Home Learning Plan (Autumn 2020)


This is the school’s plan for Home/Remote Learning should the need arise to provide remote learning for:

  • individuals or small groups who are self-isolating due to symptoms or close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  • for a whole class who have been asked to self-isolate given that one or more of their peers has tested positive for COVID-19 (this may be for a limited time while the school determines who has had close contact with the affected person and whether or not some pupils can return to school);
  • the whole school should schools be asked to close for a period of time as part of a national or local lockdown which includes the closure of schools.


Schools need to be prepared to provide remote teaching, resources and contact with pupils in the following circumstances:

  • Scenario 1 – individual or small groups of pupils have to self-isolate at home due to COVID-19 symptoms or because they have come into direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  • Scenario 2 – a whole class, including staff, need to self-isolate at home because one or more members of their class bubble have come into direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  • Scenario 3 – a teacher has to self-isolate at home because they have come into direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  • Scenario 4 – a teacher has developed COVID-19 symptoms and is unwell.

Each of these scenarios presents a different challenge for the school and plan for continuity of learning.

Replicating Teaching and Learning Remotely

There is no real substitute for pupils being in school with their teacher and their peers.  However, effective remote learning has broadly the same characteristics as classroom teaching and we aim to

  • provide a curriculum and a sequence of lessons which is carefully planned;
  • ensure pupils receive clear explanations (either verbally, in writing or by video);
  • support growth in confidence with new material through scaffolded practice;
  • enable pupils to apply new knowledge and skills;
  • enable pupils to receive feedback on their learning and how to progress.

General Principles

 In planning to provide remote learning, Northenden Community School will:

  • continue to use the school website and SEESAW as the main way to provide work and feedback to pupils;
  • make use of ZOOM to provide some live sessions (for explanation or review) where this is appropriate;
  • where practical, provide a plan for the full week so that pupils have an idea of the week ahead and the expectations of learning at home;
  • set work which is meaningful and in line with the curriculum being taught in school;
  • set work across a number of different subjects;
  • teach a planned and well-sequenced series of lessons;
  • provide a good level of clarity about the tasks to be completed;
  • provide clear explanations, including by live lessons and recorded videos or audios;
  • provide links to high-quality resources, including printed, video and audio materials;
  • enable pupils to upload and share their work with their teacher;
  • monitor and review on a daily basis (depending on the scenario) the work uploaded and submitted by pupils;
  • provide feedback about how well pupils are completing and understanding the work that has been set;
  • stay in contact with pupils via SEESAW, including by video/audio messages where appropriate;
  • plan for some live interaction between staff and pupils using ZOOM and following strict protocols (see below);
  • provide printed packs of materials and lessons to pupils who do not have internet access;
  • provide, given the limited resources available, digital devices to pupils who do not have them at home.


Individual or small group of pupils have to self-isolate
Teacher still in school teaching the remainder of the class

Where an individual pupil or small group of pupils have to self-isolate because they have COVID-19 symptoms or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the plan will be that:

  • the school will make contact with the parents to determine how any school work can be sent home (via email, website or collected from school) and completed by the child;
  • the teacher will prepare a pack of work for the first 2-3 days which will include a mix of revision work and new work across different subjects (pack can be collected from school or will be posted to the child’s home address). This will be as closely in line with work being carried out in school as possible;
  • work not printed will be posted to the class Home Learning page of the school website;
  • the class teacher or another member of staff will make contact with the child (via the parent) every 3 days
  • pupils capture and upload work to SEESAW and that this will be reviewed by a member of staff (not necessarily always the class teacher) and some feedback given, however, this may not be on a daily basis given that the teacher will have teaching and other responsibilities for the remainder of the class in school;
  • school will take into account that a child may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may not be well enough to complete work on a daily basis.

In this scenario, it needs to be recognised that the class teacher will have continuous duties in school to teach the remainder of the class and that little time will be available from the class teacher to have daily interaction with absent pupils or prepare additional materials, including audio or video materials.

