Online Learning

Remote education provision: information for parents  

This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to pupils and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education if local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.  

For details of what to expect where individual pupils are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page. 

The remote curriculum: what is taught to pupils at home 

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

What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of pupils being sent home? 

Work will be sent to students directly via their college email accounts (https://accounts.google.comfirstname.lastname@wac.co.uk) as well as being copied to their parents. In the event that a student has immediate difficulty accessing the internet or a suitable electronic device, a hard copy of the work will be produced and posted to the student’s home address. Tutors and support workers will follow up with students via the phone in this instance.  

Following the first few days of remote education, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school? 

Wherever possible and appropriate we teach the same curriculum remotely as we do physically. Students access their three art-from subjects twice a week as well as English and maths (and citizenship for pre-16s) twice a week. There are also sport/PHSE/careers & next steps and ‘after school’ enrichment built in to the timetable.  

We have made adjustments to the length of sessions in order to minimise screen fatigue and introduced workbook sessions to allow students time to consolidate what they have just learned and give them an opportunity for independent study and research. Tutors are available online and via the telephone for any students who need more targeted support during these sessions. Where necessary we have also made specific adjustments to our more practical/physical subjects. For example, the potential limitations of home surroundings will be taken into consideration for subjects such as dance or drama and modifications and suggestions will be made to ensure that students are able to adapt the work to their individual environments.  

Remote teaching and study time each day 

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

We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take pupils a minimum of 4 hours to complete each day.  

The daily structure of the timetable will follow the outline below, although there may be slight variations depending on the day:  
10am-10.50am – Assembly/sport/PHSE/careers & next steps 
10.50am-11.40am – Core/creative subject 
11.40am-12.30pm – Work book session and tutor follow-up calls 
12.30pm-1.30pm – Lunch 
1.30pm-2.20pm – Core/creative subject 
2.20pm-3.10pm – Workbook session and tutor follow-up calls 
3.10pm-4pm – Break 
4pm-5pm – Enrichment  

Accessing remote education 

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

Students will need an appropriate device (laptop/Chromebook/iPad/tablet) in order to access the applications we use to deliver our online timetable – Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Classroom, and Google Meets.  

Google Calendar invites with the Google Meets links to individual lessons will be emailed to the students. These are recurring invites and the student will need to accept them in order for their Google Calendar to be populated. Students will then be able to access the links via their Google Calendar each day/week. Work will be set for students through Google Classroom and email.  

You can find the online timetables here – http://www.wacartscollege.co.uk/covid/timetables.  

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: 

In the first instance we will undertake an audit to capture the information of those students who do not have access to the internet and/or a suitable digital device. This list will be cross-referenced against a list of vulnerable students and devices/internet access will be allocated based on a priority of vulnerability and need. Once allocated, devices can either be picked up from the college site or, if the student is self-isolating/there is a local or national lockdown in force, they will be delivered directly to the students’ homes by a member of college staff. 

We are able to provide Wi-Fi vouchers from BT for students/families without suitable/any Wi-Fi access. We can also arrange with some network providers for your phone’s data allowance to be increased – please email CLT (clt@wacartscollege.co.uk) for details. 

We understand that individual circumstances may change, therefore tutors will also make routine ‘check in’ phone calls home to ensure that there are no arising technical issues and parents are encouraged to get in touch with us directly to alert us to any problems or to make a request.  

How will my child be taught remotely? 

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

As detailed above, Google Calendar invites with the Google Meets links to individual lessons will be emailed to the students. These are recurring invites and the student will need to accept them in order for their Google Calendar to be populated. Students will then be able to access the links via their Google Calendar each day/week. Work will be set for students through Google Classroom and email.  

During Google Meet sessions, a tutor will deliver a lesson on a topic outlined in the students’ qualification. There will also be a learning support assistant present to support the tutor’s delivery and to take smaller groups of students into digital ‘break out’ rooms. All relevant presentations/websites/videos will be made available to students beforehand along with worksheets and assignments. Phone calls will be made to any student who misses an online class.  

During work book sessions, students are expected to work independently on tasks set during the preceding class. Tutors and learning support assistants are available over the phone or via email for any students wanting or needing more support with the topic that has just been covered.  

For instances where national/local lockdowns/rates of transmission permit, blended learning (a mix of online and face-to-face) opportunities have been devised. These have been suspended temporarily but remain a viable option as soon as circumstances allow. 

As a way of safeguarding students’ emotional and mental wellbeing, there are also opportunities for welfare calls built into the week.   

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? 

Students are expected to attend all their online classes and to complete any work set for them during their work book sessions. Parents, along with students, have been emailed a copy of their young person’s timetable but these can also be found here. The timetable indicates what is expected of each student on a daily basis and there is also an expectation that students will share completed work either via email or by uploading it onto the assessment platform for Google Classroom. 

We have provided parents with a guide to Google Classroom (which can also be found below) and we encourage parents to log on to Google Classroom with their young person to familiarise themselves with how it works.  

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

We are using a register to record student attendance to and engagement with online classes. Based upon these figures and teacher knowledge of student absenteeism, calls will be made home to parents of persistent absentees. This may happen based on specific subject attendance or more general attendance and approaches to encourage attendance will be tailored based on this and parental input.  

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: 

Informal assessment opportunities will be built into all online lessons, such as whole-class feedback and quizzes, with formal assessment opportunities in the form of module/unit tests/assessments or through individual verbal and written feedback.  A variety of assessment tools will be used and online questionnaires related to assessing online learning experiences have been distributed to students.  

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: 

The list of students with EHCPs has been collated as part of the SEND register as well as a list of vulnerable students. A blended learning offer (when permissible and allowed) is available to these students and will combine online learning with limited face-to-face learning with tutors and learning support assistants. Each day there is time allocated to welfare calls as a way for staff who know the students and their families well to check in on their wellbeing.  

All work is adapted and differentiated based upon student need and will be emailed to students and/or parents as well as published online. Where necessary, paper copies of the work will also be made available to students. The SENCo will make regular contact with SEN students and their parents to check welfare and progress. An educational psychologist is available to work with students online and to assess their needs and devise suitable strategies to support them and a counsellor is also available to support student and parent emotional wellbeing.  

Remote education for self-isolating pupils 

Where individual pupils need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school, how remote education is provided will likely differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching pupils both at home and in school. 

If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?  

Work will be sent to students directly via their college email accounts and Google Classroom as well as being copied to their parents. In the event that a student has immediate difficulty accessing the internet or a suitable electronic device, a hard copy of the work will be produced and posted to the student’s home address. Tutors and support workers will follow up with students via the phone in this instance.  

Each subject and curriculum area has also prepared a pre-published set of folders on a shared drive containing age-appropriate tasks for students who are self-isolating. This can be found on the shared Google Drive folders available to all students.