions/meetings to rectify their behaviour have taken place.

What you can do to help

We appreciate that if this situation arises, it may present some challenges for you. We kindly ask for your support so that we can continue to provide high-quality education for your child during this time.

We don’t expect you to watch your child all day, and we wouldn’t expect parents/carers to get involved in remote lessons in place of our teachers. But, it would be really helpful if you can take an active role in your child’s learning by asking them about their day and what work they’ve done.

Our top tips:

  • Try to encourage your child to be ready and dressed for the start of the school day, and to keep to their timetable
  • Distinguish between weekdays and weekends, and make it clear when the school day is over, to separate home and school life
  • Plan breaks and exercise into the day to help keep your child active

Please contact your child’s form tutor in the first instance if you have any concerns about remote learning.  If your concern is related to a technical issue please contact school via the Technical Help email RLHelp@stmc.school

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs S Bowen
Headteacher

Downloads

    Children must stay home and self-isolate if they, or someone in their household, is displaying symptoms of coronavirus.

    If your child or anybody else in your household:

    • has symptoms of COVID-19, or
    • is being tested for COVID-19, or
    • is currently awaiting COVID-19 test results, or
    • has received a positive COVID-19 test result

    please contact the school by emailing postbox@st-thomasmore.walsall.sch.uk

    The school must be informed as soon as possible if anyone in your household receives a positive COVID-19 test result.

    Thank you.

    Information about coronavirus (COVID-19)

    For information on the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), advice on how you can avoid catching or spreading the virus, and what you should do if you have symptoms, please see the NHS website.

    Headteacher | + posts

    Mrs S Bowen is the Headteacher of St Thomas More Catholic School.