At Trinity Academy Cathedral, we are committed to ensuring that students receive a high-quality education, regardless of circumstances. We know that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented disruption to education, and we are determined that through our remote learning offer, we will ensure our students continue to learn and make progress even when they have to remain at home.
Since students returned to school in September, they have been training on Microsoft Teams, which is our digital platform for all remote learning. Through Teams, students can access all resources used in lessons (from lessons in school and when learning remotely), attend live lessons, work on assignments, hand in work, and read feedback from their teachers.
It is vital that all staff, students and parents use Teams in a way that is safe, respectful and effective. Please see the Student Remote Learning Contract and Parent Code of Conduct which outline expectations of conduct for students and parents around remote learning and live lessons.
This section aims to answer your questions about our remote education provision, but please do get in touch if you have more specific questions about your child’s provision.
How does my child access lessons when they are learning at home?
In order to access lessons, students need to log in to Microsoft Teams.
What if we do not have appropriate technology for my child to access their lessons?
If you do not have a laptop, tablet, smartphone or appropriate device for your child to access lessons, please contact school on firstname.lastname@example.org. We have already supported a lot of families with laptop and internet access. Although our resources are obviously limited, we do want to ensure all students have access to their lessons live. Please let us know if you are having trouble.
What is their timetable when they are at home?
Students should follow their normal school timetable, clicking into their class Team at the time of their lesson.
Here is a reminder of our school day: *Period 6 is not currently taking place but will resume after Y11 students return to school
Are all lessons being taught live?
We believe that live lessons are the best way to replicate the classroom experience whilst students are not able to come to school. This is because they are interactive, we can check for understanding and address misconceptions as they arise. We also believe that the live element motivates students to attend – it takes more self discipline to work completely independently all day, if no one is aware of what you are working on!
However, where it is not possible or appropriate to live stream some practical lessons, there will be pre-recorded challenges. Students access these lessons in exactly the same way, logging into their class Team, where the resources will be shared.
Also, there may be times due to staffing, where a lesson is not able to be taught live. Where this is the case, resources will be shared that students can work through and hand in. This may include pre-recorded video lessons, either made in school or by another educational platform, e.g. Oak National Academy.
How does my child join a lesson?
To access their lesson, students should make sure they are ready in the class Team area at the designated time – the link to join the lesson will be shared when the lessons starts.
Most lessons will be live for between 15 and 30 minutes and then a more independent task will be set for the second half of the lesson.
During the live part of the lesson, we try to make it as interactive as possible to keep students engaged. Students are encouraged to answer questions in the chat function, take part in interactive quizzes, unmute to answer questions or take part in discussion, and ask questions when they need further explanation or support.
How have you communicated behaviour expectations for remote learning to students?
Expectations for participation and behaviour in online lessons were clearly communicated to students when they were still in school. All students discussed and signed a remote learning contract. Teachers are reminding students about these expectations on a daily basis. KS3 students are also receiving training on how to keeping themselves safe online.
Does my child have to submit any work?
In the second half of the lesson, students will be set tasks to demonstrate their learning and teachers will expect students to submit their work to show their progress by the end of the lesson. Teachers will make it clear to students how they should submit their work using assignments
What curriculum are you covering through remote lessons?
Students have already missed out on too much learning. We are therefore proceeding with the planned curriculum for all year groups. Each subject area has made appropriate adaptations, in some cases selecting aspects of the currriculum they feel are more appropriate to teaching on line. But all students will be accessing new learning and developing the core skills needed to make progress in their subjects. In order to ensure students do not get behind, we are incorporating lots of retrieval, where we revisit prior learning and make links to what we are studying.
How will you assess my child’s work and progress?
Whilst students are at home, teachers will be following our standard Academy feedback policy. This means that students will receive regular feedback from their teachers, but does not mean that every piece of work they submit will be marked individually. Rather, by checking the work teachers are able to:
- Plan whole class feedback to address common misconceptions
- Reteach a topic to address the areas students still need support with
- Tailor tasks to the skills students still need practise with.
