Dear families,

Welcome to our updated website for this third lockdown.  We hope that the website is informative.  It hosts core learning activities for children to benefit from guides families to all sorts of other interesting, engaging and constructive activities for you to do at home with your children. There’s also a list of agencies who can advise families  – with guidance, financial support and support from social care.  There are people out there who may be able to help!

Remote education provision: information for parents

This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to pupils and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.

The remote curriculum: what is taught to pupils at home

A pupil’s first day or two of being educated remotely might look different from our standard approach, while we 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 pupils being sent home?

Teachers will send out home learning via hard copy ‘grab bags’ immediately. This learning will follow the normal ‘in school’ timetable as closely as possible. Pupils will be expected to engage with the learning instructions and tasks. They should complete the learning and then upload photographs of their completed learning to the teacher via Google Classroom or the cohort email address. Children in KS1 will be set at least 3 hours of learning a day on average across the cohort, at least 4 hours per day for KS2. Teachers will review the learning and provide feedback. The format of this learning will continue for the duration of the isolation period.

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?

Yes!

We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. Each day’s learning will follow the normal ‘in school’ timetable as closely as possible. We anticipate that some lessons will be trickier to deliver remotely and harder to resource too (e.g. PE, music, art etc). Teachers will be mindful of these issues when planning lessons so that all children can participate or easy alternatives suggested.

Remote teaching and study time each day

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

We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take pupils broadly the following number of hours each day:

Key Stage 1Children in Key Stage 1 will have a minimum of 3 hours of core learning per day across the cohort.
Key Stage 2Children in Key Stage 2 will have at least 4 hours of core learning set per day.

In addition, there will be a range of suggestions for complementary learning that will allow children to work independently.   We anticipate that Times Table Rock Stars, Jo Wicks and Rob Biddulph will all be regular options here!

Finally, on the website/in the home learning guide we will also provide a range of suggestions for “Welcome Break” activities.  These will be lots of constructive activities when the whole family just needs a break from being the teacher!

Accessing remote education

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

Remote learning will be sent out to pupils and families through the Google Classroom platform and a parental email (i.e. ParentPay). All learning will also be accessible via the school website on a daily basis.

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

We recognise that some pupils may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those pupils to access remote education:

We want to ensure that all children can engage with our approaches to remote learning. All children will be provided with a weekly hard copy learning pack from our “Drive Thru” – distribution is on a Friday.

However, we do hope that children can access material online as well, for example so that they can participate in the live aspects of lessons or watch pre-recorded material.  If there is any reason why a child or family might struggle to access our provision, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can find an appropriate solution. Liskeard Hillfort School has a laptop loan service in place so that if a child does not have access to an appropriate laptop or tablet, we may be able to provide one.  Of course, the home learning packs provide a back-up should technology fail!

Parents can contact the School Office to arrange these options:
Tel: 01579 343444.

How will my child be taught remotely?

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

Morning Video: At 9.00am teachers will post a recorded video through which they will welcome the class to the day’s learning. In the video, teachers will brief the children on the different lessons and aspects of learning for the day. They will talk through which resources children will be required to use and the expectations for how tasks should be completed. All children must watch their class video between 9:00am and 9:30am each day.

In the initial instance, this video will be hosted on a private YouTube channel, with the link emailed directly to parents.  Over time we will move to hosting this on Google Classroom which enables teachers to see that a child has watched the video. Children must watch the morning video to be mark as ‘present’ and therefore in attendance in the virtual classroom each day.

Live streamed lesson: Each day, we will use either Zoom or Google Classroom to host a meeting of all children in the class.  A register will be taken at this point.  This is an opportunity for teachers to ‘check in’ with children, to do some work on well being activities (PSHE) and to look at any particularly central aspects of learning. The teacher may well share a screen to model and demonstrate particularly crucial concepts.  Links to access this lesson will be emailed out daily via ParentPay.

Learning Clinic: The live streamed lesson will then turn into a learning clinic.This is an ‘open clinic’ that any child or parent can join in order to discuss any problems they may be experiencing with the learning that morning or from the previous afternoon. The meeting is open in the first instance to deal with any common issues, and then teachers will go into 1-2-1 sessions for more private issues.  These can be booked for later in the day.

Pre-recorded lessons: we will be providing a variety of lessons that are pre-recorded.  These will be a combination of lessons with Hillfort teachers, or powerpoint lessons with Hillfort teacher’s commentary, or links to other excellent lessons – such as Oak National Academy.  The links will be emailed out to parents and hosted on the school website or Google Classoom.

