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Blended Learning Journey

Since school closed to all children for the first time in March 2020, our blended learning journey has been rapid and continuous. Our provision for children in and out of school has continued to evolve and develop since this time. This page attempts to record some of the journey that we have been on as a school and what learning from home has looked and felt like for our children at different stages of the pandemic.

 

March to June 2020

  • On the final day before schools closed (20/03/20) a blended learning book complete with all the child’s login details for the various learning platforms used in school was sent home.
  • We had been using Class Dojo across school for communication between teacher and family for some time so families were already familiar with this. Activated Class Dojo portfolios and sent home instructions about how to set up pupil accounts.
  • Regular support provided by telephone to provide troubleshooting support for families finding it difficult to upload and share work.
  • Set up a consistent approach of providing weekly learning projects across school. These were posted on the school website by Sunday evening. Hard copies printed off and offered for collection from school but few families requested this. This was a coordinated approach across school so that the same learning theme could be accessed by siblings in different age groups to encourage a sense of working together from home. Children with SEND had a personalised home learning project where necessary with activities tailored to their level. As more online resources were provided (e.g. Jane Considine daily writing challenges, Joe Wicks PE sessions, Gareth Metcalfe Problem solving videos) These were added to the Home Learning Projects.
  • Staff worked on a rota basis and were required to be in school one week in three. This was devised to allow for limited cross contact between staff and children and to allow for the 14 day (as it was initially) self-isolation period.
  • There were never more than 30 children in school during the first lockdown so we generally operated 2 groups keeping siblings together in the same groups and largely grouping by age. Two members of staff were allocated to each group. Other staff in school monitored engagement from home and made phone calls home to check in on children and families and offer support. We had a system whereby any teacher could access and update a shared document detailing which families had been in contact and when.
  • Staff working from home were responsible for providing feedback to children at home submitting work on Class Dojo and creating future learning projects, posting daily on Class Dojo to share work, provide feedback successes and generally keep in contact with children and families.
  • School laptops were offered to families at home where lack of adequate equipment was restricting engagement. 18 school laptops were issued.
  • School text books and workbooks sent home to provide more recognisable learning structure for children at home.
  • Staff collaborated to create various videos to stay in contact with children and families.
 Who's hands are these?   Where's your teacher?

June to July 2020

  • School reopened to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 on a part time basis. Children came to school for 3 consecutive days each week, with bubbles limited to 15 and didn’t mix. Normal lessons resumed for these children.
  • Welcome back video detailing routines provided for children restarting school.
  • Key worker and vulnerable children groups continued. Home learning projects continued for learners at home.
  • Phone calls home continued for those children not submitting work to school.
  • In the final week of term, all children in Year 2 to Year 5 were offered final day with their class and teacher to try and provide some closure before reopening in September.

September to December 2020

  • School reopened full time for all children. In the absence of normal transition programs, teachers created videos for their new classes. More detailed transition programs created and offered to those children identified as needing it most.
  • Class Dojo was reorganised for the new academic year for Year 1 to Year 6. Our reception classes have used Tapestry this year to communicate with families at home. 
  • Year groups returned to school in bubbles. Routines and rotas devised so bubbles didn’t cross. Assemblies recorded using Loom.
  • Families access to hardware and internet surveyed in order for school to be able to quickly allocate devices to families in need during periods of self isolation.
  • During periods of self-isolation, 13 DfE Chromebooks allocated to children without access to hardware. Internet access offered through Vodaphone sim cards and BT openzone wifi codes. These were returned and then offered to children self-isolating subsequently.
  • Moved away from learning and research projects to lessons in order to provide new learning and extend prior learning. 
  • Teachers aligned medium term plans to Oak National Academy and White Rose Maths in order to utilise video resources so that immediate online videos could be provided during periods of self-isolation.
  • Each week, all teachers posted Maths and English lessons aligned to lessons taught in school to the school website. This gave individual children and whole bubbles the ability to access some home learning from the first day of self-isolating. 
  • During periods of self isolation and bubble closure, learning from school could be replicated at home by using teaching videos to ensure children received clear explanations,  supporting growth in confidence with new material through scaffolded practice. Children could acquire new knowledge and skills and could receive feedback on how to progress.
  • Parent and pupil voice conducted targeting those families impacted by periods of self isolation. Blended learning policy created.
  • Feedback loops created whereby good practice shared to all children in order to motivate children and demonstrate good practice on the Class Dojo class story.
  • All teachers created Loom accounts to enable them to create videos. A minimum of 1 daily video provided alongside video lessons

January to March 2021

  • Significant increase in numbers of children in school compared to first lockdown.
  • 150 families requested critical worker places. Further places offered to vulnerable families and children at risk of not engaging.
  • Regular support provided by telephone to provide troubleshooting support for families finding it difficult to upload and share work via Class Dojo/Tapestry.
  • Pupil Premium children discussed with Pupil Premium lead and school places offered where children were felt to be at risk of not engaging with learning.
  • Some children with SEND received different approaches depending on their circumstances. For different children, these included daily personal videos from a teacher or teaching assistant targeted to their needs, regular planned phone calls home to maintain contact with children, families or both and conversations to provide direct feedback on work. Some SEND children were offered school places if it was thought these children were at risk of not receiving appropriate support from home.
  • Support provided to children identified with SEMH needs throughout the lockdown. This ranged from more regular telephone contact to part time school places being offered in order to provide targeted support.
  • Bought into the Big Cat Collins E books resource so that all children across school could access a library of high quality texts electronically. User login details and instructions shared via Class Dojo enabling children to access texts assigned to their phonics phase (for early readers and younger children) and book band. (for older children)
  • Time assigned in the daily suggested timetable to encourage children to read to an adult at home where possible.
  • All class teachers read a class story or chapters from a class novel and sent video links to children via the suggested timetable on a daily basis.
  • Parent voice in the autumn term resulted in daily timetables being posted the night before.
  • Daily suggested timetables posted on Class Dojo/Tapesty with links to lessons, class stories and lessons from the class teacher.
  • Learning matched the medium term plan and built on prior learning.
  • Children at home and at school accessing the same learning.
  • 13 DfE laptops and 18 school laptops allocated to children across KS1 and KS2.
  • Staff in school monitoring engagement, making phonecalls home. Escalating to SLT who ultimately offered school places where appropriate.
  • Significant amount of work being submitted on Class Dojo/Tapestry requiring feedback. Staff assigned and trained on how to provide high quality constructive feedback that could reinforce and extend learning. Children and families encouraged to engage and respond to their marking on Class Dojo.
  • Introduced twice weekly engagement Microsoft Teams sessions for each class. Responding to feedback in parent consultations, these were timetabled to ensure the sessions were at different dates and times each week and never at the same time as another class in school.
  • Regular short training for staff about how to deliver blended learning provision with opportunity for staff to share successful approaches.
  • Regular communication with families at home from the headteacher and class teachers about families doing their best to support children's learning at home and the best being good enough. Links to various documents provided to families to support children with remote education.
  • Weekly Rainbow Reward assembly led by the headteacher with learners at home and at school on Microsoft Teams.
  • Training on Loom and MS Teams for all teaching assistants so they were better able to target interventions and engage with learners at home.

March 2021 to present

  • Trialled twice daily live lessons provided via Teams during bubble closures focussing on areas that had been less well accessed during prior lockdown and bubble closures.
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