Home-Based Learning

 

ETONHOUSE HOME BASED LEARNING

Guidance

This document outlines our home-based learning plan to support all stakeholders in understanding how classes will be supported during any period of home-based learning. This plan has been informed by the reflections that were added to the by all of the teaching staff at the school to collate the feedback and requests from families and their own professional reflections on how best to take home-based learning forward.

This document seeks to share information with all stakeholders to build an understanding of what home-based learning is like at EtonHouse BAHRAIN and the reasoning behind the plan to support families and teachers in working together during any period of HBL. Periods of HBL, by their nature,  require greater collaboration between families and the school. The structure of the home-based learning that we have chosen is based on making every effort to be as inclusive as possible for all members of our community. From our experience and the shared experiences of schools throughout the world, we realise that during periods of home-based learning families have very different feelings about what they feel constitutes a plan that would work for their individual family.

Whilst we recognise that at times groups of families may agree on certain aspects of HBL there is no one size fits all approach that will work for all families. With this being the case the plan that has been outlined we believe to be comprehensive and will best support learning during any period of HBL. We will be unable to make changes in the short term to this plan as all aspects of it require organisation, scheduling, and coordination.  As with anything that we do as a school we are open to the respectful feedback from any members of our community. This is demonstrated in this plan, which has taken into account a whole range of suggestions and ideas which we feel are best for learners and are feasible and sustainable for all stakeholders.

It is also important for all stakeholders to recognise that home-based learning in the early and primary years is never going to be an ideal situation or one that we would choose. We will not be making changes to this plan during a period of HBL. As with all aspects of our learning and teaching at the school, we will conduct regular reviews on HBL and make changes accordingly in light of further reflections. This can only take place over a longer time period as we need to give this plan time to see how it is working and the problems or issues that will perhaps arrive. Please be reassured that all decisions regarding HBL  have the learner and their learning at the very centre of them.

There are going to be aspects that families feel don’t work for them or are not effective in their individual situations. If this is the case please get in touch with the teachers to discuss your individual child/ren and they will support you in any way that they can. If you would like to discuss the overall plan please direct these questions the Principal Carol Pedersen carol@etonhouse.me

We cannot recreate the classroom in an online environment

“Effective online teaching is not the same as face-to-face (F2F). It is not a matter of whether it is equal. It requires different activities, some which are better done online.”

(IBO, 2020)

Our home-based learning plan respects that it is not possible to recreate the classroom online. A teacher cannot provide sufficient  supervision to learners without being physically present. Therefore classroom behaviour management strategies will not be applicable in an online environment. Home-based learning cannot aim to recreate the classroom and shouldn’t try to as this will lead to ineffective learning and teaching. To transfer to home-based learning we must think about instruction differently.

Equally it is important to make clear that whilst it is inevitable that families will need to play a role in supporting their children through HBL we aim for this to be as minimal as possible. We do not see family members as teachers as we recognise that this is not possible and that families do not have the training to do this. If families are finding this to be the case they are asked to respectfully share their point of view with the teaching
teams.

As UNESCO share we must endeavour to ensure that any period of home-based learning does not unfairly disadvantage families that have limited access to devices. This can be particularly apparent during times when working family members need to be at home as they may also need to access the family’s devices. For families with siblings, this can also become difficult as they may need to share a single device and are not
able to have live conferencing happening simultaneously. We have worked to produce a plan that supports the inclusion of all of our learners as much as possible.

As a result of home-based learning screen time and video conferencing need to beconsidered carefully in a number of dimensions as they are always going to play an integral role in any home-based learning arrangements.

We believe that the best use of video conferences is to provide opportunities for learners
and teachers to explore larger discussions related to their inquiries or wellbeing that they would be having in the classroom. We also feel that there should be opportunities for learners to talk with each other and have moderated conversations. These would be less guided by teachers and perhaps in response to a conversation starter prompt or question/s. In other situations, these conferences could also provide a platform for learners to work or plan collaboratively on a project over a period of time. Learners may present to each other to develop presentation skills and to gain feedback on their work from peers. In some cases, teachers may ask for learners to prepare certain basic materials so that they can engage with an experience during the sessions

We fundamentally know that smaller groups will be more conducive to these experiences. Waiting for your turn in a large group can take a long time and stop you from actively listening. Having a discussion with less participants (somewhere between 4-8) has a very different dynamic and provides more opportunities for contributions, discussions and the back and forth that is so important in classroom discussions. To enable this to happen during home-based learning teachers will hold multiple small group discussions with different groups of learners rather than working with the whole group.

