Sir Graham Balfour School

A member of the Sir Graham Balfour Multi-Academy Trust

Introduction

Sir Graham Balfour School

Remote education provision: information for parents

Introduction

The information in this document is intended to explain how the remote education provision will operate at Sir Graham Balfour School for the duration of the lockdown.  We will be operating a blended approach to our online remote learning where recorded teaching through PowerPoint (or other documents) will be supported by a programme of live learning to further stretch and challenge the students.  Your child will be able to move through the recorded teaching at their own speed and will be able to go over anything that they need to review before moving on.  Teachers will also be available, via audio or video call, on Microsoft Teams for the duration of each lesson so that they can respond immediately to any individual questions or queries that your child may have about the lesson.

Ofsted have produced a guide called “What’s working well in remote education” (see link below) which is a hugely informative summary of best practice in providing remote education.  It supports the approach that we have taken with remote provision, as well as dispelling a few myths about effective remote education. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/whats-working-well-in-remote-education/whats-working-well-in-remote-education

How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?

You can expect the work set by the school to take your child approximately 5 hours a day.  We also have extension activities, subject homework and masterclasses in place which extend our provision of work beyond this.

We do recognise that students work at different speeds, so in addition to the work we are setting to be completed during lessons, we are also setting extension work for each subject.  This is work that can be done if your child completes the work set by subject teachers to a good standard within the lesson time, or if they wish to do extra work in a subject beyond the curriculum. 

Students in Year 11 also have access to online after school masterclasses in subjects.  A one-hour session will run from 3.20pm to 4.20pm from Monday to Friday.  

Accessing remote education

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

Your child will need to use the Microsoft Office 365 Education package to access our online remote education.  Teachers will email work to students and include links to resources in Office 365 that students need to use.  Teachers will also be online via Microsoft Teams for the full duration of lessons to answer any individual queries or questions that your child may have about the work.  Pre-planned live lessons will also be arranged as per the schedule for each class in the Remote Learning section of the school website.

The Microsoft Office 365 Education package includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Microsoft Teams.  All students at Sir Graham Balfour School can download this package onto their home computer for free.  If you do not already have this, then you can follow the link at the website below to download the package -

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/education/Products/office.

 

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?

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

  • Laptops will be lent to students who do not have access to these devices.  We have currently loaned out upward of 100 laptops so far.  We are also taking part in the BBC initiative of making refurbished devices available for families.  Please contact Mrs Metcalfe for advice. 
  • We have a small number of dongles available for loan. We can also arrange to increase data allowances on mobile phones or tablets in situations where students do not have fixed broadband or cannot afford additional data.  Please contact itsupport@sirgrahambalfour.staffs.sch.uk for advice.
  • Printed materials can be posted home, please contact smetcalfe@sirgrahambalfour.staffs.sch.uk if you require work posting home. Students do not need to print off all worksheets as they can answer questions in their exercise books.  If any students need a new exercise book please contact Mrs Metcalfe who will arrange for one to be posted home.
  • Pre-paid envelopes have been posted to students who are being sent printed materials.  Work should be posted back to the school so we can distribute it to teachers.

How will my child be taught remotely?

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach pupils remotely:

  • live teaching through online lessons on Microsoft Teams.  Teachers will specify the dates and times of online lessons for your child’s class in the Remote Learning section of the school website. 
  • recorded teaching through PowerPoints (or other documents) with audio or video recordings to provide explanations and instructions to support learning.  These can be accessed at any time.
  • printed paper packs produced by teachers (e.g. workbooks, worksheets).
  • textbooks and reading books pupils have at home.
  • commercially available websites such as MathsWatch, Memrise and GCSEPod will be used to support the teaching of specific subjects.  Students will have their usernames and passwords for these websites, but if they misplace or forget these they can contact their teacher for a reminder.
  • extension work will also be provided which may involve research tasks to deepen subject knowledge; engaging with topics using the Oaks National Academy or BBC Bitesize resources; or completing the tasks that we have created as part of the Sir Graham Balfour School Scholars Award.

Engagement and feedback

What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

We advise that students should keep to the times of the school day to engage with their remote education.  Keeping to this routine will help to structure the school day for the duration of the school shutdown.  Your child should have work that will last for approximately 5 hours a day and they also have access to extension work for each subject.