Whole class, including the class teacher, has to self-isolate
Class teacher and pupils working from home

Where a whole class (or bubble) has to self-isolate because they have come into direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (usually someone from the class), the plan will be that:

  • pupils and staff will be asked to self-isolate for up to 14 days with a possible early return to school for some pupils/staff only if it can be determined who did and who did not come into direct contact with the affected person within the timescale set out in the NHS guidance;
  • timetables, work plans and resources will be posted to the class Home Learning page of the school website;
  • work and instructions may also be posted to SEESAW. This might include video or audio recordings from the class teacher;
  • regular instructional or motivational audio or video messages will be posted on SEESAW by the class teacher;
  • pupils should upload their work to SEESAW throughout the day as each lesson or task is completed.  Any work posted after 4.00pm might not be reviewed until the following school day;
  • the class teacher will review work and provide some feedback (some feedback will be briefer/longer than others) on a daily basis. The length of this feedback will depend on the nature of the work, any answers already provided, any misunderstandings and any next steps that are suggested for the child;
  • pupils will be expected to upload their work to SEESAW throughout the day so that teachers can spend time during the school day reviewing work submitted and giving appropriate feedback;
  • the class teacher will arrange for occasional ZOOM meetings or sessions for the whole class. During these meetings, children, staff and parents should follow the protocols for ZOOM meetings in order to ensure a high level of conduct and safeguarding during any live lessons;
  • the school will contact parents of pupils who do not upload work to determine the reasons why and offer any support;
  • the school will make welfare telephone calls to some families.

Teacher is required to self-isolate
Class still attending school

Where a class teacher has been asked to self-isolate by the school or ‘Test and Trace’ systems (either by text, telephone or the COVID-19 NHS App) because they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (not if they have symptoms), the plan will be that:

  • the teacher will be asked to self-isolate for up to 14 days (even if they test ‘negative’ for COVID-19);
  • the class will be taught or supervised by a supply teacher or member of school staff, depending on the circumstances;
  • the class teacher will set the majority of work for the class from home and make this available to the school and/or supply teacher by email;
  • the class teacher will aim to run a number of ZOOM sessions with the class to either explain work, set new work, review work or simply keep in contact with the class. These sessions will enable the class teacher and class to have regular contact and for the class to share their work.  This will be under the supervision of the supply or other teacher or teaching assistant.  These sessions will last no more than 30-45 minutes.  The staff member and pupils will be expected to follow the ZOOM meeting protocols set out by the school.  

Teacher is required to self-isolate because they have COVID-19 symptoms and are unwell.
Class still attending school.

Where a class teacher has COVID-19 symptoms, they will be asked to remain at home and get a COVID-19 test.  If the test is negative but they are still unwell, they will remain at home until they are well enough to return to school.  If the test is positive, they will remain at home until further notice and until they are well enough to do so.  In either case, the teacher will be deemed as ‘unwell’ and, unless the teacher is well enough to do so, will not be required to plan lessons for their class or provide remote learning or have remote contact with the class during their absence.  The class will be taught by a supply teacher or school staff for the period of the class teacher’s absence.

Questions and Answers

Why has the school chosen to continue to use SEESAW rather than another system?

During the summer lockdown, the combination of using our website and SEESAW proved a great way of sharing work between class teachers and pupils.  We were able to provide a plan for the week ahead and embed into the plan all the links needed to access other websites, resources and worksheets.  Posting to our website gives us flexibility in the way in which we present work, provide resources and make links to the weekly plans for each class.  SEESAW was chosen back in April because it is so easy and child-friendly to use by different age groups and allows messages, work and feedback to be shared in different ways, including pictures, text, audio and video.  Given that everyone is familiar with these systems and that between the website, SEESAW and ZOOM we can deliver everything we need to, we have decided to continue to use these systems rather than asking everyone to learn a new one.  Unlike Google Classroom which requires a GOOGLE email account for every child (which we wanted to avoid), SEESAW requires only the username given to each child by school (note that pupils have been provided with a new TEXT CODE for SEESAW which replaces that used in the Summer term) and ZOOM requires only a link to join a meeting.  SEESAW is a bespoke system for children of all ages and their teachers to share work and to have contact between each other.

What if my family does not have access to the internet or have a digital device?

Those families who do not have access to the internet can collect work from school.  We will try and print as much as needed for the week ahead so that pupils and parents do not have to leave their homes during self-isolation.  In exceptional circumstances, school will deliver work packs to a pupil’s home address.  Where contact and feedback cannot be achieved online (e.g. via SEESAW), class teachers (or other members of staff) will aim to make telephone contact with the child/parent on a weekly basis.  Schools have been allocated a number of laptops for use by pupils who do not have access to digital devices at home.  However, these are limited (the school has been allocated 2 laptops under the general scheme) and only made available by the government once at least 15 pupils in a bubble have had to self-isolate.

How will children with Special Educational Needs be supported?

The school will aim, as best it can, to provide some additional remote support for children with Special Educational Needs.  Some of the work set may be adapted to suit the abilities or needs of the child.  The class teacher or SENDCO will make contact with the parent to determine how learning might be supported remotely.

