Information for Parents and Carers
This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to children and parents/carers about what to expect from our blended learning offer where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.
For more detailed information please read the Blended learning policy
What is Blended Learning?
Remote education is a broad term encompassing any learning that happens outside of the classroom, with the teacher not present in the same location as the pupils.
Digital remote education is often known as online learning, this is remote learning delivered through digital technologies.
Blended learning is an approach to education that combines traditional classroom in school learning with learning from home if needed. Blended learning is a mix of face-to-face and remote methods. We aim to be able to implement blended learning from the second day of absence.
The blended learning curriculum: what is taught to children at home
A child’s first day or two of being educated at home might look different from our standard approach, while we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching.
What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of children being sent home?
The school and class teachers will signpost parents and children to resources they can access in order to continue their learning for the first day. E.g. a pack of worksheets via the school website or the Oak National Academy. From day 2 learning will be accessible on Google Classroom.
What should my child expect from blended learning in the weeks during school closure?
Teachers will set work on Google Classroom for children in Reception to Year 6; the children should log on by 9am for the work set for the day and read any messages from their year group teachers. Children will be expected to submit their work which teachers will provide feedback on. Children will also take part in a live Google Meet session each week. Children from Reception to Year 2 will also use Bug Club to access reading books matched by their class teacher to their ability as a resource to support their reading progress.
Activities for Nursery children will be on the nursery page of the school website.
What Platform will we be using for remote learning?
We will be using Google Classroom. Google Classroom is one of the main apps from the GSuite for Education – a set of education productivity tools from Google It is more used by tens of millions of students and children and teachers around the world. Children will use their Google Classroom accounts to complete activities, communicate with their teachers and learn 21st century digital citizenship skills.
Google Classroom provides a secure learning intranet for our children and staff. Children will use a Gmail login to access our system servers and the intranet and internet in school. With school Gmail, emails cannot be shared with external email accounts, only with others within Holly Park school’s Google domain. Google require basic information to set up these accounts, your child’s year group 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 GSuite, Google Classroom.
Our child accounts will 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, including LGFL and Google.
The school does not then retain any data. Google accounts will be deleted when a child leaves Holly Park.
What platform will we use for any live sessions?
We will use Google Meet. Google Meet is a video-communication service developed by Google as a way to host video meetings. Google Meet is available on the web, and phones and tablets for Android and iOS. If using via an Ipad or Iphone, the Google Meet app needs to be downloaded first. Google Meet sessions are joined by participants through a code that is created by the class teacher. This code is shared via Google Classroom for children to be able to join the meeting. This ensures the meeting is secure for the children and staff.
If an uninvited guest tries to join a Google Meet video call, they will only be granted entry when the host (school staff) approves the request.
What is Bug Club?
Bug Club is an online literacy program designed to support the effective and engaging teaching of reading for primary children in Reception to Year 2. Each child is provided with individual logins to ensure children can access reading books securely that are matched (by the class teacher) to their individual ability to support reading progress.
Will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school?
We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. However, we have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects. For example, where practical learning tasks would not be possible at home, or where it is not possible to share resources online.
During the daily teaching videos, via Google Classroom, teachers explain the learning for the day and will have uploaded the follow up activities and/or accompanying documents necessary to complete the tasks. Where we believe that concepts are too complex to be taught remotely, we will rearrange teaching sequences and teach these when children return to school.
Blended Learning and learning time for each day
How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?
The following amount of time should be set aside for home learning:
- Nursery – 2 hours a day
- Reception – 2 hours a day
- KS1 – 3 hours a day
- KS2 – 4 hours a day
For SEN children, where the work may be challenging, the expectation may be differentiated and will be discussed with parents by the teacher and Inclusion Leader.
We expect the daily work time to be between 9am and 3.30pm. Families may adjust the times to suit their particular circumstances.
Teachers will monitor work between 9am and 4pm daily.
Teachers will upload work and activities the night before in order to support parents so that parents can look at it and download any resources needed ready for the next day.
Activities during the day and throughout the week:
- Lessons will be taught using video and/or narrated resources, for example Maths from ‘White Rose’ and the class teacher for English, Topic, Phonics.
- Children will also be set various physical activities by their class teacher throughout the week.
- Pre-recorded video messages from the class teachers for the year group to say hello each day.
