Sixth Form

Useful Links

GSO Test

Online and Home Learning

Remote education provision: information for parents

This information is intended to provide guidance to students, parents and carers about what to expect from remote education when local restrictions require individuals or groups of students (or bubbles) to remain at home and be taught remotely.

For details of what to expect where individual pupils are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.

The remote curriculum: what is taught to pupils at home

We have made preparations for actions to prepare for periods of remote teaching whether these be short or longer periods. However, a pupil’s first day or two of being educated remotely might look different from our standard approach.

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

Following the first few days of remote education, your child will be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school. Some concepts may be taught slightly differently or using different activities.

  • All students have access to Firefly which is the school’s virtual learning environment.
  • Students are set work using this platform and should check for updates regularly.
  • In the event that they are required to remain at home, tasks and resources are likely to be made available through Firefly as soon as possible.

Remote teaching and study time each day

We will ensure that remote education will offer approximately five hours of work per day, just as face-to-face learning in school would. This time will include an initial registration in a Teams meeting for each lesson, followed by a mixture of activities which may include Teams based learning or independent work on Firefly or another web-based platform (e.g. Maths Watch). The times of the school day are shown below.

Lesson Time Duration
Registration and Form Time 8:50 - 9.10 am 20 mins
Lesson 1 9:10 am - 10.10 am 1 hour
Lesson 2 10.10 - 11.10 am 1 hour
Break 11.10 - 11.25 am 15 mins
Lesson 3 11.25 - 12.25 pm 1 hour
Lunch 12.25 - 1.15 pm 50 mins
Lesson 4 1.15 - 2.15 pm 1 hour
Lesson 5 2.15 - 3.15 pm 1 hour


Please note: 

  • Lesson timings will be the same every day of the week: Wednesday will not be a shorter day. 
  • Every lesson will be one hour long,  
  • All lessons will start on time however, some online Teams lessons will be shorter than an hour and may finish early. 
  • The end of school will be at 3:15 for all students in all year groups. 
  • These timings are temporary, for the current period of home schooling only: when all students return on site, we will go back to the timings as of September 


Accessing remote education

In order to take part in remote education your child will need access to;

  • wi-fi
  • webcam, microphone and speakers either built in or attached
  • Username and password for Microsoft Teams and Firefly
  • Additional passwords might be required for some subject specific online platforms (e.g., Mathswatch)

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

We recognise that some pupils may not have suitable online access at home.

For this reason, if your child is unable for whatever reason to access online resources at home, it is critical that you contact the school immediately by telephone (0121 4641881) so that supportive measures can be put into place. We typically take one or more of the following measures, as needed, to help those pupils access remote education:

  • posting out photocopied work, books and sheets to complete independently.  


For a small number of specific students, other measures may need to be put into place on an individual basis. 

  •  provision of internet access dongles
  • posting out photocopied work, books and sheets to complete independently.
  • For a small number of specific students, other measures may need to be put into place on an individual basis.

How will my child be taught remotely?

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach pupils remotely:

  • live teaching (online lessons) via Microsoft Teams
  • recorded teaching (e.g., Oak National Academy lessons, video/audio recordings made by teachers)
  • printed paper packs produced by teachers (e.g., workbooks, worksheets)
  • textbooks and reading books pupils have at home
  • freely available websites (e.g., BBC Bitesize) supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences
  • long-term project work and/or internet research


Engagement by parents and students

Our expectations for parents, carers and students are laid out in detail in our Blended Learning Policy which is available from the school website. A summary of expectations can be found below.

Students should attend their timetabled online lessons promptly, participate to the best of their ability and complete all tasks set by their teachers, just as they would in face-to-face lessons. However, they should take regular breaks away from their screen, e.g., at least 5 minutes per hour to avoid eye strain and other IT related health issues.

Parents and carers should support their children’s online learning by providing the equipment needed in a suitable and safe place in the home. The equipment should be sited in a communal area of the house but in a room with minimal distractions. As children will inevitably be missing out on some of the social interaction with teachers and peers which flows from face-to-face teaching, it is even more critical that parents and carers display an interested and supportive attitude towards the online learning.

We have clear expectations for lesson conduct and online safety and appropriate sanctions should these not be followed by your child. Our remote learning acceptable use policy has recently been sent to you but please contact the school if you have not received a copy. An electronic version is available on the school’s website.

Feedback from the school

Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children. For example, feedback may be given or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms.

Where this not the case, staff will leave feedback using a variety of techniques as appropriate. These techniques may include, are not limited to, comments or marks in Firefly, achievement points and postcards which students can view via Edulink, and praise phone calls. Should there be concerns about your child’s engagement with the work, you will be informed about these issues by text message or phone call from a school staff member.

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

Our approach to feeding back on pupil work is as exactly the same as it is as face-to-face learning. Monitoring of an assessed piece of work will take place for most subjects at least once per half term. The exceptions for those subjects where curriculum time is significantly lower (e.g., RE and Music), where a piece of work will be assessed once per term. This information will be shared with you progress checks and parents’ evenings.

Additional support for pupils with particular needs

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

We recognise that some pupils, for example pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may find it more difficult to access remote education without support from staff and adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we will work with parents and carers to support those pupils on an individual basis.

Remote education for self-isolating pupils

When individual pupils need to self-isolate, but the majority of their peer group remains in school, remote education will be provided but is likely to differ from the provision for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching pupils both at home and in school. The provision provided is likely to include recorded or online lessons (e.g., Oak Academy or staff produced recordings) and online activities to be completed independently.


Safeguarding considerations relating to home/remote learning are addressed via our Safeguarding policy which is available for parents to read via our policies page: