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Remote Learning & School Closure

Contingency planning in the event of a partial or full school closure

Remote Learning Policy - Updated January 2023

(Review July 2023)

The below contingency plan will be actionable in response to a partial or complete school closure. For English secondary schools the extent of any closure will be determined by Government directives, including national lockdowns, or as a consequence of advice directed by public health England.

  • For those students unable to attend school blended learning activities and/or live lessons will be set by each learning team and allocated via Microsoft Teams. Staff will use Teams as the means of delivery and assessment.
  • In the event of an extended closure all year groups will have a formal expectation to complete remote education.
  • Class teachers will use remote delivery to assess work and provide feedback. In all cases Safeguarding strategies will always need to be followed.
  • Should students in years 11,12 or 13 become affected a proportion of lesson activity will be delivered ‘live’ via Teams.
  • All students in years 12 and 13 are expected to attend live video streamed lessons using Teams. These lessons take place at the same day and time that they would do so within school. This has worked very positively during previous remote learning.
  • Where possible year 11 students will have access to a live lesson component in addition to blended learning activities. In all other year groups, a live lesson component of between 10 to 15 minutes at the start of each lesson will be delivered wherever possible.

National best practice also indicates daily teacher contact and relationships are clearly key.

  • Live Teacher introductions to lesson in all year groups provide a way to set expectations, develop momentum and reward positive achievement.
  • In short, 10 to 15 minutes at the start of the lesson to take a register and share a positive message will go a long way to maintaining effective school provision in the medium term.

Blended learning ensures students have access to narrated resources allowing students to work through modelled structured activity before applying. This strategy potentially mitigates the technology constraints whilst also ensuring students and staff are not required to maintain a physical screen presence throughout the day. School experience and national best practice supports this strategy.

There is plenty of online material to support learning that does not require teachers to reinvent the wheel. However, this must be evaluated before use and lessons must not simply involve watching videos or completing quizzes.

Student remote learning expectations

  1. All students working remotely will have access to the necessary learning materials via MS Teams. A direct link to this resource is available on the school's website homepage, direct link below. Parents and students will also have access to user guides and narrated resources. All students will follow their lesson timetable for each day. Lessons will take place during the same time and day that they would normally do so within school. Class teachers will be available during the lesson to communicate with students and answer questions. All work will be set and assessed using Microsoft Teams.

Using Teams to access remote learning

  1. Class teachers will use Microsoft Teams to set work that follows the current structure of each students timetabled week. Learning teams will each create blended learning resources and/or provide live lesson components where applicable. This will include a voice over presentation for students to follow, worked examples and a weekly assignment to be completed. Students are required to visit MS Teams daily to receive their learning plans.
  2. Students in all years will be expected to work remotely for a period equivalent to 100% of their current lesson timetable. For example, a year 10 student will need to complete approximately 3 x 100-minute sessions per day.  Lessons will be scheduled to be completed the same day that the lesson takes place.
  3. In all cases students will be expected to complete work using MS Teams, their exercise books and/or any other methods of assessment directed by their teachers. Upon their return to school students who fail to provide adequate evidence of this may result in additional after school study periods. Staff teaching all years will assess work in line with departmental policy. This will be equivalent to the feedback they would receive in school. As need arises, extension work will be provided by each subject in the form of websites and topical articles. These will provide opportunities to further develop thinking and understanding.
  4. All students should be aware of the school's policies on social networking, acceptable behaviors and how to report misuse, intimidation or abuse through our online safety curriculum work. There is key information and activities available on the school's website for this purpose. Students must adhere to all safeguarding guidance when working on line. This is to protect both themselves and staff delivering lessons.
  5. In practical subjects' students may be asked to upload a video. An example of this could be a Drama performance. This is only permitted with parental permission. However, the video must be uploaded through teams. The information will only be stored by the teacher grading this work using the school's office 365 account. Once graded the video will be deleted. 

