How Woodroffe is working remotely?
During periods when the School must close to the majority of students or a particular group of students must not attend school, we provide remote education. The approach we take is very much to provide the best that we can for our students within what is sensible for staff and student welfare. Each school will do this differently. When students are self-isolating on a more individual basis then work is also provided online. This area of the website offers some guidance to assist parents and students with understanding our approach together with useful guides and videos.
Whilst working at home, it is essential to protect wellbeing. It is suggested that students have a clearly defined work area that they can work in and keep separate from other activities. It is sensible to stick to work hours, taking breaks and ensuring that students get some fresh air and daylight. They should not spend all the time on the computer and should not work late into the night. Getting dressed in the morning and eating well will help greatly.
A different way of working
Teachers and students are used to a classroom environment. Teachers and students have needed to get used to working online but this does not replicate usual practice when in school. We recognise students have varying levels of IT confidence, IT access and supervision. We also all know IT can be problematic and in many households, devices are shared. If you have IT difficulties the School may be able to assist. Examples of support we might be able to provide are:
- help with technical IT issues with Teams or Office365
- loan of a laptop
- increasing the mobile data for students not able to access broadband
- provision of a 4G wireless router for disadvantaged families
For technical queries please email email@example.com and for all other queries please contact the appropriate Head of Year.
How we communicate
Students will find all work set by teachers on Microsoft Teams. All Woodroffe students have free access to Office365 including Teams (please see Student Guide to Teams). Students should check their Teams and email daily to see new work and communications. Students can ask questions by posting a message back to the class which the teacher will also see, or individual queries can be emailed. Students need to use this responsibly.
What will be taught
Students are taught the full curriculum including new content as best in line with what they would have experienced if they were in school. This is not always possible but that is the intention, and the staff endeavour to provide quality alternatives if necessary, particularly for practical subjects such as Science, Design Technology, PE and Art.
How work is structured
Our overall approach is to use the regular timetable as the core structure for remote learning. This gives consistency with usual practice and means that staff and students are clear about when work is set and what to expect. Work is available on Teams at 8am each day.
Each day students should:
- list in their diary the subjects they have that day then look on Teams for that work to complete, and
- check their email daily.
Students can expect the following:
- Key Stage 3 – 45 minutes per subject + optional extensions each day with each subject providing a maximum of 1 live-online lesson per week
- Key Stage 4 – 1 hour per subject + optional extensions each day with each subject providing a maximum of 2 live-online lessons per week
- Key Stage 5 – 1.5 hours per subject + optional extensions each day with each subject providing a maximum of 2 live-online lessons per week.
The above timings reflect our expectations of learning time. In addition, students will spend considerable time organising their work and navigating the technology that is used, for example using Teams, logging into websites, presenting work using photos.
A key principle is that students complete work when they are able before the due date, rather than at a specific time. Many families are sharing devices or have other factors that mean that working at a particular point in the day is not realistic. Other families have no device and the school is trying to cover all of these. Any live-online lessons are recorded and available for students to catch-up for this reason also. We ask staff to provide a reduced amount of work to what would normally be delivered in school as there are many challenges for students with dealing with the technology. The Government guidance is for 5 hours per day with more in upper years. We are also very clear that we do not consider it healthy for students to spend all day working on a screen and encourage daily exercise.
Format of work
All assignments will be set on Teams and may contain videos. Work will be a mix of on and offline. The Office Lens app is very helpful for submitting photos of work. Live-online lessons will also be used. Whilst encouraged, these are optional for staff reflecting current Union guidance and that many staff are parents too, so also trying to support their own children at home. Live-online lessons will be scheduled in advance so students will know via their email when they have one. Please see the specific guidance that has been sent about how to access live-online lessons safely. There is a video guide too in the videos section.
Staff are all asked to feedback on work. This does not mean that they will mark all work. Some work is better marked by pupils (like in School) and the teacher then responds to the pupil-marked work. Some work is auto-marked too by particular websites. When work is returned by the teacher, students with notification switched on will get an alert. An alternative at any time is for students to open ‘Activity’ and use the search box to filter the word “returned”. Please see the video guide for more help.
Students should use their email and posts in Teams to ask for support with work. All staff are asked to monitor their Teams and email to support students in a timely manner.
Engagement of students with the work set will be monitored and collated. If there is concern about a particular student then the Head of Year will coordinate contact with the family to discuss the issue.
Additional support for students with particular needs
Additional support is provided for remote learning for students who have additional support when in school. This happens in various ways and is individual to the student. One common aspect is the involvement of a link Teaching-Assistant. Please contact the appropriate Head of Year if you wish to discuss remote support.
If students are unwell due to Coronavirus or any other illness, there is no expectation that they will complete work online. If staff are unwell, there is no expectation that work is set so there may be a period when work is not set for a subject whilst we arrange cover.
Students that are self-isolating can access the work of their classes by opening Teams. The work will be broadly the same as that in school except where there are practical activities in school. Working via Teams will be very similar to that detailed above with the exception of live-online lessons which would not be available for individual students.
How to get help
- IT difficulties – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject issues – the subject teacher or Head of Department
- Pastoral matters – the form tutor or Head of Year
The safeguarding of students remains our top priority during the period of school closure. We will continue to work closely with parents/carers and external agencies to promote our students’ safety and wellbeing.
The effective sharing of information is now even more important so please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Safeguarding Team (https://www.woodroffe.dorset.sch.uk/information/safeguarding/) if you have any concerns, no matter how small. Please also refer to the websites under the ‘links’ tab.