Back To School

For more details on how we are beginning our safe, orderly and effective transition back to school from 1 June, please see our Back To School page for more information and guides for each site.

Upper School Technology Platforms

Find out about the technology platforms we will use to support our Online Teaching and Learning programme and how to access them.

Upper School Technology Platforms

Find out about the technology platforms we will use to support our Online Teaching and Learning programme and how to access them.

Lessons will start at the given time and will typically follow this format:

  • A 5-10 minute input from the teacher either live via Teams or via a pre-recorded video input on Firefly.
  • Pupils will then be set tasks which follow on from the initial input and will work independently for 20-25 minutes. The class teacher will be available via the Chat function on Teams to respond to questions about the work “live”.
  • The lesson will finish with a 15-minute plenary/feedback/discussion session with the teacher. Depending on the subject, there may be some variation to this, at the discretion of the teacher.
  • All sessions will be recorded and saved on the class’s Team.

All sessions on Teams will be recorded and will be available to be accessed later if the time of these is not suitable for you owing to your own working pattern or technological limitations at home. We absolutely do not expect that all families will be able to access all synchronous sessions. Please do not feel that accessing all live sessions is essential. The content will still be available and the teachers happy to discuss any issues or queries that arise from having done the work off-line, via the Chat function on Teams.

This platform will be used for the synchronous element of teaching and learning. Logins will have been sent to you and, as you will see from your child’s new timetable, Teams will be used for:

  • Morning registration
  • Afternoon group tutorials (small groups of each form with their Form Tutor on rotation through the week)
  • Practical morning sessions between 9-9:30am
  • Afternoon carousel of practical subjects
  • Taught subjects will be delivered via a combination of Teams and Firefly. This includes English, Maths, Science, French, German/Spanish, Geography, History, RS and PSHE. The sessions will be delivered by your child’s normal class teacher.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a digital hub that brings conversations, content, resources and apps together in one place creating a vibrant learning environment.

How will it work?

Pupils will be able to download the work and then either print it out, complete it on a computer or in their books. Work that has been printed out can be sent back to teachers by uploading a scanned image or photograph of it and sending via the Task on the VLE or emailing the teacher directly.

Why is it perfect for our families?

  • Face to face contact – pupils and teachers still have face to face contact which is so important in making sure wellbeing, as well as academics, are monitored. At a time where so much change is happening, our teachers want to be there to support pupils and face to face contact makes this easier to do.
  • Virtual classroom – keeping a lesson routine is vital for our families’ wellbeing: structure will help pupils feel less overwhelmed with change and will also help parents know how to manage their time and energy.
  • Easily accessible – access from phone or desktop with easy to use, intuitive software.

How will we access it?

We hope that these arrangements will help to take some of the pressure off parents, as we encourage pupils to develop their independent learning and feel more connected with their teachers. Details of how to access the VLE have previously been sent to parents. Please see attachments for further instruction on accessing the Microsoft Teams Live Chat link from the VLE and a ‘How to’ for Tasks on the VLE.

Watch the introduction video here

If teaching staff need to set tasks in advance, they will either continue to do so using Firefly, or Microsoft Teams, but will inform the pupils directly of this. In addition, links to the morning activities and enrichment tasks will be embedded within Firefly, so we would ask that pupils regularly check their task list and clear those tasks when completed.

Century Tech is a hugely impressive Artificial Intelligence (A.I) based teaching and learning product designed to deliver rich and engaging personalised learning paths for English, Maths and Science, through to KS4. Hence it is well positioned to supplement our core subject delivery, with dedicated tasks set by the subject specialists, but it may also be a platform your children will want to explore further in their curriculum enrichment/own time.  The logins and content are ready to launch, but we are mindful that we do not wish to overload the children or you as parents at the start of the term, so we will liaise with you, via the specific academic staff who teach your children, on the launch date for Century Tech.

Screen Time

Recent guidelines suggest that screen time for children should be limited to not more than 2 and a half hours per day. We have kept this firmly in mind when planning our curriculum and will continue to provide work that does not require children to sit solidly in front of the computer. Synchronous sessions may have 15 minutes of face to face teaching, 20 minutes of independent work off screen and then another 10 minutes of face to face to reinforce learning and address any issues. This way children still get the engagement of live teaching, without too much extended screen time.

Access to platforms

If your child has any practical barrier at home to accessing the various online platforms please do contact Mr Silva or Mr Newland directly, but for all other technical queries please email the Cognita tech support team

01372 372197