Student safeguarding expectations

  1. You should make sure you are dressed appropriately.  If you are in a communal area please ensure everyone is appropriately dressed and that they are aware you are on a Teams lesson.
  2. Recording of the lesson in any way, including filming, taking pictures, screenshotting or sharing on any other device is forbidden. 
  3. This lesson is for you the student, do not allow anyone else to view or record the lesson. Please use headphones were possible.
  4. Join the meeting with your microphone and camera off.
  5. On joining the meeting say ‘hello’ via the chat facility to register yourself.  You can use this facility to ask and answer questions.
  6. Be respectful to your online peers and teacher, do not chat over one other, use the ‘raise hand’ facility and wait to be asked to unmute by the teacher.
  7. Be respectful to your online peers and teacher, do not share inappropriate material or use inappropriate of offensive language in the chat facility.
  8. We have been very impressed with your behaviour so far, we expect your behaviour to be exemplary. Any poor behaviour will lead to the student being removed from Teams, a parental conversation and a consequence in line with the behaviour policy.
  9. To ensure everyone is safe, if only one student is in the Teams lesson, the lesson will be rescheduled or the student could be asked to join an equivalent class doing the same work at the same time.

Staff remote learning expectations

  1. All teaching staff will set work for students for each of their timetabled lessons using Teams. As required, copies of these class teacher instructions will need to be made available to your line manager. Registers will be taken using EduLink/Class Charts or SIMs for years 12 and 13. In any other year group where live introduction to lessons are used a register should also be taken or downloaded from TEAMS.

Years 7 – 10 - Blended learning with 10-15 minute live teacher introductions

Students will access all of their learning through Microsoft Teams. Each lesson will contain personalised resources from their teacher or another member of staff within school. Work is set and assessed using the ‘assignment’ function of Teams. One of the main benefits of Teams is that work and resources will always be stored centrally within the student's account. This will allow them to access resources securely during the day should they need additional support. Best practice indicates that live teacher introductions to lessons help to build relationships and maintain momentum. The school will work toward this for all lessons. Introductions may only be as little as 5 minutes. However, this is likely to have a powerful impact in setting the tone and expectation.

Years 11, 12 and 13 - Live lessons   

  1. All students in years 12 and 13 are expected to attend live video streamed lessons using Teams. These lessons take place at the same day and time that they would do so within school. This has worked very positively previously. Where possible year 11 students will have access to a live lesson component in addition to blended learning activities.
  2. Remote marking and assessment will apply to all students in line with departmental marking policy. Not all classwork will be marked but an assessment task every two weeks will be set to measure engagement and gauge understanding. This will also involve a reasonable level of contact between students and staff but would have to be manageable.
  3. In cases of extended closure additional non-contact time will need to be planned in order to facilitate further curriculum development and wider departmental resource development. Line managers will steer and direct this work in order to establish an appropriate and equitable distribution of work within each team.
  4. All staff have a critical part to play in tracking and managing engagement with remote learning. There are broadly three levels to the management of this within school.

Level 1 – Weekly log of who has accessed teams. Phase teams to monitor this and follow up with parental phone calls.

Level 2 – Teaching staff to follow up, where is reasonably possible, on absence and engagement concerns. The rewards policy and reward points should be used to monitor and manage engagement. All completed work will need to be rewarded with a reward point. In the majority of cases this will be in the form of an uploaded assignments although any evidence of completed work will suffice.

Level 3 – 3-week ATL review. Every student will receive an ATL grade based on their engagement within each lesson. The average of these ATL grades will result in commendation awards. There are two levels for this – learning team and Principal awards.

Responsive remote learning: lesson structure

Outcomes and key principles

  • Cognitive load reduction to ensure best practice principles are applied 
  • Increase engagement: live teacher instruction at the start of each lesson 
  • Assessment and feedback: Department led sequence of learning and assessment.

