Organising mixed ability pupils in smaller groups and helping those who need to catch up

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We are handling the fact that pupils are working in different places. We acknowledge that the current situation presents a huge challenge. In particular it:

  • affects the continuity on which our education system is built: one teacher in a classroom with pupils they know well – to cope with the need for social distancing, each subject will now be taught by 2 teachers: one remotely and one in school
  • means pupils will fall into one of three ‘pods’: face-to-face (on a rota as we can only have a quarter of our year 10 and 12 cohorts on site at any one time), home learning (years 7-9), and then our most vulnerable children, who will be in school as much as staffing allows – we will be thinking very carefully about which students we put together in bubbles
  • will mean watching closely to see what happens with this approach, and being ready to adapt as needs be
  • means thinking about constructing bubbles partly around prior attainment

Where more disadvantaged pupils are concerned, we will have a permanent in-school pod for the most vulnerable. It will reduce the time learning remotely, but we anticipate having 15% of learners persistently disengaged. We know that around 25% are logging on to avoid being chased by school (and then not completing tasks).

We are planning:

  • a full 4 days of face-to-face teaching for these pupils
  • to work through long-term plans and identify the most crucial concepts for teaching
  • to identify subjects and topics that underpin multiple other aspects of the curriculum
  • subject teams to work on making sure what’s learned at home aligns with what’s taught in school

In history, for example, pupils can’t understand Elizabeth I unless they already have a firm grasp of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation.

Our school aims to optimise teacher face-to-face time with classroom teaching focused on the things a teacher does that cannot easily be replicated remotely.

It’s the quality of explanation, modelling and questioning that makes great teaching.

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