Distance Learning Letter

Dear Parent,

Recent feedback from parent surveys has told us that you feel well supported and the tutor calls have allowed us to maintain our important partnership between school and home. We now want to strengthen our support for our students working at home this term. Teachers have been developing pre-recorded lessons to help students learn at home and we have just had a fortnight successfully trialling ‘live lessons’ in a number of subjects: English, Maths, Science, Languages, Geography, History, PE and Photography.

We now feel ready to develop our distance learning offer for students in all year groups by including ‘live lessons’ alongside lessons set on Show My Homework.

The schedule of live lessons will be shared in the weekly [email protected] bulletin, alongside the weekly Distance Learning Lesson Timetable and the details such as the date and time of live lessons will also be shared with students on Show my Homework.

Our live lessons will be conducted using Zoom and we recommend that you ensure that your child has practiced using Zoom before their first scheduled live lesson so that you can iron out any technical difficulties. We are currently updating the ‘Parent Help’ section on the homepage of our school website with guidance on how to access Zoom and Google Classroom.

The joining code for each live lesson will be shared in advance of the lesson on the Google Classroom which your child has access to for all of their subjects. Details of the topic and any equipment needed will be shared on Show my Homework. Meeting codes allow us to ensure that only the ALNS students invited and their teacher are able to access the live lesson and communicate together. The meeting ID and password must never be shared with any other person and these codes should never be shared or publicised on social media.

In our Home School Agreement, parents and the school have agreed to the following:

• We expect students to be safe users of technology at home or at school. We will endeavour to teach students about safe and appropriate use of digital technology.
• Students and parents must understand that inappropriate online behaviour will result in sanctions.

To safeguard our entire school community, students must adhere to our strict guidelines for live lessons as outlined below:

• Students will only be able to join with a meeting ID and password which will be shared through their Google Classroom. Dates, times, the lesson topic and instructions regarding equipment will be shared on Show my Homework with a reminder to look at their Google Classroom to access the meeting ID and password.
• During a live lesson, students will be able to hear and/or see their teachers. However students should not be able to use their cameras so they will not be able to see each other. Students will be able to communicate with the teacher through the typed chat function.
• All student cameras and microphones will be disabled by the teacher for live lessons. However, it would be useful to develop good habits for the future and we advise that students are logged in to the session in a communal area (e.g. not their bedroom) with a neutral background and no personal items on display and are appropriately dressed (e.g. not pyjamas). School uniform is not required.
• At all times, the student’s camera must remain switched off.
• At all times, unless directed otherwise by the teacher, the student’s microphone function must remain switched off.
• Only the teacher will allow students to unmute the students’ microphones if they want to ask or respond to a question raised by the student during a live lesson.
• We hope that parents will be able to check in with their children during the live lessons.
Students must be logged into Zoom at least 5 minutes before the lesson is due to begin.
• Students need to be prepared. Bring equipment that would be needed for that subject (for example have your History book ready if you have a History lesson) to the live lesson.
• When signing in for their live lesson, students must use their full name.
• Recording or taking images by students during live lessons are strictly prohibited.
• The school will record all live lessons. For recorded live lessons published on Google Classroom, this allows students to go back to the lesson to refresh their memory when completing any further learning or tasks related to this topic. The live lessons will also be recorded for the purposes of safeguarding and support. They will be archived securely within Google Classroom and not publicly accessible. Students must not share their Google Classroom logins.
• Recorded lessons stored on Google Classroom must not be copied or shared with any other person, internal or external to the school. There will be no references to student names and there will be no recordings of student voices in any lessons that are recorded and then shared with other students on Google Classroom.
• Any misconduct will result in the teacher removing the student from the live lesson.
• All the normal rules that we use at school apply online too.

Feedback from students who have attended the pilot lessons has been incredibly positive and staff have thoroughly enjoyed being able to teach their students again, albeit from a distance. We are excited to have live lessons as an important part of our distance learning offer this term to enhance your child’s learning experience until we reach the time when we can safely welcome all of our students back into the school building, which we hope will be in September.

Yours sincerely,

Nys Hardingham