Will my son/daughter be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were on-site?• In broad terms, we teach the same curriculum remotely as we do on-site. What this means in practice is that your son / daughter’s timetable continues as it would if they were physically attending. For example, if your son / daughter has a timetabled lesson at 9am on Monday morning they should attend that lesson remotely via Teams.
• Although timetabled lessons will continue as normal it is important to note that actual lesson delivery will vary from subject to subject. Due to the broad-range of courses that the College offers Course Leaders and teachers have adapted their remote delivery to make it as effective as possible in their course.
These FAQs about TAGs have been put forward by our students. We hope our answers provide the information required by our students, but also their parents and carers too. If our answers do not provide the information required, and so generate new questions, please email these new questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to answer them in future editions of the Principal’s Bulletin.
If you have specific questions about TAGs which are related to your personal circumstances, please speak to your subject teacher, or your progress tutor, in the first instance.
• In broad terms, we teach the same curriculum remotely as we do on-site. What this means in practice is that your son / daughter’s timetable continues as it would if they were physically attending. For example, if your son / daughter has a timetabled lesson at 9am on Monday morning they should attend that lesson remotely via Teams.
• Although timetabled lessons will continue as normal it is important to note that actual lesson delivery will vary from subject to subject. Due to the broad-range of courses that the College offers, Course Leaders and teachers have adapted their remote delivery to make it as effective as possible in their course.
• The College’s general principle with regards to time spent completing independent study tasks is that a student should spend at least 1 hour working on independent tasks for every 1 hour of teaching. For example, if your son / daughter is timetabled to attend three 90 minute lessons per week in a particular subject, they should spend approximately 4 ½ hours working independently on that subject. Although this is the College’s aspiration we are aware of the challenges that students face whilst trying to study remotely which will mean that it is not always possible for them to devote the suggested number of hours to independent study per week. As parents / carers support and encourage your son / daughter to do as much as they can.
• Teachers will provide your son / daughter with clear guidance and structured tasks to ensure that the time they spend studying independently is effective, efficient and relevant. Students should always aim to complete these tasks within the timeframe specified by their teacher.
• The College’s platform for the delivery of timetabled lessons is Microsoft Teams. Your son / daughter has been accessing 1/3 of their lessons and their tutorial lessons via Teams since the start of the year so they know how to log-in and how to participate during lessons.
• In addition to Teams, teachers use Moodle to share course resources or as a jumping-off point to other sites which host their course resources.
• If a student does not have the hardware to access the internet we will lend laptops or tablets to them. If your son / daughter requires a laptop or tablet they should contact their Progress Tutor in the first instance. Please note that laptops and tablets are a finite resource and we have already issued a significant number of devices to students who were most in need of them.
• If a student has very poor or no internet connection at home they should come into College to access their remote lessons. If your son / daughter needs to access the College site for this purpose, they should contact their Progress Tutor who will make the necessary arrangements to enable them to safely work on-site.
• We are actively seeking to minimise the access that students require to paper-based resources; if your son / daughter does require hard copies of resources their teacher will ensure that they have access to them.
• Lessons will continue in accordance with your son / daughter’s timetable. Although the structure and content of remote lessons will vary, as a minimum teachers will meet the class at the start of each lesson and will explain the planned activities, the work that they are expected to produce and how the work should be submitted (if applicable). The teacher will be available to the class for the full duration of the lesson to answer questions in addition to providing students with feedback to ensure that they are making good progress.
• Your son / daughter’s lessons will contain a variety of activities and approaches. Some examples include the use of pre-recorded video / audio made by the class teacher, printed / online packs such as workbooks and worksheets, the use of textbooks which students have at home, providing access to commercially available websites to support the teaching of specific subjects or topics, the use of video clips or sequences, long-term coursework / NEA project work and associated research activities.
• The key to effective remote learning is timely communication between the student and their teacher. Please strongly encourage your son / daughter to attend every remote lesson in accordance with their timetable and to speak to their teacher as soon as possible about any barriers that they are experiencing that are preventing them from making good progress.
Click here to access further information about our approach to remote learning.