With this in mind, we have taken into a number of factors to consider the lengths of time for our video conferencing. This includes research into meeting times in regular early childhood classrooms such as Bustamante (2018) which suggests 15-20 minutes for kindergarten (5-6 year old) classes as there is a sharp decrease in engagement and attention during meetings longer than this. UNESCO states:

“Keep a coherent timing according to the level of the students’ self-regulation and metacognitive abilities especially for livestreaming classes. Preferably, the unit for primary school students should not be more than 20 minutes, and no longer than 40 minutes for secondary school students.”

(UNESCO, 2020)

With this guidance in mind our teacher team has combined its collective knowledge and experience of what works. We fundamentally know that learners will not pay attention for longer periods of time than they usually do in classrooms during video conferencing whereby the nature of experiences are likely to require more control and direction than in the regular class to ensure that these conferences do not simply become lots of people talking over one another. With all of this in mind we have decided on the following time increments during home-based learning.

PN, N1 and N2 (Ages 18months to 3 Years )year levels to have video conferencing for a maximum of 15 minutes at a time with at least 30 minutes between conferences. There will be an English led and Arabic led meeting scheduled for small groups each day. There will be a 10-15 minute story and song time at the end of the day which all learners are welcome to join. By nature of this being a whole group experience it will be less interactive.

Reception , Y1 and Y2 year levels to have video conferencing for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time with at least 30 minutes in between conferences. There will be an English led and Arabic led meeting scheduled for small groups each day. They are offered PE, Music, Visual Arts and ICT specialist sessions.

  •  On a weekly basis learners in Reception will have a 10 minute 1-to-1 virtual reading session with one of their teachers.
  •  In Y1 and Y2 learners will schedule for a weekly small group guided reading session lasting 20-30 minutes depending on the year level and engagement of the group.

For ICT and visual arts the teachers will be introducing a learning experience and will stay online for the length of the session whilst the learners are working. In some cases this may mean the learners may continue to work on the learning experience after the teacher has ended the session.  These sessions would be held for the N2-Y1 year levels.

For library there will be videos that give the learners something to think about or a challenge for them to engage with for PN-Y1 year levels.

For learners receiving literacy support there will be video conferencing sessions scheduled for these groups. Sessions will be in line with guidance above with regards to lengths of meetings.

If any of the specialist teachers require resources or have suggested resources for their classes they will share this information with families with the daily learning experiences the day before their classes.

It is important to note that we have created many different opportunities for learning with our HBL plan but recognise that for one learner this could at times be 4 or more video conferences during a day. For families that have siblings at the school this could become 8 or for some families over 10 video conferences happening during a day. As shared further below, although we believe that these video conferences are very valuable for learners there might be occasions where learners cannot make it to all of them or even any of them on some days. As a school we are supportive of all families and understand if this is the case. If at any time families would like to stop any of the sessions for any reason you are more than welcome to do so, just let your child’s teachers know.

If teachers feel that there is an area or concept being explored during the HBL that a learner is finding challenging additional time will be organised where teachers will give one-to-one support. If  this is the case it is no cause for concern. All learners need support in their work at different times. In the classroom setting teachers assess their learners continuously to give them an understanding of when a little extra support or clarification might be needed. The same will be applied during home-based learning.

When these support sessions are being planned communication between families and teachers are essential to ensure clarity regarding the area and reasoning for supporting the learner. As they would in the class teachers will professionally assess the time frame required to support the learner in grasping the material and successfully foster independence in that area of learning. Once the teacher assesses that the learner has grasped the concept or understands the piece of work the teacher will end the session. These sessions can last up to 20 minutes with a maximum of two in a week. This timing ensures that these sessions are manageable and sustainable for all involved and learners receive them when it is really needed.

These are opportunities for collaboration between families, learners and teachers and all requests and communications need to be conducted on a strictly respectful basis. Only by working together through periods of HBL in an open-minded and caring manner can we best support each learner’s needs.

