Inspiring Learning at a distance
Our Distance Learning Plan describes how our school motto of Inspiring Learning continues even during a period of partial or full closure. All schools have emergency closure plans, but in the current circumstances we are sharing it whilst the school is 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 more 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.
How will you communicate the start and end of Distance Learning?
Communication of the start of this plan will be by:
- Message on the this page of the school website regarding which groups are studying at home and which groups are at school
- Email message from InTouch to all parents
- Email message to all staff
All year groups are currently having face to face lessons in school.
Expectations of Distance Learning
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. We distributed the laptops made available to us by the Government during summer 2020 and during the autumn term, as well as our own laptops for students in need. If you believe you may be eligible for a laptop, or you do not have an internet connection at home, please let us know.
Student Guide to Live Lessons
Lesson times are adjusted to allow some students to be on site and some at home.
Lesson 1: 8.45am - 9.30am
Lesson 2: 9.45am - 10.30am
Lesson 3: 10.45am - 11.30am
Lesson 4: 11.45am - 12.30pm
Lesson 5: 1.15pm - 2pm
Lesson 6: 2.15pm - 3pm
The SIMS parent app has your child's timetable.
• Click on the ‘Google Meet’ link in your Google Classroom for the subject you have for the scheduled lesson.
• You will have 15-20 minutes of live teacher led activity to begin your lesson. You will then have a further 20-25 minutes of independent learning.
• You then login to the Google Meet for the next lesson of the day.
• Your attendance is logged on Google Meet.
• The live session will be recorded and uploaded to Google Classroom at the end of the day so that you can review it or catch up if you need to.
• You will only be allowed to join the class by using your Pinner High School username.
• You need to make sure your camera is turned off, and your microphone is on mute throughout the call.
• If you have a question during the live session, type it into the Google Meet Q&A bar. Comments are also recorded.
• If you want to contact your teacher after the live session, use Google Classroom messaging.
Where possible, students are asked to follow the sequence of their usual timetable at home with the timings on the Student Guide and access their learning resources through Google classroom. Following the usual timetable provides a structure to the day for students, and helps to ensure an even amount of time is dedicated to each subject as it would be if students were present at school. Please also read the 'Student Guide to Google Meet'. Sessions will be recorded to enable students to catch up as necessary.
Teachers and Teaching assistants are supervising our on-site provision, so there may be occasions when they are not available for live sessions and other resources will be available instead.
We monitor students’ use of the learning platforms and completion of activities. We contact parents at the end of each week to:
- Recognise the efforts of students who are completely up to date at the end of the week. We will send an automatic email to parents so you can share this success with your child.
- Let you know that work has not been completed by the deadlines set in 3 or more subjects. This will be an automatic email alerting parents that their child is falling behind, so parents can support their child by looking at tasks that have been set and what has not been completed. We think this is better than receiving an alert for every piece of work as this would be very hard to track.
- Google Classroom Parental Emails are available. Please see the help sheet at the end of this page.
- We will let you know if your child has not logged in to 2 or more live lessons in a day.
Students with Education, Health and Care Plans are invited into school as much as possible during Distance Learning.
We recognise that students respond in different ways to this new working arrangement. Many take to it very smoothly. However, those who find independent work difficult will find this challenging and need more support.
Our Learning mentors and counsellors will continue supporting students during Distance Learning. Form Tutors and Heads of Year will support students through Google classroom comments.
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 is a big adjustment working from home every day, and having done it before does not necessarily make it easier. Talk about how things are going. The international and local 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 return to the Distance Learning programme. Our resources to help you do this are here: E-Safety Information
If we were to move to Distance Learning again, we would endeavour to be open for Key workers' children in Years 7 and 8 and vulnerable students in all year groups, as we have been throughout the pandemic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is my child’s work?
All learning activities will be on Google Classroom or will be signposted from there. The Google classroom guide is on our website. See also the Student Guide to Distance Learning with times of live sessions if the whole class is Distance Learning. These sessions are recorded. The 'Student Guide to Google Meet' helps set some important protocols for doing this successfully.
My child can’t login to Google Classroom. What should I do?
We tested Google classroom for all groups in the first two weeks of term, and live lessons ran for one class in December. Try setting your Internet browser to Google Chrome. This can give greater functionality.
If this continues to be an issue please email ICThelpdesk@pinnerhighschool.org
When will my child’s learning activities be available?
Please see the 'Student Guide to Distance Learning' below for the times of live sessions.
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 format in which the activity is set.
My child does not understand what to do. How can they get help?
Google Classroom has a messaging feature that enables students to contact the teacher who set the work. Students are asked to ensure their messages are in full sentences and of the appropriate tone. Students can type questions in the chat feature during a live Google Meet session. Teachers will endeavour to respond to questions when 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 a teacher teaches six lessons in a day, some in person and some at a distance, 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. Do ask your child to go back and see if they have had a response to their question if they are stuck.
How do I know my child has completed/handed in their work?
You can sign up for Google Parental Summaries which is a daily email notification which parents will receive notifying you of the following:
Missing work—Work not turned in. Upcoming work—Work that’s due today and tomorrow. Class activities—Announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers.
The help sheet is below. If you need assistance, please email: email@example.com
How do I get in contact with someone if I have a question?
If your enquiry is essential, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If it is not urgent and it can wait until we reopen to all students, this would be even better.
If you have a general ‘year group’ question, please email your child’s year group:
If it is a different urgent enquiry, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the school 020 3096 0769
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. Counsellors will be seeing as many students in person in January as possible. 'Kooth' is an online mental health support website that you might like to look at as well.
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. Students who have EHCPs are welcome to attend school.
What is going to happen to GCSEs?
In Summer 2021 grades were decided by Teacher Assessment. Current government plans indicate exams will run for 2022.
My child is eligible for Free School Meals. Can you help?
We will follow government guidance on the provision of free school meals during periods of distance learning.
You can apply for free school meals here: Apply for free school meals
Please contact email@example.com for any other queries related to free school meals.
Can my child come back to school to collect books while we are closed?
No. Schools have been closed to create distancing for everyone’s protection. If this changes, we will let you know. We may well be able to collect books and have them ready for you in a bag in reception. Please contact us if this would help you.
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 students who need more support.
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 These resources are especially useful when your child is at home but their peer group is at school.