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Our Governors’ report from January 2020

How Are We Doing (More Importantly, How Are You Doing?)

As another week of home learning comes to an end, thank you to all the families who completed the recent Remote Learning Survey.  The results, together with individual feedback to teachers, has given us a great insight into how things are going and helped inform some of the tweaks the team have made in the last week.

We thought you may be interested in the survey results and the changes that have been implemented as a result.  Fifty-one families responded and the general response was overwhelmingly positive – words ‘fantastic’, ‘great’ and ‘amazing’ were used to describe the provision, with lots of comments about the direct input of the teachers and favourable comparisons to the March 2020 lockdown.

To specific questions (with yes, no or unsure answer choices):

  • 98% of you felt that learning tasks are clearly explained to children (and parents)

  • 92% of you felt that learning tasks are ambitious enough for your child

  • 86% of you felt that the balance of ‘live lessons’, recorded video and instruction was ‘just about right’ (8% felt that it wasn’t and 6% were unsure)

  • 61% of you felt that your child was receiving enough feedback about work, whereas 20% felt that feedback was insufficient and 20% were unsure or did not respond to the question

  • 90% of you felt the amount of learning provided was sufficient, 10% felt it was not (of which 8% felt there was not enough work and 2% felt that there was too much)

  • 88% of you felt that children are seeing their teacher enough, 4% felt that there was insufficient time with the teacher and 8% didn’t respond

There were a few areas which you highlighted as proving challenging or where you were unsure of the offer:

  • Only 37% of you were aware that you can access learning resources and books from school

  • And 47% of you said that you have experienced technology issues – mostly related to wifi glitches but in some cases due to understanding of how the various technology tools are being used.

  • And at least 25% of you noted that you were unsure of how to share work with the class teacher or that it had not been easy

What Have We Done?

In the last two weeks the team have made some changes which have streamlined the way technology is used and increased the range of provision offered.  As governors we have been amazed at the adaptability shown by all the team in school – all the teachers and teaching assistants are working their usual timetable in school and managing the delivery of live lessons and pupil interventions/support.  Here are some of the changes you will have seen:

  • Information sheets (for parents and children) are available to explain how to submit work and use the technology in Google Classroom

  • We’ve streamlined the process for handing in (or submitting) work to make it more manageable for the teachers and the children using Google Classroom to submit work.

  • This makes it easier to provide quick feedback – where deadlines have been set for core literacy and numeracy tasks the feedback will provided promptly through the Private Comments text box in each Assignment.

  • Lesson content is being continually refined – we are now providing individual or differentiated work where we think it will support children and we’ve added some additional sessions for the younger children

  • If we do need to discuss something in more detail with you we are trying to reach you by phone before emailing – it is SO much easier to have a chat!

  • Our approach will be slightly different between the four classes – we recognise that remote learning experience for 5 years olds (and their parents) is very different to 11 year olds!  Live lessons (synchronous learning) are offered where suitable and recorded video (asynchronous learning) is offered where we think it will be more beneficial to be able to pause during a lesson.

  • Sessions for classes have been staggered where possible to account for those of you with children in more than one class!

We are all learning in this together.  As governors we appreciate what a huge ask is being made of you as parents.  This is a huge juggling exercise with many of you working or supporting multiple children at the same time.  The staff at the school are hugely appreciate of all the effort you are making to support the pupils.  Likewise, we can also see the what an enormous task this is for school staff and we are hugely blessed to have such a committed team supporting your children.

One of our new duties is to ensure that remote learning meets the Department of Education Guidelines.  We’ve reviewed them and are confident that it does.  You will all be familiar with the 3-5 hours of provision requirement.  It is hard to measure hours given every child is different but we are confident that the sum of all the live lessons, assignments, topic work, guided reading, stories and additional activities you may be doing (cooking, walking, cycling, reading, learning new technology) all adds up to a rich and varied curriculum provision.    The school has taken a conscious decision to continue to follow the planned curriculum map and this means we have not needed to fall back on Oak Academy or other resources the government have offered.  Where the Oak academy Lessons or BBC Bitesize support and enrich the curriculum plans the team may use them but the teachers are committed to a more bespoke curriculum that matches the type of content the children would have been learning during the Spring term.  This will assist the return to school when it eventually happens.  The approach requires a huge investment of time and energy but the team believe it is worth it and we are appreciate of their commitment to deliver it.

Every family and every child is different and this lockdown is impacting us all in different ways.  Please be assured that the school team and governors are there if you need to discuss anything. In the first instance please speak with your child’s teacher but Mr Thomas is always available to chat through your concerns.

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