COVID RESPONSE: Remote learning and FAQ

This page will be updated to reflect the current government advice and guidance around the pandemic. It was last updated on Thursday 14 January to include guidance about expectations for students engaged in on-line ‘live’ lessons. Our approach is informed by the guidance issued by the government regarding how schools should respond to the pandemic, this can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/guidance-for-schools-coronavirus-covid-19

What should I do if my child has symptoms of Covid-19?

If your child is exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, you should arrange for them to be tested. If the test is negative they should return to College, if it is positive you need to inform the College immediately via email: office@catmosecollege.com so that we can take appropriate action. Once informed, we will track all staff and students who have been in close proximity of the student (generally defined as closer than 2 metres for 15 minutes or more), and will require all those that are identified to isolate for 10 days. In January 2021 we have implemented on-site testing for those identified as a close contact of a positive case so that students will no longer need to isolate if they test negative each day for seven days. We have communicated our approach to parents and sought their consent but please get in touch if you have any questions. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-asymptomatic-testing-in-schools-and-colleges/coronavirus-covid-19-asymptomatic-testing-in-schools-and-colleges

 

REMOTE LEARNING

What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of students being sent home?

All work will be set on show my homework. Students can access this through the app on their phone or through a website. Parents can do the same. If you have lost your login please use the lost password link on the login page. If you need further support, please email itsupport@catmosecollege.com.

Following the first few days of remote education, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school?

Yes. It is our intention to deliver the same curriculum as we would at College. If it’s appropriate to do so the order of some topics will be moved about so that the work set at home is accessible and allows students to continue to make progress. Students will, however, over the course of the year cover all of the content we intended to within our planned curriculum. For more details of our curriculum please read: https://www.catmosecollege.com/curriculum-overview/ where you will find further details about what we teach in each subject, broken down by year.

How long can I expect work set by the College to take my child each day?

We expect students to work for just over 5 hours per day on classwork and 30 minutes for a tutorial. In addition, they will need to spend around one hour per day in KS3, rising to two hours per day at KS4 completing prep. We will follow your child’s normal timetable through any period of remote learning and the usual pattern of the working day will be followed using the timings found here: https://www.catmosecollege.com/information/catmose-college-day/.

Electives time will be given over to private study to allow students to catch-up any incomplete work or prep.

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

They may use any device capable of accessing the internet. Many students simply use their mobile phone. All work will be accessible through SMHW.  In addition, live lessons will be offered using Microsoft Teams which is available as an app on mobile phone platforms, windows or MacOS. Students can access all of these resources through our VLE which can be accessed by clicking here: http://vle.catmosecollege.com. Here they can access their home network area, the Microsoft Office suite (word, Excel and powerpoint), email, Teams and SMHW.

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?

Please contact itsupport@catmosecollege.com who will be able to offer you support and advice. We will do what we can to help.

How will my child be taught remotely?

Other students would not attend on-site. Online lessons will be set using SMHW complemented by live lessons using Microsoft Teams. At KS3 we will offer at least one hour lesson per week for the core lessons of maths, English, humanities and science. In other subjects a live one hour lesson using Microsoft Teams will be offered after every three SMHW lessons. These lessons would take place during the normal timetable slot to avoid clashes. At KS4 we will offer one live lesson per week per GCSE subject during their normal timetable slot. Teachers may also ask students to attend additional live lessons. A register of attendance will be taken and we will seek your support if students do not attend.

If students struggle with any work that is set, they should email their class teacher directly, but also look to complete other work whilst they wait for a response. For students needing additional support, small group live lessons will also be offered to complement the work set on SMHW.

What happens in my child’s lessons if a member of staff needs to isolate as a result of Covid-19 symptoms?

If they are well enough, then they will set work on SMHW and then if appropriate join the lesson virtually using Teams. An additional member of staff will be deployed to support the teacher delivering the virtual lesson from home.

Teacher delivering a lesson to a class whilst isolating at home.

Teacher delivering a lesson to a class whilst isolating at home.

What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

Our expectations for remote learning are the same as they would be at College. We have written a specific procedure that complements our existing behavior and exclusion polices. It can be read here: RDSF Remote learning and behaviour protocol January 2021.

We know from the last lockdown that students who established good routines early found working from home more manageable, please therefore discuss with your child expectations around getting up in the morning, attending lessons, completing work in good time and being proactive in seeking help if they are struggling with anything. We are very mindful of students’ wellbeing and the additional pressure of needing to isolate. We have added an additional page of support on our website (https://www.catmosecollege.com/mental-well-being/). Your child should also feel comfortable to email their tutor who can then access further support through Client Services for those that need our help.

Your child’s tutor, will be asking all students to join their usual tutorial lesson at 2:05pm every day, (except Wednesday) and a register will be taken at that point. This will be an opportunity to carry out the usual tutorial programme but also for students to simply to check in with their tutor if they have a concern or question about what is happening.

How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?

We will monitor your child’s access to SMHW and contact parents directly if we are concerned. Likewise, teachers will be taking registers for live lessons, checking work is submitted on time, marking it and providing feedback in the usual way.

We will continue to contact parents when we have concerns about their child. We also encourage parents to contact teachers directly using email (addresses are available from the last report home) if you have any concerns about the work being too hard, too easy, too much or too little.

How will you assess my child’s work and progress?

Teachers will mark and follow up with additional support with students who have not completed work, or, their work is below their usual standard. We will still follow our published assessment calendar of checkpoints and key assessments, the results of which will be reported home in the usual way. We will also continue to offer our usual progress evening albeit online so that you can discuss your child with their teacher.

