Remote Learning

We are currently in Remote Learning Tier 1

On our return to school in September 2020, we worked on our plans to continue our education provision if we were required to lockdown all, or part of our school. As a result of this, our provision coped well with the lockdown starting in January 2021 and we would be ready to lockdown successfully again if it became necessary.

We would like to thank our parents, carers and students for the positive and supportive feedback received during all of the period of the pandemic. As the situation with COVID-19 develops, we are of course acutely aware that we may be forced into another period of lockdown with varying degrees of restrictions, therefore we are using the planning and feedback obtained during the last lockdown periods to plan and develop our provision in the future to minimise any impact of loss of face to face teaching time for our students.

As mentioned in our COVID-19 Process chart, if we encounter a situation whereby a member of our school community, student or staff, receives a positive COVID-19 test, we would immediately follow protocol and advise as set out by the Department for Education, Public Health England and the Health protection Team including any action we are required to take.

The action we would be required to take would be dependent on a variety of factors which we are unable to predict, however we are preparing for all eventualities that would lead to a situation where we may only have some staff and/or students attending school, while others are remote learning at home.

All of our plans are based around our teaching staff being able to deliver lessons using Microsoft Teams, either directly from their own home, or from within our school, depending on their individual circumstances. These lessons would be broadcast to all the students in the class, whether they are attending school or remote learning at home. We want to ensure that all students can excel, whether working in school or from home.

Remote learning platforms: training and guidance

Teachers use Microsoft 365 to share lessons and resources, and to enable students to submit work remotely. Students have been provided with training in Microsoft 365 during Computing lessons and tutor time and we have included ‘resources’ below to recap this training. There is also a guide for parents which introduces Microsoft 365 and the different ways that teachers might be using the system.

Tiered approach

The Government guidance sets out that if there is a need to keep some students away from school in particular regions, to avoid a full lockdown they will instead follow a tiered approach. The four tiers are provided below with further detail when clicked on:

Currently we are in Tier 4. Further detail about each of these tiered scenarios has been provided below.

  • Tier 1: All students attend school full time

    As you know, we have adapted our plans and procedures in order to keep your children safe and to recreate the best learning environment we can in all eventualities. The plans will continue to be regularly reviewed and adapted as we move through the academic year.

    We will scrutinise the effectiveness or our processes during the previous lockdown and use this research to plan for any future lockdowns, either partial or full. We will also train our staff, students and parents in the remote learning process and systems to support with an effective and smooth transition to remote learning if and when this is required.

    Students who are unable to attend school due to COVID related illness or self isolation will be able to access their live lesson with Microsoft teams from home. Further information about ‘Blended Learning’ is provided below.

  • Tier 2: A rota model, combining on-site provision with remote education

    If there is a local outbreak of COVID-19, the Government may advise us to allow students to attend school on a rota basis. Students attending school would follow their normal timetable, as would those studying at home via live lessons.

    This is the only potential tier which would be a new set of arrangements for schools.

    How will the rota work?

    • Each year group would have 2 weeks on site in school and 2 weeks off site remote learning, with weekends in between to maximise the gaps between year groups. The advice from Public Health England is that this model rota would reduce the risk of infection in a local outbreak.
    • The exact nature of the rota would be agreed with Public Health England, but if possible, we would remain open full time to Years 11, 12 and13. The rota would apply to other year groups with Years 7 and 9 attending school for a two week block, followed by Years 8 and 10 the following two weeks, on a rota basis.
    • Students attending school would follow their normal timetable, however it is possible that staff absence might result in some classes not having their usual teacher.
    • Students who were working remotely at home on the rota would be taught via Microsoft teams. They would have timetabled lessons which would reinforce and enhance the learning from their time spent in school as per the rota, and prepare them for their next lessons in school.
    • Where possible, our staff would remain on site and would continue to teach across year groups as per the rota. We would continue to follow all of our systems of control and our procedures to keep all staff and students safe while on site.
    • We would maintain the bubble system where year groups are kept separate.
    • We would still be using the same classrooms which would continue to be cleaned in between lessons.
    • Resources cannot be shared unless they are thoroughly cleaned in between use, and non-plastic resources can be used by a different year group after a weekend break.
    • Vulnerable children and the children of critical workers would attend school full time and would join their bubbles. We would ask parents and carers of these children to decide at the start of the lockdown period whether their children will be attending and to commit to this decision to enable us to support the same group of students every day.
    • The rota system would make social distancing procedures easier to enforce.
    • All staff and students would be expected to wear face coverings when moving around the school and in communal areas where social distancing is not possible. Parents and carers should make sure that their children have masks ready for this eventuality.
    • We would expect all students to attend at their allocated time as per the rota and normal attendance procedures should be followed. The Government is currently not anticipating further shielding measures.
    • Parents would be required to continue to follow the COVID-19 protocol informing us if they suspect their child is displaying COVID-19 symptoms or has received a positive test result.
    • As part of the PSCHE programme, we would support students in all years to understand COVID-19 and any changes that were being made to local advice and regulations.
  • Tier 3: Most secondary school students would study at home via remote education

    If there is a local outbreak of COVID-19 or a national spike in infections, the Government may advise us that most students should study remotely at home, with vulnerable children and the children of key workers attending school as during the last lockdown in agreement with their parent or carer.

    In addition, there would be national guidance on which other student groups may be permitted to attend school and how often, for example exam groups.

    All other students would be studying at home remotely and the expectation would be that we would provide a full timetable for all students in all year groups.

