Thornham St James' CE Primary School
Remote Learning Policy
1. Statement of School Philosophy
We understand the need to continually deliver high quality education, including during periods of remote working – whether for an individual pupil or many. We recognise the importance of maintaining high expectations in all areas of school life and ensuring that all pupils have access to the learning resources and support they need to succeed.
Thornham St James has always strived to support our children / parents in the best way possible
to make learning purposeful and holistic. Our strategy for remote learning continues this.
From 22 October 2020, we are legally required to provide remote education if pupils need it.
This Remote Education Policy aims to:
- Ensure consistency in the approach to remote learning for all pupils (Inc. SEND) who aren’t in school through use of quality online and offline resources and teaching videos
- Provide clear expectations for members of the school community with regards to delivery high quality interactive remote learning
- Include continuous delivery of the school curriculum, as well as support of motivation, health and well-being and parent support
- Consider continued education for staff and parents
- Support effective communication between the school and families and support
3. Who is this policy applicable to?
In general terms, there are four main scenarios going forwards:
- A child or a member of their household is unwell with symptoms, requiring the
household to isolate at home and seek a test.
- A staff member, a child or children has tested positive and, following advice from
local health officials, the class bubble has been requested to self-isolate.
- Significant outbreaks across the education sector have resulted in a national
lockdown for schools and they have reverted to potentially providing in-school cover for key workers and for children who are vulnerable.
- A child is advised that they must self-isolate or shield by a medical professional.
This policy does not apply in situations such as:
- A student who is absent from school without prior authorisation.
- Children who are generally unwell and absent due to this.
- A parental decision to absent their child as a precaution against an outbreak of
infectious disease but contrary to official medical advice from a doctor, specialist,
Public Health England, the UK Government or the World Health Organisation.
- Children returning from countries where they are expected to quarantine on return
4. 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.
During the first day or two, where work may not yet have been set by the teacher, parents may access The Oak National Academy website and follow the year group linked to their child
Following the first few days of remote education, wherever possible children will be taught a similar curriculum as they would do in school. However, we may need to make some adaptations to some subjects such as: Art, DT, PE and elements of the Science curriculum which may not be able to be delivered in the same way as they would in school.
The remote education provided should be equivalent in length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school and will include recorded direct teaching time (not necessarily by the class teacher, this may be from The Oak National Academy, White Rose Maths or other online video materials suitable to the age and stage of the children and the subject taught), and time for pupils to complete tasks and assignments independently.
As per government guidelines, the amount of remote education provided should be, as a minimum:
- Key Stage 1: 3 hours a day on average across the cohort, with less for younger children
- Key Stage 2: 4 hours a day
- (EYFS: No time requirement)
Further Outline Guidance
4.1. Individual Lockdown/Self Isolation
This may be for a short period while waiting for a test result or a longer period.
Actions - School will endeavour to provide work from the day following notification of a positive test result.
This may either be
- collected (if someone is available to do so)
- sent home via another pupil if appropriate
- Posted by school [if no one is available]
- E-Mailed where appropriate.
Additional work will be provided in the same way dependent on the length of the isolation. Where an individual is self-isolating, Edmodo (our remote learning platform) may not be used by all year groups and work may be just paper based or links may be sent to the parent to access online learning such as Oak Academy. Feedback will be provided to the child on return to school when they produce the work set.
4.2. Class Bubble Isolation
This is likely to be for an initial period of 10 days.
When a decision is made that a bubble needs to isolate, the class teacher will use the preferred electronic learning platform i.e. Edmodo to communicate learning with the children and parents.
Learning will be posted on Edmodo the following day and for each subsequent day of isolation.
There may be a delay if the class teacher has been taken ill.
There will be class ‘contact sessions’ via Teams (frequency will be age-dependent).
Any notable child absences from Edmodo / Teams will be followed up in a welfare check.
4.3. Whole School Shutdown:
This could be for a prolonged period with school being required to make provision for key worker and vulnerable children
As scenario 2 with all classes having work provided online.
In the event of a national lockdown, key worker, vulnerable children and critical worker roles will
likely return and the children attending school will access the same curriculum content as their class at home.
5. Content and Tools to Deliver This Remote Education Plan
We aim to provide as much consistency as possible in the delivery of remote learning.
