Remote Learning

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

Albert Einstein

When discussing the concept and practicality of remote learning, it is impossible to do so without referencing 2020, and the coronavirus pandemic.

2020 marked what was perhaps one of the most remarkable points in living memory for the UK education system, when in March, schools across the world closed to all but very few students. In the weeks following the enforced school closures, schools had to rapidly adapt in order to continue to provide education to students, in spite of no longer being able to teach them face to face.

Fundamentally, Lymm High School is unapologetic in its advocation of the importance of academic education. While we do many other important things within our school community, our purpose first and foremost is to ensure that all of our young people leave with a set of qualifications that reflects their potential.

With this in mind, the decision for us was very straightforward: our young people learn best when taught by our excellent staff. If we cannot do this face to face, we will do it remotely. Lymm High School was an early adopter of remote teaching from very early on in the period of Covid-induced enforced closures, and live streams the majority of lessons to students who are unable to attend school due to Covid-related self-isolation.

Our Commitment

In the event of any full or partial school closure, we are committed to providing continuity of education to our students, and will do so through a blend of remote lessons and set tasks, as we deem most appropriate.

Extensive remote learning would apply particularly in a situation whereby the school is closed for an extended period of time and a high proportion of students and teachers are healthy and/or able to work from home. We will always do our best to respond to the personal circumstances, and try to balance high expectations and rigour with common sense and humanity.

Our position will always be that, for the vast majority of young people, the best place for them to be is in school. Remote learning will only ever be a stop-gap until classroom teaching and learning can resume, and if children are well and safe to be in school, that is where they should be. There is no obligation for any school to provide continuity of education to students who absent themselves from school in contravention to school or government guidance.

Assuming an absence has been agreed with the school, and the student in question is healthy enough to work at home, we will endeavour to provide high-quality work for students who are unable to attend school.

Ordinarily, students who are learning remotely will be given access to a “window into the lesson.” This means that their teacher will open a live video stream via Microsoft Teams, and students will complete the same work as their peers are completing in class, as far as is possible. If unsure on how to use Microsoft Teams, please click here for the student guide.

Students who are learning remotely should attend all lessons and form time via the window to the lessons. The only exception to this is when the subject is delivering a practical lesson; for example, if a student would normally be in a subject like Design Technology, they would be unlikely to benefit much from having a window in to a practical lesson. In this instance, class teachers would provide alternative work through Microsoft Teams. Students should complete this work during their timetabled lesson slot.

Alongside the formal curriculum, students should also attend their form time sessions, where they will be able to access pastoral important content. As well as this being the mechanism for PSHE, RSE and CEIG, form time functions as “keeping in touch” time, which is incredibly important in helping students to continue to feel a part of the school community.

 

Though we will respond as flexibly as possible to individuals, a rough guideline for the frequency of keep in touch (KIT) communication between school and home would be once per week. This is likely to be through the pastoral team.

The primary vehicle for remote teaching and learning will be Microsoft Teams and Zoom. All Lymm High School students and staff have accounts for both platforms. If teachers are using Zoom to run lessons during closures, they will share the details of their virtual meeting rooms in class Teams.

Lessons will be designed to allow students to progress through schemes of work at a pace that is appropriate to the circumstances. The nature of remote learning means a need to be responsive to technology and accessibility issues, and it is likely that breadth and pace of coverage may not match what we could offer in a real classroom setting. There may also be the need to respond to a reduced access to printed materials (e.g. text books) at short notice, which again could have an impact on the schemes of works that teachers are using.

In 2020, Lymm High School rolled out a scheme to offer all students the opportunity to purchase a Chromebook. We also worked alongside families in other ways to ensure that all children have access to the appropriate technology to engage with online learning. However, if changed circumstances mean that you or your child does not the necessary technology to access remote lessons, please let the relevant Head of Year know so we can look at how to best support you.

Students in Key Stage 4 and the Sixth Form will receive timely, formalised feedback that is in line with faculty policies. Students in Key Stage 3 will have learning checked by teachers, though the format that this occurs in is likely to depend upon the subject and the length of time that students are away from school. This is open to frequent review, in order to ensure that we are best able to meet the needs of students in a common-sense way. The school reserves the right to vary the range of methods used to provide remote learning tasks, feedback and interaction, based on the particular circumstances of any closure.

Online lessons will take place through Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The phrase “online lesson” describes a process that is entirely remote, and is what would take place during a school closure. It is likely that the AV quality of Zoom would make this the most appropriate platform entirely remote learning, as it would enable the teacher to see all of the students during the session. Online lessons should be recorded.

For lessons employing the use of Zoom, students will only be able to join the lessons if they have logged in using their lymmhigh.org.uk email account. This is an important safeguarding mechanism and supersedes other concerns around access to learning. The school’s IT technicians can resolve any login issues quickly; if students are struggling because of forgotten or defunct login details, they should be directed to ithelpdesk@lymmhigh.org.uk.