 

Throughout HBL we will be using Microsoft Teams as our primary communication platform. Each learner will have their own email address and password for their individual MS Teams account. In order to safeguard all stakeholders all work on MS Teams need to be in spaces that are moderated.

The following list outlines some of the uses that Microsoft Teams will be used for:

  • Video conferencing platform
  • Portal where daily learning experiences and work will be uploaded through the assignments tab. Learners can also upload their own work onto the assignment space to share with teachers. Teachers can then use this space to provide feedback.
  • Additional files, resources and videos can be uploaded on here.
  • Over time learners of appropriate age groups may be introduced to tools that support presentation/collaboration and more through the platform.
  • Direct messaging between teachers and learners.

Assigning and Uploading work on Teams

To streamline this communication all classes and any specialist work will be uploaded through the assignments tab.  Learning experiences for the following day will be uploaded through the assignments tab by 12pm. Learning experiences for Sunday will be put up on Thursday If learners have completed any of the work for Sunday over the weekend, teachers will not provide additional work.

At times teachers may suggest online resources for families to access. Teachers will always aim to ensure these resources are accessible on a computer, tablet or mobile device. Teaching teams will work to ensure that this is the case but without being able to test it out on all devices there is always a chance that something won’t work. This is of course regrettable but unfortunately at times unavoidable with the multitude of devices on the market today. If families find that they are unable to access a resource we ask them to reach out to classroom teachers. This collaboration will support us in ensuring that we suggest the best tools moving forward.

Expectations on Attire for Video Conferencing

When video conferencing it is important that learners are dressed in appropriate attire. They should not be in pyjamas.

Respecting Families’ Privacy and Safeguarding  Learners

We would encourage you to use the blur background setting on any video calls as this adds a layer of privacy as other people on the call will not be able to see your background although do bear in mind that any family members that step into the background will be visible even in the blurred mode. If your device does not support the blur background feature we would strongly encourage you to aim to have a blank or neutral background.

To support the safeguarding of all of the members of our community we cannot allow unmoderated spaces on the MS Teams platform. This means that video calls between learners and private teams are not to be created or initiated through MS Teams. Teachers will work with the learners to ensure that they understand this is not something they can use this platform for. We ask families to work with us to ensure that any unmoderated chats or video calls are reported to teaching teams. In these situations, we will work with the learners and families to stop the calls or shut down these teams. In the event that the behaviour continues, we will need to take the unfortunate action to suspend an account and reset it in order for our administrators to remove any unmoderated spaces that have been created. We would strongly prefer not to have to do this and seek families’ cooperation in working with us to ensure that this does not become necessary.

Technical Support

We understand that some families using tablet or mobile devices may at times be prompted to download apps. All of the online resources we suggest will be accessible without download through a web browser on a computer. We are unable to vouch for apps that needed to be downloaded on mobile devices and would advise you to explore the privacy settings on your individual device.

As there are such a wide variety of devices available for purchase running different operating systems and with different requirements it is likely that at some point during any period of HBL there may be technical difficulties. With this being the case we ask that families contact teaching teams if they are having issues. If the teaching team cannot support they will contact our IT team who will then look into the issue. Some issues will need to be referred to Microsoft if there is a bug or error in the programme. In situations such as this, the waiting to get the issue resolved can increase. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to support families and solve any problems that are being experienced.

 

We would suggest that in the event of a closure you aim to make a space that can be used for learning experiences that require a table or surface to work on. Add resources to this area such as writing and drawing equipment so that they can be easily accessed and your family or child doesn’t have to spend time searching for these materials when they are needed. Try to ensure that this area can be quiet to support your child when they are concentrating on a learning opportunity. Basic drawing and writing resources and paper will support a lot of the learning opportunities.

 

In each of our class communities essential agreements are created to support classes in the defining norms of the class and guide how they will interact and learn together in the class. During periods of home-based learning classes will create essential agreements to support them in different aspects of their home-based learning such as video conferencing, use of MS Teams, work completed at home and any other areas that teachers and learners feel are applicable.