- Edmodo will be our primary means of sharing remote learning resources. If required,
parents and pupils are also encouraged to communicate with the class teacher
through its private messaging function. Teams will be used for class ‘contact sessions’
- Thornham St James Primary School will provide a refresher training session and
induction for new staff on how to use Edmodo.
- Parents / carers will be surveyed to determine in advance who will require printed
resources eg due to lack of hardware at home
- Physical materials such as dedicated Remote Learning exercise books will be
provided for every child and where necessary essential items such as pencils
- All year groups will use White Rose teaching videos and accompanying worksheets to
teach maths remotely.
- Oak Academy can be used to support remote Maths and English teaching (Writing,
Reading and SpAG) across the school.
- Remote learning may be supplemented with the current DfE recommended list of
remote education resources, current school subscriptions and school-approved
websites, which include but are not limited to:
- Plan Bee
- BBC Bitesize
- Literacy Shed Plus
- Times Tables Rock Stars
- The Natural Curriculum
- Classroom Secrets
- Deepening Understanding / DU Discover
- Twinkl Plan It
- Phonics sites such as Phonics Play
6. Roles and Responsibilities
- When providing remote learning, teachers must be available between 8.50am and 3.00pm Monday to Friday. They must remain logged into the Edmodo platform at all times during these hours to deal promptly with messages for support / questions as they arise
- If they are unable to work for any reason during this time, for example due to sickness
or caring for a dependent, they should report this using the normal absence reporting
Teachers will, taking into account pupils' age, stage of development and SEND:
- Set work which is broadly in line with the offer children would be getting in school
- As far as possible, plan a remote learning programme that follows the same
curriculum sequence as that being taught in-school.
- Provide online video lessons where appropriate and necessary. Online video lessons
do not necessarily need to be recorded by teaching staff at the school: Oak National
Academy and White Rose Maths lessons, for example, can be provided in lieu of
school led video content. Teachers may also use Screencastify to provide voiceovers
for teaching PowerPoints
- Use the 'Assignments' feature on Edmodo to create and assign tasks each day
- Set assignments so that pupils have work each day in a number of different subjects,
and monitor pupils' engagement with these assignments
- Set an amount of work which is in line with current government guidelines (outlined
- Wherever possible, set work by 6pm for the following day
- Avoid an over-reliance on long-term projects or internet research activities
- Provide suitable explanations of new content through curriculum resources and/or
- Provide ‘contact sessions’ via Teams (the frequency of which will be age-dependent)
- Where it is age appropriate, provide opportunities for interactivity via Edmodo and
through Teams contact meetings, including questioning, eliciting and reflective
- Gauge how well pupils are progressing through the curriculum, using questions and
other suitable tasks, and provide purposeful feedback on work that children submit
- Give personalised feedback: pupils will submit their work through the assignments
feature or by posting on the class page. There is no expectation that every piece of
work is marked as it would be within class, however teachers will need to add
comments that encourage / offer support / guide pupils to improve. Feedback is
crucial to building engagement. Older children may choose to upload their work as a
Word document; where appropriate teachers can use the electronic commenting
tool to offer feedback.
- Mark work that is set online as soon as possible after it is submitted. Our teachers may
also be teaching in the classroom during the day, so timing of marking will vary. Work
submitted after the school day has finished may not be commented on until the
- Provide all learners with the same initial content but then teachers should cater for
different abilities e.g. scaffolded activities of increasing challenge that pupils can
work through at their own pace
- Where necessary, adjust the pace or difficulty of what's being taught or revisit
material / simplify explanations to ensure pupils’ understanding
- Provide support for children with SEND to ensure they can access remote education
- Recognise that younger pupils and some pupils with SEND may not be able to access
remote education without adult support, and so we will work collaboratively and
sensitively with families to deliver our curriculum. For such pupils, it is likely that the
priority will be progress in early reading. Ensuring continued access to appropriate
reading books and structured practice of phonics will be considered when planning
remote learning for younger children
- Have sufficient knowledge of engagement / performance in relation to lesson
objectives to be able to facilitate any required ‘catch up’ programmes needed for
groups / individuals, once back in school.
