Inspiring Learning at a distance
Here is more information on our wider opening from 16th June on our dedicated website: 'Opening Up'
Our Distance Learning Plan describes how we want to ensure our school motto of Inspiring Learning continues even when the school is closed. All schools have emergency closure plans, but in the current circumstances we are added detail to it and shared it whilst the school was open. Our aim is that we will always be able to provide an effective education and this is more likely if our plans are known clearly in advance. There will be challenging times ahead, and by knowing more about how we will communicate, expectations of the learning experience and how families can support their children, we are all more likely to be successful.
Communication of the start of this plan will be by:
- Message on the front page of the school website: Distance Learning began on 19th March for Year 9, and 23rd March for all other year groups. School is open for students in Years 7 and 8 who are children of the most critical Key Workers fighting Covid-19.
- Start date on the Distance Learning page of the school website
- Email message from InTouch to all parents
- Email message to all staff
The school motto is ‘Inspiring Learning’; designed to reflect the everyday learning experiences in classrooms, and the commitment students need to have to inspire others. We aim to reflect this as much as possible in our distance learning plan. It is designed to be an inclusive plan, that recognises technology has a key role, but understands that not everyone has access to the Internet or their own laptop or tablet all the time. As a result, there are ‘paper only’ resources available. We surveyed students and parents during early March 2020 and have made these resources available to appropriate students in advance.
Where possible, students are asked to follow their usual timetable and access their learning resources through Show My Homework (SMHW). Following their usual timetable provides a structure to the day, and helps to ensure an even amount of time is dedicated to each subject as it would be if students were present at school. Teachers will upload all learning activities for the day by 8.30am on the day of the lesson. Some may be available in advance of this. Please remind your child to log in to SMHW every morning to see their learning activities for the day. We will be monitoring use of the learning platforms, and will contact you if work has not been completed by the deadlines set.
We recognise that students will respond in different ways to this new working arrangement. Many will take to it very smoothly. However, those who find independent work difficult will find this challenging and need more support. We have high expectations, but are also realistic about the challenges this situation will present. Our tips and FAQs are designed to help all families during these trying times. The FAQs include additional ways to contact the school should the need arise. You will find these at the bottom of this page.
Tips for Parents and Students
Establish routines and expectations: start times, breaks and lunch at school are at clear times. Maintaining this routine can help maintain a positive work ethic. Avoid spending the day in your pyjamas!
Identify a clear physical space in which to work: this will make it easier to focus on your learning, without other distractions.
Talk about the plan for the day, and the lessons ahead: spending extended time working at home is unfamiliar territory. Talking about how things are going can help pre-empt any problems.
Set times to be on and offline: There will be more screen time than normal whilst working at home. You may have to share devices with family members, and setting time limits in advance can help manage this successfully. Equally, spending time offline is important to maintain a sense of balance in the day.
Remember to exercise: Your wellbeing is enhanced by physical activity, so do make time for this. The PE team have planned some excellent activities. This can really help if you are feeling anxious, which is completely normal whilst you are working from home.
Talk about things on your mind: it will be a big adjustment working from home every day. Talk about how things are going. The international situation is highly changeable. It is normal to feel uncertainty about this too. Be conscious of how much of the news you watch and talk about what you are watching. There are wellbeing activities in our virtual assemblies, set up on whole year group Google classrooms. Do devote enough time for this.
Read a book: Escape, relax, unwind. Look after yourself.
Please discuss e-safety with your child/ren before they start the distance learning programme. Our resources to help you do this are here: E-Safety Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is my child’s work?
All learning activities will be on Show My Homework (SMHW), or will be signposted from there. Your child should login to SMHW every morning to see their learning activities for the day. Many of them will be on Google classroom, as this supports a greater range of activities. The Google classroom guide is at the end of this page.
Links to curriculum resources:
My child can’t login to Show My Homework. What should I do?
We closely monitored SMHW in February and March, and sent login reminders to those who had not logged in as frequently as we would like. Families also have logins, as well as students. Please check your child’s bag to see if they have a login reminder. Please share your parental login with your child. If this continues to be an issue please email ICThelpdesk@pinnerhighschool.org
When will my child’s learning activities be available?
All teachers will be aiming to have lesson activities uploaded to SMHW and ready for students by 8.30am every day. We ask students to follow their normal timetable for the day, spending approximately 50 minutes on each lesson’s activities. Some activities may be available in advance of this, so please check your child is completing the correct activity. If there are any issues with SMHW due to overwhelming demand across the country, there are some reserve activities at the end of this page.
Where should my child complete the learning activity?
This will vary for each subject and each task. Instructions will be in the lesson activities. If they are not sure, they should use their exercise book or complete the work in the same forum in which the activity is set.
I know lots of the learning activities are on Google classroom. I can’t seem to make that work.
Try setting your Internet browser to Google Chrome. This can give greater functionality.
