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Remote Learning Quality Standard - GOLD!

As always the staff team are committed to providing the best for our pupils and the recent lockdown was no exception. The ODBST created a Remote Learning Quality Standard which we were reviewed against.


We couldn't be prouder!


Please read the following comments from our assessor...


"It is with great pleasure that a gold award can be given to St Mary’s for their work on remote learning.  Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing this about and helping pupils to enjoy and continue to learn in some of the most challenging of times.


Parents were overflowing in their praise for the staff and how they organized and managed the whole process for them and their children.  They explained how communications and the use of the website were kept simple but were always very thorough.  In fact, it enabled them to feel in control and helped their wellbeing as well as that of their children.  The Code of Conduct made expectations clear to everyone and the ‘crayon’ icons used for supporting learning materials were a hit!   At all times families ‘felt very supported’ and it was a ‘massive help to not be too pressured to get work done.’  Parents agreed that their children ‘had not fallen academically behind’ and recognized how the mental health of their children was given a high priority by staff. They also wanted to share just how well the staff had ‘drummed’ into their children about staying safe on-line.  All pupils spoken to talked about how much fun home learning was.  Older pupils appreciated the quieter surroundings and extra time that this approach gave them when completing work.  Y6 pupils felt prepared to make their move to secondary school.  All pupils knew that all subjects had been taught to them during the lockdown and that they were learning the same things as their friends who were in school.  They knew what to do when they got stuck and appreciated the Teams times when they could talk and share things on-line with their classmates.  Suggestions from the recent pupil survey are already being planned into the next Pupil Leadership meeting. 


Leaders were proactive in preparing their Remote Education Policy and Plan.  They ensured that lessons learned from previous experiences were taken on board.  Consequently, they were able to respond extremely rapidly when the Government announced the next lockdown.  The Governor Resources Committee agreed the ‘Catch Up’ funding plan.  Governors can see how the decision to spend money on resources such as Reading Eggs has had a very positive impact on pupil reading outcomes.  Here are some examples: 64% of pupils in Y2 are now meeting ARE in Reading at the end of lockdown, an increase of 9% since the end of the Autumn Term.  88% of pupils in Y4 are now meeting ARE in Reading showing an increase of 8%.  Progress in school in reading over the Autumn term has not only been sustained but improved despite the lockdown.  Examples of pupil work demonstrated deeper thinking skills and reasoning taking in place in maths.  One of the parents spoken to could not praise the school enough for how her child with an EHCP had been comprehensively supported during the lockdown, ‘the teacher chased and followed up when issues arose.’  The governor responsible for SEND and PPG has ensured that the Teaching and Learning Committee have been provided with the information to know how well these pupils have continued to learn during the lockdown. 


Senior leaders have regularly ‘visited’ Teams sessions to monitor the quality of teaching and learning and to gather ideas that can be shared with all staff.  Interestingly teacher talk has been reduced, which the pupils mentioned and preferred.  This feature will be taken back to share with staff for application post lockdown.  Senior leaders have diligently enabled subject leaders to monitor how well remote learning has been progressing since the start of January.  The Head Teacher and Chair of Governors have regular contact to share information and the Teaching and Learning Committee have been meeting every six weeks and always include this on their agenda.  The governor responsible for monitoring this work recently undertook a comprehensive review of remote learning practice.  It was a very timely and helpful document to enable governors to judge how well things have gone and what the impact has been on pupils.  School leaders have done their best to protect staff from work overload by looking at the practical issues involved and adapting things whenever possible.  For example, in each year group one teacher was given the responsibility for checking emails and communications with parents enabling a focus on teaching and learning for others.  Communication expectations were made very clear to parents thus preventing overload to set in and easing the pressure.  The Deputy Head also contacted every teacher weekly, just to check in on them and find out how things were going. 


Knowledge about home environments obtained from the previous lockdown ensured that barriers to learning from home were addressed rapidly this time around.  No family was disadvantaged through lack of communication and learning resources.  Where difficulties were known solutions were found.  The very high engagement figures are a testament to this.  (95%) The 5% of pupils who showed low engagement were contacted regularly by the school.  No pupil was allowed to slip through the net.  The steep IT learning curve for staff was enabled through a collegiate way of working, using a no blame culture creating an iterative approach with motivated staff.  Pupils talked about how they appreciated the initial PowerPoint to help them get started on using the remote learning systems. 


Both pupils and staff have appreciated the different approach taken to collective worship during lockdown.  They explained how they were able to take a deeper understanding from it with more time to reflect.  Virtual community events, such as World Book Day and Black History month were successful.  Staff updates on child protection have continued during lockdown."