Over the past weeks and months, we’ve all had to adapt to uncertainty, and being flexible has become a necessity for schools, pupils and parents alike – and you’re all doing an amazing job!
Now that you’ve had the chance to try out new approaches inside and outside of the classroom, it’s a good point to reflect on what you’ve learnt from the experience so far and to consider what works for your pupils, in your specific setting.
Using the guidance set out by the DfE for what good remote learning should look like, we’ve put together handy checklists to help you put the guidance into practice, as well as increasing the ways you can share our resources without infringing copyright, so that you’re ready to support your pupils, wherever they’re learning.
1. Take advantage of the wealth of online resources available to you
We’re fortunate enough to be in a digital age where there are a huge number of high-quality online resources available to support not only teaching – such as Numicon Online Interactive Whiteboard Software that allows for screen share over video call platforms – but also resources that your pupils can log in to access remotely, like exciting Big Writing Adventures missions, which are now available anywhere via handy YouTube links, making them easy to share on your school’s learning platform.
2. Remember that not everyone has reliable internet access, so ensure you have an alternative
As exciting as EdTech can be, don’t forget about the humble worksheet! The Nelson English Skills series includes workbooks and photocopiable resources that are ideal for pupils working at home on handwriting, grammar and spelling.
3. Be consistent across your school
The online tools that you’re using need to be consistent between classes and year groups to ensure the same amount of interaction, assessment and feedback that you would expect if you were all teaching in the classroom. Whole-school online resources, like MyMaths, will often include overviews that allow your school’s leadership team to view all classes’ results tables, giving you a clear picture of progress and allowing you to work together across the school. To underline consistency, it’s important to ensure that all staff are trained to use online tools. That’s why we’ve added a growing number of videos to many of our online resources that model how you can best use them to support remote learning.
4. Set a variety of ambitious assignments to keep children engaged
Meaningful and ambitious work in a number of different subjects each day will give children structure and purpose in their learning, even though they don’t have the usual framework of the school day. For example, you could set independent reading assignments for your pupils from the Oxford Owl eBook Library, which allows you to easily direct them to higher or lower level books to ensure they’re getting the appropriate level of challenge.
5. Tell children what they’re going to be learning
This is enormously helpful for parents too! Plan your curriculum so that everyone can be clear about what’s intended to be taught and practised in each subject. Following a progressive teaching sequence, like the one in Floppy’s Phonics Online, allows you to gradually build up children’s knowledge and skills. It includes teaching sequence flowcharts and training demonstration films, as well as planning and record grids so that you can deliver step-by-step progression through the phonics content.
6. Identify gaps in learning as you go
Ask questions and use other tasks to check how well children are progressing through the curriculum and don’t be afraid to adjust the pace accordingly now, rather than having to make time for catch-up later. Resources like MathsBeat have been structured to help you identify whether children are making expected progress. The ‘On track’ features at the end of each learning task and the ‘Look and listen for’ prompts include common misconceptions, followed up by ‘If so’ suggestions to help children get back on track when they need extra support.
7. Set realistic expectations for how often you will check work
In an ideal world, you’ll have daily contact with your pupils, but this isn’t always feasible. It is, however, important to set out from the beginning how often you will be in touch. To help support them in the meantime, lots of online resources, including MyMaths, Read Write Inc. Spelling and Floppy’s Phonics Online include self-marking activities, so that children can get instant feedback on their work at any time.
8. Work with families to support learning
Families have an important role to play in helping you to deliver a broad and ambitious curriculum, especially when it comes to younger pupils, and some pupils with SEND who might find it harder to access remote education without extra support. You’ll find specific guidance for parents and carers throughout our online resources, including tips to support their children with learning to read with phonics in the Letters and Sounds eBook Library, and letters and emails that you can generate and send home in MyMaths, containing log in details and guidance on how to support maths learning at home.
Whether you’re looking for cost-effective resources that work with a limited budget, or simply for ways to make your life easier, you can find out more about the Oxford resources that support remote education most effectively on our Remote Education Resources and Support webpage.