Remote Learning

The schools within the Four Stones Multi Academy Trust will develop their own procedures, routines and systems to secure effective remote learning for their students, however all will follow similar principles in developing and sharing good practice.

The provision of high-quality remote provision is a legal requirement for schools, as set out by the DfE in “Restricting attendance during the national lockdown: schools” in January 2021, which stipulates that Key Stage 2 pupils should be provided with four hours remote education a day while this increases to five hours for both Key Stage 3 and 4.

The guidance also states that schools are expected to teach a “planned and well-sequenced curriculum so that knowledge and skills are built incrementally” and should have systems in place for “checking, daily, whether pupils are engaging with their work”.

Each school will identify a named senior leader with overarching responsibility for the quality and delivery or remote education and select a digital platform for remote education that will be used consistently throughout the school.

EEF research summary “Best evidence on supporting students to learn remotely” identifies the following points as the principles for building effective provision:

  • Teaching quality is more important than how lessons are delivered;
  • Ensuring access to technology is key, especially for disadvantaged pupils;
  • Peer interactions can provide motivation and improve learning outcomes;
  • Supporting pupils to work independently can improve learning outcomes; and
  • Different approaches to remote learning suit different types of content and pupils.

Our approach will ensure that students are given the opportunity to maintain their development of specific skills, knowledge and understanding outside the classroom during exceptional circumstances, without overburdening students or staff with planning, resourcing and marking respectively. As far as is possible, students will continue with the planned sequences of learning they would have experienced in classrooms.

We believe there are strong advantages to asynchronous learning in terms of accessibility, particularly in households with multiple users where access to technology and broadband width may be limited. Recordings can be paused and revisited and, therefore, they are likely to be the best way to present new material and give quality explanations.

‘Live lessons’ have the advantage of allowing real interaction with the teacher and peers and are useful for conversation with students, particularly in feeding back on misconceptions following submitted work. It is likely they are most effective with smaller groups of students to encourage dialogue and interactivity.

Schools will continuously audit and check that all students have access to the technology required to successfully engage with the remote learning provided and will endeavour to provide devices where this is a barrier to engagement. Alternative approaches to remote learning, such as providing work booklets, will be used as needed.

Whatever the method of delivery, the basics of good teaching do not change. All materials and resources should ensure clear explanations, modelled and scaffolded tasks and a robust process for feedback.

Schools will develop systems to monitor engagement with and submission of assignments and feedback to parents/carers where there are concerns. As part of the monitoring process, leaders will review the quality, quantity and effectiveness of the resources produced and continue to develop best practice for the benefit of the students. Staff should have the opportunity to share good practice with each other as often as possible and this should be reflected in school CPD programmes.

Successful remote learning requires even stronger partnerships with parents to support motivation, engagement and navigation of what is required; leaders should communicate expectations and procedures regularly and explicitly with parents/carers and students.

The following guidance, research and opinion pieces have informed our principles:

There are a variety of other resources that can be accessed by students to support and supplement their learning at home.

What should my son/daughter be doing if they are working at home?

To find out what your son/daughter should be doing if they are working at home, please click on the relevant school below:

© 2021 The Four Stones Multi Academy Trust. Registered address: Brake Lane, Hagley, Worcestershire. DY8 2XS. A charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales. Company number: 07652306.