Teachers will create an information guide (see outline below) for parents, giving an overview of the work that they will be setting for two-week periods in their subjects.  These will be published in the Remote Learning section on the school website.  They are organised by class for Years 7-9 and by subject and teacher for Years 10-13. Link - https://www.sirgrahambalfour.co.uk/page/?title=Remote+Learning&pid=95

The aim is to provide parents with specific information about what is being studied in each subject so that you can support your child by knowing the work that they should be doing and the deadlines that they are working towards.  The information also details where the resources can be found; how and when the work will be assessed; information about the feedback that your child will get about their work; specific dates and times detailing when live learning will take place and extension tasks to broaden and deepen your child’s subject knowledge.

Class and Teacher

 

Topic

 

Learning Objective(s)

 

 

Where to find Resources

 

 

How will the work be assessed; how will feedback be given and when will feedback be given?

 

Live Learning

 

 

Extension Tasks

 

 

How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?

  • teachers will provide details of how work will be assessed, how feedback will be given and when feedback will be given on the subject information guides available on the school website.
  • should students miss the deadline for submitting work, teachers will then contact home to ascertain the reason why the work was not completed by the deadline.  If there is not a genuine reason why the work was not completed then the teacher will make a record of “Remote learning not completed” for the subject, and this will be visible on the Parent and Student App.  Please note that the consequence of this will be “Discussion with student”, rather than a BC.
  • Form tutors will continue to contact students in their form via Teams meetings once every fortnight.  One of the areas they will cover is how well students are engaging with their work.
  • Year Heads will contact home with the aim of resolving issues in situations where students are not completing work across subjects.

How will you assess my child’s work and progress?

Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children. For example, whole-class feedback or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others. Our approach to feeding back on pupil work is as follows:

  • teachers will provide feedback on work with the same level of regularity as they provide in class.
  • teachers will use the full range of tools on Microsoft Teams to provide feedback.  On line quizzes using Microsoft Forms are marked automatically and your child, as well as their teacher, will get instant feedback on the questions which were answered incorrectly.  Longer written answers can also be submitted using Microsoft Forms and your child will receive feedback from their teacher using our whole class feedback slide.
  • teachers can provide individual written feedback to work that is submitted by email.

Additional support for pupils with particular needs

How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?

We recognise that some pupils, for example some pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we will work with parents and carers to support those pupils in the following ways:

  • In the first instance if you your child is struggling with home learning, please contact the Head of Learning Support to see what support we can offer. Contact Mr David Chamberlain on: dchamberlain@sirgrahambalfour.staffs.sch.uk
  • Students with EHCPs are welcome in school and will receive Teaching Assistant support within a small group.
  • Students with EHCPs, who are working from home, will have daily contact from their named Teaching Assistant who will offer assistance, advice and guidance.
  • Students who take part in literacy interventions will continue to be taught remotely.
  • Students with Autistic Spectrum Conditions will have twice-weekly contact with their mentor.
  • The Autism Outreach Team will provide on-screen sessions with students if requested, please contact Mr Chamberlain to arrange.
  • Students with additional learning needs, will on parental request, be assigned to a Teaching Assistant who will be able to make daily contact to organize work for the day and liaise with teaching staff.
  • The Education Psychology Service COVID-19 recovery toolkit is available via the following link (please contact Mr Chamberlain if you would like further support); https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Education/Access-to-learning/Graduated-response-toolkit/School-toolkit/EPS-COVID-19-recovery-materials/Resilience/Resilience-leaflet-Key-Stage-3-and-4.pdf
  • The following websites may also be useful:

www.safehandsthinkingminds.co.uk

https://youngminds.org.uk

https://www.themix.org.uk

https://www.annafreud.org

https://www.place2be.org.uk

www.mind.org.uk

https://www.giveusashout.org

  • The following Apps may also be useful sources of supprt:

Mood Panda, Youper (social anxiety), Mindshift Moodkit, Calm, Positive Penguins, Headspace Mood Journal, Calm Harm

Address

Sir Graham Balfour School
North Avenue
Stafford
ST16 1NR

For Sat Nav directions:

ST16 1NJ

Phone

01785 223490

Email

office@sirgrahambalfour.staffs.sch.uk