Will my child receive a telephone call from the class teaching if the child is self-isolating?

Class teachers will not contact parents/pupils by telephone during the period of self-isolation unless there are specific reasons to do so or unless this is requested by parents.  School may arrange to make welfare calls for any vulnerable pupils or pupils with Special Educational Needs.  The majority of contact with pupils (not individuals) will be via the website, SEESAW and, on occasion, ZOOM.

Will my child be expected to complete work set during the school day?

We recognise that some pupils do not have access to digital devices during the school day as they may be sharing devices with other siblings or parents who are working from home.  Apart from any scheduled ZOOM lessons which will be scheduled for a specific time (although a recording may be made available), all activities could be completed outside of school hours and uploaded later in the day.  Any work uploaded to SEESAW after 4.00pm may not be reviewed by the class teacher on the same day but will be reviewed as early as possible on the following school day.

Why are the teacher not delivering live lessons every day?

Class teachers will not routinely offer live video lessons every day. This is because it may be difficult for parents to supervise these sessions (as required by our protocol) and that some pupils may not have access to technology at specific times of the day.  Also, the type of interaction that can be achieved in a classroom cannot be replicating online.  However, we do recognise the value of some interactive teaching and live contact with pupils and will aim to arrange some short ZOOM sessions for each class during any period of absence.  This may be for purpose of introducing work, providing an explanation which cannot easily be provided in printed or video form or reviewing work with the whole class.

How can I motivate my child to complete work?

We know that during the summer lockdown when we were providing home learning that some children were more motivated to complete the work set online than others. We did try to set a range of tasks across most subjects and vary the work set to make it interesting for the children.  We will aim to do the same for any period of class self-isolation but hopefully given that any absence from school should only be for 10 school days (14 days self-isolation) in total) and that teachers will use a mix of media to present work, we are hoping that the vast majority of children will be motivated to complete home learning.  

You can motivate your children by having a routine for each day.  We will set work for three lessons as we did before and could suggest that pupils attempt two lessons in the morning and one in the afternoon.  


When a ZOOM meeting/session has been arranged for the class, we expect the following protocols and guidance to be followed:

  • pupils will join a ZOOM meeting by link (published on the website via the Secure page) and will be asked to enter their first name and surname initial, e.g. John H, when joining the meeting;
  • pupils and families must not share the ZOOM meeting details (e.g. links, passwords) with anyone else;
  • pupils will be supervised by an adult (or at least in close proximity) during the session;
  • only pupils may be visible or take part during the lesson;
  • pupils must not share personal information online;
  • pupils must position themselves in an appropriate, neutral and safe place which does not disclose personal or family privacy. Parents will need to consider their family/home privacy.  We suggest that pupils position themselves in front of a plain wall or background rather than in front of a ‘busy’ background or family pictures, etc.  Pupils must not take part in ZOOM calls from their bedroom.
  • pupils should place their device on a table so that it does have to be held or moved during the meeting and so that they can have access to any printed or other materials;
  • pupils should not be disturbed during the session, e.g. by siblings or animals;
  • pupils should behave as we would expect them to at school.  Teachers may issue warnings during the session and remove anyone from the meeting who does not follow the rules;
  • pupils should raise their hand to speak and must not speak unless asked to do by the class teacher;
  • pupils must dress appropriately (not school uniform but appropriate dress, e.g. no pyjamas, costumes)
  • pupils must join the meeting on time (the meeting will start five minutes before the scheduled time)
  • pupils joining more than 10 minutes after the start time may not be admitted to the session;
  • pupils must take part in the whole session, unless there is a good reason not to do so and that this is made clear at the start of the meeting or via email prior to the meeting by parents;
  • pupils should prepare any questions before the meeting so that time during the sessions can be used efficiently;
  • pupils should try not to ask questions that have been asked by other pupils and answered by the teacher;
  • staff will, where possible, be supported by a moderator (another member of staff who is simply checking the conduct of the meeting – this person may be defined as a ‘co-host’ once the meeting has started)
  • staff must not have contact with individual pupils via ZOOM on any occasion (conversation and video must wait until others have joined the meeting);
  • pupils will mute their microphones (or the teacher will mute everyone) during explanations or teacher input;
  • sessions will be recorded by the teacher – no other recordings are permitted;
  • if working from home, staff will choose an appropriate location and position (e.g. neutral space with a plain background) for their video, taking into account the need for privacy and limited disclosure;
  • staff have a duty to report any concerns about the welfare of children;
  • staff, pupils and parents will be asked to report any concerns they have about online sessions to the Headteacher.


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