    It is likely that many staff would deliver these lessons from school, but some would do so from home, depending on their circumstances. Our staff have been trained on the delivery of remote learning to support this.

  • Tier 4: All schools will fully lockdown with all students receiving remote education

    If there is a local outbreak of COVID-19 or a national spike in infections, the Government may advise us that all students should study at home, with minor exceptions.

    • The children of key workers and vulnerable students would be invited into school each day and would follow their usual timetable.
    • All other students would be educated remotely and would follow their usual timetable.

How will remote learning work?

Remote lessons on Microsoft Teams

  • Lessons will last 45 minutes at Key Stage 3 and 4.
  • We will follow our timetable and expect most lessons to run in every year group.
  • Students will, where possible, be greeted by the teacher at the start of the lesson using live audio or “chat” function. Staff will turn on their cameras at the start of the lesson so that students can see them. Staff will have a generic background so students will only see their face.
  • The teacher will clarify what the students will be required to do in the lesson and what work they have to submit via “assignments.” Teachers will also clarify when the work must be submitted.
  • The explanation for the lesson may either be live, pre-recorded by the teacher or students may be asked to link to other resources.
  • Optional extension activities for high performing learners (HPL) are available on our website.
  • We expect all students to submit the work even if they miss the lesson, unless they are unwell.
  • If students do not submit work to the deadline, the teacher will be in touch via email in the first instance.
  • Students will be expected to follow our Behaviour Policy and Remote Learning Protocols
  • Students will have one live assembly per week and one tutor period.

Cover lessons during lockdown

  • Departments will organise appropriate cover to continue live lessons where possible.
  • Where this is not possible, work will be set on Microsoft Teams, by the class teacher or Head of Department.

Independent work during lockdown

Key Stage 3

For students in years 7, 8 and 9, there will be no additional independent work during the lockdown period. The tasks set during each lesson will be sufficient to support their progress.

  • Bedrock, MyMaths, Educake may be used during lesson time.
  • We will expect students to submit one piece of class work approximately every three lessons, for each subject.
  • Teachers will clarify what feedback will be given for each piece of submitted work.
  • HPL activities are available.

Key Stage 4 and 5

  • For students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 independent work will be set as usual.
  • Work will be submitted via “Assignments,” where applicable.

  • Blended Learning

    Blended learning is an approach that includes a combination of lesson continuing within school for students are who present as per the usual timetable, but the ability for students who are unable to attend school, for instance if they are self-isolating, to access the lessons remotely. These lessons will be delivered using Microsoft teams. Our plans are outlined below:

    When parents tell us that a student is going to be away because of COVID-19 reasons and we agree they are eligible for blended learning, they will receive a letter telling them how the process works along with links to any training that they need to watch so that they are ready to learn.

    • Students who are self-isolating will be expected to follow their normal timetable each day. Most lessons will be delivered live, however for a small proportion where this is unworkable, lessons will be taught through work set online.
    • Staff will receive a daily updated student list which tells them who is eligible for blended learning.
    • The email will also include a link to training resources and support to set this up.
    • Students will be invited by the member of staff to their timetabled lessons in advance.
    • At the start of the lesson, the teacher will invite the student(s) to join the lesson.
    • The teacher will stand close to the conference microphone which will be on the teacher desk in every room. It is likely that the audio of other students in the class will be less easy to hear and so the teacher will be asked to repeat and re-frame key points made by students where possible.
    • The teacher will attempt to make clear specific points for the absent student, to check their understanding via chat and to check that the connection is fit for purpose, however their ability to do so will be limited depending on the number of students in the class and the lesson being delivered.
    • Some teachers may be able to involve the remote students in discussion, either through written chat or using their microphones, but this is not guaranteed.
    • Where available the teacher may use an interactive whiteboard, visualiser or similar. This will often not be possible, and instead teachers may share screens of presentations to support the lesson. If the teacher is working on the board, they will always try to narrate what they are doing for the benefit of the remote learners, but there will be occasions when it is hard to do this without disrupting the flow of the lesson.
    • When the teacher is not talking to the whole class, the microphone may be temporarily muted. It will then be switched on again for the remote students to hear important points later in the lesson.
    • Absent students and their families will be asked to communicate with us if there are problems accessing the lessons. We will also carry out regular surveys to establish any issues to enable us to improve the system within the limitations we face.

Remote Learning Tiers Overview

Remote Learning Policy

Live Online Lesson Policy

Training resources

A variety of resources have been provided below. If students have any difficulty in accessing their lessons or school work or emails, please contact our dedicated support email address or your teacher directly.


Students are required to sign into Microsoft Office 365 using their school log in details.

An introduction to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Office 365 - One Drive

Microsoft Office 365 - Outlook

We have created a library of other helpful videos which will be updated with new resources when they are available.

Parents and Carers

Distance learning with Microsoft 365: Guidance for parents and carers

Computer advice to support remote learning

Please view the following video for further information about accessing remote lessons via Microsoft Teams:

Immersive Reader

Immersive Reader is an easy to use App, which allows the student to listen to the text being read to them. It is suitable for anyone, but can particularly support students with dyslexia, visual impairments or literacy difficulties. It also comes with many additional facilities, which support reading and comprehension.

Immersive Reader can be accessed via Teams or via other Microsoft Apps, such as Word and Outlook.

Please view the video below for an introduction and guide to Immersive Reader and this linked resource for further information about Microsoft Learning Tools.