Submission of Learning & Feedback: It is expected that children will submit learning to their teacher each day. This can be done in different ways depending on the task. This may be done via Google Classroom, emailed into the cohort email address or teachers may lead children through self-marking.  In Google Classroom, the easiest way to submit learning is simply by photograph. The teacher will provide feedback in the form of a comment

Bedtime Story: From 25th January, for children in Reception, Y1 and Y2, Dr Cook will post a daily bedtime story video. We hope this is a fun way for children to end the day’s learning or a nice treat before bedtime.

In addition, there is a weekly assembly with the Headteacher.  This involves a celebration of our “Stars of the Week”, significant achievements, Times Table Rock Star winners and more besides –  with nominations from both in and out of school.  It will also involve a story, read by Dr Cook!

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?

Expectations: Teachers will expect children to complete all daily learning to the individual child’s ‘best’ standard. Teachers have an excellent understanding of each child’s ability and individual needs. They will therefore expect children to work to the standards expected as if the child were attending school. Children must engage with all lessons and learning tasks set by their class teacher each day. In cases when this cannot be the case, for whatever reason, parents should get in contact with the school so that we can offer as much support we can!

It is immensely helpful when parents support their child with their daily learning and we both encourage and appreciate this. That said, the class teachers will pitch the learning at a level that is accessible to your child. This means that, in most cases, your child should be able to engage with the majority of learning independently but help with instructions, accessing technology, reading for younger children and keeping on task will always be helpful.

In order to support parents, teachers will phone home once a week to ‘touch base’, to offer support and guidance!

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

  • Class teachers will check the children’s learning submissions to the Google Classroom portfolios each day. Feedback will be provided in the form of a comment.
  • If class teachers have concerns regarding a child’s engagement in their remote learning, teachers will contact parents by email or by phone. If concerns continue, this will be developed as part of the teacher’s weekly conversation with parents.
  • We will also offer children and parents the opportunity to join the daily Zoom Clinic. This is a great way for parents or children to have a live 1 to 1 with their class teacher to resolve any problems or re-motivate children.
  • For the parents of those children that engage with our Thrive provision, we will also offer two phone conversations per week – one from the class teacher and one from Ms Truscott.

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

Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children. For example, whole-class feedback or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others. Our approach to feeding back on pupil work is as follows:

  • Teachers will assess the learning submitted by children each day as part of their marking and feedback. Pupils will receive feedback on their learning in the form of a comment in the child’s portfolio.
  • For different tasks, assessment may vary. In most cases, teachers will read or mark the child’s learning to gauge their level of understanding, knowledge and progress. In some cases, teachers may set an online quiz, which will show a mark for correct answers.
  • Children will also receive feedback as part of the live lesson/clinic, on either a whole class basis or a 1-2-1 basis (visa the clinic for 1-2-1).

Additional support for pupils with particular needs

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:

We understand that some children might need additional support when engaging with remote learning. We will provide this in a bespoke way depending on the needs of the individual child. The class teacher or teaching assistant will make additional contact with individual children to offer more support via Zoom or telephone. The class teacher will also differentiate learning for the needs of some pupils. Some pupils will receive a learning pack which will contain bespoke tasks and resources suited to the child’s learning needs. Children with an EHCP will be in school or if at home they will have daily contact with their 1:1 teaching assistant. This contact will be made via Zoom or telephone.

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?

In the event of a single pupil or small number of pupils being required to isolate, teachers will provide remote learning, which closely replicates the learning taking place in class and which follows the normal class timetable. This will be shared with families via the Google Classroom platform. Pupils will have a range of lessons and learning activities to complete each day – these will follow the same content as the lessons taking place in school as closely as possible. The lessons will be sent out on Google Classroom at 9:00am, or as close to this time as possible depending on when the school is notified of the pupil’s absence.

Pupils will be expected to engage with the learning instructions and tasks. They should complete the learning and then upload photographs of their completed learning on Google Classroom. Children in KS1 will have 3 hours of learning a day on average across the cohort, with less for younger children and children in KS2 will have 4 hours per day. Teachers will review the learning and provide feedback. The format of this learning will continue for the duration of the isolation period.

I do hope that you find this information helpful.  If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Yours faithfully,
Tim Cook