- Pre-recorded weekly Music lessons by our Music specialist teacher.
- Pre-recorded weekly Spanish lessons by our Spanish specialist teacher
- A live Google Meet session with the class teacher every week.
- In addition, there will be assemblies every day each week.
- Additional whole school activities based on wellbeing, PHSE, special days or national events
Accessing Online Education
How will my child access any online education you are providing?
We set work using Google Classroom as the main platform. All children in years Reception to Year 6 have individual logins to this.
Children in Reception to Year 2 also have individual Bug Club login details to access this site to support their reading progress.
This may be supplemented with other links to educational sites – but children will be sign posted to this via their Google Classroom account.
If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access blended learning?
- We will offer support for devices to any disadvantaged child who requires this – during a lockdown or isolation period
- We ask any other parent to contact the school if this is an issue. Contact Mrs Thomas.
- We have a number of laptops that we can loan out to support families.
- If any child does not have access to internet – work will need to be posted home via the school office. Pupils can post or email the work back if they cannot access Google classroom
- During whole school closure where there is a Key Worker Hub in operation, children without access to a device or internet will be invited in to school.
How will my child be taught remotely?
- Narrated explanation videos – video/audio recordings made by teachers or pre-produced appropriate lessons from BBC Bitesize or White Rose lessons for example.
- Presentations to read and look through.
- Printed paper packs produced by teachers (e.g. workbooks, worksheets).
- Reference to commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas e.g. Oxford Owl, BBC Bitesize and Oak National Academy, including video clips or sequences.
- Google Classroom feedback
- Bug Club to support reading progression.
Engagement and Feedback
What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?
There is an expectation from the DFE, Barnet and the school that ALL pupils will engage with remote education.
- Parents set up clear routines to support their child’s education that fit with their own life style and work commitments
- Parents set up a suitable work area for children,
- Parents establish good daytime routines e.g breakfast, bedtimes, break times, screen times. It is our expectation that parents monitor what their children are doing and that they check that work is being submitted and is of a good quality.
- We do not expect parents to do the work for their child.
- We expect parents to contact the teacher via the school office for further support where needed.
- We expect parents to ensure children follow the Google Meet guidelines set out in the Home School agreement
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
We ask for all work to be submitted on Google Classroom where appropriate and we will check every week that children have submitted. School will email/phone parents if we notice that work is consistently missing.
Class teachers will monitor the work being done. They will call parents if work is missing or children are not engaging to try to support parents. Texts and emails will be sent out to remind parents of the importance of engaging with remote learning, If problems with engagement persist, the school will report names of those not engaging to the Barnet Education Welfare Officer (EWO) to follow up.
How will you assess my child’s work and progress?
Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children.
- It will be a combination of written comments, voice comments and acknowledgement.
- Feedback will be age-appropriate.
- For some tasks e.g. Maths, answers will be provided for self-marking.
All learning activities need to be completed. Some will need to be sent back via Google Classroom.
These must be:
- Finished when returned to the class teacher.
- Returned on or before the deadline set by the class teacher.
- Completed to the best of the child’s ability.
- The child’s own work.
- The work will be acknowledged or marked with a comment from the class teacher between 9am and 4pm.
Assessment for learning activities alongside quizzes may be used to help assess progress of children.
Additional Support for Children with Particular Needs
How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?
We recognise that some children, for example some children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we will work with parents and carers to support those children in the following ways:
- In line with Government guidelines, all children with an EHCP are invited to attend school.
- SENCO, Class Teacher and Learning Support Assistants will contact with parents of SEN children to assess how well the child is getting on, making adjustments where needed.
- SENCO informs parents of any relevant external support e.g. workshops, helplines and information.
- During school closure, we continue to work with outside agencies and where possible and appropriate support for the children and families from outside agencies continues online.
Our SENCO will be available by telephone to contact parents and carers to check in and to offer support. Teaching Assistants who work with EHCP children will contact parents and pupils daily at home to discuss the learning if the child is not in school.
Blended Learning for Self-Isolating Children
Where individual children need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school blended learning is provided but will differ from the approach for whole groups isolating. This is due to the challenges of teaching children both at home and in school.
If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?
- A child isolating after testing positive provided they are asymptomatic and well enough to learn.