Your child can expect some form of personalised feedback every 6-8 lessons in each subject, and many staff are providing much more than this. But rest assured, that even when work does not appear to be marked, it does not mean the teacher has not seen it and addressed it through their teaching. Students should look out for personalised feedback in their assignments, as this is where they will be able to see comments from their teachers after they submit work.
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
We are taking registers in all live lessons and contacting parents and carers, to offer support, when students have not logged into their lessons. This same day contact, has supported parents in encouraging their children to join lessons, reminding them about the importance of attending the live lessons and not getting behind while they are learning from home. It has also ensured technology issues are addressed quickly when this is the reason students have not logged in.
We are also asking teachers to log concerns when students are not submitting their work, or where their work does not meet the high standard we expect of our students. We will contact parents to discuss our concerns about engagement, particularly if multiple concerns are raised about your child.
Will there be any remote parents’ evenings?
Yes, all year groups will have a remote parents’ evening this academic year, when parents will be able to speak to their children’s teachers about their progress, and celebrate their many successes during these most challenging of times. Dates and details about these events will be shared with parents in the coming weeks.
How can staff and parents work together to support the learning and wellbeing of our young people during this time?
We recognise that this is a very difficult time for our young people. Normal daily routine, physical interaction with others, extra-curricular clubs and hobbies are all on hold or severely disrupted. These aspects of day-to-day life are important to all of us, but can be especially significant during teenage years; their absence can have a real impact on mental health and wellbeing. It’s really important that we recognise this, make a conscious effort to focus on self-care, and put helpful strategies in place to lift our moods if needed. Showing an interest in what your child is working on and encouraging discussions about their learning will help them to maintain a positive attitude and boost their motivation. Encouraging them to stick to a healthy sleep routine can also be extremely helpful, and some exercise outside each day, even a walk round the block, can make a real difference.
The continuous interaction with others through live lessons will also have a positive impact on students as it ensures a consistent routine.
We are promoting daily form time activities which have a focus on young people’s well-being. Miriam, our Chaplain, is posting daily positivity challenges to encourage a positive outlook during this time. There are also opportunities to join live assemblies, which will hopefully remind students that they are part of a wider community and we are all in this together.
If students need any help and support they should contact the Student Liaison Officer or Achievement Leader for their year group by email and we will offer direct support as always. Please follow this link for a reminder of staff members supporting each year group: Pastoral care | Trinity Academy Cathedral (trinitymat.org)
The website Young Minds is also a very helpful resource if you are looking for further advice on supporting your child’s wellbeing: Coronavirus and mental health (youngminds.org.uk)
My child is in Y11; how are you offering further support to this key year group?
We are aware that it is a time of great uncertainty for our Y11 students. We are keeping them regularly updated through assemblies and will ensure they understand the process as soon as information is shared about how their grades will be decided. They will be the first year group to have a parents’ evening, and we are working hard to keep them focused on their next steps in each of their subject areas, as we know the work they are producing will still impact on their final grades.
We are conducting online careers interviews and supporting students with college applications whilst they are at home. Please contact Mrs Roberton SRoberton@cathedral.trinitymat.org for specific college or careers questions. Mrs Coulson LCoulson@cathedral.trinitymat.org and Mr Brooke ABrooke@cathedral.trinitymat.org are also available for any specific advice needed around Y11 support.
How are you supporting children with SEND?
Remote learning can be particularly challenging for some of our students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and therefore many of our SEND students are attending school during this time. All of our students with SEND had a discussion about their feelings about remote learning from the first lockdown when they returned to school in September and our one page profiles, which summarise the specific needs of each student, were updated to reflect their perspective. Each student in the SEND cohort is receiving phone call check ins from a member of the SEND team and support around learning and technology is being put in place.
We have a specific approach to online learning for our most vulnerable cohorts in Y7 and 8 who require a lot of support around literacy and self-regulation. Paper packs to support the live lessons have been provided in some subject areas.
We are also exploring ways to utilise the technology to provide specific LSA support for online lessons where students would normally receive this support in schools. Microsoft Teams has a ‘breakout’ room function, and some students will receive 1:1 or small group support from an LSA after the main teacher input, to support them with their independent work.
Please contact our SENDCO Mr Harrison for more information about our SEND provision: OHarrison@cathedral.trinitymat.org