Headteacher’s blog 22/01/2021

Remote learning special 

In the last three weeks we have all had to be quick learners: every day we’ve had to develop new skills, especially in technology, that we’d have never imagined this time last year! 

Thank you so much to all of you for the support you are providing for our students at home to access their lessons on Teams, submit work for feedback and engage with the live elements that we are starting to introduce.  

I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain a little of what our remote learning policy is at Beckfoot Thornton and why we have taken this approach.  

How we teach 

We want to make sure that the lessons we are providing are of the highest quality possible in difficult circumstances. We know that being able to take regular breaks, take learning at your own pace and access the lesson when it is right for you and your family are all very important. Many of you are sharing devices, as families, as we work and learn from home together. Therefore, we believe that the pre-recorded lessons are the best way for our students to learn and our staff to teach, at this time.  

I had a chance to talk with some of our Year 8 students about their learning this week and one said, “I prefer lessons this way as I can focus on just what the teacher is saying and what I have to do. And I can go back and listen again. I can learn at my pace.” 

This method is supported by both the Department for Education and Ofsted. Whilst many local schools are offering all live lessons, there are also those who are taking a blended approach like us by including a mix of pre-recorded lessons on PowerPoint and an increasing number of live sessions. 

How we give feedback 

We know that students make the most progress if they have lots of opportunities to get it right. All our lessons give students the chance to mark their own work so they can feel success and also know when to go back and visit some sections of a lesson again. 

This day-to-day work does not need to be submitted – teachers will check student progress as they would normally in school.  Students will be given assignments at least twice per half term to submit to their teacher for feedback. Look out for these over the coming week! 

How we support your child in their learning 

All students are able to contact their teachers through Teams by posting on the general tab: this is making for some great class discussion! For any specific issues they do not wish to post, they can speak to their tutor who can help to resolve these or email their teacher directly. 

For more information about how to seek more specific support, please see the new wellbeing section of our school website or our new personal development bulletin, sent today. 

How we are developing 

Now we have got to grips with the new technology and ways of working, we are introducing more live elements for our students. This week, we had our first live assembly about kindness in a pandemic - with a few teething issues! Next week, we will run this again and introduce our first live small group tutorials. We will also continue to pilot our live subject clinics at KS4. Thank you for your patience with us as we move towards the best possible blended approach for our community. 

It is vital that you consent to your child attending these sessions – please complete the form linked here if you have not yet done this. Without your consent, they cannot attend the classes for safeguarding and GDPR reasons. 

General Data Protection Regulations - Consent to join live elements of the school day (office.com) 

Where can I get help with online learning? 

If you are having technical issues, need access to device or would benefit from a mobile data top up, please let us know by contacting the school by email through office@beckfootthornton.org and someone will get back to you to support.  

We can also offer assistance with helping your child learn effectively online if they are finding this challenging so please get in touch. 

Once again, thank you for your continued support of our learners while they are working remotely. We look forward to being able to welcome them back, safely, into school. 

Finally, please see the attached Work of the Week. We have seen some amazing work this week!

Work of the Week

Have a nice weekend

Mr Richardson

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