Remote Learning

Dear Parents,

We'd like to update you about our plans for remote learning this year in RISE schools and what this means for our school.

During lockdown earlier this year, we developed a model of emergency remote learning that was accessible to families in a wide range of circumstances. Some of our families are well-equipped with high-speed broadband and suitable devices for their children to access online learning, but of course many are not and we had to react quickly in a way that suited the majority and that was manageable and sustainable for teachers.

In Autumn Term 2020 we are working towards moving more of our remote learning online as the year progresses, so that children who need to self-isolate can have more contact and interaction with their teachers and their class peers.

This is a huge undertaking. First we needed to establish the digital learning platform; for RISE schools, this is Microsoft Teams. We started using Teams for staff communication and collaboration about two years ago and more recently, to learn about the possibilities it offers for remote learning has taken time to establish and ensure initial training for staff has taken place. It was invaluable during lockdown for meetings and to support communication between colleagues and with parents, as well staying connected with our children. Expanding it so that teachers can use Teams in the classroom and to support pupils who need to stay at home is the logical next step. We have a clear idea what we want to achieve ultimately, and this has involved careful planning, regular training for teachers and support staff at each stage of implementation and considerable financial investment in the necessary IT infrastructure.

All children now have their own unique log-in for Microsoft Office 365 (MS 365) and some have already been practising the log-in process in school with their teacher. Teachers will begin to set homework projects that require them to log-in at home and find the relevant area on the platform to access their work. Teachers will update you accordingly when/if this appropriate to your child.

We have developed the safeguarding protocols, codes of conduct, guides, policies and rationale that will be uploaded on to our website over half term. If a bubble has to close, our plan is to provide access to continued learning immediately by providing access to work through MS 365, then from day 2 of closure, remote learning through live lessons will become the norm. In this way, there is no disruption to the continuity of learning. All of this is explained in the documentation. Please do take the time to read them and if you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please email the school office.

While ultimately nothing can replace the classroom, pupils can learn well through remote education. It requires schools and families to work together to ensure that children and young people continue to access education, and while this has always been true, it has never been more important than amid the continued disruption of this pandemic.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mrs J V Hopkins
Executive Headteacher

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