Remote Education

This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to students and parents/carers about what to expect from remote education where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home. Additional information will also be communicated frequently to students and parents/carers when needed.

The remote curriculum: what is taught to students at home

Students will broadly follow the same curriculum remotely as is taking place in school. For the significant majority of subjects, any differences will relate to how curriculum content is delivered, rather than the content itself. Subjects that have a practical component may set alternative curriculum materials (such as a focus on theory) depending on what is being taught at that time.

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 normally take students the following number of hours each day:

  • Key Stages 3 and 4: Students will be covering the curriculum as would be expected on a normal school day. This is made up of 5 one hour lessons. Students will be expected to follow their usual timetable.
  • Sixth Form: Students will be covering the curriculum as would be expected on a normal school day. They will be set additional learning/assignments to complete in their study periods as usual.

Accessing remote education

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

Dartford Grammar School for Girls uses G-Suite for remote education.  Each class for every subject has its own Google Classroom where Assignments are set, learning is tracked and access to curriculum materials is provided.  It is also the online environment where teachers and students interact.

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 students may not have suitable online access at home. To determine where students may not have access to technology at home, Dartford Grammar School for Girls will regularly survey parents/carers and/or students. In addition, students and parents/carers are frequently asked to highlight any difficulties accessing online learning, and regular monitoring of student engagement by the school identifies where students may be experiencing difficulties. 

The school is able to provide support in the following ways:

  • Lending laptops to students, using the DfE allocation, donations from the school community and school supplies
  • If there are internet connection issues the school can apply for 4G wireless routers in order to support access
  • Helping families to access additional data where parents/carers are using a mobile phone network for internet access and need more data, or are concerned about the cost of more data
  • The school can provide printed lesson materials

Parents/carers are encouraged to contact Mrs Anne Mason, Assistant Headteacher and SENCO (a.mason@dartfordgrammargirls.org.uk) if they need support at any time.

How will my child be taught remotely?

Our practice for remote education is in line with government guidance and educational research about what makes effective remote learning provision. The guidance states "The remote education provided should be equivalent in length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school and will include both recorded or live direct teaching time, and time for pupils to complete tasks and assignments independently."

The two elements of remote education referred to are:

  • recorded or live direct teaching time
  • time for pupils to complete tasks and assignments independently

Education research from the Education Endowment Foundation shows there is no difference in student learning and progress between live video lessons (synchronous teaching) or uploaded pre-set assignments and video (asynchronous teaching). In line with the research evidence, current government guidance and our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, we use Google Classroom to set learning without the use of live video.  

Our approach allows students to work at their own pace, reviewing and going back over content as needed and ensures those students who may not always have easy access to devices at home, or where there may be internet connection issues, are not disadvantaged. However we actively encourage 'live' engagement during lesson time where possible through the Classroom 'Stream' which is a real time forum. In their recent document Effective Remote Education Ofsted highlighted "Some unhelpful myths exist about remote education, which are not based on evidence. These include that ... the best way to deliver remote education is always through live lessons”.

Across all year groups and subjects students will experience a variety of learning approaches including:

  • Pre-recorded Loom video (or other screen recording software) and/or audio through PowerPoint to give effective explanations, instruction, modelling and feedback
  • Other pre-recorded teaching (e.g. Dr Frost in mathematics)
  • Work set through key text books and reading books students already have access to
  • Where applicable, links to commercially available subject specific websites (e.g. in mathematics and science)
  • Teacher interaction, feedback, dialogue and synchronous input through the Google Stream

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?

Work will be uploaded for students at the beginning of each day during a full lockdown period. Therefore:

  • Students must complete the lesson/work set as outlined by the class teacher and upload by the deadline set  
  • Students should take part in ‘live’ lesson activities (e.g. in the Google Stream or a shared document) if possible
  • Parents/carers can support at home by ensuring their child adheres to the timings of the school timetable and has a quiet place to work. it is helpful for parents/carers to talk to their child about their learning each day
  • Parents/carers should also inform the school if there are any technology issues, lack of devices or shared devices that are hindering learning

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

  • Class teachers will check an Assignment is completed by the stated deadline and to an acceptable standard within Google Classroom
  • If it is not completed by the stated deadline, the class teacher will message a reminder to the student in the first instance 
  • Class teachers input information regarding missing work onto a centralised ‘work tracker’. This is used to inform parents/carers of concerns arising on a weekly basis
  • Each student is allocated a mentor who regularly reviews missing work and contacts home as needed
  • Students are asked to complete a daily check-in on Google Classroom
  • Students who are idenitfied as requiring additional support for any reason, will be contacted more frequently, and their parents/carers kept informed  

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 students. 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 student work is as follows:

  • Whole class feedback through pre-recorded lesson video as a core part of lesson delivery
  • Google Form quiz facility (or other quiz applications)
  • If applicable, websites with subject specific assessment provision 
  • Individual comments and/or marks (either written or via Mote) on selected pieces of work

Additional support for students 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 students, for example some students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may need additional support to access remote education. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we will work with parents/carers to support those students.

  • Teachers will continue to plan high quality lessons and deliver the curriculum to meet the needs of our students with SEND
  • The SENCO (Anne Mason) and pastoral team will regularly contact students and families to ensure provision is meeting needs. The SENCO will lead our work with families, personalising support and home strategies according to individual need
  • Students who may be considered as vulnerable can receive their school provision onsite during lockdown, in line with government guidance
  • Any student with an Education Health Care Plan will be offered a place in school during lockdown and will continue to receive support and close monitoring by the SEND team

Remote education for self-isolating students

Where individual students 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 students 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? 

If students are self-isolating when the school is running as normal, the curriculum will still be provided through Google Classroom and students will be expected to follow the timing of a normal school day.  However, please note the following:

  • In some circumstances not all assignments may be provided at the start of the school day 
  • There may not always be teacher pre-recorded lesson video or audio alongside curriculum materials. However third party video might be used
  • Feedback on core work will be the same for self-isolating students as those in school

January 2021

The school's senior leader with responsibility for remote education is Simon Hardwick, Deputy Headteacher (sch@dartfordgrammargirls.org.uk).