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The Buckingham School

The Buckingham School

Key Stage 3 Remote Learning - letter dated 22 January 2021

Dear Parent / Carer 

We are now two weeks into our remote learning provision and I hope you have settled into some form of routine. My colleagues and I have spoken to many families across Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) about their experiences and we continue to seek feedback through surveys, along with our pastoral team making regular contact with you. 

As Mr McGinnes and I have both previously mentioned, every household is very different and the experiences that our children are having during this period of remote learning are wide-ranging. Through the feedback that we’ve received, some common themes have emerged and there have been some things highlighted that I would like to add clarity to, in the hope that it will make your lives easier at home. These mainly centre around the amount of work being set, or how long it is taking your children to complete tasks. I would like to outline our expectations below and give you some suggestions regarding the amount of work your child is completing.

Our Curriculum:
The Buckingham School operates a 25-hour-a-week curriculum that exists whether we are in school or delivering remotely. This is broken down across our curriculum areas as follows:

Over the space of a week, this is the amount of learning time afforded to each of these subjects in our curriculum. We have asked our Curriculum Leaders to ensure that the amount of work being set is equal to this, in line with Government guidance. Being able to gauge the amount of time particular tasks take is quite a tricky process, especially remotely. In the classroom, we can quickly adapt our instructions to either extend our students or allow them more time to focus on a particular task at the expense of another. Remotely, this is much more difficult and we have students who are completing work quickly, alongside students who are struggling to complete all tasks within the day.

One thing that I would like to outline to you is our expectation of 25 hours per week. Our aim is to prescribe learning tasks that equal this amount of time - no more or no less. 

What to do if your child is struggling to complete the tasks set in the time allocated.
As outlined above, we do not want children spending more than five hours per day on their learning at Key Stage 3. It is important that students are in the routine of working in line with their timetables, ensuring they are working for an hour in each lesson. At the end of the lesson, they should submit their work as they would in a normal lesson. The teacher will be able to assess what the students are submitting and this will inform their planning for future lessons. Keeping communication with subject teachers open and honest is vital to ensuring that we get it right for your child.

If your child is finding a piece of work or a subject particularly difficult, they should contact their subject teacher by email or through Google Classroom. Again, our teachers are on hand to respond and offer help and guidance. 

If your child is finding a number of things difficult, they should contact their Form Tutor in the first instance. Your child’s Form Tutor will then be able to liaise with other members of staff or seek help and advice where needed. 

What to do if your child is finding the work easy or they are completing the tasks quickly. 
Our aim is to provide a remote education that is challenging and allows our students to progress at a rate similar to if they were in school. If your child is completing tasks quickly or is finding the work easy, the first thing we recommend is to contact the subject teacher who will be able to set challenge tasks or extension tasks for each lesson. 

We also recommend using digital platforms such as Seneca Learning, Oak National Academy, BBC Bitesize and others that are outlined in our families’ Remote Learning Guide to supplement your childs’ learning. 

The most important aspect in all of this is communication; I hope that this letter has provided some clarity regarding our expectations around our remote learning provision but if there is anything that you would like to further discuss, please do not hesitate to contact us.

With my best wishes

Mr D Fox, Deputy Headteacher