Key Information about Remote Education at Duke’s Secondary School

The information on this page offers a summary of what students, parents and carers should expect from remote learning at Duke’s Secondary School during periods of school closure or pupil isolation relating to coronavirus (COVID-19). The format used for the presenting of this information is based on the Department for Education’s Template for Remote Education, which outlines statutory information about remote education arrangements that all schools are required to provide for parents and carers on their websites from the 25th January 2021.

Senior leader with responsibility for the remote education provision: Mr B Line (Deputy Head)

If the situation demands that, a student or group of students needs to spend a period of time out of school it may be that a pupil’s first day or two of being educated remotely might look different from our standard approach. This will give the school time to take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching.

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

All of our subjects have work recorded for students of every year group on our Google Classroom platform in preparation for either individual or group isolation. In the event of large group or full year group isolation, full lessons will be added to the classroom, including teacher input, additional video or audio, so that students can continue to access their full curriculum. All work can be found in individual class Google Classrooms under the Classwork tab.

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

We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. However, we may need to make some adaptations in some subjects so that these lessons can be accessed effectively at home without specialist support, supervision or equipment.

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

All of our year groups are expected to follow their timetable via Google Classroom. All lessons for that day will be placed via the Classwork section of each subject platform and students are expected to ensure that all work is completed by the end of the day. We operate a 5 lesson a day timetable that means that all of our students are expected to carry out 5 hours of remote study per day, which is based on current government and DfE guidance for remote study hours. In addition to virtual lessons, our remote provision will also include assemblies, tutor activities and wellbeing challenges/activities.

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

All of our remote education will be accessed via our Google Classroom platforms. Each class has its own specific classroom and work will be posted through the Classwork stream either in advance or on the morning that the student has that lesson timetabled. Notifications of the work set can be found in the Notifications tab of the Google Classroom. Students have been using Google Classroom in lessons since September so should be familiar with how to get on to and navigate their subject areas. If there are any problems with access, we have a series of information clips on our website under the Remote Schooling tab, which cover most of the common problems of access. If there is a problem that is not solved through the use of these help clips, then there is a help button (also under the Remote Schooling tab) which will allow you to send details of a specific problem directly to the member of staff in charge of the school’s remote education programme.

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

Over the course of the 2020-21, we have regularly audited our parents and students to ensure that we are aware of any households that do not have easy access to our online learning and have provided a significant number of students with Chromebooks and internet dongles in response to our findings. We are open to communication with parents and will continue to send out audits throughout any period of lockdown so that there are regular opportunities for parents to let us know if their home access to technology is not allowing their child to fully engage with remote learning. We also have a direct line of communication to let us know of any problems through our website. If your child does not have access to a device that allows them to successfully access the school’s remote education then please use the Google Classroom Support button on the Remote Schooling section of the school website – or directly contact their Head of Year – and we will endeavour to provide you with what is required.

With the potential for increased transferability of infection via paper, we are concentrating on ensuring that all of our students have access to remote learning through information technology and are using paper only in short term circumstances while we arrange the use of IT. We are however, providing all students with exercise books for completing work, although these are for home use only and will not be marked by staff.

We are also taking part in the Government’s additional data programme whereby data is provided free for access to educational websites. Eligible households will be contacted directly regarding this provision.

How will my child be taught remotely?

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach students remotely:

  • Live teaching
  • Live drop in support sessions
  • Video / audio teaching recorded by teachers
  • Use of national on-line learning platforms such and Oak National Academy, BBC Bitesize, White Rose Maths etc
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • On-line workbooks or work sheets
  • Research activities
  • Use of textbooks either through copies that students already have at home or through copies placed on-line
  • Specific websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas
  • Wider reading
  • Videos or audio clips

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

During periods of home learning, the school’s ability to ensure that students are engaging with their learning is vastly reduced and we rely almost completely on parents to ensure that their children are engaging with the work set and taking responsibility for their education from home. In line with government and DfE guidance, the school expectation is that students in Key Stages 3-4 should be carrying out 5 hours of remote learning per day. Our remote learning provision is based on our usual daily 5-lesson timetable, so if students follow the work set for each of their lessons they will have completed the suggested daily learning hours target.

