FAQs 1: Monday 11th January 2021
Q: Parents receiving multiple or conflicting invites for virtual sessions, and some parents still unsure as to where to find the links, or not receiving them at all.
A: In Foundation Phase parents receive a link for a Teams meeting to the email address they have provided in past collection form. If this is not happening, then they should contact the classteacher in the first instance.
In Key Stage 2 pupils receive the link directly to their Hwb accounts.
Q: Parents expressing frustration at ‘waiting to be let in’ to sessions ten minutes or so after the scheduled start time, or waiting to be ‘readmitted’ if they dropped off the call. One suggestion was that there should be a way to contact the teacher directly if this happens.
A: We need to operate a waiting system as this is fundamental to our safeguarding policy. Teachers receive notification of those who are waiting and admit they immediately.
SLT will check logs to see how many people are impacted by having to wait.
If a teacher is needed, they can be emailed. There is someone at the school office for trouble shooting immediate issues.
Q: Requests for sessions to be recorded and made available at a later time (as was discussed in the open forum you hosted).
A: The school and staff are keen to do this, however, at present teaching trade unions are not allowing this to happen due to concerns about data collection, GDPR and safeguarding. School leadership are looking at ways to navigate around this.
Q: Questions as to why the different year groups can’t use the same platforms. (This was also expressed this week by the Future Generations Commissioner on Twitter!)
A: The school wants to eventually establish all pupils on Google classroom as the method of setting work. Due to time constraints this has not been possible as we haven’t been able to educate our younger children on how to use Google Classroom. Without proper training we felt the introduction of a new platform would add stress to pupils and parents.
Compulsory sessions and workload
Q: Concerns about what children ‘have to’ attend, and what is optional – a particular concern for working parents (some expressing concerns about their job security if they are supervising online learning for large parts of the day). Parents requesting clarity on expectations – i.e. children should attend X number of online sessions a week.
A: After the last lockdown our questionnaire found that parents wanted more work of a synchronous nature. The way in which our learning has been designed should enable parents to continue to work without having to directly interact with sessions. We appreciate this may be harder with younger children.
The school leadership are always looking at the provision offer and will discuss future plans with possibly more asynchronous learning tasks so they can be done whenever families want.
The school will not put a “number” of expected sessions as parents know their children best and must decide this on an individual basis.
Q: Concerns as to the volume of ‘new work’ being introduced, and moving on too quickly from work that children haven’t had an opportunity to finish from the day before, or the day before that.
A: Teachers are skilled at planning sessions than reinforce and are progressive. Teachers are constantly monitoring work submitted and change plans accordingly. The school leadership are always looking at the provision offer and will discuss future plans.
Q: Parents reporting high stress levels / being overwhelmed / their wellbeing affected by juggling the different demands.
A: Parents will need to share individual experiences with the school so we can support them case by case. The school is in a difficult position as after the last questionnaire it was expressed that more work was wanted by parents.