 

The following section of the document will provide an outline of the learning experiences that will be offered during any period of home-based learning. We have also included sample schedules. We have included these as all around the world as schools have closed one piece of advice that has been consistent across all contexts is that a daily schedule can provide structure and support for families looking for something to help manage the routine of the day. Our daily schedules run in line with our school day but please remember that they are only examples and not something that you need to adhere to. For some families it may be more appropriate just to have a schedule for two or three hours in the morning. Other families may find that a daily schedule doesn’t support them at all. As with anything, all families work in different ways and it is best as always to see what works for your family. The schedules are there as an idea for you, not as an expectation. Only use them if you feel they support your family.

Instructional Videos

For each learning experience teaching teams will create short videos (1-3 minutes) to explain the learning experience or model what they are asking learners to do. These will be created by classes individually so that learners are watching videos of their teachers explaining the experiences. To ensure this is sustainable these videos will be simple videos that have not required editing. Teachers may create supplementary videos if they feel this will support learners with something that they might want to come back to as a reminder of a process or rule.

PN-N2

Time                    Learning Opportunity
8:00-9:00am     Wake up, eat breakfast, change out of your pyjamas
9:00-10:45am    English and Arabic led video conferencing with class teachers/Exploring learning experiences through play

10:45-11:15am     Snack and Exercise
11:15-11:30am     Reading Time
11:30-12:00pm    Specialist Session/Exploring learning experiences through play
12:00-1:00pm     Lunch: Eat a healthy lunch and drink plenty of fluids
1:00-2:30pm       If sleeping:                                      If not sleeping:

Rest Time and Wake Up            Breathing Exercises
Reading Time                               Followed by free play/Reading Time

Afternoon Snack                           Afternoon Snack

Read feedback from teachers.

2:30-3:00pm        Send photos to your teachers. Ask any questions you have to your teachers.

3:00-3:20pm     Storytime with one of the class teachers

 

Learning in these age groups happens through play. Therefore it is important that there are plenty of times for play to be continuing in the home environment. As families will have different resources at home to what is available at school, your email updates about how they are exploring, engaging with and reacting to the available resources around them will support teachers in suggesting learning opportunities that will extend your child’s learning as they would in the classes in connection with their ongoing units of inquiry and connections to the learning goals.

English and Mandarin led video conferencing with class teachers– In PN-N2 these meetings will be similar to the meetings that would be had in class. Teachers will be following the advice of the IB that live video conferences “keep(ing) engagement between the learner and the adults with whom they are chatting.”

(IBO, 2020)

Learning Opportunities – The teachers will be providing four learning opportunities a day. These will give suggestions for play that you could engage in with your child and will connect to the different areas of the curriculum. To support language and literacy this will include daily Songs, Stories and Movement experiences which will consist of songs to sing, stories to listen to and watch and ideas for movement. Some of the songs and movement ideas will be repeated across a week as they would be in the classroom. The teachers may include some discussion points about the books to support making connections with their units of inquiry. The specialist teachers will also offer opportunities on a weekly basis. With each learning experience teachers will be adding the learning objective and connections to the learning outcome/goal from the scope and sequence to support learners and parents in understanding how the work connects with the curriculum. Teachers may highlight some of the learning moments you might want to watch out for or questions to support the experience. For this age group, your feedback on what your child has been doing will be important to teachers being able to make suggestions of how to take the learning further.

Snack and exercise – The brain needs food to work properly so this time is to get some sustenance and get the heart beating. If possible take a break to get outside or play a physical game inside. You could try some of the exercises suggested by our PE specialists or a game.

Reading time – As the name would suggest this is a dedicated time for children to be reading books or being read to. Much research points to the multitude of benefits that reading to your children and discussing books has for their outcomes in literacy and language. As learners cannot borrow books from school, the teachers will be sharing some e-book options but ideally this would be a time spent with physical books away from screens if possible.

Rest time/Breathing exercise and play – Many children in this age grouping will take a nap after lunch. For children that don’t, teachers will be sharing breathing exercises that you might like to try. After this we recommend that the child has free play time where they select what they want to do or have additional reading time.

Read feedback from teachers. Send photos of your work to your teachers for feedback. Ask any questions you have to your teachers –Towards the end of each day there is a time set out for children and families to work together to send photos of what the child has been doing that day. This is an important time as it further supports teachers ongoing assessment of your child’s learning and supports teachers to develop the learning opportunities for the upcoming days. This can be shared through the assignment tab in MS Teams or through the class notebook if the class is using that function in MS Teams. Teachers will give feedback on your child’s work the following day.

