Homeschooling & Online Curriculum Update

Monday 11h January 2021

 

Dear students and families,

Well done for ensuring that you access and keep up to date with your online curriculum during lockdown. As many of our staff are also parents, we completely understand the dynamics and frustrations of trying to balance a job, working from home, home learning and family life, often all from the same kitchen table and laptop?!

As lockdown learning continues we wanted to highlight a few areas that are intended to remind and help students and their families:

Online curriculum

The school’s online curriculum does have resources and work for all year groups. The link can be found here:

https://ridgewayacademyredditch.sharepoint.com/sites/OnlineCurriculum

Staff live online

All teaching staff and teaching assistants are available on Microsoft Teams during the actual time of the lesson. If your child is following their timetable (as we recommend) their teacher will be online and available during that lesson. Should the student have any questions, need motivating or seek clarification of a topic, their teacher is available during that timetabled lesson.

We are aware that a number of students are not able to access their learning at the timetabled times for many reasons (lack of access to a device, shared devices etc.…). Please continue to use Microsoft Teams to message your teacher, even if not during the actual lesson, and they will reply in due course. If you are able to message during the lesson, you are more likely to get an instant response (within the lesson time).

Audio and video lessons

Teaching staff and Teaching assistants are uploading audio files and recorded sessions of themselves giving input into a topic. These can be found attached the ‘Assignment’ set in Microsoft Teams which should also be the method your child uses to submit work as this allows teachers to feedback promptly. In addition, work can be found in the online curriculum and is often embedded in the relevant topic.

Please note this is our preferred way of delivery because:

  • Allows students to access the resources when they can rather than rely on a live slot
  • Allows students to repeat the message over and over again as we all learn at different speeds and a live lesson wouldn’t allow this always

Live lessons

A number of teachers and teaching assistants already do offer live link-ups with certain students (predominately EHCP) to give them input into an area of study. We will expand this practice to add and compliment the above provision.  A number of lessons will have live input during the coming weeks, please look out for these.

However, we see these as complementing the real-time live coverage we already offer via Microsoft Teams at the time of the timetabled lesson and the recorded videos and audio we have already uploaded on the online curriculum.

Other online resources

The BBC and The Oak National Academy, amongst other organisations, offer really good resources. Our staff will signpost the areas that are relevant to the curriculum we deliver. We encourage a balanced diet of learning and utilising our provision with national providers is sensible as long as the topics are relevant and fit within the curriculum and specifications we are encouraged to use and follow.

Again, subject staff will guide and highlight the relevant areas. But do not be afraid to use these also. They will not replace what the school offers but will compliment it.

Homeschooling or distance learning?

As the ‘lockdown’ takes hold and pressure is applied on all parents and children to knuckle down and get on with school at home, maybe it would be worth considering and thinking about how we do it differently.

For example, my home is not a school. So when my children do school work at home we call it distance learning. The kitchen table is not their school desk; the oven is not the school canteen and I am not their teacher and so on. Therefore, the lessons they have at home will not be exactly the same as the lessons at school. We will not be able to replicate exactly a school experience at home.

However, with the varied diet and menu of tasks that the school is offering, complimented with national providers (BBC and Oak National Academy), students can access their work, can have guidance from their teachers (in real-time and recorded) and can engage in distance learning.

It is a different way of thinking but perhaps may help us all as we manage learning at home, working at home and living at home.

Routines

At this point, we would encourage students to follow a routine. This will largely be dependent on family life, but school times will operate as normal. However, you can access your work whenever it is right for you. Do keep communicating with us and do keep to a routine that works with your family commitments.

Kind regards

Mike Bennett

Head Teacher