Open Box Education Centre ‘Blended Learning’ Timetable
In response to the national lockdown announced at the beginning of January 2021, we designed a ‘blended learning’ timetable for all our students to enable our staff to continue delivering high quality learning and safeguarding during this difficult lockdown period when it would be unsafe to operate our normal timetable in a small building.
Continuing with our Curriculum
Every student has been offered a structured ‘blended learning’ timetable from 10am – 3pm, every day. This includes three lessons of one-to-one, face-to-face tuition on-site delivered by subject staff, five days a week. This takes place alongside a structured timetable of additional remote Teams lessons, online learning programmes and independent learning times, which are completed from home. Students also have counselling, mentoring and enrichment sessions as part of their timetable, including one-to-one personal fitness sessions on-site, and off-site activity sessions at Lambourne End Outdoor Activity Centre (please see an example of one of our timetables).
In some cases, in response to requests from parents to consider the individual student need and family circumstances, I have negotiated a blended timetable with parents and students whereby the student only attends on-site for specific days of the week, with the expectation that students are logging into remote learning effectively from home. Additionally, we have a small number of students who are working fully remotely from home due to medical needs. In both cases, the students have daily contact with school staff to provide consistent learning, to ensure engagement and to safeguard effectively.
We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. We have continued with external on-line provision from our educational partners to ensure continuity of learning through Lockdown. Students can access and engage with all areas of the curriculum and support offered prior to Lockdown.
Staff Support for Learning
Students continue with daily lessons taught by their subject teachers and additional learning supported by Learning Mentors, both face-to-face on-site and remotely. Teams sessions allow staff to see and talk with students one-to-one to provide the best possible daily support and engagement. All students have access to SEMH support through our continued ‘Skills for Success’ lessons, mentoring and counselling. Regular communication is essential; students are encouraged to communicate with staff via email and Teams messages if they require extra support, and parents/carers are encouraged to contact the Principal via text, phone of email, if they have questions or concerns.
Resources and IT to Support Learning
Every student has been provided with a school laptop and access to the Microsoft 365 learning environment, delivered to their home. Remote learning is delivered through Microsoft Teams and we have ensured that internet access is adequate to support this. We have staff available to provide IT support to students and parents through the day and problems are dealt with promptly. We will arrange collection, repair and delivery of a replacement laptop, if necessary.
Students have been provided with log ins for the Bedrock online literacy support programme and the Tute online GCSE Biology learning sessions. Textbooks and student workbooks for Maths and English have been delivered to every student to support independent learning times, with guided learning provided by staff. All other learning is supported through resources shared through the Microsoft 365 environment, where students can submit their completed work for marking, if necessary.
Packages of art materials, stationery, journals and emotional wellbeing workbooks have also been delivered to students to support learning.
A COVID-safe environment
We have worked hard to make sure our provision is COVID-safe. Here are some of the measures in place:
- Staff are tested using Lateral Flow Tests twice every week and students once a week
- All face-to-face lessons are delivered one-to-one with staff, with a maximum of five students on site at any one time.
- Contact between students is very limited and there is no contact between the morning and afternoon bubble of students.
- All classrooms are sanitised regularly between lessons and communal areas and toilets are sanitised at lunchtimes.
- Classrooms are well-ventilated and plastic guards are placed on all teaching tables as a barrier between staff member and student.
- Everyone is encouraged to wear masks when moving around the building and when undertaking work in the classroom where distancing is not possible.
- Anyone showing symptoms or having close contact with a positive case must self-isolate for 10 days.
Student Engagement and Home/School Communication
Attendance for both on-site and remote lessons each day is recorded and monitored. A feedback form is completed by staff for every lesson taught on the Blended Learning timetable to track engagement and to ensure safeguarding. Communication with parents and carers is often daily and at least weekly, via phone calls, texts and emails. Students are rewarded for good engagement and progress through our normal ‘Praise Postcards’ sent home or daily ‘Good News’ texts to parents/carers.
Staff continue to meet twice daily for briefings to discuss individual student needs, any issues and to communicate any safeguarding concerns.
Assessment and Progress
Students are following their normal programmes of learning and our Year 11s continue to prepare for GCSEs and Functional Skills exams. Progress is monitored and reported as normal twice each term and students are able to undertake key internal assessments on-site in a safe way.
I am proud that our students have continued to make good progress in their learning, maintain positive relationships with staff and remain safe and nurtured during this challenging time for our schools nationally. This has only been possible because our amazing staff have been so flexible and committed, our students have stayed focused and resilient during tough times and their parents and carers have supported their children to engage in our ‘blended learning’ timetable. Thank you to all our school community – keep going!
If you require any further information about our provision during this time, please email me or phone the school office.
Alison Dolan – Principal