Remote Learning Contingency Plan
Our Remote Learning Contingency Plan describes how we want to ensure our school motto ‘with love and learning’, and our mission, Inspired to Learn, Ambitious for the Future continues even when the school is closed to some or the majority of our students.
This plan has been written in accordance with the government guidance issued on Friday 28 August. It has been updated following London being placed into local restrictions on Saturday 17 October and in line with the newly published temporary continuity direction which makes it clear that schools have a duty to provide remote education for state-funded, school-age children unable to attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19). This came into effect from 22 October 2020.
Our school values of Service, Compassion, Justice and Perseverance underpins how we have put this plan together so that it is inclusive and recognises that although technology is a key factor, we are fully aware that not everyone has access to the Internet or has their own laptop or tablet.
To overcome this we have identified students with no access or limited access so that paper resources will be made available. We have a number of laptops which were provided through the government scheme during the March lockdown and these will be reallocated where the most need has been identified.
We also recognise that some students have additional learning needs and this will be supported through our Inclusion team as well as those students who require support for EAL.
What would initiate remote learning for students?
The government has set out in its guidance FOUR EDUCATIONAL TIERS which would operate if an outbreak of Covid-19 were to impact the local or school community. These tiers of restriction are summarised in annex 3 of the contain framework. These work alongside the THREE NATIONAL TIERS (or local COVID Alert Levels: Medium, High, Very High) local COVID alert level framework. At all local alert levels, the expectation is that education provision should continue as normal.
The government has been very clear that limiting attendance at schools should only be done as a last resort, even in areas where a local alert level is ‘high’ or ‘very high’.
The DfE expects schools to be able to immediately offer remote education in the following circumstances:
if families or students are quarantining on return from a country that is not on the exemption list
there is no suggestion that a student should not be provided with remote education because the family have knowingly taken a holiday to a country which requires a period of quarantine on their return
where a student or number of students need to self-isolate because they have tested positive for COVID-19
where an individual student or a group of students or a bubble need to self-isolate because they have been identified as a close contact of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19
Medically Extremely Vulnerable:
shielding advice for all adults and children was paused on 1 August. This means that children and young people can return to school or college, if they are on the shielded patient list and/or have family members who have been shielding. There is a very small number of students or students under paediatric or other specialist care who have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend an education setting. In these instances, remote education leaning will be provided
Local and National Restrictions
under all three COVID local alert levels schools are expected to remain fully open. If further local restrictions are put into place in the future which require students to remain at home, remote education will be provided. In a National lockdown, the school will follow the government guidance.
At this tier, there are no changes to education and schools remain fully open, but the local area of Lambeth or London is likely to have ‘local restrictions’ outside of education. At this tier, the wearing of face coverings would be compulsory in communal areas such as corridors and dining areas. Please note the face coverings are now in place for all students, staff and visitors to the school. They are expected to wear a face covering in areas where they are mandated. A blue badge will be worn by all who are exempt.
At this tier, secondary schools would be requested by the government to limit the number of students on site at any one time by moving to a rota model. In this circumstance, St Martin’s is likely to use a model of timetable which is ‘two weeks on and two weeks off’. Students would be on site for two weeks then off site and working remotely for another two weeks.
At this tier, the school would follow what we call our ’blended learning model’. This involves our teachers carefully looking at each scheme of learning in every subject and deciding on what material and activities would be best delivered in the classroom and what would be best delivered remotely. Students would be fully informed about what they were doing in each of the two-week periods.
Whilst we appreciate that Tier 2 would present some issues for siblings, it would be impossible to arrange for them to be always on the same rota. We would aim for this where we can, but it would not by definition of different ages and circumstances be wholly possible.
In Tier 2, vulnerable students and students of critical workers would be able to attend school during their two-week off-site period but would be placed under supervision to carry on with the remote activities in one of our ICT rooms.
At this tier, the Government would be announcing a partial lockdown in certain areas. For secondary schools this would be likely to lead to the prioritising of certain year groups and vulnerable students or students from families of critical workers being on site. The Government will prioritise the groups that are to be on site. They are likely to choose examination classes such as Year 11 and 13. There is a high likelihood that Years 7, 8, 9, 10 would therefore continue remote learning. In this eventuality the school will follow the specific DfE guidance.
