Blended Learning Policy

Date CreatedDate 1st Review DueDate ReviewedVersionNext Review Due
March 2023March 2024
  1. What is blended learning?
  2. Why blended learning is important
  3. Teaching and learning
  4. Guidelines for home learning and teaching for parents and carers
  5. Safeguarding
  6. SES programmes

1. What is blended learning?

Blended learning is a two-way process of teaching. The first is using face to face interaction to educate (in school) whilst the second is through electronic platforms to educate online (remote learning).

The model is used to maximise the educational impact on children and young people, in and out of the classroom.

Whilst many of us are now familiar with the concept of working from home, it will be important to consider (as children and young people return to a regular school environment) what the ‘new norm’ might look like.

Blended learning is one approach that should be considered. Blended learning allows for both school-based and remote learning environments to work hand in hand, helping children and young people achieve academic progress.

This will ensure that any local or national lockdowns of school premises in the
future will be met with an effective response. This will also contribute to effective transition programmes in the schools and will link in with the SES (Securing Education in School) policy (outreach, induction, crisis interventions).

It is another tool in the armoury, as the Egham Park School seeks to reduce barriers to education for each child and to personalise the curriculum in order to achieve the best outcomes for each child and young person whose education is trusted to us.

2. Why blended learning is important

It is important that there is capacity to react effectively to the possibility of future local or national lockdowns with a focus on the continuity of education remaining a high priority for each student.

While our aim is to have all pupils back at school, every school will also need to plan for the possibility of a local lockdown and how they will ensure continuity of education .

Remote learning will also complement the SES programme for students in crisis. With the significant push on digital and video lessons, it is now considered that any outreach interventions should have the option to use remote learning for curriculum coverage. These will form a timed and reviewed programme for each individual.

3. Teaching and learning:

The role of staff is:-

  • To provide new learning opportunities as well as reinforcement and consolidation of prior learning.
  • To build upon the “home learning” experience, systems and skills learned during a lockdown.
  • To ensure that cyber resilience and internet safety is central to all digital technology.
  • To provide support and guidance for pupils and give feedback where this is appropriate.
  • To engage with effective learning and teaching resources e.g. BBC Bitesize, Oak Academy, etc.
  • To have an open pathway of communication between the school and home, where appropriate.
  • To keep the students progressing along their targeted flight paths and ensure that students do not fall behind according to that flight path.
Staff will:-
  • Select an appropriate teaching and learning approach with learning tasks that are complementary and coherent in meeting each child’s needs.
  • Provide a balanced, broad range of remote learning tasks.
  • Provide literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing tasks.
    Provide targeted, “differentiated” support to learners accounting for individual needs.
  • Feedback to pupils, as appropriate, in response to questions or requests through Google Classroom and/or Class Dojo either individually or as a whole class.
  • Consider the most important elements of teaching and learning, and be aware of which elements will be more difficult to explain remotely.
  • Focus classroom work on key ideas and modelling.
  • Make use of remote sessions to check knowledge, independent practice and extended writing pieces to consolidate what pupils have learned.
  • Be mindful that extra support may be required where parents and guardians are less confident to provide such support themselves.

In the situation of a pupil having Covid we will aim that work will be provided for children to complete at home, if they are fit to do so. This might consist of a combination of independent learning tasks alongside video lessons or a work pack for children where appropriate. Children may also be able to access
live lessons. Where appropriate, work will be emailed to families by the school office or delivered where necessary. A record will be kept of work sent home and the assessment of this work when completed.

To make the process of teaching the majority of children in school, at the same time as planning and sending work home more manageable, staff meeting time may be given to plan and prepare these packs of three or four days of home learning.

In the event of a class or whole school closure:

When teaching remotely, the DfE expect schools to:

Teachers access the array of teaching and learning resources available on the school server and those recommended by the subject leaders/curriculum lead.
School staff will liaise with parents/carers to find out the most successful format for the learning materials. It should be noted and respected that due to families’ ability to access ICT equipment, some parents/carers may prefer to receive work in hard copy.
These are collated and delivered to homes in accordance with individual circumstances.

Older children are coached in how to upload and send work back to school using Google Classroom/Class Dojo.

Parents will receive an instruction sheet or Teams link or phone call
explaining how to use Google Classroom to send work back.

Teachers who are required to self-isolate, either individually or through a class/school closedown, assuming they are well, work for the same amount of time as the normal working day.

Teachers/key workers/office staff respect parental requests regarding timing
of communication between the school and home.

Staff are aware that parents may not want to communicate in the late evening/very early morning.

Any complaints or comments about the work being set should be shared with the Principle, Nicki Foster or Head of school, Corey Bulmer via the school’s admin address or by phone.

Any issues regarding safeguarding should be shared in the normal way
through the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) Corey Bulmer.

