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Remote & Home Learning @StPiers: Covid-19 arrangements

Guidance & Support

 

At St Piers we are committed to enabling students to learn throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  This includes when students may be required to self-isolate or shield.

Our remote/home learning plans have been made with our students and their families in mind and we believe that this strategy works best for the children and young people at St Piers.

We know that every child at St Piers School and St Piers Colleg is unique and that they have a range of individual needs related to their cognitive and physical/sensory abilities in addition to medical conditions and diagnoses.  As a result, we are not rigid in stipulating the requirements for remote/home learning but want to engage with parents/carers and students about what works in the best interest of each child and young person and their family, in the home environment.

Should a student be unable to attend at St Piers due to COVID-19 issues such as shielding or periods of isolation, the class teacher/tutor will be in contact with parents/carers using a preferred method of contact, to discuss what remote/home learning would be most suitable.

We appreciate that our students find the disruption to their routine challenging and this can be upsetting for them and their families and therefore remote/home learning takes a variety of arrangements in various formats and media availability. 

To support the continuity of learning we are providing students and parents/carers with personalised learning and therapy packs alongside access to virtual sessions via Microsoft Teams where meaningful, web-based platforms such as our St Piers YouTube Channel and Mathletics, hard copy resources being posted and/or printable resources being emailed.  All learning activities are tailored to individual students and the goals and targets that they are working towards whilst at St Piers: these goals and targets are related to each student’s Learning Outcomes identified in their EHCPs.  Remote / home learning is reflective of the student’s Learning Journey and aims of the curriculum programme being followed.

 

Remote/home learning: what is taught to students at home?

A student’s first day or two of being educated remotely might look different from our standard remote/home learning approach, while we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote learning.

 

What should my son/daughter expect from immediate remote learning in the first day or two of students being at home?

In the first instance, teachers/tutors will make contact with parents/carers through a previously agreed best form of contact.  Parents/carers and students [where able to] will agree with the teacher/tutor what will be the first and most beneficial/significant points of learning and approaches to focus on.  This may be through social stories where required, a range of simple therapy interventions where required and some simple worksheets or other media that will enable the parent/carer to continue with learning objectives that are relevant to the student at the current time.

 

Following the first few days of remote learning, will my son/daughter be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in School / College?

We will endeavour to teach the same curricula remotely as we do in School/College wherever possible and appropriate.  However, we have needed to make some adaptations in some learning areas such as sensory/physical programmes where specialist therapy input is required. 

Our teachers/tutors are setting home learning tasks that are aligned with our curricula and with your son/daughter’s EHCP.

 

Remote teaching and study time each day

How long can I expect the work set for my son/daughter to take?

Due to your son/daughter’s complex needs, we will work with families to strike a balance of what you can achieve with your son/daughter, taking into consideration situations where there may be other siblings in the home too.

The setting of remote learning activities is done on a personalised basis where students’ needs, abilities and individual EHCP Learning Outcomes and targets/small-steps are used to align the work to the three-tiered curricula taught at St Piers:

Learning For life: Therapeutic/informal (non-subject specific)

Skills for Life: Semi formal

Specialist Skills: Formal

 

Accessing remote/home learning

How will my son/daughter access any online remote learning that St Piers is providing?

We have several web-based platforms where teachers/tutors can assign work linked to the core areas of learning for each student. These platforms have some virtual tutorials linked to them to support with remote teaching.  Such resources include Mathletics, BKSB, classroom secrets, Teach Your Monster to Read, in addition to interactive websites that can be accessed for free i.e. Great Oaks academy, BBC Bitesize, Top Marks etc.

Where applicable, virtual sessions via Microsoft Teams and web-based platforms such as our St Piers YouTube Channel also facilitate learning options.

Where students are not at a cognitive level to access these web-based activities work is set using the students AAC, therapy guidelines and sensory activities.

Hard copy work packs and resources are also sent home: hard copy resources being posted and/or printable resources being emailed. 

Face-to-face sessions are facilitated through Microsoft Teams or other platforms such as Facetime where agreed with the family.

 

If my son/daughter does not have digital or online access at home, how will St Piers support them to access remote/home learning?

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

If you require support or assistance with any digital or online accessibility, or anything related to remote/home learning, please contact your son/daughter’s personal tutor/teacher in the first instance.

  • St Piers will arrange issue of or loan of laptops or tablets to students where necessary. Please contact the teacher/tutor to discuss.
  • St Piers will arrange issue of and/or loan of devices that enable an internet connection (for example, routers or dongles) where necessary. Please contact the teacher/tutor to discuss.
  • Students/parents/carers can access any printed materials needed by agreeing with the tutor/teacher, the way in which accessibility to these is best done. St Piers will post hard copies and/or email resources.  St Piers will also support access to printing resources if required.  Please contact the teacher/tutor to discuss.
  • Teachers/tutors will agree with parents/carers and students how to submit work for feedback if families do not have online access. This may be through photographic submission or postal of hard copies where possible.  St Piers will pay for post and packing of home learning and remote resources.

 

How will my son/daughter be taught remotely?