The phrase “live-streaming of lessons” describes a process whereby the teacher is delivering a lesson in school, while using Teams/Zoom to give the child who is learning remotely a “window” into that lesson. As the teacher will not need to see the video of the child who is learning remotely, Teams may be more suitable. This is currently left to teacher discretion.

The child/ren learning remotely will be able to see the PowerPoint (etc) and hear the teacher. There will be no video function used during live-streaming of lessons. In many cases, the audio of the children at home will be switched off, and they will communicate via the typed chat function. There is no expectation that live-streamed lessons are recorded; indeed, to do so would possibly be detrimental to the learning of the students in the classroom.

Whichever video function the teacher uses, students will use Microsoft Teams as the gateway to the video function. They will open their class Team at the start of each lesson and the teacher will either begin the Teams meet or share the Zoom login.

Students should engage fully in learning opportunities, and behave in a way whereby they do not prevent others from learning. If a student’s behaviour is not appropriate, the teacher or member of staff will give them a warning. If the student continues to misbehave, they will be removed from the lesson and should not attempt to return. If possible, they should complete the tasks set in that lesson.

Serious incidences of misbehaviour (for example: misbehaving in several lessons; attempting to re-enter a lesson after being removed; abusive language) will result in a student being remotely excluded from lessons (i.e. being disallowed from joining Zoom/Teams meeting).

This is a serious sanction and will be issued only by the appropriate Head of Year and/or a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Parents/carers will be informed of the reason/s for the sanction, as well as when the student will be allowed to attend sessions again.

Teachers will ensure that students have access to work for the period of their exclusion. This will be set on Microsoft Teams, unless the student has lost Microsoft access privileges. In this instance, teachers will set work on Show My Homework.

It is expected that all students who are well enough to learn should attend their remote lessons/live-streamed lessons. Students who do not attend these lessons put themselves at a disadvantage, and will almost certainly find it difficult to catch up upon returning to school. The school will endeavour to make contact with parents of students who are not engaging with remote learning to check for issues and encourage attendance.

PHSE, RSE and CIEG remain important parts of the curriculum, and students’ rights to high quality information and guidance are not affected by any full or partial closure. As such, students will continue to have access to the weekly PHSE/CEIG sessions that take place during form time, even if they are not able to physically attend school in person.

Please read the following guidelines carefully, and discuss them with your child.
While learning remotely, it is important that students comply with these additional guidelines (alongside the protocols that are already set out in our e-Safety Policy, Acceptable Use for Students Policy, and our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and Procedures).

 

In order to safeguard all students and staff, we ask that you ensure that your child adheres to the following expectations:

1. Students should be dressed appropriately. A sensible guide is to ask whether they would be allowed to wear this on a normal non-uniform day. If not, it is probably not suitable!
2. Even if your child is accessing the lesson on a handheld device like a phone, they should be sitting upright, as they would in class.
3. During live lessons, teachers will be instructed not to admit students from the waiting room if they are not confident of their identity.
4. The video feed should not be a distraction to others in the lesson. Try to make sure that your child has somewhere to sit where there is a neutral background.                                                                          5. Remote lessons may be recorded by teaching staff and made available for students and staff to watch after the lesson has ended if necessary. All participants will be made aware if lessons are being recorded. Videoed content will be kept within the organisation (i.e. Lymm High School), and any attempt by students to share footage outside of the organisation is likely to constitute a GDPR breach. In this vein, screenshotting or recording images of staff/students is absolutely not allowed, and any such behaviour will be treated very seriously. Any concerns relating to unacceptable use should be referred to the classroom teacher or Designated Safeguarding Lead in the first instance.
6. Students must communicate respectfully and formally to both staff and peers alike, just as they would in a normal classroom situation.
7. Both Microsoft Teams and Zoom are platforms used by Lymm High School for the purpose of education. We expect that students make use of their features to learn to the best of their ability
for the duration of any remote learning. Students must follow the instructions of their teacher regarding their conferencing settings (muting of audio, posting of comments, screen background etc).      8. Outside lesson times, video conferencing software must be used responsibly and in line with school communications policies. It should not be used to socialise.

Please note: if students do not abide by these expectations, they may be excluded from future online sessions. In such cases, a member of staff (typically the Head of Year or a member of the Senior Leadership Team) will contact parents or carers.

• For technical help, please email our IT team on ITHelpdesk@lymmhigh.org.uk
• For subject-specific queries, please speak to the class teacher in the first instance (email addresses available here), or the relevant Head of Faculty.
• For safeguarding or student wellbeing, please contact our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mrs Ball, on rball@lymmhigh.org.uk, or the relevant Head of Year.