What does this look like? - Indicative Lesson structure

Interactive/instructional element




Independent work

Teacher online to answer questions and provide wider support




Formative Assessment opportunities to inform next steps

Summative - every two weeks

Phase 1 (Live introduction) 

Engagement and teacher interaction  

Prior Knowledge (retrieval practise) and connection to lesson (drawing on feedback from previous formative assessment) 

Phase 2 (instructional modelling of activity) 

Introduction to key activity and modelling,  

Address mis-conceptions. 


Principle 1: Cognitive Load 

Work needs to be chunked and adapted with remote learning in mind  

  • Slide Design - use contrast and emphasise to keep the student’s attention. 
  • Limit text, limit content (focus on the core knowledge and skills) and use one instruction per slide. Where appropriate, this should mirror the planned curriculum intent and sequence.  
  • Don't talk over a slide if students are reading text. 
  • Use dual coding - use diagrams and pictures alongside text. 
  • Chunk - 'work for the week' should be split into split this into lesson assignments (then schedule when they go out). Chunk lessons into small segments with student’s active in-between.  

Principle 2: Engagement and Interaction

The interactive expectation to ensure more students to take part. 

  • All Lesson will begin with a 10 to 15-minute live teacher led introduction. 
  • The focus of this live component will be to set expectations, address common misconceptions from prior learning, reaffirm the big picture and maintain positive relationships. Where appropriate the teacher should publicly celebrate student work. 
  • The class teacher will award a Coundon coin to all students who successfully complete set activities.  

Principle 3: Assessment, Acknowledgement and Feedback – to inform next steps

  • Work submitted (or mini-plenaries completed in the lesson) to be reviewed regularly by skimming through the work in order to address misconceptions through whole class feedback and to adapt lesson accordingly. Opportunities within the lesson for this to happen during the lesson is encouraged.  
  • At least one of these assessment points should include extended writing being formally assessed. 
  • Instructional teaching should take place across a sequence of lessons in order to master a skill that is assessed once every two weeks. Teachers are responsive in their planning in order to address misconceptions or gaps in knowledge that occur in the bi-weekly assessed response.

Further best practise suggestions

  • Retrieval practice to highlight what still needs addressing.  
  • Live feedback, where appropriate, that could be done in the first 15-minute live slot. 
  • Whole Class Feedback either in verbal or written form.  
  • Target or task-based feedback that allows for responding to marking or redrafting depending on the task or skill. Opportunities for this to happen during the lesson are encouraged.  
  • Video clip feedback as a recording of the teacher giving feedback either to whole class or personalised.

What is a live lesson?

  1. A live lesson should not replace all of our existing blended learning work. Even in the most optimistic scenario of mass adoption there will be diminishing returns to delivering all of our allocated timetabled lesson activity through MS Teams live streams.
  2. However, evidence does suggest that live ‘lessons’ do have the potential to work more effectively where a specific timed section of the lesson is introduced in combination with the blended learning activities we have developed so far. In most cases this will be at the start of a lesson so that staff can welcome students, establish expectations and celebrate prior learning. Clearly, where achievable, this is a strong lever to maintain relationships with our groups during the lockdown phase. In some cases, a 5-minute introduction may be all that is needed.

Live lessons and video communication through Teams

Please note that in order to stream lessons to students we must all follow the below safeguarding guidance

  1. The camera must be facing the teacher or whiteboard at all times. You may decide to switch off your camera and teach with voice only while sharing your screen or resources
  2. Staff will be the only presenter for the meeting to ensure only you can share your screen (Guidance to do this)
  3. Student cameras must be disabled
  4. Students can respond verbally or through the chat function of teams
  5. Live lessons must not be recorded
  6. Staff will set against neutral background
  7. Staff will wear formal attire
  8. Staff will double check that any other tabs you have open in their browser would be appropriate for a child to see, if they're sharing the screen and that your email box is closed

The school has also undertaken a detailed risk assessment in collaboration with local authority best practice. This covers the use of MS Teams, live lessons and the recording of student assessment activity.