- Ensure pupils without access to the necessary hardware for online learning receive
paper copies of each week’s work. Where possible, these printed resources should
mirror the resources posted online. Where this is wholly not possible eg if resources are
linked to videos / online games, then photocopiable activities from government
approved sites such as Classroom Secrets can be used
- Monitor pupil engagement with remote learning:
If a pupil hasn't been active on Edmodo / Teams for 2 full days, teachers can see this and will make contact with the parents either by telephone, email / Parent Mail to find out what is stopping the child from engaging and give parents technical support if needed / the option to be provided with tasks in paper format.
- Make regular check-ins with those children requesting paper format resources
(parent/carer emails should come through teacher’s school account. Phone calls
from teachers own phones should have Caller ID disabled)
- Report all safeguarding concerns to the Head Teacher
- Report all breaches of the behaviour policy to the SLT
- Advise parents that any complaints must be processed through the usual complaint
- Report any health and safety incidents to the Head Teacher and ask for guidance as
- Attend virtual meetings (under the direction of the SLT) with staff, parents, pupils,
other professionals ensuring that the usual school dress code is adhered to and that, if at home, your location is private and backgrounds are appropriate
- Provide all of the above even if they are working in school covering a bubble for example
- Adhere to this policy and Staff Code of Conduct at all times during periods of remote
- Teaching Assistants must be available within their normal directed time
- If they are unable to work for any reason during this time, for example due to sickness or caring for a dependent, they should report this using the normal absence procedure.
- During the school day, teaching assistants must complete tasks as directed by a member of the SLT.
- Attend virtual meetings (under the direction of the SLT) with staff, parents, pupils, other
professionals ensuring that the usual school dress code is adhered to and that, if at home, your location is private and backgrounds are appropriate
The Governing Body is responsible for:
- Monitoring the school’s approach to providing remote learning to ensure education
remains as high quality as possible
- Ensuring that staff are certain that remote learning systems are appropriately secure, for both data protection and safeguarding reasons
The Head teacher is responsible for:
- Ensuring that staff, parents and pupils adhere to the relevant policies at all times.
- Ensuring that there are arrangements in place for identifying, evaluating, and managing the risks associated with remote learning.
- Ensuring that there are arrangements in place for monitoring incidents associated with remote learning.
- Overseeing that the school has the resources necessary to action the procedures in this policy.
- Reviewing the effectiveness of this policy on an annual basis and communicating any
changes to staff, parents, and pupils.
- Arranging any additional training staff may require to support pupils during the period of remote learning.
- Conducting reviews on a weekly basis of the remote learning arrangements to ensure
pupils’ education does not suffer.
- Ensuring value for money when arranging the procurement of equipment or technology.
- Ensuring that the school has adequate insurance to cover all remote working
Health and Safety
- Ensuring that the relevant health and safety risk assessments are carried out within the agreed timeframes
- Putting procedures and safe systems of learning into practice, which are designed to
eliminate or reduce the risks associated with remote learning.
- Ensuring that pupils identified as being at risk are provided with necessary information and instruction, as required.
- Managing the effectiveness of health and safety measures through a robust system of
reporting, investigating, and recording incidents.
- Overseeing that all school-owned electronic devices used for remote learning have
adequate anti-virus software and malware protection.
- Ensuring all staff, parents, and pupils are aware of the data protection principles outlined in the GDPR.
- Ensuring that all computer programs used for remote learning are compliant with the
GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.
- Overseeing that any ICT equipment used for remote learning is resilient and can
efficiently recover lost data.
- During bubble or school closure, the DSL (Mrs Johnson) is responsible for the safeguarding of all children as set out in the Child Protection Policy
- Attending and arranging, where necessary, any safeguarding meetings that occur
during the remote learning period.
- Liaising with the ICT professionals to ensure that all technology used for remote learning is suitable for its purpose and will protect pupils online.
- Identifying vulnerable pupils who may be at risk if they are learning remotely
- Ensuring that child protection plans are enforced while the pupil is learning remotely, and liaising with the Head teacher and other organisations to make alternate arrangements for pupils who are at a high risk, where required.
- Identifying the level of support or intervention required while pupils learn remotely and
ensuring appropriate measures are in place.