My child does not understand what to do. How can they get help?
SMHW has a messaging feature that enables them to contact the teacher who set the work. Teachers will endeavour to respond to questions as soon as they can. If your child can carry on with another aspect of their learning this will give the teacher time to respond to their query. If they teach six lessons in a day with 30 students in each class, Teachers could be interacting with 180 different students a day, each of whom may ask more than one question. This will mean responses are not immediate.
How do I get in contact with someone if I have a question?
Please be mindful that online learning is a significant change for teachers as well as students. We will all adapt as quickly as possible, but the more enquiries we receive, the longer it will take to respond to them. If your enquiry is essential, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If it is not urgent and it can wait until we reopen, this would be even better.
If you need to contact one of your child’s teachers, please use the SMHW messaging function.
If you have a general ‘year group’ question, please email your child’s year group:
If it is a different urgent enquiry, please email email@example.com
Please only use one contact address at a time. Sending a message to several addresses at once is likely to slow our response rather than speed it up.
I have a safeguarding issue that I would usually discuss with school. What can I do?
Our school website has lots of resources and links that might be able to help you: Parent and student Information. Harrow’s Golden Number is 0208 9012690 if you have any concerns to which social services should be alerted.
My child usually sees the school counsellor. What happens now?
We have set up specific email addresses for our school counsellors so that students who have appointments with them can still have that important contact. If your child sees the counsellor, they will have these details.
My child has a learning mentor. Will they have any contact while school is closed?
There is a Google classroom for students who access our learning mentors. Please encourage them to make contact.
How will SEN support operate now?
We have a Google classroom set up for students to access additional support in our virtual Hub. Our TAs are members of the google classrooms in which they usually provide support so they can do this during distance learning as well.
My child is eligible for Free School Meals. Can you help?
Yes. The government has announced a national voucher scheme in partnership with Edenred, which we are implementing. You will receive an email from Edenred with a link to download your voucher. More information on the scheme is available here: https://www.edenred.co.uk/reward-recipients/Free-School-Meal-Vouchers/
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or if you have not received your voucher.
For voucher queries please contact Edenred: email@example.com
My child has music lessons with Harrow Music Service. What will happen now?
The online music platform is now live and you should have received login details for your child by email. Charanga Login Page
We have received this statement from Harrow Music Service:
"Harrow Music Service have set up an online learning platform called Charanga in lieu of face to face teaching, that will be a positive learning experience and keep your child engaged with learning their instrument until we see them again. The website aims to:
- Give clear instruction on practising from week to week tailored to your child's group so that they maintain and even improve their technical skills with practice.
- Enrich your child's musical experience through the range of resources provided in the lessons including: music to listen to, video clips and practical music activities to enhance their music skills.
Your child's HMS teacher, although they will not see the pupils, will be able to see who has accessed the Charanga site with their login. They will feed this information back to the school."
Can my child come back to school to collect books while we are closed?
No. Schools have been closed to create ‘social distancing’ for everyone’s protection. If this changes, we will let you know.
Will your refurbishment programme be affected by school closure?
We have discussed this with our contractors, B&K, and until stricter measures were announced on 23rd March the schedule was running well. The site is still open, but has slowed down. We are looking at several contingency options, which will be developed as the national position becomes clearer, but a delay of some kind is now inevitable.
My child has an unspent meal balance on their ParentPay account. Can I get this refunded?
Unspent meal balances can be returned to your ParentPay Parent Account. We are currently working on our plans to support children of key workers and politely request that parents do not send individual requests for refunds at this time. We will be working to communicate our plans and to ensure refunds can be handled promptly where this is necessary.
I am a key worker. Can my child come to school?
We want to support the critical key workers fighting Covid-19. We are open for key worker families, and our vulnerable students. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information to access a place. We are pleased to be hosting this provision for Cannon Lane Primary School too. They have their own space and their own teachers in our building.
I've read about the national Oak Academy, and all the content on BBC Bitesize. Are you using these lessons?
These are great resources, and are available here: https://www.thenational.academy/ and https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize We think our teachers know your child best, so they may choose elements of these to support the curriculum work they have already planned.
The Department for Education have announced a national laptop scheme. Can I get one of these?
Following the announcement by the Secretary of State for Education on Sunday 19 April, laptops and tablets will be made available to help the most disadvantaged young people access online learning and social care services. Young people and families eligible for devices must not already have access to one, and must be in one of the following groups: Children with a social worker, Care leavers, Disadvantaged children in Year 10 ahead of sitting their GCSEs next year.
If you or your child are in one of these groups and we have not already contacted you, please email email@example.com
When will you reopen?
Department for Education advice is the at schools are closed 'until further notice.' We are in frequent contact with other schools, the Local authority and Health officials. We will share reopening plans on our website as advice becomes available. We very much look forward to having everyone back with us as soon as it is possible to do so safely. Updates on Covid-19 can be found here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus