Our "Blended Learning" offer
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS AND CARERS
This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to children and parents/carers about what to expect from our blended learning offer where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or groups/bubbles) to remain at home.
“Blended Learning” refers to the scenario when we are delivering a range of learning in school alongside learning at home. During periods of national lock-down, the majority of children may be learning at home while we offer on-site provision for the children of key-workers and vulnerable children; at other times, we may have most children at school while individuals, groups, classes or identified year groups are isolating or required to work from home.
Please click on the drop-down menu below to find out more:
WHAT will be in place for us when children learn from home?
What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of children being sent home?
A child’s first day or two of being educated at home might look different from our standard approach, while we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching.
The school and class teachers will signpost parents and children to general resources they can access in order to continue their learning for the first day. This may be worksheets on Tapestry, our remote education platform, or links to video resources on our school website. You can find these links here:
What should my child expect from blended learning in the weeks during school closure?
The programme of lessons for each day will be sent out via Parentmail and uploaded to the school website every Friday evening, giving parents a chance to have an overview of the lessons for the coming week. This will consist of a full week of planning, broken down into all the activities for each day. The planning can be found here:
The activities for each day will be set out in a daily suggested format, including daily maths, phonics and physical activities as well as a balance of creative and foundation subjects. The planning will include links to external resources and a clear indication of the resources we will be providing each day. Resources to support the learning will consist of teaching videos, worksheets and visual resources, and these will be uploaded daily to Tapestry.
Families should log on to Tapestry each morning to read or listen to messages from the teacher and access the resources for the day.
The children will also take part in one live “Zoom” meet-up each week. Their parents must be present at this session. The purpose of this session will be:
- To enable the children to have contact with their teacher, teaching assistant and classmates.
- To provide motivation to the children and parents.
- To share what the children have been doing.
- To respond to any queries from the parents about the current or upcoming week.
- Different classes will have different needs, so these meet-ups will look different for each group.
In addition to this, the headteacher or a member of the senior leadership team will arrange periodic meet-ups with parents over Zoom to offer support and give feedback.
The parents in each class are offered the opportunity to be a part of a WhatsApp group, managed by a class representative. We think these groups are an important part of keeping in touch, offering mutual support and sharing ideas. The headteacher will be holding regular meet-ups via Zoom with class reps, to support them with managing the groups and take feedback from the classes.
How will my child’s teacher know what my child is learning?
We expect parents and children to upload photographs of their work to Tapestry, our online learning platform. This might consist of photographs of the page of written work, a drawing, a practical activity or a physical activity. It might consist of a video of the child completing an oral presentation or a physical activity. Some work is set on Purple Mash, an online digital platform, and can be uploaded to there.
The teachers and teaching assistants will acknowledge the work and provide written feedback. Feedback may consist of motivational comments, an indication of what the child has achieved well and suggestions for next steps. The teacher will use the evidence on Tapestry to carry out continuous formative assessment of your child’s progress.
Parents must be aware that class teachers and teaching assistants may be on a rota to teach in school for the children who are eligible to attend. They will let you know when they are in school, as feedback on Tapestry will be less frequent and not so immediate. Feedback during these times may come from another member of the teaching team.
what online tools will we be using?
We use a range of online resources to support what we are able to offer for learning at home, including:
Tapestry is an easy-to-use and secure online learning journal, helping staff and families celebrate their children’s learning and development
Tapestry builds a very special record of a child’s experiences, development and learning journey through their early years and primary education. Using photos, videos and diary entries, a teacher or teaching assistant, along with the child’s parents, ‘weaves’ the story of the child and how they are growing and developing. The Tapestry platform then works seamlessly to enable these memories to be kept as a permanent record of each child’s unique journey.
All information held in the platform is stored securely, and can be downloaded and shared as required. We use Tapestry to enable parents to share online their child’s learning activities, progress and how much fun they’re having. In the Reception classes, we also use Tapestry during normal school opening to record and share each child’s learning experiences at school. In Key Stage One we use it to communicate resources and instructional videos for homework. Parents are encouraged to use Tapestry to build a record of homework and other activities throughout the year.
The Tapestry online learning journal is also available as an easy-to-use, secure app, meaning capturing key learning moments, and videoing milestones are even easier.
Tapestry is a secure platform, and parents can only see their own child’s activities. At the end of the year, each child’s journal can be downloaded and kept by parents as a record of their child’s development.
On leaving the school, once the child’s journal has been downloaded, the Tapestry account will be closed. Records will only be kept in school for the duration of the child’s time in school, in line with our policy on records retention.
Click here for more information about Tapestry, and to log on to your child’s account: TAPESTRY LOG-IN
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service you can use to virtually meet with others - either by video or audio-only or both. Zoom sessions are joined by participants through a link and code that is created by the class teacher. This code is shared via tapestry or Parentmail for children and parents to be able to join the meeting. This ensures the meeting is secure for the children, parents and staff.
If an uninvited guest tries to join a Zoom meeting, they will only be granted entry when the host (school staff) lets them in.
We do not allow children to attend Zoom sessions unless they are accompanied by their parent or carer. Sessions involving children are always attended by two members of staff and we do not allow any recording of sessions. All participants must join from an appropriate location and be appropriately dressed (no nightwear or swimwear).
Purple Mash is a creative online space aimed at primary school teachers and pupils, which aims to inspire creative learning both at school and at home. It covers spelling, grammar and maths as well as other work related to the curriculum and various open ended tools allowing children to try their hand at story creation, art and game design, among other things. Each child in Key Stage One has their own log-in, and work can be stored securely on the site. You can access Purple Mash here: PURPLE MASH LOG-IN
will my child be taught 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 have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects. For example, where practical learning tasks would not be possible at home, or where it is not possible to share resources online.
Teaching videos will be created by teachers to explain new learning and we will upload the learning for the day and the follow up activities and/or accompanying documents necessary to complete the tasks.
Where we believe that concepts are too complex to be taught remotely, we will rearrange teaching sequences and teach these when children return to school.
what ACTIVITIES will be provided AND what is the suggested LEARNING TIME FOR EACH DAY?
How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?
We will provide 3 hours remote learning a day for Key Stage 1 children (this is the government expectation) - which will include video explanations and independent work, physical activities, learning breaks, story time and reading.
This will be less for children in EYFS (the reception classes).
For SEN children, where the work may be challenging, the expectation may be differentiated and will be discussed with parents by the teacher and Inclusion Leader.
Activities during the day and throughout the week:
Lessons will be taught using videos made by staff and/or external resources, for example Maths from 'White Rose' and Phonics from “Phonics Play” or “Espresso”.
In response to feedback from parents, we are not holding “live” lessons; the preferred approach is to use pre-recorded lessons that can be accessed at a time that is convenient for a family, repeated when necessary and paused for a time of reflection or discussion. Where parents are managing several adults and children accessing a limited number of devices for work and school, this enables families to plan their days.
Children will also be set various physical activities by their class teacher throughout the week, including sessions recorded by our Physical Education specialist, Mrs Alam.
Music lessons will be planned by our Music specialist teacher, Miss Cucu.
Art lessons will be planned by our art specialist, Miss Jowsey
Assemblies will be recorded and shared for special celebrations, and periodically through the weeks.
There will be regular story sessions throughout the week.
A live Zoom session with the class teacher and teaching assistant or a senior leader will take place every week.
how can we access online education?
How will my child access any online education you are providing?
We set work using Tapestry as the main platform. All children in Reception to Year Two have individual logins to this. Children in Year One and Year Two also have individual Purple Mash login details to access this site.
This may be supplemented with other links to educational sites, including those listed on our website here:
If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access blended learning?
We recognise that some children may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those children to access blended learning:
- We ask parents to contact the school if this is an issue
- We have a small number of laptops that we can loan out to support families.
- For some children, work online is not appropriate or they are unable to access it. We will provide printed copies to those we believe need them – after identification of lack of involvement on the Tapestry. These can be collected from school, or we will post or deliver them if necessary. We will ask for work to be returned for feedback. We will show parents how to photograph and share via a phone to Tapestry or via email, or it can be delivered to the school.
how will the school support our 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?
It is expected that all children access and undertake the tasks provided by the teacher, but we are realistic about the conflicting demands that parents are managing every day.
We ask parents to feedback to us if they are struggling to manage learning routines and we will provide support in the form of visual timetables or adapted expectations.
We will indicate expected timings for sessions on the daily plan, and we will also indicate key pieces that should be attempted as a minimum.
We will indicate where we require ALL children to upload a response for key pieces of work; this is on the understanding that home arrangements allow this to be the case.
We will indicate which activities should be attempted independently. We will use our school Learning Behaviour characters to give some guidance on the behaviours we would like to see for particular tasks. You can find out more about our Learning Behaviour characters here: https://www.gardensuburbinfant.co.uk/page/?title=About+us&pid=27
We ask parents to support their children by:
- Providing a quiet place to work (if possible)
- Checking what learning they have been asked to do and checking that the child has completed it
- Supporting the child with learning where they are having any issues.
- Contacting the teacher for further support where needed.
- Uploading what their child is doing to Tapestry.
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
Every Friday, the Teaching Assistant for each class monitors the engagement of every child on Tapestry and Purple Mash. They submit their monitoring to our Inclusion Leads, who identify children who are not engaging.
The class teacher will phone families who are not engaging every week so that they can discuss any barriers to learning and offer support.
Less frequently (every three weeks if possible) the class teacher will aim to call every family in their class.
If we cannot contact a family, we may attempt a home visit or will contact our Education Welfare Officer to raise a concern.
what support will be available for children with additional needs?
We recognise that some children, for example some children 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 children in the following ways:
- In line with Government guidelines, all children with an EHCP are invited to attend school.
- Work is provided with appropriate levels of challenge.
- Where children are unable to access this, they will be provided with an adapted curriculum and activity suggestions. Work for SEN children with ECHPs is overseen by the SENCO.
- SENCO, Class Teacher and Learning Support Assistants will make contact with parents of SEN children to assess how well the child is getting on, making adjustments where needed.
- SENCO informs parents of any relevant external support e.g. workshops, helplines and information.
- During school closure, we continue to work with outside agencies and where possible and appropriate support for the children and families from outside agencies continues online.
what blended learning will be in place for children who are self-isolating while their class are in school?
Where individual children need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school, blended learning is provided but will differ from the approach for whole groups isolating. This is due to the challenges of teaching children both at home and in school.
If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?
The planning that we use at school is written in a way that it can be transferred for use at home too. This will include links to any video resources or programmes that we will be using in class.
We ask parents to continue uploading their child’s work to Tapestry, so their teacher can have an overview of their progress and can give feedback.
A member of staff in school will be assigned as the key point of contact for your child; this may not be their teacher, but it could be a member of staff who is not teaching in class, such as one of our Inclusion Leads or Pastoral Support Team.
The class teacher will provide feedback to the individual children via Tapestry. Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children.
It will be a combination of written comments, voice comments and acknowledgement, depending on the age of the child.
Our "Remote Education policy" can be found below: