Birchills Church of England Community Academy

Remote Learning


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Remote education provision: information for parents

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

In the event of a local outbreak, the PHE health protection team or local authority may advise a school to fully or partially close temporarily to help control transmission.
Birchills C of E Community Academy has a contingency plan for this eventuality. This may involve a return to remaining open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers and providing remote education for all other students, or it may involve remote education for certain year groups for a period of time.
For details of what to expect where individual students are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.

The remote curriculum: what is taught to students at home

At Birchills C of E Community Academy our ultimate aim is to try and follow the intended curriculum whether students are in school, working from home, or a combination of the two. Our preference is to provide video lessons to follow the curriculum where possible. These may be live or pre-recorded. Where neither is possible, we may set video lessons provided by the Oak National Academy, which match our planned curriculum.

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

Our remote education platform is PurpleMash. All students and teachers have received training in this, and so lessons will continue immediately using this learning portal. All students will access remote education through Birchills C of E Community Academy website. This can be accessed from here or go directly to PurpleMash here.

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

We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. However, we have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects. For example, in PE lessons, students may be set a series of challenges to develop their personal fitness. In practical subjects such as music, art or drama, work set may be a combination of practical work (where possible) and theory work.

The academy will be moving classes onto Google Classrooms to aid in making accessing learning more efficient. These details will be provided to classes.


Remote teaching and study time each day

How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?

We expect the remote education provided should be equivalent in length to the core teaching children would receive in school and will include both recorded or live direct teaching time, and time for children to complete tasks and assignments independently. The amount of remote education provided should be, as a minimum:

• Key Stage 1: 3 hours a day on average across the cohort, with less for younger children

• Key Stage 2: 4 hours a day


Accessing remote education

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

All students will access remote education through Birchills C of E Community Academy website. This can be accessed from here or go directly to PurpleMash here. Within PurpleMash children will find a blog dedicated to their own classrooms. Within this blog, the class teacher will be uploading the work for the day and instructions for any other educational apps that will need to be accessed e.g. BugClub, MyMaths etc. Pre-recorded videos of teachers modelling lessons are accessible here and will be archived here for reference. Children will complete work via PurpleMash and some work will need to be completed ad returned via Class Dojo. Feedback and assessment will be provided by the teachers.


If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?

We recognise that some children may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those children to access remote education:

  • If you do not have access to a device to complete remote learning effectively, you fall into the category of educationally vulnerable and should attend school as normal.
  • If there is an issue with access to a device to complete remote education, please let us know immediately by contacting the academy office on 01922 721063 or email: 
  • We will do everything we can to support remote education and can request a number of devices from the DfE that we can then loan to families, as well as helping to resolve any issues with connecting to the internet.
  • We recognise that some children may only be able to take part in learning on a device with a small screen, such as a mobile phone. We are happy for children to complete any work set on paper instead of on a computer if needed.
  • If children are completing remote education on paper rather than computer, they can always upload a photo of their work and send via Class Dojo or PurpleMash. Where this is not possible, we will work with you to find a solution.


How will my child be taught remotely?

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach children remotely:
When teaching children remotely, we are:

  • providing frequent, clear video explanations of new content, delivered by a teacher in the school or through high-quality curriculum resources or videos.
  • setting learning so that children have meaningful and ambitious work each day in a number of different subjects.
  • teaching a planned and well-sequenced curriculum so that knowledge and skills are built incrementally, with a good level of clarity about what is intended to be taught and practised in each subject.
  • gauging how well students are progressing through the curriculum, using questions and other suitable tasks
  • enabling teachers to adjust the pace or difficulty of what is being taught in response to questions regarding the learning, including, where necessary, revising material or simplifying explanations to ensure children’s understanding.

We are considering these expectations in relation to the children's age, stage of development or special educational needs, for example where this would place significant demands on parents’ help or support. We will avoid setting long-term projects or internet research activities.

Video lessons

Our preference is that where possible, our teachers prepare pre-recorded video lessons or lessons with voiceovers from teacher to ensure that explanations are clear and effective. Where a teacher is unwell, we may use video lessons provided by Oak National Academy to support children's explanations. These cover the entire national curriculum and are available to all schools for free. These have been developed in partnership with a wide group of teachers and school leaders to develop lessons that match the curriculum being taught in school.

What happens if my child’s teacher is unwell?

If a member of teaching staff is unwell and is not able to provide remote education, your child may be added to a new class team in order to join a different lesson or alternative work may be supplied. Ultimately the aim is to ensure that teaching continues in the most effective way possible until the teacher is able to resume teaching.


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?

We expect all children to engage with remote education as soon as it is required. A register will be completed of those who are accessing the work. If your child has is not accessing the work, then the teacher will contact you via Class Dojo, telephone or refer to the SLT.
As parents/carers we need your support to ensure you child sticks to the routines of completing school work at the right times and is provided with a space they can work without distraction. Where this is not possible, please let us know and we will do what we can to help.
Please reinforce clear boundaries with your child during their remote education.

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

Children's engagement with remote learning is monitored daily. A register is of accessing learning is completed and where students are not engaging, this will initially be followed up with contact home to try and resolve any potential issues.
Where children are attending remote education lessons but there are concerns with the quality or quantity of work being done, the individual teachers will make contact with home.

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

Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children. For example, whole-class feedback or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others. Our approach to feeding back on children's work is as follows:

  • Teachers may deliver a lesson through PurpleMash/Google Classrooms/Class Dojo and set work to be completed through the remainder of the session. This work may be handed in electronically using the functions associated with each of the learning platforms. 
  • Providing verbal feedback through PurpleMash once a piece of work is checked and assessed.
  • Teachers are not expected to mark every piece of work in depth, but they will be checking work and addressing any errors or misconceptions with children.
  • We may use quizzes through online forms to assess children understanding. This provides instant children feedback and scores are recorded so that teachers can address common mistakes in future lessons.


Additional support for students with particular needs

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

We recognise that some children, for example some children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we will work with parents and carers to support those students. Please contact our SEND Co-Ordinator, Karen Partridge (, with any specific queries.


Remote education for self-isolating students

Where individual students need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school, how remote education is provided will likely differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching children both at home and in school.

If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?

We provide a pack of work for all children that contains work and resources that all children can complete. This is emailed to parents as soon as we are notified. Many of the subjects direct children to video lessons provided by Oak National Academy, that match the curriculum we are teaching in school. 
You can also message their class teachers via Class Dojo to let them know of the self-isolation. The teacher will then be able to support with specific lesson resources sent by Class Dojo/PurpleMash/Google Classrooms.