We would strongly encourage parents / carers to set the expectation at home that their children complete 5 hours of remote learning study per day by following their usual school timetable on Google Classroom and completing the work set by each of their timetabled subjects. Children of lower years may find it very difficult to manage their time to fit 5 hours of remote study into a day, so we would also encourage parents to help their children to create a timetable of study that helps them to organise their day and establish rest periods and exercise to help break up the day.

We would also ask that parents encourage their children to make use of the live lesson drop in sessions that are held by every subject on a weekly basis with the aim of providing the students with an opportunity to seek clarification and support from their teachers about their work on a regular basis. The links to these sessions will be found in the relevant subject Google classrooms.

Finally we would ask parents to make use of our guides to remote learning that are recorded in the Remote Schooling drop down tab of the main school website. These should answer many of the questions parents may have regarding the use of Google Classroom in particular or remote learning in general. If these guides do not help to make remote learning accessible then we would ask parents to contact us through the Google Classroom Support button, accessed through the Remote Schooling and Google Classroom Support dropdowns. We will respond to any requests through the Google Classroom Support button as soon as we possibly can and will do our very best to support you to overcome any issues that you are facing.

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

Throughout any period of lockdown and remote learning, teachers regularly check and mark the work they have set through Google Classroom and pass on any information about student engagement to the school pastoral team. The pastoral team will be making regular phone calls to parents to check on the welfare of their children, support with any remote learning problems and pass on the details provided by teaching staff of how well their children are engaging with remote education. Parents can also check on the progress of their child through the use of Class Charts. By the end of each week staff will have used Class Charts to assign a positive award for the work that has been completed that week. This should give parents an indication of how well their child has been accessing their remote education for both individual subjects and overall. Staff will also record a negative mark if work has not been completed, but this will only be visible to staff at Duke’s. It is worth noting that the school will monitor use of the positive and negative buttons on Class Charts are the school’s method of monitoring the completion of work. The regular use of the green positive button is intended as an indication of overall work completion so that staff and parents have an overview of a student’s engagement in home learning.

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

Feedback may not be appropriate for every task that students are set for their remote learning. However, staff will be setting work that will be marked and feedback given on a regular basis. The methods we will use to assess and feedback on students’ work will change from subject to subject, but will most likely involve:

  • Extended pieces of writing
  • Questions
  • Projects
  • Quizzes

The feedback provided for these areas of assessment may not always be written. Grades, test scores, self / peer assessment, automatic on line marking may all be used depending on the nature of the task set.

Teaching staff will mark work and provide feedback to students on a regular basis in order to allow an accurate assessment of student progress to be made and for the students to understand what steps they need to make to progress further in a particular subject.

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

We acknowledge the difficulties that remote learning may place on families with students with special educational needs, and we will work with parents and carers to support those students in the following ways:

  • Our SEND department will make weekly calls for all SEND students throughout any period of remote learning to support home learning and offer welfare support and advice.
  • Through any extended periods of remote learning, the SEND department will also contact the parents of all SEND students through a personalised letter outlining suggested websites, apps, resources and interventions to support their child to access their education from home. Home learning packs will also be sent home with support material, specific to the needs of the individual student, to help with the continuing development of numeracy, literacy and social and emotional skills outside of school.
  • There will be regular fun challenges set for all SEND students to support with motivation and engagement.

If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?

All of our Google Classroom areas have a specific Work for Self Isolation topic area for students to access in the event of individual self-isolation during normal schooling. These areas will contain links to national online education providers such as Oak National Academy and BBC Bitesize that tie in to the area of the curriculum that the year groups are currently studying. If an individual student is isolating they may at first be asked to use these links for their education as a temporary measure. This gives teaching staff the opportunity to create and place more bespoke lessons into the classroom areas based on what the student is missing in class during their isolation period. A number of our subjects have regularly been placing every lesson on the Google Classroom areas so that any student missing from school can catch up any work missed. Work completed by students during a period of isolation will be checked by teachers and, if appropriate, marked and feedback given.