Home Learning

At Macaulay Academy we ensure that we continue to provide a high quality education for children working remotely from home. The remote education we provide is equivalent in length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school (in line with DfE guidance) and includes both:

  • Synchronous (live) and asynchronous (non-live)
  • time for children to complete tasks and assignments independently

The amount of remote education provided should be, as a minimum:

  • Key Stage 1: 3 hours a day on average across the cohort, with less for younger children
  • Key Stage 2: 4 hours a day

Remote teaching and study time each day

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

We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take pupils broadly the following number of hours each day:

EYFS – Nursery and receptionNursery
15 minute zoom (Maths or literacy)
Weekly challenge pack sent him linking to our class book
Phonics (30 minutes)
Maths (15 minutes)
Literacy (15 minutes)
Topic activities posted on Tapestry
Key Stage 1 – Years 1 and 2Year 1
Phonics (25 minutes session with 20 minute activity)
Maths (20 minute session with 20 minute activity)
Wider Curriculum activities (1 hour activity)
Weekly PE lesson (30 minute activity)
Weekly craft challenge .
Work packs handed out.
Year 2
Phonics/ Reading (25 minutes session with 20 minute activity)
Maths (25 minute session with 20 minute activity)
Wider Curriculum activities (1 hour activity)
Weekly PE lesson (30 minute activity)
Key Stage 2 – Years 3,4,5,6Year 3
Reading (30 minutes session with 20 minute activity)
Maths (30 minute session with 20 minute activity)
Wider Curriculum activities (1 hour activity)
Weekly PE lesson (30 minute activity)

Year 4
Reading/ Writing (20 minute independent task)
Literacy (30 minutes session with 30 minute activity)
Maths (30 minute session with 30 minute activity)
Times table practice (20 minutes)
Wider Curriculum activities (1 hour activity)
Weekly PE lesson (30 minute activity)

Year 5
Writing (30 minute independent task)
Maths (30 minute session with 30 minute activity)
Reading (30 minutes session with 30 minute activity)
Wider Curriculum activities (1 hour activity)
Weekly PE lesson (1 hour activity)

Year 6
Writing (30 minute independent task)
Maths (30 minute session with 30 minute activity)
Reading/Writing (30 minutes session with 30 minute activity)
Wider Curriculum activities (1 hour activity)
Reading Plus (20 minutes).
Weekly PE session (30 minutes).
Daily story reading (20mins)
Responding to feedback time (15mins).
Alongside this, 20 minute interventions take place three times a week for children who are receiving targeted support. This also includes individual support based on previous days learning.

Accessing Remote Education

Our remote learning is primarily delivered through Zoom live sessions as our children found Zoom the easiest to use and teacher’s can deliver the quality of remote learning they desire through this medium. Children were given time to prepare and practice remote learning in the Autumn term so, in the event of a closure, the children were already comfortable and confident using home learning methods.

We provided our children with a balance of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (non-live) sessions. Children also became confident using Purple Mash, Seesaw and Microsoft Teams apps such as Sway and Forms – mediums which are fundamental to our home learning offer. We ensured these pieces of software were embedded in our curriculum as early as possible to ensure all children had a smooth transition into home learning.

We recognise that some pupils may not have suitable online access at home. The following approaches were taken to support those pupils to access remote education:

  • appropriate and safe devices provided where needed
  • data and internet access provided where needed in order
  • home packs which include any stationary and reading books provided
  • additional resources which are aligned to and mirror the digital remote learning programme if necessary

Support for Parents and Carers

We understand that home learning can be difficult, and we want to support parents and carers through these challenging times as much as possible. During lockdown, we offered virtual support sessions for parents and carers who needed assistance with their children accessing remote learning. Teachers worked alongside parents and carers to support with issues such as technological problems or behavioural challenges.

During periods of home learning, registers were taken every morning. For those children not accessing, phone calls were made to offer support where necessary to help children access their online learning. These checks and calls were performed daily in order to check welfare of pupils and support pupils’ engagement in learnings. At all stages we have, and will continue to, work together with parents, carers and pupils to support their engagement and attendance. If there are any issues with regards to engagement and attendance, parents and carers are contacted so we can offer support and advice whenever it is required.

Children’s Work and Progress

We understand the importance of feedback, particularly during times of remote learning. Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children. For example, whole-class feedback or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others.

