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Learning from home

FAQs about home learning projects

It is our intention to provide work in the form of projects available on the website to students in Years 7 to 10, and pre-induction tasks for Year 11, from Monday 20 April 2020 for the remaining period of school closure. Students will be set one project per subject every two weeks. Each project will have a one-page overview that guides the students in how to complete the research and project work. The overview also details the approximate numbers of hours that students should spend on the project to supplement the learning that would normally be taking place in school. Lessons for Year 12 will continue to be uploaded on to the VLE.

Projects will be available on the website from Monday 20 April.

Please read our guidance document for parents that suggests ways in which students can be encouraged and supported throughout their project completion. You should read this before your child starts working on the projects.

How does my child access online learning while school is closed?

Resources for student learning from Monday 20 April onwards are available on the school’s website in the Learning from Home area, and are organised by year group. Please ask your child to download the project for each subject they study. New projects will be added every two weeks. Each project in each subject is designed to be the equivalent of two weeks’ worth of lessons. If your child requires a paper copy of the project, please let us know via Contact Us.

What should I do if my child gets stuck?

If you feel able to, discuss the project with your child and explore what they are doing. Further guidance is available in the ‘Parents – Project Guide’ document below. They may also want to make use of other available resources such as friends, family, books and the internet. Many teachers nationally are also offering support via Twitter and Facebook, so check social media. If your child is still stuck, move on to another project that they can complete. However, because these projects enable student to direct much of their own learning, they should be able to work independently without coming across anything that prevents them continuing.

Do students have to complete projects in a given order?

Where possible students should follow their timetable and work through the lessons they would normally have in a day, spending one hour on each project until each one is finished. However, there is an element of flexibility given the circumstances, so parental judgement is advised. Students should keep track of which projects they have completed, so they know which to move on to next. Students should not aim to complete work any faster than at the pace of their normal timetable, and should avoid rushing.

How long should my child be working for?

Where possible, your child should follow their usual timetable, completing approximately five hours of work a day. Regular routine is very important for young people, so try to stick to similar times every day. However, it is also extremely important to take regular breaks, and to spend time doing exercise and being outside, if possible.

Should my child bring projects into school or email it to a teacher?

No. The work that students complete is to develop their own knowledge and skills. Any work that is done on paper cannot be brought back into school for reasons of hygiene and safety. The usual operation of the school, including expectations on teachers, has fundamentally changed. Whilst work will be provided for students, the expectation of teachers to give feedback is not sustainable as schools will be functioning differently for the foreseeable future. However, the knowledge and skills that students develop will feed directly into their future learning.

Will my child get feedback on their projects?

Please see our response to ‘Should my child bring work into school or email it to a teacher?’.

Can students contact teachers via email to ask questions?

Students in Years 10 and 12 only can do this. Please see the ‘Year 10 and 12 – Email Guidance’ document below which explains this decision further. Students in other years should work independently or ask their parents/ members of the immediate family for support where possible. As explained above, schools are not functioning in the usual way, and teachers will not be available to provide feedback. During the coronavirus outbreak, some teachers will themselves be ill, and be caring for family members who are ill. It is important that we respect our staff and their families during this time.

As a parent, can I set alternative work or tasks?

Yes. We encourage parents to set any activities which they deem relevant, productive and educational. Please make use of your home setting and what is available. This may include encouraging your child to read a book, exercise, spend time in the garden, cook, do crafts, play board games, learn about your career and life, explore family history, engage in topical discussion, and anything else you think would be suitable.

Are projects available for students in Year 11?

Yes. Although the public exams have been cancelled, we want to give the opportunity for Year 11 students to prepare for their next steps. In the Year 11 Projects section, transition work has been provided to allow students to prepare for post-16 courses. Students in Year 11 should complete the transition projects for the subjects they are interested in pursuing further in Year 12.

Can older siblings help out?

Yes. We would encourage older siblings, especially those who may be looking after younger children, to support with completion of projects. Their understanding of subjects and familiarity with teaching approaches will be beneficial to younger siblings.

Do students have to present projects in a particular way?

Teachers will make suggestions about how the projects should be presented. However, this can be considered an opportunity for students to exercise their creative abilities and present work in a way they find suitable, be that on paper or electronically. However, students should be mindful of our usual high expectations and follow PROUD.

It is not essential to complete work using a computer programme. Students can complete all project work on paper if necessary.

What should I do if I have more than one child and only one computer?

We appreciate the difficulties of home learning. The school website can be accessed via tablets and mobile phones, and these can be used to search the internet for project research. We are also working on a list of suggested apps that can supplement learning. We are aware of students who require work in a paper format and this will be provided. If your circumstances change and you also require this, let us know.

What if my internet access stops and my child can’t access the work?

Books, textbooks and revision guides are a great alternative. Other forms of education, such as those detailed above, also constitute learning. If you need paper copies of work, please get in touch with us.

My child has special educational needs – how can I support them with their learning?

Teachers are designing work to be as accessible as possible for remote learning. Students with special educational needs may require longer to do some projects, or parents may wish to adapt a task to best support their child. For students who require coloured paper to support with dyslexia, we suggest using coloured overlays or changing the colour of the computer screen to meet the child’s needs.

Is there any support available to encourage my child to behave well while they work from home?

We would still encourage students to behave as they would in school and maintain a calm, purposeful learning environment. As a parent, continue to encourage and reward your child for effort and hard work.

What should I do if my child runs out of things to do?

The projects designed in each subject are designed to last students two weeks. If a student completes all projects before the end of the two-week period, this may suggest that they are not working in sufficient depth or detail. Encourage your child not to rush. See answer above to ‘How long should my child be working for’?

What happens if my child does not complete the projects?

The work provided is designed to develop students’ knowledge and skills, and to prepare them for future learning. We hope students will want to continue to learn and prepare for the next stage in their education. However, we understand that we are all currently in exceptional circumstances and that education as we know it will change significantly for the foreseeable future. We ask that parents encourage their children to follow a routine and to complete any work provided, but we understand that everyone’s circumstances are different and that this will not always be possible.