- A child isolating following a positive test of a family member in their household.
Assuming a COVID related absence is agreed with the school, and the pupil in question is healthy enough to work from home, the school will provide learning. The school will aim to provide home learning from the day after notification of the enforced absence has been received. Class teachers need one day’s notice to prepare suitable learning experiences for the child to complete at home.
For blended learning based on an individual pupil who is at home, then the following work will be provided for the 14 days of absence:
- A pack of work for maths and English will be provided. This will be based on revision of work that has been covered in previous weeks and will therefore be consolidation of prior learning. This pack may be posted home or emailed or collected if safe to do so.
- Along with this, there will be a list of immersion ideas sent home which will help pupils to immerse themselves in the topic that the children are doing at school. It may involve – listening to music, watching a video, making something, researching etc. This immersion will not be specific individual daily tasks but activities to do across the time off school, which will immerse a child in the school-based topic and allow them to gain lots of information and facts that they can bring to their learning back at school when they return.
- Where appropriate, work may be posted onto Google Classroom which matches what is happening in school each day. For example – My maths, worksheets etc. However, it is not possible to upload all of the daily learning that happens in a classroom as much of it is practical or heavily dependent on teacher explanation, scaffolding and feedback – which is not possible to deliver for one child via the online platform. Parents and children should check the Google Classroom each day. The class teacher will be unable to check the class chat function during the school day, as they will be engaged in their usual duties.
If only one child is away, it is not possible to provide videos of teaching.
During a single isolation period a parent without access to a device can ask to loan one (we now have 27 for loan).
Families who do not have a suitable device should contact Mrs Thomas. We can arrange for collection or possible delivery and parents will be required to sign the laptops out and agree to certain terms.
If any child does not have access to internet – work will need to be posted home via the school office. Pupils can post or email the work back or bring it in on their return.
Things we are proud of
- The very high take up (over 90%) of online learning and our follow up to get as many children participating every day
- Our provision to support those who are vulnerable, have learning needs or who find access to the learning challenging
- Phonics videos by staff and children applying their phonics learning to other areas of the curriculum
- Children making their own phonics monsters at home and feeding them phonics every day
- Teachers modelling the learning on pre-recorded videos
- Teachers using distorted voices to make learning exciting for reception children e.g The Evil Pea character
- The good uptake of children accessing the learning and activities
- Children sharing their own home made videos of their learning on Google Classroom
- Y1 science activities about water
- The lovely Y1 Lost & Found story maps produced
- The Y1 children really enjoyed writing letters at home to the author Oliver Jeffers and this really engaged and motivated them to write
- Teachers making learning interesting with props such as digraph /trigraph glasses in their videos
- Teacher pre-recorded videos which give good step by step explanation with new information in small manageable steps and model learning
- The Google classroom which allows for good interaction between teacher and pupil
- Y2 PHSE letter writing to a friend in the class – this really motivated and engaged children with a writing task at home. They enjoyed receiving letters from each other
- The use of Loom to show the teacher’s face whilst also looking at a document or book
- The Y2 Katie in London topic which linked literacy, geography & Science learning and inspired children to be very creative building London landmarks etc
- The teaching teams which are flexible and staff can arrange their working routines to suit their year group requirements with home learning and the Key Worker Hub. This means the teachers are operating well – providing home learning for the year group as a whole – offering a consistency across each year group.
- The use of MOTE on Google Classroom means the children can hear the teachers voice for feedback on their work – which they seem to like and staff have found this is also time efficient
- Y3 art portraits which developed and evolved over a week from pencil sketches, to colour layers to abstract and resulted in high quality work and finished products which were similar in design to those of Andy Warhol.
- Recapping prior learning before moving on
- The use of the smart board technology to edit, reveal, change videos with teacher voice over
- Using lots of images and visuals in pre-recorded maths videos to help support learning
- Y4 children who particularly enjoyed the history Viking topic and have really engaged in the practical home activities they have had to do such as making Viking bread, Viking boats and Viking jewellery.
- Y4 snow poems which were of high quality following the snow we had and inspired the children to want to write and engage with writing
- The many channels for communication through phone calls, emails, Google Classroom, postcards sent home, newsletters, The Pelham Post to children each week and Google Meets.