Pupils receive feedback in several different ways. These are balanced and appropriate to support teacher, pupils and purpose. These include;

  • In the moment feedback during live sessions, through teacher / pupil interaction
  • General marking of work submitted/uploaded
  • Verbal feedback, sent through a recorded message attached to the pupil’s work
  • Video uploaded to SeeSaw which identifies misconception with teacher modelling how to address this misconception

Feedback is a vital part of engaging and supporting learning and wellbeing during remote learning. As such we ensure that all children get feedback daily. At a time when human interaction was minimal, we found our children responded best when feedback was either via a voice message or a video. Children enjoyed responding to the feedback via their own voice messages and videos too.

Additional support for pupils with SEND

We recognise that some pupils, for example those 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 work with parents and carers to support those pupils in the following ways:

Communication and Interaction

All of our live sessions have a ‘screen on’ policy. This forms apart of the agreement signed by parents and carers. This not only allows us to safeguard our children and staff but also creates opportunities for communication and interaction between pupils. Sessions are designed to allow times for interactions and discussions. Monitored break out rooms have been used to provide children will opportunities to interact and communicate in smaller groups.

Time has been given throughout the day for ‘off-timetable’ discussions, providing children with opportunities to discuss any areas of interest or concern with other children and adults. Where necessary, issues are passed on to our safeguarding team.

Technology has been used to support those children with SEND. Videos voice messages have been used instead of text, and teaching assistants have been able to conduct 1:1 sessions with those children to ensure that their learning needs are being met albeit remotely.

Cognition and learning

At all stages, learning is personalised to meet the needs of individuals. If a child was a part of a learning programme at school, this programme was continued during the remote learning period. Children were given opportunities to explore the technologies in the autumn term to ensure they were familiar with their programmes, (for example, Lexia and Phonics Tracker) so that the shift towards home learning was as smooth as possible.

Physical copies of work packs were sent home to those children who required them. Children were also provided with technology or learning support materials that they required. Resources, such as counting blocks and phonics mats, were sent home to children who require them to support their learning.

Our school SEND team worked across all year groups to ensure that additional SEND support was offered to those children who required it. Where appropriate, teachers would plan in structured work to ensure that children are receiving the support they require to access the age appropriate work set for the session.

Children were provided with reading books appropriate for their level, and there were opportunities to read to adults in 1:1 sessions. Children were also able to participate in reading programmes such as Lexia and Phonics Tracker, as well as targeted interventions to support our most vulnerable readers.

Physical health and development

As apart of our commitment to ensure of remote learning offer reflected our in school curriculum, regular PE sessions were apart of our weekly timetable across all year groups. For those children with particular targets related to their physical health and development, 1:1 sessions were made available and these children were given a priority place in school.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Where possible, we ensured that those children who were eligible were given a priority for a place in school so that their learning could be supported face-to-face. Weekly PSHE sessions were available for children to discuss thoughts and feelings during this difficult time. Feelgood Friday sessions provided children with activities to build relationships with family members, support positive things and build self esteem. Such activities included baking, exploring, creating and performing.

Delivering the Curriculum

We teach the same curriculum remotely and in the same sequence as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. However, we have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects. For example, new concepts in maths that require specialised maths equipment or specific resources have been reserved for the children’s return to school. Our curriculum offer still ensures that pupils are building on previous knowledge and developing through the year group. Our subject leaders have identified areas which would benefit from being explored more once children returned to school. As a result of this, children have had opportunities once returning to school to dive deeper into areas that were introduced via remote learning.

In addition, teachers have used assessments to identify areas within remote learning where children have struggled and targeted interventions have been created for children to reinforce areas that were taught during remote learning. For those children who did not access remote learning, catch up programmes have been created to enable those particular pupils to still make good progress. We ensured our most vulnerable children were kept safe and were prioritised for face-to-face education. That ensured that these children were accessing the same curriculum areas as their peers at home, but were still in school to benefit from quality-first teaching along with human interactions and support.

Support for Staff

Our teachers and support staff have been provided with high quality training to ensure that they are comfortable and confident delivering a quality-first education remotely. These include:

  • Weekly remote learning newsletter provided to all staff (during lockdown period)
  • Remote learning training for teaching assistants
  • Training via the EdTech programme
  • Bespoke remote learning training for Macaulay staff
  • Weekly support sessions available during lockdown period

Training was delivered by the Delta Academies Trust, Mr Berry (remote learning lead and EdTech Innovator) and other partners who delivered training via the EdTech programme.