After quite an unsettled summer term, we were delighted to welcome all our classes back to full-time education following the Covid-19 closure in March. It has been wonderful to have all of our pupils back. Although we hope that the majority of our children will now have an uninterrupted experience, there is the possibility that an individual child, a class bubble, or indeed the whole school, will need to self-isolate for a period of time. As per the last closure, all staff will be there for your children and our aim will be to support your child be it virtually through our google classroom .We have therefore put in place a plan for remote learning so that all children can continue with their education. This meets the expectations set out in the DfE guidance ‘Remote Education Support’
Last term, we applied and won funding for us to have our own google classroom built.
Within that there are virtual classrooms that mirror our classrooms in reality. Through this platform, children will be able to log into their own account and have virtual lessons with their class teacher. Each child will have their own user name and password and the use of the google classroom will be fully compliant with all GDPR and safeguarding procedures and policies. This means that even it is just one child that has to self- isolate, then they will be able to log in and join their classroom virtually. Whilst education is at the fore front of our consideration, we are also mindful of the mental health impact of our children isolating and we want them to feel part of our school at all times.
Details of this google classroom project can be found below:
If a child does not have access to a computer/laptop and/or the internet, the school will do all it can to support children and will provide paper packs of learning. Where funding can be accessed, remote devices (e.g., laptops) and/or 4G connections has been sought, particularly for disadvantaged children. As a result of our research and efforts, we have been allocated 14 laptops to ensure that our vulnerable children have full access to online learning. All programmes that the children will need to access all forms of learning will be pre-loaded. We have also completed a survey and so we know exactly which families we will need to provide paper packs to. Paper copies will still be available. We have also applied to be part of round together of the national programme for BT Hotspots. The programme is currently in pilot but we have applied to be part of the wider opening. We will also look into purchasing dongles/ wifi for our vulnerable families, where WIFI is not already available. We have already been in touch with BT and vouchers will be provided for our most vulnerable families to access free wifi for a period of six months. In the event of lockdown extending beyond that, then further grants/ funding will be sought out. We have also secured Vodafone sim cards for 3 months of free wifi, which we will issue as and when it is needed for our children to remain on line.
Since September, we have been operational with blended learning and that means that no child has missed any part of their education due to self -isolation. All staff have experienced having children dialling in for their lessons from home. This was mirrored when staff had to isolate, who continued to teach from home. The move to blended learning since September has been very successful and our parents are very pleased that it was available. Staff have also issued packs to supplement the work that the children do at home so it mirrors the classroom environment as much as is possible on line.
The arrival of our chrome books in class meant that all children were able to be trained in how to access our google classroom. As we now have a device for a full class set, this has meant that the children have been able to learn individual skills in order for them to access our classroom remotely. Each child practised their log in and now to access the stream, classwork and calendar in order to prepare for any future lockdown.
The real test of our google classroom has been since lockdown and if we have been outstanding in what we have achieved so far. By the end of week one, all children were accessing their learning via our google classroom. Initially the government advised that they expected us to undertake 3 hours of learning per day via our platform. This can be a combination of live lessons, pre recorded lessons, use of sites like BBC and Oakwood and task setting. Our Saint Patrick’s team have gone beyond and we are all teaching our full curriculum live to all of our children daily. By the end of week one, all our children were accessing three hours of live learning and for week two that has increased to 4. 5 hours. The children are logging on to all of their lessons are fully engaged.
Our morning live lessons are a complete mirror of our real school lessons and that then means that all children are accessing the same curriculum from our teaching team.
We have issued 12 laptops to support children with none. I have also secured 50x 3 mths free broadband sim cards which we are starting to distribute. We know paying for data will be a big issue for some of our children and so with these cards, we can ensure that our children have continued access to our remote learning.
I have secured a further allocation of 12 laptops but I have requested an increase of14 so that all our FSM children have access to the devices they need. This will enable some children to stop relying on the use of their parents’ phones and they I will know that they will be able to see and use all of the resources.
Since lockdown, the teaching team has completed altered how they teach and they have been incredible. They have supported parents and students to get on line and are keeping accurate records so that they are keeping an eye on student engagement. The parents have also received a lot of support via Class Dojo so that they could navigate our google classroom. Parents are in the background of lessons and have commented that they too are learning new things listening in on our learning.
I have reviewed our provision against the DFE guidance and we are fully compliant with all aspects of the remote learning framework and in many areas ahead of many other schools in the area and county. See attached document.
So concisely, the students and staff of Saint Patrick’s have risen to the challenge that a further lockdown threw at us and we could not be prouder. Most importantly, there has been no delay in the learning for our children. We are live teaching our curriculum to our children every single day and have been doing so since September 2020
All of our policies that pertain to online safety have been updated and ratified by our governing body. Within our google classroom, all of our children have their own individual user names and passwords. The children have been trained not to share these passwords with anyone to keep our learning platform safe and secure. Our staff have been trained in the area of host controls, which ensures that all children are in a waiting room for the learning and can not initiate video chatting without an adult being present first. We also insist on our children being dressed and in a communal area for their learning. We share information on online safety with our parents via Class Dojo and it is an integral part of our ICT curriculum
We are fully compliant with
We use G Suite for Education - a set of education productivity tools from Google including, Calendar, Docs, Classroom, and more used by tens of millions of students and teachers around the world. Pupils will use their G Suite accounts to complete assignments, communicate with their teachers and learn 21st century digital citizenship skills, using mostly Google Classroom.
We use a special version of the core G Suite Apps to provide a secure learning intranet for our pupils and staff.
Children use a Gmail login to access our system servers and the intranet and internet in school. With school Gmail and Google Docs, for example, work and emails cannot be shared with external email accounts. The school’s Google domain. Google require basic information to set up these accounts, your child’s leaving year and name.
Google Cloud does contain much of the electronic work that your child completes in school. By logging in at home, using the same login as at school, your child can continue working on projects started in school, often using one of the main apps of G Suite, Google Classroom. Our pupil accounts have a particular set of security settings to reflect the fact that the system is being used by a child - they have a much higher security setting than our staff for example. We take advice on these settings from companies that advise us.