- Continued daily assemblies on important themes and messages to the children
- The continuation of Headteacher awards each week for excellent work
- Wellbeing Wednesdays to offer some wellbeing activities for the whole family to join in with e.g yoga, kindness jars, breathing techniques
- Continuing special days virtually such as charity events, Children’s mental health Week etc
- The children now knowing exactly what to expect and the clear routines that have been established
- Y5 response to the science absorbency video experiment
- Children using Google Classroom very effectively with uploading photos, documents, videos, audio slides etc
- Lots of science demonstrations using the home environment e.g Y5 reversible and irreversible changes in the home kitchen – toast, eggs, pasta etc
- Making welcome videos each day to introduce the days work
- Using technology such as the ‘visualiser’ to model and demonstrate the task in maths
- The balance between more theoretical work and the practical work on offer
- Y6 geography work on earthquakes where the children tried out experiments with jelly and straws
- The Y6 English ‘Viewer’ project where the children wrote an alternative ending – the quality of work was very high
- The Y6 performance poetry was superb – excellent videos uploaded
- Fostering the importance and a love of learning through weekly reading diaries uploaded and also our Reading to…… project
- Encouraging exercise with tasks and challenges regularly e.g The Daily Mile over the month of January
‘Myself and my husband would like to send a huge thank you to yourself and all of the staff at Holly Park. We can only imagine the enormous challenge faced by everyone since the start of the pandemic but the work set and the daily engagement has been amazing; the Holly Park community has really been upheld despite everyone being at home; we are very appreciative. ‘
‘We are proud of our daughter that she studied so diligently and with commitment, thanks to your and teachers’ help, She had a chance to feel part of this school and learn as if Lockdown did not exist. Thank you very much for helping and teaching our child and for psychological support in this difficult time. ‘
‘Thank you so much for everything you have done this half term. We really appreciate all the effort and hard work you have put in – the home learning activities, the videos, the phone calls (to name but a few things).’
‘Holly Park school has done amazingly well, honestly I am speaking as a mum now. I have been super impressed and really happy with all the work.’
‘Thought I would let you know that your teachers are doing an amazing job for the children on line. The work they are setting is great and the lesson videos are really helpful. It is really encouraging when they comment on work sent in, it helps us at home to get Amelia to do the work. Please send our thanks to them for all their hard work it is really appreciated.’
‘Overall I am very impressed, so well done to all the staff who have helped get this process working so well’
‘The online learning is up and running well via Google Classroom, with a good balance of work that recognises the pressure families (as well as teachers) are under. There is a clear sense that we are all called upon to do our very best for the children, but that we should not allow guilt or doom to overwhelm us should we fall short at any point. The teachers always take the time to post encouraging comments on the kids’ work – even if time only allows a simple ‘Well done!’. Assemblies and videos are posted daily, which maintain a sense of connection to the school, as well as conveying a clear sense of empathy towards the kids during this unique time, and enough pep to keep them (and the parents) going.’
‘I just wanted to say how impressed I am by how amazingly well you and the rest of the Holly Park team have responded to the huge challenges posed by the current situation….’
‘I would like to thank you all for fantastic work during this very uncertain time. The children really miss you!’
‘Thank you – you and your staff have all been completely unbelievable – so calm, caring and supportive’
‘Thank you! This Headteacher award in lockdown put a big smile on his’ face and it definitely helped him carry on today.’
‘Thank you so much for the Headteacher Award. She was thrilled to see it this morning!’
‘I just wanted to thank you for the award today. We’ve had a very difficult week, since my mother passed away last week. He was very close with her and has been really upset, and this has brought a smile to his face and something he could share with my bereaved father.’
‘Thank you very much for the postcard that came. She really enjoyed reading it.’
‘I have just got home and my daughter is watching the class teachers Google Classroom video from today. Please thank her for making my day! Love it! No wonder my daughter loves school so much.’
CPD For Staff On Blended Learning
Our Computing leads have provided on going teacher support and training with Google Classroom and Google meet. Regular meetings are scheduled for problem solving and idea sharing.
We are part of the Barnet Blended learning Project and staff have attended courses on:
- High quality Remote Assemblies
- Working with younger pupils
- The Blended Leader
- Live lessons
- Using Loom
- Working with parents
- How do we engage pupils with SEND and the hard to reach pupils?
- Ingredients for high quality blended learning