The role of the students:

  • To engage with learning opportunities and complete remote learning tasks online or in paper form.
  • To engage in learning through our digital platform – Google Classroom/Class Dojo, asking questions to clarify understanding, if required.
  • Return the work in a timely fashion, which helps staff in assessing progress and next steps needed.

The role of parents and carers:

  • To have an open pathway of communication between the school and home, where appropriate.
  • To support children in accessing the variety of learning opportunities provided, to the best of their ability.
  • Utilise Google Classroom/Class Dojo to access remote learning materials which support, complement and consolidate school learning.
  • Ensure children complete remote learning tasks online or on paper, as required.
  • To understand that teachers need time to respond to questions or queries, remembering that the majority of children may still be in school and will require the teachers’ immediate, time, attention and support.
  • To liaise with the school regarding access to digital/video platforms.

4. Guidelines for home learning and teaching for parents and carers

It is understandable that the idea of supporting a child’s learning at home can seem daunting. It is important to remember that parents and carers are not expected to become teachers and that children will not need to learn in the same way as they do in school.

  • The most important aspect of the home learning experience is the relationship that parents and carers already have with their children, as this will enable them to support and reassure them during this unusual time.
  • On the days that children are engaging with remote learning at home, it is advised that parents and carers plan the day out in advance with children – doing this will help to reduce pressure or anxiety.
  • Parents and carers should ensure that children have a range of short ‘chunks’ of time when they are engaged in an activity.
  • Not all activities should require direct adult support, so children will be expected to undertake some activities independently in order to ensure that parents/carers can continue to work at home, if necessary.
  • It is important that children are not working online all day – parents and carers should factor in time for breaks, lunch, shared activities, time outdoors and fresh air.
  • A variety of different activities such as board games, puzzles or outdoor games can help children to further develop skills such as problem solving, turn taking, cooperating with others and resilience.
  • The time children have at home should allow them opportunities to read more widely. They should be encouraged to read a more diverse range of materials, developing the stamina to read longer extended books as well as to explore some of the shorter texts and extracts to enrich a topic.
  • And children should be encouraged and inspired to read for the pure joy and enjoyment that frequent reading of quality texts gives.

For learners that are more independent, time spent learning remotely, may involve the teacher providing support, feedback and instruction on a needs basis, while students work through the curriculum area and its content. This gives students a high degree of control over their learning and supports their self-directed and goal-oriented learning.

It is vital that teachers strive to maintain positive relationships with children and foster a culture of collaboration and trust – through dialogue as well as learning tasks – that contribute to the sense of community, transcending different learning environments.

Safeguarding

In the event of a full lockdown staff will do welfare calls to all parents/carers on a very regular basis (at least two times per week).

If you a have a safeguarding concern it should be immediately reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or a member of the school’s safeguarding team.

Keeping teachers safe when providing remote education is also essential. Remote education is still a fairly new experience for both staff and pupils, so it’s important to know how to approach safeguarding procedures online. The importance of a safe online environment cannot be emphasised enough. These should be considered in accordance with both the safeguarding policy and e-safety policy.

Parents and carers are strongly advised to set age-appropriate parental controls on digital devices and use internet filters to block malicious websites. These are usually free, but often need to be turned on. Staff in school are very happy to support with this process over the telephone and will do so on request.

For those offering live video classes there are some basic principles to safeguard everyone during blended learning:

  • A risk assessment must be completed regarding the use of webcams for live learning.
  • Wherever possible staff must teach students in groups – if there is a need to teach on a one-to-one basis, a full risk assessment must be completed and approved in advance by a member of SLT. SLT must also be familiar with the lesson plan and any associated resources.
  • Staff and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the child’s household.
  • Any computers used should be located in appropriate areas of the child’s home. It is not appropriate for example, for children to be based in any bedroom when engaging with staff online. Where possible, the child should also be positioned in front of a neutral background.
  • The live classes are recorded and backed up elsewhere, so that if any issues were to arise, the video can be reviewed.
  • Live classes will be kept to a reasonable length of time, to minimise any disruption at home and enable the family to ‘get on’ with their day Language used is professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background.
  • Parents/carers will be asked to sign an agreed letter/form to give their consent to the use of Google Classroom/Class Dojo in the ways described in this Policy.

SES programmes

The SES programme is designed to offer students the opportunity to access a mixture of on and off-site learning. This is for students who may be in crisis or struggle to settle within a school environment.

Remote learning is a good route to improve the educational outcomes for some of the students on SES programmes. However, the following is considered for these pupils:

  • The programmes will be agreed by all stakeholders with particular reference to the views of the student, parents/carers and local authority.
  • Programmes will be timed and reviewed.
  • Programmes will have a focus on returning to full time onsite learning.
  • Outcomes will include accreditation, particularly in core subjects.

At the current time, Egham Park School do not offer SES programmes as we are a newly developing school and do not yet have the infrastructure to support both methods.

This is something we may provide in the future as the school expands.