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Remote education provision: information for students & parents

This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to students and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.

The remote curriculum: what is taught to students at home

A student’s first day or two of being educated remotely might look different from our standard approach, while we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching.

What should students expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of being sent home?

In the first days of remote learning students can expect to transition from learning in the classroom to learning online and will still be able to follow their scheduled timetable.

Following the first few days of remote education, will students be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in college?

We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in college wherever possible and appropriate. However, we have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects. For example, for any practical subjects (such as dentistry and construction) we have front loaded the theory element so that this can be taught easily online and where we might need students to come in to the college environment, we ensure that it is in small groups and adhere to social distancing.

Remote teaching and study time each day

How long can I expect work set by the college to take each day?

We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take students broadly the same number of hours each day as the scheduled timetable.

Accessing remote education

How will I access any online remote education you are providing?

Where staff and/or students are participating in any remote or online learning as a regular learning method or where staff and/or students are unable to attend college due to self-isolation, any local or national lockdown, or any other circumstances that prohibit learning within the college environment, the college expectation is that teaching, learning and assessment should continue via a remote learning platform and maintain the expectations in the college Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy: The BMet Way, ensuring students continue to make good progress.

The college’s preferred platforms are Teams and Moodle. Classes should continue as timetabled (subject to exceptional or agreed circumstances) and attendance will be recorded in the usual way. In addition to online, delivery may also consist of:

  • Tasks posted and tracked in Moodle.
  • Independent study tasks set, including tasks set for completion before or after online sessions.
  • Completion of printed packs for students who have access barriers
  • Attendance to live virtual lessons (via MS Teams)

Collaborative work with peers on a set task.

If I do not have digital or online access at home, how will you support access to remote education?

We recognise that not all of our students have online access at home and we are supporting students by loaning laptops to those students that need them.  To borrow a laptop, students need to call us on 0121 446 4545.

There is also limited access to our college buildings on a Thursday, but this must be arranged via tutors and approved by Vice Principals.

How will the college ensure students can be taught remotely?

When providing any type of remote learning, teachers are responsible for ensuring that teaching/delivery/assessment is timetabled to support learning when students are working remotely.

Teachers ensure:

  • all students have access to equipment and if not make alternative arrangements, as required.
  • the setting of assignments is undertaken, wherever it is safe to do so, in the face-to-face sessions and that deadlines are clear.
  • that when students submit work, measures are taken to ensure the work is authentic and has been completed by the student.
  • there is a process to provide feedback on assignments, questions are constructively answered, and feedback is provided in a timely manner.
  • students are aware of the need to avoid any forms of malpractice (for example plagiarism) and the consequences should they commit it.
  • the use of college email, college phone numbers, the college website and MS Teams and Moodle, or other college sanctioned IT platforms as the only forms of communication used during contact with all students.
  • delivery of content in line with existing learning schemes (as far as possible) making the necessary adaptations for remote and online use or as directed to by the Awarding Organisation.
  • all students are challenged and supported, and that work is correctly attributed to them.
  • there is access to inclusive learning materials and regular and clear communication with students, which continue to meet the expectations of the college in terms of relevance, quality, equality of opportunity and safeguarding.
  • that students have a range of activities to complete and not exclusively working on a screen.
  • they effectively communicate expectations, tasks and deadlines to students.

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach students remotely:

  • live teaching (online lessons)
  • recorded teaching (e.g. video/audio recordings made by teachers)
  • textbooks and reading books pupils have at home
  • commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences
  • long-term project work and/or internet research activities.

Engagement and feedback

What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

Traditional college days provide students with a lot of structure—this can be hard to replicate online. For some students, the flexibility of learning online is a natural fit. However, for other students, managing this is a challenge. Students participating in e-learning need to build their own routines and effectively manage their time in order to stay on track. Having a well-thought-out, specific daily schedule is key, and parents can be a huge help not only in building such a plan but also in making sure that it is followed.

Parents can start by sitting down with their child and discussing what they are responsible for achieving in their online course work on a daily or weekly basis, how much time those tasks will realistically take, and what other commitments (sports, arts, work, family engagements, etc.) they need to consider. Once you’ve talked through everything, help them to write out a weekly schedule with designated work time. Be sure to keep the schedule in a noticeable place, like on the refrigerator or next to any other family calendars, to help establish an effective routine.

How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?

We will keep a register of attendance and record of assessments completed (both informal and formal).  If we are concerned about a student’s attendance or completion of work set we will contact parents/guardians to discuss and to make sure that they (the student) are ok.

How will you assess my child’s work and progress?

Our approach to feeding back on student work is as follows:

  • One to one tutorials
  • Marked assessments
  • Email/Teams

The college is actively engaged with the government national consultation with the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual to decide the best way to move forward on student assessment.  Students continue to submit work so that teachers have sufficient evidence to make accurate assessed grades should the need arise.

Additional support for students

How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?

The college has put in place a raft of measures to support all learners with online learning and has included a series of adjustments for those with additional learning needs.  This includes:

  • A review of all BMet students to assess digital vulnerability and this data is being used to support students.
  • Securing funding from the DfE for new laptops to support those students with limited or no access to digital equipment at home.  All students have been made aware that they can borrow a laptop from the college and have been made aware of how to apply.
  • Providing access on a Thursday to vulnerable EHCP students and students with a lack of access to digital equipment.  The college is open between 10am until 2pm and students have access to library services and computers.  All students are aware of this and it is something that tutors are regularly assessing to make sure that students can come into college if they would benefit from it.
  • Continued access to study centre support – including online English/Maths/Dyslexia support
  • Continued access to college mentors and counsellors
  • Access to a digital mental health service platform called Togetherall for staff and students.  This is due to be launched but, in the meantime, you can find out more information here.

Wraparound care:

The college is committed to supporting students both within face-to-face and virtual classroom environments to ensure no student is disadvantaged.

In addition to the measures outlined above we offer our SEND students a comprehensive wrap around support and service.

This includes:

  • One to one and small group study support
  • Inclusive Support Co-ordinators across our three colleges who ensure that our SEND students are thoroughly supported.
  • Providing a range of lessons in-line with government guidelines
  • Using government funding to minimise the disruption to learning due to Covid-19.  The funding is being used to support small group tuition for 16 to 19 students in English, maths, and other courses where learning has been disrupted. In line with government guidance BMet will use available funds to prioritise support for the following learners: students without a grade four or above in GCSE maths and/or English (Grade 5) and students aged 19 – 24 with SEND and an EHCP.  Click here to find out more.

Further reading

Please click here to read our remote teaching, learning and blended learning assessment policy.