- Liaising with relevant individuals to ensure vulnerable pupils receive the support required during the period of remote working Ensuring all safeguarding incidents are adequately recorded and reported
Alongside any teaching responsibilities, senior leaders are responsible for:
- Co-ordinating the remote learning approach across the school and checking on levels of engagement.
- Monitoring the effectiveness of remote learning – e.g. through regular telephone checkins with staff members, joining all classes via their class code so that work set can be reviewed and reaching out for feedback from pupils and parents
- Monitoring the security of remote learning systems, including data protection and
Alongside their teaching responsibilities, subject leads are responsible for:
- Considering whether any aspects of the subject curriculum need to change to
accommodate remote learning;
- Working with teachers teaching their subject remotely to make sure all work set is
appropriate and consistent;
- Working with other subject leads and senior leaders to make sure work set remotely
across all subjects is appropriate and consistent, and deadlines are being set an
appropriate distance away from each other;
- Monitoring the remote work set by teachers in their subject;
- Alerting teachers to resources they can use to teach their subject remotely;
- Liaising with the ICT professionals to ensure that the technology used for remote learning is accessible to all pupils and that reasonable adjustments are made where required.
- Ensuring that pupils with EHC plans continue to have their needs met while learning
remotely, and liaising with the Head teacher and other organisations to make any
alternate arrangements for pupils with EHC plans and IHPs.
- Identifying the level of support or intervention that is required while pupils with SEND learn remotely.
- Ensuring that the provision put in place for pupils with SEND is monitored for effectiveness throughout the duration of the remote learning period
The ICT Leader is responsible for:
Liaising with relevant ICT professionals in the authority to:
- Ensure that all school-owned devices used for remote learning have suitable anti-virus
software installed, have a secure connection, can recover lost work, and allow for audio
and visual material to be recorded, where required.
- Ensure that any programs or networks used for remote learning can effectively support a large number of users at one time, where required, e.g. undertaking ‘stress’ testing
Working with the SENCO to:
- Ensure that the equipment and technology used for learning remotely is accessible to all pupils and staff.
The ICT Leader will also:
- Update the e-safety and acceptable use policies and ensure these are accessible on
the school website
- Monitor staff’s commitment to communicating the importance of following e-safety
guidelines to pupils learning remotely
Pupils and parents
Staff can expect pupils learning remotely to:
- Be contactable during the school day (9am-3.00pm)
- Complete work to the deadline set by teachers
- Seek help if they need it, from teachers
- Alert teachers if they’re not able to complete work
- Alert teachers to any safeguarding issues
- Alert teachers to any technical issues
- Behave in line with the Behaviour Policy
- Remain safe online, following school’s online safety protocols
Staff can expect parents with children learning remotely to:
- Make the school aware if their child is sick or otherwise can’t complete work
- Seek help from the school if they need it
- Be respectful when making any complaints or concerns known to staff
- Support their child in completing work set to the given deadlines;
- Report any safeguarding concerns
7. Home and School Partnership
Thornham St James Primary School is committed to working in close partnership with families and recognises each family is unique and because of this remote learning will look different for different families in order to suit their individual needs.
Thornham St James will provide advice to parents on how to use Edmodo as appropriate and where necessary, provide personalised resources.
Where possible, it is beneficial for young people to maintain a regular and familiar routine.
Thornham St James Primary School would recommend that each ‘school day’ maintains structure and that class teachers clearly communicate this structure to parents and pupils.
We would encourage parents to support their children’s remote learning, including finding an appropriate place to work and, to the best of their ability, support pupils with work encouraging them to work with good levels of concentration and pride in the content and presentation of their work.
Should accessing work be an issue, parents should contact school promptly and alternative solutions may be available. These will be discussed on case-to-case basis.
In line with government guidance, we would encourage parents to follow the ‘digital 5 a day’ framework which provides practical steps to support a healthy and balanced digital diet.
Pupils should be made aware that the school’s ‘Acceptable Use Policy’ which includes esafety rules also applies when children are working on computers at home.
8. Links with other policies and development plans
This policy is linked to our:
- Behaviour policy
- Child protection policy
- Data protection policy and privacy notices
- Online safety and acceptable use policy
- End User Agreements for Edmodo
Updated Jan 2021