This would be a situation similar to March, when the full national lockdown was first announced, whereby only vulnerable students and students of families of critical workers would be attending on site. All other students would be working under remote conditions. This learning would be fully monitored as before with emails and phone calls from class teachers, tutors and follow up by progress leaders and senior leaders.
In Tiers 3 and 4, vulnerable students and students of families of critical workers would always be able to attend school but would be supervised to carry on with the remote learning activities in one of our ICT rooms.
How will the school closure be communicated to families?
School closure to students will be communicated in several ways:
a letter to families via ParentMail
a message to parents via text message
information posted on the school website
a message to staff and students in school
Remote learning expectations
Where possible, students are asked to follow the time and sequence of their usual timetable at home and access their learning resources through their google classrooms on our google on-line learning platform. All students will have a passcode to access each google classroom. Instructions on how to access remote learning can be found on our website. Following the usual timetable provides a structure to the day for students and helps to ensure an even amount of time is dedicated to each subject as it would be if students were present at school. Teachers will upload all learning activities and students will be expected to complete the learning so that this is assessed by their teacher.
Feedback on student work during remote learning will be by a combination of comments through google classroom or whole class feedback through live learning. Teachers cannot comment on every piece of learning that is submitted and will identify key pieces of assessment just as they do when students are in school.
Where year groups are learning remotely for an extended period of time, the school will also provide some live Lessons via our google platform. This will give students the opportunity to talk to teachers directly and ask and answer questions, which supports progress by moving learning forward.
Contacting home about completion of work
We will monitor students’ engagement and completion of learning. Contact will be made with families by email and/or telephone in order to:
recognise the efforts of students who are completely up to date and/or making on-going effort with their learning
alert you to any learning tasks that have not been completed and/or lack of effort/engagement
Our SENDCO and the Learning Support Team continue to support students with their remote learning through regular contact home and, wherever possible, inviting students in to school for additional support. Work continues to be differentiated to meet the needs of individual learners.
Whilst we have high expectations of learners and standards of work, we also realise that remote learning creates specific challenges for some of our learners. We are realistic in our expectations and understand the need to make adjustments where required.
St Martin’s has a very strong network of pastoral support and this continues through any period of remote learning.
Our student support will continue throughout any lockdown period, by regular contact between families and school and, where necessary, external agencies. Students are able to make contact with staff through emails.
Our tutor team will continue to contact home regularly, and will provide the opportunity for students to raise any questions or highlight any concerns they may have.
Our Progress Leaders will continue to communicate regularly with the tutor team and monitor the year group.
We realise that any time away from school creates challenges, and the last few months has been particularly challenging and disorientating for many. Please see our useful tips, our advice on E-Safety and our FAQS below that we hope will be of help to you. Please do contact us at the school if you have any questions or require further support.
Top tips for families and students
Establish routines and expectations: each day will begin with registration. This will establish a good routine to the start of the day. Keeping similar routines to those that are in school can help maintain a positive work ethic. Avoid spending the day in your pyjamas! During school rota time start times, breaks and lunch are at clear times.
Identify a clear physical space in which to work: this will make it easier to focus on your learning, without other distractions.
Talk about the plan for the day, and the lessons ahead: spending extended time working at home is unfamiliar territory. Talking about how things are going can help pre-empt any problems.
Set times to be on and offline: there will be more screen time than normal whilst working at home. You may have to share devices with family members, and setting time limits in advance can help manage this successfully. Equally, spending time offline is important to maintain a sense of balance in the day.
Remember to exercise: your wellbeing is enhanced by physical activity, so you will need to make time for this. We will direct you to some useful PE exercises, this can really help if you are feeling anxious, which is completely understandable whilst you are working from home.
Talk about things on your mind: it will be a big adjustment working from home every day, and having done it before does not necessarily make it easier. Talk about how things are going. The global and local situation is highly changeable. It is understandable to feel uncertainty about this too. There will be lots of wellbeing activities in the google classrooms and you will be able to engage in the virtual assemblies on the whole year group google classroom, set up by the Chaplain and Progress Leaders.
