When we again return to the School site like we did for the autumn term of 2020, we have blended learning procedures in case any pupil or member of staff is well enough to attend lessons, but might need to isolate at home for a period of time. At Loughborough High, teaching and learning continues in all ways and all situations at this time.
We have virtual school handbooks which are provided to all pupils, parents and carers to more clearly explain our provision. The below offers some clear guidance about these, in line with DfE recommendations to advertise these on our website.
Teaching and learning in our virtual school
During any period of virtual schooling, teaching staff plan their usual school timetable so that lesson material is available for students at the expected lesson time and fulfilling DfE lesson guidance. Staff are available online at their usual lesson times to respond to queries from students, like normal.
Students are set appropriate work in both length and quality to match as best as possible the regular classroom experience with some small modifications to adapt to the needs of a virtual school.
At the High School the use of iPads for all is already well-embedded and virtual learning technology enables us to adapt quickly whenever needed. We feel well placed to continue offering a high-quality learning experience to all students. We are also clear that a blended and varied learning diet is important if working remotely, much like a pupil would receive on the School site.
Our teacher-led activities include:
- Live streaming of lessons like a normal class, including the breakout rooms of Microsoft Teams that allows small group work like in a normal classroom
- Recorded snippets of lesson content and material
- Live blog work that allows all to have a say
- Online quizzes and assessment activities
- Guided and scaffolded learning activities for pupils to work through at their appropriate learning pace
- Kahoots and other such electronic assessment opportunities
In turn, the pupils participate in regular learning activities, such as:
- Reading and preparing content ahead of a lesson
- Taking notes and generating the materials necessary for learning and content acquisition
- Answering questions or assessment activities
- Preparing revision materials
- Independent research opportunities
- Recap opportunities available through podcasts, revision videos and so on
We aim for a good blend of both teaching and learning, as we would have on the School site, to provide a rounded and varied educational experience.
“I wanted to feed back that all teachers are checking in with the girls and asking about their welfare. This seems to happen during most lessons. I think this is brilliant, and my daughter says it makes her feel like she could talk to any teacher if she needed too – it’s a real positive, and I wanted to pass that on and say thank you.”
We maintain the full curriculum timetable in all ways.
We continue to regularly assess teaching and learning in all ways and in a variety of forms, as we would on the School site.
Supporting pupils academically at this time
We register pupils in lessons and have internal documents to track attendance, and we also have clear processes for staff to share academic concerns about any pupil at any time.
Pastoral and wellbeing support
We know how important routine, rhythm and familiarity is at this time. All pupils register each morning with their Form Tutor, and we continue to offer all the essentials of an LHS education beyond lessons, including assemblies (whole school, year group and houses) as well as a raft of wellbeing help and support from a wide portfolio of staff, including our continued work with external agencies if needed. Regular one-to-ones are still provided to support individual pupils.
We maintain an impressive virtual co-curricular offering, which is communicated to pupils on a weekly basis.
We have clear processes for safeguarding and protecting all our young people. As part of this, we have educated all about the importance of online safety, and ways to remain safe in the online world. Our DSLs remain available for contact as needed and their details are clearly communicated.
Communicating with parents and carers
We know how crucial communication with parents and carers is at all times, and especially so now. We always try to quickly engage with parents and carers if an issue ever arises, to support the young person in question.
We also recognise the importance of formal feedback points. As such, we are maintaining our reporting schedule and system, and are running all parents’ evenings virtually for the academic year 2020 – 2021, meaning no interruption to our parental feedback opportunities.
Supporting critical workers, vulnerable children and those with SEND
As is happening across the country, we are still open to a small group of children of critical workers, and we extend this provision where appropriate to our vulnerable students and those with SEND for full supervision and care on our site.
Our Head of Learning Support is providing continued support and guidance to all our pupils with SEND at this time, with one-to-one meetings held via Microsoft Teams as well as continued dialogue with all stakeholders such as parents and carers.