Remote Learning

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Yesterday, Ofsted published a short guide to help school and trust leaders and teachers develop your remoremote learning learnerte education offer. This guidance, written by Professor Daniel Muijs, debunks some unhelpful myths about remote education, which are not based on evidence.


These include that:


  1. remote education is fundamentally different to other forms of teaching/learning
  2. remote education is a different curriculum/offer to the content that would be delivered normally
  3. the best forms of remote education are digital
  4. the best way to deliver remote education is always through live lessons
  5. the most important thing is pupils’ engagement


None of these things are necessarily true. The short guide counters these with seven evidence-based pointers. 


Also yesterday, DfE published an optional template which schools and trusts can use when publishing information about their remote education provision on their websites during the spring term.


The Confederation of School Trusts (CST) has published new guidance on Remote Education: Expectations, Evidence and Experience. This guidance, is a tour de force of the legal duty, DfE’s expectations and remote education in practice.  Drawing on the best evidence provided by the Education Endowment Foundation as well as emerging insights from Doug Lemov and other leading thinkers as well as the wealth of experience in teaching remotely from the front line, this is both guidance and an artefact. 


The section on remote education in practice is organised around the following principles:


  1. Remote education is as much about the curriculum as face-to-face teaching
  2. Iterate pedagogy and supporting structures, but recognise good teaching remains good teaching
  3. Be clear on the purpose of assessment and feedback
  4. And spinning plates!

Remote education during Covid 19

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Schools have statutory obligations and expectations with regard to remote education:

  • Set assignments so that pupils have meaningful and ambitious work each day in a number of different subjects
  • Set work that is of equivalent length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school, and as a minimum: primary: 3 hours a day, on average, across the school cohort; secondary: 4 hours a day, with more for pupils working towards formal qualifications this year
  • Provide frequent, clear explanations of new content, delivered by a teacher or through high-quality curriculum resources or videos
  • Have systems for checking, at least weekly, whether pupils are engaging with their work, and inform parents immediately where engagement is a concern
  • Gauge how well pupils are progressing through the curriculum using questions and other suitable tasks, and provide feedback, at least weekly, using digitally facilitated or whole-class feedback where appropriate
  • Enable teachers to adjust the pace or difficulty of what is being taught in response to questions or assessments, including, where necessary, revising material or simplifying explanations to ensure pupils’ understanding


You may also wish to review:


Please note that Oak National Academy curriculum materials are available.  Members of your team can join a webinar with Matt Hood, Principal of Oak National Academy to ask any questions about how to make use of the curriculum materials. Secure a place by signing up here.

NCETM and Maths Hubs online resources available

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January 2021Maths Hubs Generic

Materials to support teachers and schools planning and delivering maths teaching in school and remotely at both primary and secondary level are available from the NCETM. All are accessible from the dedicated Covid support page on the NCETM website.


For primary schools and teachers, the 180 primary video lessons produced during the first lockdown are still available. Each lesson has an accompanying teacher guide, and PowerPoint slides of the lesson for teachers to adapt themselves.

There are also resources linked to the DfE guidance published in July 2020. These include ready-to-use training materials, a short introductory video, and a suite of 79 PowerPoints focusing on the ready-to-progress criteria found in the DfE guidance. Additional training materials addressing the transition between Year 6 and Year 7 are also particularly relevant when pupils in Year 6 have had their maths learning disrupted.


For secondary schools, an evidence-based guidance document to support discussions about recovery curriculum content and pedagogy is available, along with a series of ‘Planning to teach…’ videos and PowerPoint slides offering advice on teaching crucial KS3 topics. CPD materials include a one-hour training session to help understand the implications for Year 7 of the DfE primary guidance, and six Departmental Workshops for any teachers able to engage in collaborative professional development.


The 40 Maths Hubs which support all state-funded primary and secondary schools across England are continuing to offer some opportunities for support and online professional development. Get in touch with your local hub to find out more.


Schools and childcare settings: return in January 2021

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Guidance on what schools and childcare providers need to do at the start of the spring term, including information on the return of schools with secondary-age pupilsDFE Logo and asymptomatic testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) is now available here.