Read a book: Escape, relax, unwind in a book. Read widely to develop your language skills.
E-Safety: Please discuss e-safety with your child before they return to the remote Learning programme. Our website has lots of resources to help you to do this. Safeguarding is paramount and we have clear guidelines for students and staff in relation to on-line safety.
Frequently asked questions for families
My child cannot log in, what shall I do?
We have checked the system and all students have had training on google classrooms. They have a password and access codes for each subject classroom. Try setting your Internet browser to Google Chrome. This can give greater functionality.
Please check that your child is using the correct username and password, their username is the same that they use to log into the computer at school. They should then use the same password that they use to log into the computer at school.
Please check that they have spelt all login and password details correctly.
Sometimes it is necessary to clear your cache memory (by going to browser - settings - privacy and security).
If you have more than one child using the same device, please ask them NOT to choose the prompt that allows them to stay logged in, as this will prevent others logging into the system. If they do this by accident, please clear the cache memory as detailed above.
Please contact us if your child continues to face difficulties logging in and accessing learning through the google platform.
When will my child's learning activities be available?
Learning activities will be accessible via the google classroom or will be signposted from there. All teachers will have learning activities uploaded and ready for students before their scheduled lesson. Some teachers may put the learning on for the entire week. Students should o follow their normal timetable for the week, as far as possible, spending approximately 50 minutes on each learning activity.
Where should my child complete the learning activity?
This will vary for each subject and each task. Instructions will be in the lesson activities and all work should be completed online. However, if this is difficult, students can do it on paper or in their exercise book.
My child does not understand what to do. How can they get help?
Teachers will be using school email addresses to keep in touch with classes. Students should make sure that they use their school emails if they want to contact their teacher. Teachers will not reply to a student's personal email address. Teachers and other staff will be communicating regularly with you over any period of school closure.
How do I get in contact with someone if I have a question?
Staff email addresses can be accessed via our school website. Please respect wherever possible the school’s working hours when sending emails. If an email is sent out of hours, it will be responded to the next working day.
Please be mindful that online learning is a significant change for teachers as well as students. We will all adapt as quickly as possible, but the more enquiries we receive, the longer it will take to respond to them.
If you have a general 'year group' question, please email your child's Progress Leader
If it is a different urgent enquiry, please email the most appropriate member of the Senior Leadership Team.
Please only use one contact address at a time. Sending a message to several addresses at once is likely to slow our response rather than speed it up.
I have a safeguarding issue that I would usually discuss with school. What can I do?
You can contact the school’s Safeguarding Team: Mrs Wilson, the Deputy Headteacher is the Designated Safeguarding Lead she can be contacted on the school number 0208 674 5594 or by email: email@example.com. Ms Baird is the Deputy Safeguarding Lead and can be contacted on the school number or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My child usually sees the school counsellor. What happens now?
If your child has additional support from an external agency, we may be able to arrange the counsellor to see your child when they are in school on their rota weeks, or contact via email or virtual meeting.
How will SEND and EAL support operate now?
Teaching assistants will work alongside teachers to provide resources for the students they would normally be supporting in class and these resources will be available alongside all other learning on google classrooms.
We will be allocated a Teaching Assistant to students who have additional needs who will then regularly contact students via email to ensure they are accessing their learning and to support them however they can.
For any issues related to SEND, please contact Mrs Tercsi Dajka: email@example.com
For any issues related to EAL, please contact Ms Matin: Lmatin@stmartins.academy
My child is eligible for Free School Meals. Can you help?
The school is currently providing free school meals on site as normal though with a slightly amended menu. If we are required to move to Tier 2, 3 or 4 then the arrangements for free school meals will be updated.
The provision will reflect the latest government guidance and any national initiative such as the food voucher scheme and this section will be updated accordingly.
When will you reopen fully as normal if Tier 2, 3 or 4 are put into place?
We must take advice from the Public Health authorities. We will communicate all information about reopening with you when this becomes available.
Thank you for your continuing support.