How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?

Following individual risk assessments, students with EHC plans will be educated on-site unless it is considered unsafe for them and they will have access to their usual support. For Designated Special Provision (DSP) students, their core lessons will be taught by specialist teachers and learning from non-core subjects will be supported by teaching assistants utilising SMHW.

For those students who are working from home and need additional support, Teaching Assistant support will be made available via Microsoft Teams.

If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating or are ill for another reason, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?

Prior to lockdown, classwork was not routinely set for students who were absent. However, in order to keep students’ learning on track as a result of any absence, we have changed this approach. In addition to prep, classwork is now being set by the end of each working day by teachers on SMHW so that those who are absent, whether COVID–19 related or not, will be able to do their classwork as well as prep, if they are well enough. If students struggle with the work or need further help, then please ask them to email the teacher directly in the usual way but be aware that teachers are unlikely to be able to respond immediately because of their usual teaching commitments. Students should move onto another piece of work until they receive the help they need.

Once the student returns to College, teachers will review their work and, if the student was not well enough to finish it, teachers will give the student a reasonable time frame to complete it. Routine procedures will follow, such as catch-up sessions, if further time is needed and we will contact you in that event.

If the student is struggling with their workload, there will be a 1:1 meeting with a member of the Intervention Team who will produce a plan to support the student. Interventions may include additional work in lessons, withdrawal from non-core lessons and morning or afternoon catch-ups.

A chart showing the College’s process to maintain the student’s learning during absence can be found here.

SUSTAINING OUR ETHOS

Will extra-curricular clubs be offered?

We are gradually reintroducing clubs once we are satisfied that our risk assessments are robust enough. We have already started clubs in art, sport, war hammer and role playing. In addition electives, albeit, reduced in nature have resumed since the start of term. We are actively considering wider opportunities in music and performance but by their nature these activities are proving more challenging to risk assess. In addition, our music, academic and sports scholars programme have resumed. We will notify parents of new opportunities using email and Xpressions in the usual way. Please also like us on Facebook (Like Page)as we will use this platform to keep our community informed of events and to celebrate our students’ achievements.

Will there be progress evenings?

Yes, you will be invited to meet with your child’s teachers as usual using the on-line booking system but the meeting itself will be held virtually using Microsoft Teams. Further information will be issued prior to each evening.

Will you resume trips and visits?

We are not planning any trips and visits that require overnight stays at present, as soon as the pandemic is managed we will be re-launching our usual programme. Where it is reasonably practical to do so, we are arranging local trips to fulfil the requirements of courses provided we are able to do so in a Covid secure way.

KEEPING EVERYONE SAFE

The wearing of face coverings

The use of face coverings is now required for staff or students at the College when not in formal lessons or working socially distanced in offices during the period of national lockdown, starting Thursday 5 November until further notice. For more information please read the following letter that was issued to staff and parents. Letter from Mr Williams re Covid update 3.11.20

In addition, some staff and students need to wear PPE at all times because of their particular circumstances. Staff have been asked to continue to remain 2 m away from students which specifically mitigates the need for face coverings in class. There will be occasions when staff need to come closer that 2m, for example to support individual students, except in emergencies eg for first aid they will alway seek permission from the student before doing so. In addition, they will wear a face covering and will request that students do the same. This will only be for short periods of time, for example, to give critical feedback and if students do not wish to wear a face covering or do not have one staff will remain 2 m away unless it is an emergency situation.

If there is a significant change in the number of infections or government advice changes we will review our current position and update parents accordingly.
This approach conforms with the latest government advice on face coverings in schools which states “In schools where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained. “https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020

What will happen at social times once students have finished eating? Will they need to stay in their bubble?

Once students have finished eating they will need to leave as soon as possible and either go back to their classroom or, whilst weather permits use one of our outside spaces where social distancing is more easily maintained. They should not break their social bubble or be in groups that are greater than six in total.

Should students stay in their bubbles when travelling to and from college?

Yes. If walking with friends they should either be with siblings or with one other from their bubble. They should also show courtesy to others, ensuring that social distancing rules are adhered to.

Are staff allocated to social bubbles?

No, staff will be keeping to social distancing rules and will remain at least 2 metres away from each other and students. If they need to come closer than 2 metres then additional measures including face coverings and gloves will be used.

What will happen if a student breaks the rules around social bubbles or other aspects of following good hygiene and social distancing?

In the first instance we will support them to understand why these rules are so important and ask them to correct their behaviour putting in place a risk assessment to support students to understand further our expectations. If however, they persist in breaking the rules (which will put others potentially at risk), then we will use sanctions including detaining them at the end of the day, isolating them from their peers and engaging with you their parents for support. If ultimately they will not comply, we will have no choice but to exclude students and, in exceptional cases, I will consider permanent exclusion as a last resort. We hope this will not be necessary and the usual calm but busy environment where staff and students work well together will continue to be the norm.  Further information on the College’s Student Behaviour Management Policy can be found here.

Our exclusion policy can be read by clicking here.

If having read through all of this you have any further questions please contact the college using email: office@catmosecollege.com.

What happens if a parents or visitor need to attend the College site?

We are only allowing visitors to site for exceptional reasons and you should not come onto the premises unless you have been invited to do so specifically. Anyone who attends site without an agreed appointment will not be allowed to enter the site.  If it is necessary to come into the building please read this short information page (here) which summarises the steps we will take to keep you and our community safe. You should ensure you have brought a face covering as this will be required for you to enter our premises.