“Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
Malala Yousafzai’s statement about the importance of education remained as true as ever, but in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic meant that a pen and paper were no longer sufficient, as across the world, classroom doors closed and online communities opened.
One of our We Are HARPER commitments is resilience; our strength of character and determination to push through adversity is part of what makes Harper Green students so special. We see barriers, and we find solutions. Remote education is a perfect example of this.
While we do many other important things within our school community, our purpose, first and foremost, is to ensure that all of our young people leave with a set of qualifications that reflects their potential. If we cannot, for whatever reason, work together as a community in our school building, we will work in online classrooms instead, and we will continue to succeed and excel because We Are HARPER.
In the event of any total or partial school closure, we are committed to providing continuity of education to our students. We will do so through a blend of remote lessons and set tasks as we deem most appropriate.
Extensive remote learning would apply particularly in a situation whereby the school is closed for an extended period of time, and a high proportion of students and teachers are healthy and/or able to work from home. We will always do our best to respond to personal circumstances and balance high expectations and rigour with common sense and humanity.
Our position will always be that, for the vast majority of young people, the best place for them to be is in school. Remote learning will only ever be a stop-gap until classroom teaching and learning can resume, and if children are well and safe to be in school, that is where they should be. There is no obligation for any school to provide continuity of education to students absent from school in contravention to school or government guidance.
Remote learning for individual students
Assuming an absence has been agreed with the school and the student in question is healthy enough to work at home, we will endeavour to provide high-quality work for students who cannot attend school.
Ordinarily, students learning remotely will be given access to a “window into the lesson.” This means that their teacher will open a live video stream via Microsoft Teams, and students will complete the same work as their peers are completing in class, as far as is possible.
Students who are learning remotely should attend all lessons and form time via the window to the lessons. The only exception to this is when the subject is delivering a practical lesson; for example, if a student would normally be in a subject like Design Technology, they would be unlikely to benefit much from having a window into a practical lesson. In this instance, class teachers would provide alternative work through Microsoft Teams. Students should complete this work during their timetabled lesson slot.
Alongside the formal curriculum, students should also attend their form time sessions, where they can access important pastoral content. As well as this being the mechanism for PSHE, RSE and CEIG, form time functions as “keeping in touch” time, which is incredibly important in helping students to continue to feel a part of the school community.
Though we will respond as flexibly as possible to individuals, a rough guideline for the frequency of keeping in touch (KIT) communication between school and home would be once per week. This is likely to be through the pastoral team.
Remote learning in the event of extended full or partial school closure
The primary vehicle for remote teaching and learning will be Microsoft Teams. All Harper Green School students and staff have a Microsoft Teams account as part of their Microsoft Office account. Teachers will use their class Teams as the base for remote teaching and learning.
Lessons will be designed to allow students to progress through schemes of work at a pace that is appropriate to the circumstances. The nature of remote learning means a need to be responsive to technology and accessibility issues, and it is likely that breadth and pace of coverage may not match what we could offer in an actual classroom setting. There may also be the need to respond to a reduced access to printed materials (e.g. textbooks) at short notice, which again could impact the schemes of works that teachers are using.
Throughout the pandemic, we have worked alongside families in to ensure that all children have access to the appropriate technology to engage with online learning. However, if circumstances mean that you or your child does not have the necessary technology to access remote lessons, please let the relevant Head of Year know to look at how to best support you.
Please access this document for more information for parents about our remote education provision: