Thank you for the tremendous support you have given to all of the staff, children and each other over the last few incredibly difficult months. We are all very privileged to be part of St. Columba’s school family.
Following the latest announcement from the Government, our school is now open fully to all children.
If your child needs to self-isolate via contact tracing, Home Learning will be provided. Please see the information below:
Some Frequently Asked Questions have been prepared which parents may find useful:
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 have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects. For example:
1. PE – Mrs Iliadou has set some activities which parents and children can complete at home such as ‘Speed bounce’, ‘Waste bin basketball’ and ‘The Daily Mile’. These ideas and activities will be uploaded to Seesaw on your child’s usual PE days. PEAK Sports have also provided a booklet containing physical activity challenges for home. A link to this document will be sent to parents.
2. Music – Staff will be using support materials from Oak National Academy, BBC Bitesize and other online platforms in place of Mr McDermott and his fantastic piano skills! These will be assigned within the daily emails as / when appropriate.
3. Computing – Staff may tweak the Computing curriculum if the content was relying on software which parents would not have access to at home. Again, detailed information will be provided in your daily emails and links added to Seesaw where appropriate.
4. French lessons for KS2 – these will continue remotely with Mr Knox once a week. Invitations will be sent out via the daily emails from your child’s class teacher.
How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?
We expect that remote education (including live or pre-recorded sessions and independent work) will take pupils broadly the following number of hours each day:
Key Stage 1 – three hours
Key Stage 2 – four hours
How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?
A daily email will be sent by 9am each morning from your child’s class teacher via their year group specific Home Learning email account. This will include details of all planned activities / lessons for the day and information about how to access any resources necessary. Where possible, staff will offer the same broad and balanced range of curriculum subjects that the children would be experiencing in school.
All pre recorded teaching videos, scaffolded worksheets or links to other resources e.g. Oak National Academy, BBC Schools Bitesize or You Tube links will be provided in the daily email or assigned as a task on Seesaw.
A daily ‘pastoral’ check in will occur for each year group via Microsoft Teams. Details will be sent home in a separate email. These will be at various times during the school day and will be age appropriate. They may be used so that pupils can ask questions or give feedback from the morning’s activities and tasks. They may be used to set activities or give instructions. Staff may also read stories to pupils during this time.
If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?
School have ordered a set of tablets and a few laptops from the DfE ‘Get Help with Technology’ scheme. There is a slight delay in acquiring these devices. However, as soon as we have received these, we will contact any parent who indicated on our previous Survey Monkey questionnaires that they needed help and support with technology. These devices can then be loaned to families, once an agreement between home and school has been signed.
In the meantime, if parents are struggling with technology, please contact school so we can help further. In exception circumstances, staff may be able to print booklets for children to access, but these will not follow the daily format as the general Remote Learning. In most cases, pupils will not need to print the daily tasks which are assigned on email or in Seesaw. Pupils can write their answers on any plain or lined paper and a photograph of their work can be taken and uploaded to Seesaw. School can provided blank exercise books if pupils need paper at home.
How will my child be taught remotely?
Some examples of our remote teaching approaches include:
- live, daily pastoral ‘check ins’ which may be used for explaining teaching strategies or gaining feedback
- recorded teaching (e.g. Oak National Academy lessons, video/audio pre-recordings made by teachers and uploaded to Seesaw)
- other resources such as guided reading books (where copyright permits) may be uploaded to Seesaw
- commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences
- long-term project work and/or internet research activities
What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?
We fully appreciate that parents will have additional pressures when trying to support Home Learning. Many parents are also working from home themselves, are looking after babies or pre-school children or are also needing to support siblings, many of who might be at Secondary school with different expectations of Remote Learning.
Please just DO WHAT YOU CAN! Staff are trying to ensure that the tasks set allow pupils to work independently where possible. Many of our pupils in Upper KS2 should be able to use Seesaw with minimal adult supervision and can upload their own completed work to the app. Work can be uploaded at any time of day or night, even over the weekend. However staff will only respond to evidence of completed activities during normal working hours.
If parents are really struggling, please do not hesitate to contact the school office or email your child’s class teacher on their Home Learning email address. Staff can organise 1:1 phone calls or Teams meetings with individual pupils, where necessary.
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
Staff will check work uploaded to Seesaw during normal working hours. They will aim to approve all posts in a timely manner by the end of each working day.
Staff will be keeping a log of how often pupils are engaging with remote learning and also their attendance during the daily Teams check in sessions.
If there are any concerns regarding your child’s engagement, staff will phone or email parents to discuss their concerns and work together in order for school and home to support each other.
How will you assess my child’s work and progress?
Feedback can take many forms and will not mean extensive written comments for individual children. Our approach to feeding back on pupil work is as follows:
- Verbal feedback may be gathered during the daily pastoral check in sessions on Teams.
- All work uploaded to Seesaw will be approved, meaning that a teacher has seen the work.
- Work may be given a ‘heart’ on Seesaw when teachers are really impressed.
- Staff may write comments under the piece of work that been uploaded.
- Pupils can make their own comments under the work that has been uploaded to ask for more help or clarification with a particular question.
- An email can be sent between home and school if pupils need additional explanations or support.
- 1:1 Teams meetings may be set up, if individual members of staff feel it is appropriate.
How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?
We recognise that some pupils, for example some pupils 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 pupils in the following ways:
- Teachers may suggest ways to differentiate activities, such as completing part of the activity or an alternative method of recording answers if pupils are finding the workload challenging.
- Any pupils who attend sessions with our School Counsellor (Next Steps Wellbeing) will be offered these remotely.
- Any pupils who have a specific Speech and Language programme will be given access to this at home or may complete a remote session once a week with a Teaching Assistant.
- Any pupils who have an EHCP in place will be encouraged to attend school full time and will still be able to access their specified amount of additional hours, as detailed on their EHCP.
- Additional support materials can be sent home if pupils require access to these.
Pupils in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 were sent home with a pack of practical resources to support their learning. Each day, via Seesaw or email, staff may refer to the practical resources in your child’s pack when setting tasks or Home Learning.
Remote education for self-isolating pupils
Where individual pupils need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school, how remote education is provided will likely differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching pupils 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?
For further general information, please see our Remote Learning Policy and attached scenarios documentation.
These documents describe how pupils who are self-isolating will be supported at home. On the whole, the approaches described above will remain in place, with the exception of the daily Teams pastoral session. This will not take place if the majority of the class are attending school.
Don’t forget to visit our ‘Covid-19 Procedures’ page in Virtual Office to read more about our safety policies and protocols.
The activities uploaded from March – July 2020 will remain in this section of the website if parents are looking for any additional work or ideas during periods of isolation or holidays.
If there are any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact school.
Stay safe and look after each other.
Mrs. Garbutt and all of the staff at St. Columba’s
Click on the images below to access your child’s home learning activities.