Storytime with one of the class teachers – To end the day there will be a live storytime with one of the class teachers. As this is a whole group experience it is a time to listen to the story or join in with any goodbye songs.

Reception-Y2

Time                    Learning Opportunity
7.00-8.00am      Wake up, eat breakfast, change out of your pyjamas
8:00-10:50         English and Arabic led video conferencing with class teachers/Exploring learning experiences

10:50-11:20        Snack and Exercise
11:20-12:00        Guided Reading/Reading Time/Exploring learning experiences
12:00-1:00          Lunch: Eat a healthy lunch and drink plenty of fluids
1:00-3:00            Specialist Session/Mindfulness and Breathing Exercises/Exploring learning experiences

Read feedback from teachers.

4:00                      Send photos of your work to your teachers for feedback. Ask any questions you have to your teachers.

English and Arabic led video conferencing with class teachers– In Reception-Y2 these meetings will be similar to the meetings that would be had in class. Teachers will be following the advice of the IB that live video conferences “keep(ing) engagement between the learner and the adults with whom they are chatting.” These sessions will total up to an hour a day on days when learners have guided reading/individual reading.

(IBO, 2020)

Learning Opportunities – The teachers will be providing 3 learning opportunities a day in English, and 1 learning opportunity with a Arabic focus. The specialist teachers will offer opportunities on a weekly basis connected to their live video conferencing. The daily learning opportunities will be designed to provide your child around 2 hours of class content and around 30 minutes of content from the specialists each day. This will likely be more than you can get through in one day so you can have the enjoyment of choosing the learning opportunities that really excite you each day. Each learning opportunity will have an online extension that you can explore if you find that your child has finished and you want to take the learning further. These might be in the form of problems, games, virtual field trips and more. The jotter book that you child brought home will be the place that they do any drawing or written work. As children at this age can often be at the early exploration of writing, teachers may ask for them to draw a picture and for an adult to write what the child says to go with it.

Snack and exercise – The brain needs food to work properly so this time is to get some sustenance and get the heart beating. If possible take a break to get outside or play a physical game inside. You could try some of the exercises suggested by our PE specialists or any game/activity suggested by the teachers.

Reading time – As the name would suggest this is a dedicated time for children to be reading books or being read to. Much research points to the multitude of benefits that reading to your children and discussing books has for their outcomes in literacy and language. As learners cannot borrow books from school, the teachers will be sharing some e-book reader sources and recommending books at your child’s level for them to read to you, with you, or by you. Let your teachers know if you find that these books are too easy or too tricky and they can adjust accordingly. If they finish their reader they can spend some time reading books in your home or other books online.

Mindfulness and breathing exercises – Teachers will be sharing with you techniques or online guided breathing exercises for you to explore with your child. As this might be a very different practice from what you do at home, take it slow, if you find that they only last a few minutes at the beginning that is absolutely fine. The idea is that over time they will increase the amount of time that these exercises last.

Read feedback from teachers. Send photos of your work to your teachers for feedback. Ask any questions you have to your teachers – Towards the end of each day there is a time set out for children and families to work together to send photos of what the child has been doing that day. This is an important time as it further supports teachers’ ongoing assessment of your child’s learning and supports teachers to develop the learning opportunities for the upcoming days. This can be shared through the assignment tab in Teams or through the class notebook if the class is using that function in Teams. Teachers will give feedback on your child’s work the following day.

Finish work/Explore online resources/Play a game – This time is an open time that could be used for carrying on something that was unfinished or that your child wants to continue from earlier. It is also a time that you child could use to explore online resources suggested by the teachers. Ideally it would be a perfect time to play a board game or card game as a family. If you don’t have any board games you can grab some paper and try making one with your child. This experience offers many opportunities for learning across the curriculum.

Learning Opportunities – The teachers will be providing 3 learning opportunities a day in English, and 1 learning opportunity with a Arabic focus. The specialist teachers will also offer opportunities that you might like to choose from on a weekly basis. The daily learning opportunities will be designed to provide your child with around two and a half hours of content each day from your class teachers and 30-45 minutes of content from the specialists. This will likely be more than you can get through in one day so you can have the enjoyment of choosing the learning opportunities that really excite you each day. Each learning opportunity will have an online extension that you can explore if you find that your child has finished and you want to take the learning further. These might be in the form of problems, games, virtual field trips and more. The jotter book that you child brought home will be the place that they do any drawing or written work. The learning opportunities will cover the curriculum and continue children’s development in all areas of their work.

