Learning and Teaching
As part of their learner journey, all children and young people in Scotland are entitled to experience a coherent curriculum from 3 to 18, in order that they have opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to adapt, think critically and flourish in today’s world.
Remote/Online Learning Information for Parents
It is crucial that pupils receive a consistent, equitable and quality entitlement, should there be a need to return to remote / online learning or blended learning models.
Video conferencing is now fully enabled for pupils and staff, in Glow, through Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom. This can allow remote / online learning to be delivered, where staff/schools feel now that this is an option they wish to explore.
There have been a variety approaches to remote learning across Aberdeenshire and each will have advantages and disadvantages, but teachers will have identified the best ways to support pupils over time, knowing that not one way will suit all pupils (and knowing that not one way will suit family circumstances whilst in a lockdown situation).
Aberdeenshire Council also have a site that parents / carers can access with support and resources for remote learning. The website link is: http://bit.ly/ShireDigitalSupport
Our Nursery will be posting a video every day from staff with a story, songs or physical activity along with at home activity ideas for families.
They will be covering Literacy, Numeracy and Health & Wellbeing each day. These activities are all optional and when/if families are able to engage with any of these suggested activities then we would invite you to post photos or videos on the Facebook page or share them with us via your child’s online Learning Journal if/when you can.
For those families who do not have access to Facebook all the videos and suggestions will be emailed directly. Any further updates regarding the Nursery Hub and supporting Nursery families will continue be shared via their Facebook page and our school blog (based on any ongoing advice and developments emerging from our Nursery and council Early Years Team).
Balmedie Online Learning
Here are our Aberdeenshire online learning expectations for our children how this will be delivered/supported from Balmedie School (Primary 1-7 pupils);
||How this will be delivered/supported via Google Classroom platform
|A programme of learning and teaching shared on a weekly basis, with the tasks for the week ahead / containing resources and signposting resources to support learning / detailing times when synchronous learning could, if the school decides this is an option, take place. Some settings would put this out at the start of the week, others may take a staggered approach to this for example a daily delivery of tasks scheduled day by day.
||Teaching staff will release an overview of learning grids for the week via Google Classroom.
Daily online updates, messages, reminders or tasks may be used to supplement and support this.
· Opportunities to ask their teachers questions in relation to their learning
· To receive effective and timely feedback on their work
· To receive clear next steps / targets for their learning
|– A question stream will be set up for daily tasks via the Google Classroom platform
– Through use of the online chat/messaging feature staff (or peers) will be able to respond with help, teacher can target an individual pupil chat forum to message back further instructions, help or support
– The online chat/messaging function can also be used as a communication portal for parents (in the event of private communications or further questions related to learning tasks and wellbeing)
|Interactions with their teacher / school staff including support for wellbeing video-conferencing can be considered as an option.
||The school staff will be working together this week to plan for weekly ‘class catch up’ calls – further details to follow via Google Classroom updates and school blog updates.
|The opportunity to give meaningful feedback on their remote learning experiences to ensure that provision meets their needs.
||This will be achieved via both the online messaging/chat feature and the class catch up approach.
|This Aberdeenshire approach is in line with advice from Education Scotland. Education Scotland advice can be referenced here.
Children attending the school hub will have daily time set aside to access online learning tasks set out via Google Classroom by their teacher alongside daily hub activities. Supervising staff will be on hand to support children to access and engage with their online tasks. Chromebooks/i-pads will also be available to children throughout the hub day.
It is recommended that children 6 years and older should have established and consistent limits on the time spent using media, ensuring that digital media doesn’t take the place of sleep, physical activity or real-life personal interactions.
For this purpose, we will seek to follow the recommendations of no more than 2 hours screen time per day (with breaks between) for those 6 and over and no more than 1 hour daily for those aged 5 and under.
Further Useful Resource and Advice Links for Parents
https://www.parentclub.scot/articles/your-guide-childcare – stay at home guidance
Coronavirus | Parent Club – A Parent Club COVID-19 internet microsite, which contains advice on working from home whilst caring for children, advice on helping children with remote and blended learning as well as links to advice and support resources for parents of children with additional support needs.
Parentzone Scotland | Parent Zone (education.gov.scot) – Education Scotland’s Parentzone Scotland website includes advice for parents, families and practitioners on supporting children and young people’s learning during COVID-19.
Blended Learning Nutshell – National Parent Forum of Scotland (npfs.org.uk)
The National Parent Forum Nutshell guide on blended learning, published in August 2020. This joins further Nutshells on Supporting Learning at Home during “lockdown” and on online safety information for parents and carers.
We hope that this provides all parents with a clear definition of how learning will be supported at Balmedie School (for Nursery – P7 children) throughout this lockdown period and wish to take the opportunity to thank of parents/carers and children in advance for your overwhelming support in such challenging and anxious moments.
We are advising that everyone takes this week to try out all new things and we can continue to troubleshoot any ‘teething troubles’ as we ‘have a go’ with this alternative learning delivery.
Already, we have had a very busy time in the school starting our Google Classroom delivery up with pupils with issues such as lost passwords/logging on, how to open files, how to download videos and how to record evidence of work/send photos back to the teacher etc – this is a new learning experience for us all and this will take some time to ‘skill up’, resolve all technical issues and take shape.
We also appreciate that for parents supporting learning at home, this will also be the case so please don’t worry as this will all take some practise for all of the children and the adults – we must all ensure that this will be a gradual process to become more comfortable and confident in regards to this way of working.
We will continue to consider further ‘troubleshooting advice’ and review content delivery with staff based on any issues experienced week by week so we would ask all parents to be patient and to share any difficulties so that further advice and support can be provided – please also be aware that some additional time may need to be given for this process.
Many thanks from us all at Balmedie School for your continued support!