• Our aim is that your son / daughter engages with their remote lessons as they would their face-to-face lessons. In practice this means that they should complete all tasks that their teacher sets to the best of their ability within the specified timeframe, ask and answer questions during remote lessons, complete directed independent learning tasks in accordance with their teacher’s instructions, proactively contact their teacher if they are experiencing difficulties in their learning, complete and submit work for formal assessment in accordance with their teacher’s expectations.
• Registers will be taken as usual for every remote lesson. If your son / daughter is not able to attend a lesson, including a remote lesson, due to illness or for other reasons, they should phone the College’s absence line (01484-652 341) to report their absence.
• As parents / carers the best way that you can support your son / daughter is by ensuring that they attend their lessons as normal and by prioritising their use of a device and quiet space when they have timetabled lessons. If you have any concerns or queries about the College’s remote education provision please contact your son / daughter’s Progress Tutor via Cedar. Please never interrupt a remote lesson to raise your concerns directly with the teacher as this will disrupt the whole class.
• On Cedar you will also find information about your son / daughter’s attendance, feedback from staff and Progress Grades so it is worth checking on a regular basis.
• The College have produced a simple ABC of expectations which have been shared with students to guide their conduct when accessing remote lessons. Your support in enforcing these expectations is much appreciated.
A - ATTEND
o You should be logged into Teams at the time of your online lesson and fully engage with activities as directed by your teacher.
o It is your responsibility to contact your teacher if you are experiencing difficulties accessing your online lessons.
o If you are unable to attend an online lesson due to illness you should inform the College by 10:00am.
B - BE RESPECTFUL
o Dress appropriately and consider what others can see behind you.
o Understand that there may be many of you trying to give answers or ask questions, follow your teacher’s instructions and use appropriate language.
o Be patient and kind, online learning is a new experience for your teachers as well as you.
C - COMMIT
o Commit to trying your best and keeping up to date with your work as you would if you were attending lessons on-site.
o Make sure that you are accessing online lessons in an environment that is free from distractions.
o Proactively participate in all your online lessons.
• Teachers will closely monitor your son / daughter’s engagement and participation during remote lessons. If they have concerns about their engagement they will mark the register with a ‘z’ code. The ‘z’ code means that your son / daughter was logged-in throughout the remote lesson but did not participate effectively and / or submit any of the tasks that were set.
• If teachers have ongoing concerns about your son / daughter’s attendance, engagement and /or participation they will record these on Cedar. Progress Tutors co-ordinate the College’s intervention strategy and parents / carers are involved from the point at which concerns extend beyond an isolated incident.
• Students will receive feedback about their progress along with clear direction about their immediate learning priorities on a weekly basis. This feedback will take many forms but usually it will be verbal and will occur during timetabled lessons.
• The setting, collection and marking of written work will vary from subject to subject. As a general guide, you can expect your son / daughter to be set written tasks to complete every lesson. Teacher assessment of written work will occur at least once every three weeks. Teachers will also use other forms of assessment and feedback on a more regular basis. These might include self and peer-assessment, quizzes, verbal Q&A, verbal questions with written answers and multiple choice questions.
• Students who are taking mainly or wholly coursework-assessed courses will continue to follow the assessment schedule for that course.
• Note that as a College we are proactively engaging with the Department for Education, Ofqual and exam boards about courses which have experienced additional challenges as a result of the pandemic. Courses more adversely affected include those which require students to access specialist resources and equipment, those which have practical and work placement assessments, and courses which require 1-2-1 coaching to develop skills. Although the Department for Education have acknowledged that remote learning in these courses is extremely difficult they haven’t yet released details of how this lost learning will be compensated.
• Students with an EHCP are entitled to attend the College and have been contacted to determine whether they wish to do so. The College will continue to provide transport for students with an EHCP in the usual way.
• Throughout the first term, students with SEND have been engaging remotely with their Student Support Assistant via Teams as well as face to face. This support is now entirely through Teams. Where barriers exist the Student Support Assistant will explore alternative solutions.
• There are other specific groups of students who can work on-site should they choose to do so. The College’s Safeguarding Team are in communication with these students and regularly review the College’s provision to ensure that these students’ needs are met.
• Any student who feels that they would benefit from working on-site should contact their Progress Tutor so that appropriate provision can be provided. Please bear in mind that the College must operate at all times within the latest health guidelines produced by the Department for Education and this guidance places restrictions on the cohorts and numbers of students who are allowed to access the College site.