Snack and exercise – The brain needs food to work properly so this time is to get some sustenance and get the heart beating. If possible take a break to get outside or play a physical game inside. You could try some of the exercises suggested by our PE specialists or a game/activity suggested by the teachers.

Reading time – As learners cannot borrow books from school, the teachers will be sharing some e-book reader sources and recommending books at your child’s level for them to read independently or with your support. Let your teachers know if you find that these books are too difficult or too tricky and they can adjust accordingly. If they finish their reader they can spend some time reading books in your home or other books online.

Mindfulness and breathing exercises – Teachers will be sharing with you techniques or online guided breathing exercises. This offers a time of calm during the day. Feel free to engage in them together.

Read feedback from teachers. Send photos of your work to your teachers for feedback. Ask any questions you have to your teachers – Towards the end of each day, there is a time set out for children and families to work together to send photos of what the child has been doing that day. This is an important time as it further supports teachers’ ongoing assessment of your child’s learning and supports teachers to develop the learning opportunities for the upcoming days. Teachers will give feedback on your child’s work the following day.

Finish work/Explore online resources/Play a game – This time is an open time that could be used for carrying on something that was unfinished or the child wants to continue from earlier. It is also a time that you child could explore online resources suggested by the teachers. Ideally it would be a perfect time to play a board game or card game as a family. If you don’t have any board games you can grab some paper and try making one with your child. This experience offers many opportunities for learning across the curriculum.

All experiences are optional 

During times of mandated HBL we recognise that families are likely to be under increased pressure as there may be changes in the work arrangements and possible concerns about family both at home and abroad. In light of this, we strongly urge families to consider all of the experiences to be optional for them. As mentioned in the video conferencing section there will be a lot of video conferencing options throughout the day. We understand that for some families it may not be practicable to attend all of these sessions. This is absolutely understandable. You can simply set Teams to “Do Not Disturb” or let your class teachers know your plans moving forward. If this has implications for specialist teacher live conferences they will be happy to pass this message along.

Each day there will on average 5 different learning experiences and extensions for learners to explore. There is not an expectation that all of these should be done. Times of government mandated home-based learning can be demanding and unsettling for families. As a school we believe that families are in the best position to judge what will be feasible, enjoyable and relevant during these times. There will be no penalty for not submitting work. Teachers will initiate contact with families that do not respond or submit work just to check-in. If your family is fine and are opting out partially or altogether from home-based learning just let your class teachers know what you are doing. They do not want to continue asking if you are comfortable and happy with what you are doing to support the wellbeing of your family.

If you are concerned about academic progress and feel like you would like some guidance on what might be the most important experiences for your child to connect with, please let your teachers know and they can guide you further.

 

Assessment and the use of assessment strategies is something that happens daily in all of our classrooms. This doesn’t change during times of HBL. As a school we use a number of resources to guide our formative assessment with Embedded Formative Assessment by Wiliam & Leahy (2015) a cornerstone text. This book outlines a number of research-based strategies that guide best practices in formative assessment. Throughout HBL the strategies we will be utilising include:

Strategy 1: Clarifying, Sharing, and Understanding Learning Intention and Success Criteria

Through sharing learning outcomes and providing curriculum connections support learners and families in knowing the intention for an experience both in the written experience and through instructional videos. In older classes, they will at times use success criteria and may co-construct success criteria to support learners in being able to identify what they have done well in their work.

Strategy 2: Engineering Effective Discussion, Tasks, and Activities That Elicit Evidence of Learning

Live video conferencing in small groups supports effective discussions that support the teacher in assessing the learning and progress of the group. The learning experiences that have been shared have been designed to elicit evidence of learning that has taken place. Sharing photos of work completed independently by learners supports accurate, authentic and reliable assessment that can support teachers in identifying when to move on or when to give extra support. If teachers feel the need to check-in with learners they can contact families to arrange for a one-to-one session.

