Remote education provision: information for parents

This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to pupils and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education if local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.

For details of what to expect where individual pupils are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.

What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day of pupils being sent home?

All work for students will be set via MS Teams.  For the first day of isolation students will be expected to work independently using the resources provided whilst staff make arrangements for lessons over a longer period of isolation.

Following the first day of remote education, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school?

All year groups will follow the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. However, we have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects. For example practical subjects like PE and technology.

In the majority of subjects the in school curriculum and the remote learning curriculum are aligned and resources used in school will be the same as those provided for remote learners. 

Remote teaching and study time each day

How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?

We expect that remote learners will follow their in school timetable and complete any homework set in addition to the main lesson’s work. We are aware that in some circumstances this may not be possible but would still expect work to be completed.

It is important to remember that remote learning is not the same as homework and additional homework tasks will be set in line with school policy.  It is expected that homework tasks are completed as well as remote learning tasks.

6th form students are expected to complete the same amount of independent study as they would in school during timetabled study periods.  This work may be self-guided or teacher directed dependent on the need within individual subjects.

How will my child be taught remotely?

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach pupils remotely

All work for remote learning will be uploaded by teaching staff into MS Teams.  This could either be through the assignments section for each class or through the class notebook.  These resources will be supplemented by live input from teachers via Teams meetings where possible.  Students will receive invites to their scheduled Teams meetings by 8:30am on the day of the lesson.  Invites will appear in each students Teams calendar and they will also receive an email reminder for each invite.

There will be times when live input may not be possible, these would include, but not be limited to;

  • When teaching staff are themselves ill and isolating following a positive test result.
  • Where staff are required to cover lessons in school due to low numbers of staff available.

Students may also be required to access additional electronic remote learning resources.   Again these may include, but not be limited to;

  • recorded teaching (e.g. Oak National Academy lessons, video/audio recordings made by teachers)
  • commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences

Where necessary the following will be provided by school

  • printed paper packs produced by teachers (e.g. workbooks, worksheets)
  • textbooks and reading books pupils have at home

Engagement and feedback

What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

We expect all students in all year groups to;

  • Attend live input delivered via Teams meetings as identified on their existing timetable.
  • Be punctual
  • Remain in the Teams meeting until dismissed by the class teacher
  • Complete the tasks set to the best of their ability and submit work according to the deadlines set
  • Ask for help if they need it from their teacher or Teaching Assistant using the ‘hands up’ facility or entering questions into the meeting chat facility
  • Ensure that all behaviour, use of language and work practice is reflective of school expectation regardless that these lessons are not be delivered in school

Expectations of parental support, for example, setting routines to support your child’s education

  • Ensure that your child is available to attend all remote learning sessions as per their existing timetables
  • Ensure that your child is equipped and ready for the session timetable to be delivered.
  • Ensure that your child is and will be supportive of all expected behaviours, will demonstrate a positive work ethic and will engage appropriately in the lesson.
  • Advise school if there is a reason why your child cannot participate eg illness.
  • Seek help from school if you require IT resources, materials, access to equipment, or have technological issues etc.

Teams meetings are for delivery of instructions, clarification of tasks being set and an opportunity for student questions about specific tasks to be answered.  At no point should any concerns or complaints from parents be made during these sessions.  Any concerns or complaints should be made known to school in a respectful manner via our school email address postbox@st-thomasmoreschool.walsall.sch.uk or by contacting the student’s Form Tutor in the first instance

How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?

Engagement includes both attendance at live lessons (Teams meetings) plus the completion and submission of work as requested by class teachers.

Class teachers will monitor work completed in Teams class notebooks and submitted via assignments.  Class teachers will clearly indicate which pieces of work are to be formally marked and assessed in line with schemes of learning and assessment schedules.

Class teachers have been asked to keep a record of attendance to live lessons (Teams meetings) and monitor the work being completed and issues that arise with non-submission and/or quality of the work being produced

Names of students not attending any live lessons (Teams meetings) for a subject AND not submitting work for assessment each week will be passed onto pastoral leaders who will make phone calls at the beginning of the following week to parents to discuss any issues being encountered.  School are fully aware that supporting your child/children through remote learning is very challenging and we want to do all we can to reduce the impact that any remote learning period has on the progress being made by any member of our school community.

Students who are attending live lessons and then not completing work will be encouraged to complete the work to the best of their ability by their class teacher.  If this becomes an ongoing issue or concern then again names will be passed to pastoral leaders and contact home will be made.

Where students are not completing work for specific subjects, class teachers and/or Heads of Department will make contact with parents to discuss reasons and agree actions for improvement.

How will you assess my child’s work and progress?

Engagement includes both attendance at live lessons (Teams meetings) plus the completion and submission of work as requested by class teachers.

Class teachers will monitor work completed in Teams class notebooks and submitted via assignments.  Class teachers will clearly indicate which pieces of work are to be formally marked and assessed in line with schemes of learning and assessment schedules.

Class teachers have been asked to keep a record of attendance to live lessons (Teams meetings) and monitor the work being completed and issues that arise with non-submission and/or quality of the work being produced

Names of students not attending any live lessons (Teams meetings) for a subject AND not submitting work for assessment each week will be passed onto pastoral leaders who will make phone calls at the beginning of the following week to parents to discuss any issues being encountered.  School are fully aware that supporting your child/children through remote learning is very challenging and we want to do all we can to reduce the impact that any remote learning period has on the progress being made by any member of our school community.

Students who are attending live lessons and then not completing work will be encouraged to complete the work to the best of their ability by their class teacher.  If this becomes an ongoing issue or concern then again names will be passed to pastoral leaders and contact home will be made.

Where students are not completing work for specific subjects, class teachers and/or Heads of Department will make contact with parents to discuss reasons and agree actions for improvement.

Accessing remote education

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?

We recognise that some pupils may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those pupils to access remote education:

  • Where possible laptops will be provided for students who have no access to appropriate devices at home.  As a school we have been allocated some laptops via the DfE and we have purchased some ourselves to support our students.  All requests for support in terms of provision of laptops should be made through pastoral leaders or via postbox@st-thomasmore.walsall.sch.uk .  Final decisions on allocations will be made by the Headteacher.
  • It may also be possible for school to provide assistance to enable internet connection (for example wireless dongles).  Again any request for this assistance can be made via pastoral leaders or via postbox@st-thomasmore.walsall.sch.uk.
  • Students who continue to have limited or no access to online materials can request printed materials from school.  These requests can be made via postbox@st-thomasmore.walsall.sch.uk.
  • Any work produced during remote learning that is not uploaded or submitted electronically should be stored safely and brought into school at the next available time.

Additional support for pupils with particular needs

How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?

We recognise that some pupils, for example some pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we will work with parents and carers to support those pupils in the following ways:

  • Specific learning support staff will be designated to offer small group support via Teams meetings in some lessons
  • Specific software and/or IT resources needed can be requested via the learning support department at school
Headteacher | + posts

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

Assistant Headteacher | + posts

Mr M Bishell is an Assistant Headteacher at St Thomas More Catholic School.