To help you develop your remote teaching plan we’ve combined all the feedback and recommendations from schools using Oak into three stages:
1. Prepare your curriculum
Planning your remote learning curriculum? Consider these steps so you’re ready for an outbreak or where pupils or teachers have to isolate.
How far in advance do you need to plan?
Some teachers have told Oak that, while they know their termly or yearly plans, they take time once a week to identify enough content for the following fortnight.
This means teachers can be flexible with their timetabling and they don’t spend time planning too far ahead only to find they have to reschedule again and again.
Others are choosing to plan up to a term ahead. Consider what would work best for your school.
Decide how to teach
As research tells us the attainment gap is increasing, schools are focusing efforts on the number and the quality of lessons. Thinking about your pupils:
- How much work will you set in a remote day? Your younger year groups might receive less work as they might require more parent involvement.
- What’s the balance of online and offline work? How easy is it for your pupils to get online, and what plans do you need to put in place for those who cannot?
- How will you deliver your online lessons - live or pre-record or a blend? Consider your workload versus the resources already available, and consider how easy it is for your pupils to join you live.
- What content will you use? You can film your own lessons as it’s great to maintain connection with your pupils, but consider your workload when there’s already good content available and your time might be stretched when supporting those who are struggling.
Map your curriculum against Oak’s online lessons
When you’re deciding how to teach your pupils, both in the case of individual students or teachers isolating, or in case full bubbles are sent home, Oak’s resources can be a useful tool. Consider how you will manage to teach the same lesson to pupils in the classroom and to pupils at home so there’s continuity and consistency.:
- Map your lessons against Oak’s resources to see where you have an online option for pupils at home - you can search by topic as useful content might be covered in another subject area. Also see: How to download a subject curriculum
- Download and adapt Oak’s resources in line with your own content to meet the needs of your pupils
- Consider which other resources complement your lessons
Collate and share your remote learning plans
Teachers or classes might have to isolate with no warning. Help colleagues know what’s planned by creating a simple department or school-wide ‘virtual timetable’ document - a table which lists the date, class, lesson and links to online resources.
This is easy to share at a moment’s notice, especially with cover supervisors, and can be used for instructions to pupils and parents.
Consider noting which pupils will need resources printing off and delivered to their homes.
From staff to governors, parents to pupils, it’s good to let everyone know what you have planned as it will build trust and confidence.
Prioritise routine and structure
Pupils respond well to routine and structure so planning and sharing a timetable which works in the classroom as well as at home sets everyone up from the start.
As well as lessons, we’ve heard how schools are building in time for assemblies and tutor/form groups to keep familiar activities in place and minimise disruption to the flow between school and home.
2. Prepare your students and parents
When you have mapped out your curriculum and decided how you will teach, there are a few practical steps you can take to prepare teachers, pupils and parents ahead of time.
Put your training in place now
Classes in bubbles, pupils isolating or lockdowns will come with little notice, so train your pupils and colleagues in advance. Prepare and share your action plan ahead of time, including what everyone in the school community ‘has to do’, should you have to move from school to remote learning within hours. Some steps to take ahead of a lockdown are:
- Consider knowledge sharing sessions between teachers to share tips for remote learning
- Make sure pupils and teachers are confident using your school VLE systems by practising in class or setting homework online (see below for more info)
- Make sure parents are aware of your processes for communicating remote learning
- You may want to consider using some Oak lessons in class to get pupils used to the format.
Prepare your communications with your pupils and parents
Create a simple, step-by-step, template letter which explains what happens if a pupil, bubble or school has to switch to remote learning. We have a template letter you can download and adapt.
Hopefully everyone will be ready to get online as you’ll have practised before anyone has to isolate, but make sure instructions about how to get online are included, and perhaps link to a short video or fuller ‘how to’ steps on your website or VLE.
For each pupil or bubble, include a week or a fortnight’s timetable and links to resources you’ve identified or to your VLE.
Don’t forget to print and share the letter and resources for pupils who you’ve identified as having challenges around internet connection and access to devices.
Plan for different tech capabilities
Teachers have been telling us how they’ve warmed pupils up to blended learning by setting pre-reading or follow-up homework using Oak’s lessons. Before or after a lesson in school, the teacher sends a link to an Oak resource, directly on email, via the school’s website or VLE. This helps families gain confidence in accessing online content.
Not all pupils will have a device or access to the internet. Many of Oak’s resources can be downloaded for printing and distribution in these situations.
Plan for pupils who could struggle
Teachers have told us some pupils found lockdown easier than others, especially those with low literacy levels who find written resources a challenge. Oak’s lessons are mainly spoken for younger children, but you might still want to think about how a teaching assistant might help on a video call for example.
3. Activating your plan
When you need to activate your remote learning plan, consider these steps for a smooth transition.
Consider how to keep in touch with pupils’ progress
There are a few ways you can keep in touch with pupils about the work they’re undertaking:
- Asking pupils to take a screenshot or photo of end of lesson quizzes with their score, and uploading these to the school’s learning management system (e.g. as an assignment in Google Classroom), or emailing them to class teachers
- Setting your own quizzes on your learning management system, asking about content taught in Oak lessons
- Regularly contacting parents to check how pupils are managing with Oak and speaking to the pupil to ask them questions about what they’ve been learning
- Having a teacher available at set times to answer questions from pupils
Remind your pupils they can do this
Pupils will look to you for how to react. Plan well and share your calm confidence. Communicate again and again how much you’re under control and are looking out for them.
Review your plans and learn from your mistakes and success
Remote learning in these circumstances is new so it’s difficult to predict what might work and what might not. Checking in with staff, parents and pupils about how every stage of your preparation work and contingency plans have landed is really important to success.
We know schools are doing excellent work, and we’re here to support and complement your work.