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach/help students to learn remotely:

Examples of remote/home teaching/learning approaches offered and used by St Piers:

  • live teaching/learning (online lessons)
  • recorded teaching/learning opportunities
  • printed paper packs produced by teachers/tutors (e.g. workbooks, worksheets)
  • textbooks and reading books students have at home
  • commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences
  • project work and/or internet research activities.

 

Engagement and feedback

What are St Piers’ expectations for your son’s/daughter’s engagement and the support that you as parents/carers should provide at home?

Due to your son/daughter’s complex needs, we will work with families to strike a balance of what you can achieve with your son/daughter, taking into consideration situations where there may be other siblings in the home too.

The setting of remote learning activities is done on a personalised basis where students’ needs, abilities and individual EHCP Learning Outcomes and targets/small-steps are used to align the work to the three-tiered curricula taught at St Piers:

Learning For life: Therapeutic/informal (non-subject specific)

Skills for Life: Semi formal

Specialist Skills: Formal

 

How will St Piers check whether your son/daughter is engaging with their work and how will parents/carers be informed if there are concerns?

Parents/carers and students [where able to] will agree with the teacher/tutor what levels of engagement are meaningful and relevant for each young person, in terms of EHCP Learning Outcomes, targets, small-steps and Learner Journey.

If there are concerns, dialogue is encouraged as soon as is possible from either the teacher/tutor, the parent/carer and/or the student: together we will agree solutions.

The frequency of ‘checking in’ can be agreed with the teacher/tutor.  COVID Register for Engagement is being used to monitor the learning that is being sent and how the students are engaging with it.

In the unlikely event that concerns cannot be resolved, parents/carers/students are reminded that St Piers has a Complaints’ Policy and Procedures available.

 

How will St Piers assess students’ work and progress?

Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual students.  Our approach to feeding back on students’ work is as follows:

At St Piers we use the assessment platform Earwig academic to log our students’ progress against their EHCP Learning Outcomes, targets and small-steps and their attainment.  This platform allows for formative and summative assessment to be uploaded in the form of comments against specific targets, import of photos and videos to be used as supportive visual evidence and also annotated work where applicable.

Parents have a continued dialogue with teachers/tutors and have been asked to feedback on their child’s engagement in the tasks.  They can send in emails with comments that can be added to Earwig, and/or they can send the work or a photo of the student doing the work back to the teacher who can then upload this.

Verbal feedback from students and/or parents/carers is also used where relevant and applicable and recorded as appropriate.

 

Additional support for students with particular/special/complex needs

How will St Piers work with parents/carers to help students who need additional support from adults at home to access remote learning?

We recognise that some students may not be able to access remote learning without support from adults at home, and also, that levels of remote engagement may not be appropriate. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we will work with parents/carers to support those students in the following ways:

As above, please contact the teacher/tutor in the first instance.

If parents/carers require extra external support, St Piers will work with the relevant Local Authority to secure the appropriate professional support from Children’s or Adults’ services as relevant.

 

Remote learning for self-isolating students

Where individual students need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in School/College, how remote/home learning is provided will likely differ from the approach for whole/class/tutor groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching students both at home and in School/College, and the different approaches and strategies required.

If my son/daughter is not in School/College because they are self-isolating, how will their remote learning differ from the approaches described above?

To ensure individual students [day and residential] who are self-isolating are taught planned and well-sequenced learning in line with where they were prior to isolating, teachers/tutors will agree meaningful and relevant work for each student with the parents/carers.  This planning and sequencing of work needs to be flexible, reflecting the complex SEND and medical/sensory/physical requirements of our cohorts.

 

We ask that parents/carers must be always present to supervise any virtual interactions that a child/young person has and that any virtual interactions must be arranged by the class teacher/tutor and the parent/carer directly.  This form of contact is offered with the intention of providing the necessary and appropriate safeguarding and online protection but also facilitates opportunities for the young person to ask any questions about issues that are perhaps causing anxieties and affecting their social, emotional and mental health.

Parent/carer support at home during these times, to ensure the children and young people are engaged with the learning set, remains invaluable and will contribute towards ensuring that the detrimental effect of long-term absence is lessened than it otherwise might potentially be.

Due to the potential significant amount of direct teaching and learning time that all/some students may miss, and the likely impact on their learning in response to positive test results, isolation etc, when necessary, our focus on promoting engagement with remote/home learning continues to be absolutely vital due to the complex and individual needs of our students.

We understand and appreciate the pressure families are likely under at this time, so please support your son/daughter when you are able to and let us know if there are any issues with the remote/home learning work set and/or arrangements.

Due to the increased amount of time that maybe spent online during these difficult periods, please use the links below regarding online safety:

Internet matters - for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online 

Net-aware - for support for parents and careers from the NSPCC 

Parent info - for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online 

Thinkuknow- for advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online

UK Safer Internet Centre- advice for parents and carers

 

If you have any problems or queries with regards to remote home learning please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will reply as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for your continued support, understanding and patience during such challenging times for our whole community.

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  St. Piers College is part of Young Epilepsy. Young Epilepsy is the operating name of The National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy Charitable Trust.

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