Remote Home Learning
During this extended period of school closure, our teachers remain committed to ensuring that students receive and engage with effective home learning. The main online platform through which this work is set is Microsoft Teams and there is a helpful guide below on how to access this platform. For those who may be unable to access online learning resources, please ensure that you let your form tutor know about this as we will then arrange for paper-based work to be posted out to you each week.
Parent / Carer Guide to Remote Home Learning
Home learning presents us all with formidable challenges. We are all learning how to do things differently for a while. Across the RGTS community of students, teachers and staff there is a wide range of comfort with technology. Even the most digitally-savvy young people may struggle with the educational technology that we have put in place. This is unchartered territory for us all but we must support each other to ensure the best outcome for our young people. The guidance below will help support parents/carers in constructing a positive Remote Home Learning environment for students.
1. Establish routines and expectations
It is important to develop good habits from the start. Create a flexible routine and talk about how it’s working over time. Chunk your child’s days into predictable segments. Help students get up, get dressed and be ready to learn at a reasonable time. Adjust schedules to meet everyone’s needs but don’t default to allowing them to stay up late and sleep in. (However, a ‘duvet day’ now and then can be a treat).
2. Choose a good place to learn
Your family’s regular learning space for occasional homework might not work for extended periods. Set up a physical location that’s dedicated to school-focused activities. Make sure it is quiet, free from distractions and has a good internet connection. Make sure an adult monitors online learning. Keep doors open, and practise good digital safety.
3. Stay in touch
Teachers will mainly be communicating regularly through our online platforms and virtual learning environments. Live surgery times are available on the ‘Remote Home Learning’ page which will tell you when your child’s subject teachers are available by the MS Teams chat function. Form tutors and HOYs are also available by MS Teams chat or via email. If you do not have the email address of a teacher, you can contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Help students “own” their learning
No one expects parents/carers to be full-time teachers or to be educational and content-matter experts. Provide support and encouragement, and expect your children to do their part. Struggling is allowed and encouraged! Don’t help too much. Becoming independent takes lots of practice.
5. Begin and end the day by checking-in
In the morning, you might ask:
- What classes/subjects do you have today?
- Do you have any assessments?
- How will you spend your time?
- What resources do you need?
- What can I do to help?
At the end of the day you might ask:
- How far did you get in your learning tasks today?
- What did you discover? What was hard?
- What could we do to make tomorrow better?
These brief grounding conversations matter in checking that students can process instructions they have received from their teachers and in helping them organise themselves and set priorities – older students too. Not all students thrive in home learning; some struggle with too much independence or lack of structure. These check-in routines can help avoid later challenges and disappointments. They help students develop self-management and executive functions that are essential skills for life. Parents/Carers are good life coaches.
6. Establish times for quiet and reflection
For families with children of different ages and parents/carers who may also be unexpectedly working from home more often, it’s good to build in some time for peace and quiet. Siblings may need to work in different rooms to avoid distraction. Many families will need to negotiate access to devices, priorities for wi-fi bandwidth and schedules throughout the day
7. Encourage physical activity and exercise
Living and working at home, we will all need some room to let off steam. Moving (independently and together as a family) is vital to health, wellbeing, and readiness for learning. It’s a great opportunity to practise exercising “alone-together” with digital workouts and online instructors.
8. Manage stress and make the most of an unusual situation
We are going through a time of major upheaval to our normal routines and ways of life and there’s a great deal of anxiety in the world right now. Emotions may be running high and children may be worried or fearful. Parents/Carers may be stressed too and children are often keenly aware of trouble. Children benefit when they get age-appropriate factual information and ongoing reassurance from trusted adults. Websites that provide this are:
- COVID-19 - resources for parents and carers - Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
- Information and Resources for Talking About COVID-19 - NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
9. Monitor time on-screen and online
Remote Home Learning does not mean staring at computer screens for seven and half hours every day. Teachers will aim to build in variety, but it will require some trial and error before everyone finds a balance between online and close-space, offline learning experiences. Work together to find ways to prevent “down time” from becoming just more “screen time”.
10. Connect safely with friends and be kind
The initial excitement of school being closed will have now faded and your child may have started to miss their friends, classmates and teachers. Help your children maintain contact with friends, through social media and other online technologies, but ensure you monitor their usage. Make sure your child is polite, respectful and appropriate in their communications and that they follow school guidelines in their interactions with others.
11. Reporting Issues
If you do face any issues during this home learning period, RGTS teachers and support staff are on hand to help. Please see below the contact details of the relevant departments, as well as the school’s revised opening hours:
School Revised Opening Hours: 9am – 3.00pm
School Contact Telephone: 020 8312 5498
General Enquiry or Issue: Info@rgtrustschool.net
Issues accessing online platforms: IT-Support@rgtrustschool.net