Strategy 3: Providing Feedback that Moves Learning Forward

“Feedback has been identified as one of the most effective teaching practices (Hattie, Timperley 2007) and should, therefore, form the core of assessment.” (International Baccalaureate, 2018) Teaching teams will be providing feedback on the work submitted by learners. The IB go on to say:

“When giving feedback, teachers should…focus on:
Feedback: How am I doing?
Feedforward: Where to next?”

(Hattie and Timperley, 2007 cited in International Baccalaureate, 2018)

Teachers will use their understanding of the learners and the support they need to choose the right moments to use both feedback and feedforward. Some pieces of work may receive simple affirmation that it is a good piece of work praising the effort of the learner. Other pieces of work will also get the feedforward component to support the learner in what they might want to focus on for work in their future. This type of feedback is research-proven to support learners in learning and developing. If a learner is given a feedforward comment on a piece of work it does not mean that this work is not up to standard or needs to be improved – it means that the teacher is using their professional judgement to use this piece of work as a good moment to give a piece of feedback that will support the learner in develop their work in the future.

If a learner or family is unsure of any of the feedback given they can get in contact with the teacher that gave the feedback for clarifications where necessary. As with work in the classes it isn’t always possible, necessary, useful or manageable to give detailed feedback for each individual piece of work. Teachers will acknowledge all work that has been completed by learners and identify work that they feel feedback will best support a learner in taking the next steps in their learning.

Strategy 4: Activating Students as Learning Resources for One Another

Teachers will find opportunities for learners to share some of their work with peers during live video conferencing or through collaborative platforms . Learners will then be able to respond to each other’s work and give feedback perhaps using a simple feedback protocol to support this sharing.

Strategy 5: Activating Students as Owners of Their Own Learning

As they do in the classes, learners are offered to self-assess their work either when sharing it with others or through more structured experiences where they are invited to reflect on their work and learning. This strategy will continue to form a component of learning experiences throughout HBL and will look very different at different age levels and will become more prominent in Y1 age groups and above.

Independence and Reporting

As shared above through the many forms of evidence and formative assessment that is
being done throughout their work with the learners, teachers will continue their
assessments of them. If they have any area where they feel learners may benefit from
additional support they will contact families and suggest 1-to-1 sessions to help them
gain more information. For teachers to be able to accurately assess each learner it is

crucial that each learner is completing the work independently. Whilst it can be tempting for families to correct mistakes, spelling errors or other parts of a child’s work this will stop the teacher from being able to give the learner the support and feedback they need to take their learning forward and can as a result impede learning and progress. For any experience the instructional videos aim to set-up the experience and get the learners started. Families may want to check that they can get started but should aim to then let their children get on with things as independently as possible. If families are having difficulties with this they can contact the teaching teams to discuss this further and seek advice. Through open and respectful communication teachers and families can collaborate to support learners during HBL.

If teachers feel that one of the learners in the class is getting additional support at home that is perhaps not supporting them in getting an accurate picture of a learner’s work and progress they will contact families directly to discuss more effective ways to support learners in taking ownership of their learning. These conversations will support all parties to ensure that the learning experiences, feedback and support provided by the teachers support learners in moving forward. These conversations will always be coming from the starting point that as a school we need to use our professional knowledge to support learners to learn and develop as much as possible.

 

Teachers will be working their regular hours during any period of home-based learning and are available to be contacted during the following times:

8:15-12:00pm and 1:00-4:00pm

Please bear in mind that teachers will be on video conferences and other sessions throughout the day and may not be able to respond immediately to requests. We ask that families get in touch with the front office team in case of emergencies.

Being at home can also offer many other rich opportunities for learning. Children are never too old or too young to start learning life skills such as cooking and cleaning. Try using a recipe to cook something. You can read the ingredient list; weigh ingredients and measure together, talk about time, temperature and capacity in authentic situations. Or use some of your time at home to teach your child how to vacuum, wipe surfaces, separate and do the washing or organise the kitchen. These opportunities are lifelong skills that will serve them well for their futures in whatever they do.

Any period of home-based learning is, even with the best preparation, unlikely to be easy or straightforward for everyone. We are used to school being a certain way and home-based learning is different for us all. In the event of a period of home-based learning, it is essential that we are caring towards each other and to ourselves. As always we encourage you to continue collaborating and communicating with us so that we can provide the support your family needs.


This page was last edited on June 19, 2020