School Continuity Plan

The government, in its guidance sets out four TIERS which would operate if an outbreak of COVID- 19 were to hit the local or school community.  A link to the guidance can is  here. These are:

Tier 1 

The local area of Harrow or London is designated as having “local restrictions” – this would mean the school was still fully open – however, the wearing of face coverings would be compulsory in communal areas such as corridors and dining areas.  Please note the school at present still strongly recommends this although we are not at Tier 1.

Tier 2  

This is where the school has to have a rota of students on-site at any one time using a model of “two weeks on and two weeks off” timetable where students would be on-site for two weeks then off-site and working remotely for another two weeks.  The underlying principle would be that students are still only exposed to one “bubble” of students, thereby reducing the chance of transmission and that if any student had caught the virus in that bubble, the two weeks off-site would enable the symptoms to show whilst at home, again thereby reducing risk to others.   The school has planned for this model under two further scenarios:

  1. The government are proposing at present the class size would be the same under Tier 2 – therefore up to 30 students (although the majority of classes at  Bentley Wood are under this).  In this instance, we would be having some year groups in for two weeks, followed by different years in the following two weeks.  This would be labelled as  Rota 1 and Rota 2.
  2. If for any reason, the government advised that there should be more distancing for students in classrooms, we have also devised a model whereby classes would be no bigger than 15. The entire school cohort would be divided into two halves across the year groups called A and B.  So, whilst all year groups would be on-site at the same time,  only the A students would be on-site for two weeks with the B students being on-site for the other two weeks.

Pastoral and Senior Staff would also be fully involved in monitoring remote learning completion as they were during the previous lockdown.

Whilst we appreciate that Tier 2 would present some issues for siblings, it would be impossible to arrange for them to be always on the same rota.  We would aim for this where we can, but it would not by definition of different ages and circumstances be wholly possible.

In Tier 2, vulnerable students and children of key workers would be able to attend school during their two-week off-site period but would be placed under supervision to carry on with the remote activities in one of our ICT rooms.

Tier 3

This would be a situation of partial lockdown, whereby only students of certain year groups would be allowed on site.  This could be because a certain year group or more have had to isolate owing to an outbreak in that bubble or because the government have decided nationally that it would be safer for only certain year groups such as Years 11 and 13 to attend.

Under this scenario these year groups would be taught on site at all times, as usual with all precautions being taken, and the year groups off-site would be set remote work in line with Tier 4 below.

Tier 4

This would be a situation similar to last term with a national lockdown whereby only vulnerable students and children of key workers would be attending on-site.  All other students would be working under remote conditions.  We would revert fully to our Virtual School using Teams.

In Tiers 3 and 4, vulnerable students and children of key workers would be able to attend school at all times but would be placed under supervision to carry on with the remote activities in one of our ICT rooms.

Digital Learning Provision

Although remote learning experiences will not be the same as education in the classroom, Bentley Wood High School aims to deliver digital online teaching experiences which provide high levels of engagement, interaction, and communication with students as required.

Irrespective of the scenarios outlined above, the digital school will facilitate and support the ongoing education of our girls. This will be delivered through an infrastructure which enables a seamless transition between physical and digital teaching underpinned by our ethos and CARE values using Microsoft Teams and Office 365.

Bentley Wood have an infrastructure in place of total lockdown, which was utilised between March 2020 and July 2020. Now that schools have resumed, the digital platforms which were used during lockdown will continue to be used for the delivery of homework assignments and more richer classwork content where necessary as part of our regular curriculum delivery providing a two-fold benefit:

  1. A variety of touch points across different subjects for students to access and engage with content and resources.
  2. The ability for staff and students to rapidly transition in cases of isolation or lockdowns.

Ultimately, through the use of Teams and Microsoft Office, Bentley Wood staff and students have a delivery model which will be able to cater for the different tiered provision as and when necessary.

Face to face teaching will be the primary mode of lessons with the consideration of Teams continually being utilised as a parallel delivery mode of resources and content. Bentley Wood have established guidelines for all staff which are considerate of workload yet conscious of isolations and lockdowns. Staff have been requested to pay particular attention to signposting resources and homework. In order to support and inform parents, a specific module within Teams will also be added to provide direct lines of communication in relation to Teams activity.  

Microsoft TEAMS

Microsoft Teams alongside other the Office 365 applications provide an ecosystem for teaching and learning and communication to continue in an online environment. Microsoft Teams is the tool utilised as the central teaching and learning hub for all interactions. All staff  prior to lockdown and throughout lockdown received essential training on how two use this platform and all new students staff receive on board Teams training. All of our current year 7s have been trained on Teams as part of the induction process.   

All students prior to lockdown had already been exposed to Teams through some subjects which were more established in their use including all Year 7 and 8 students who use this weekly as a part of their regular Computing curriculum. New students and staff to the school including all year 7 receive training on core elements and features of Teams. Ongoing training on the use of specific elements as well as the sharing of best practice of Teams is part of the core training.

Features of Teams and best practice have been steadily introduced and shared over a period of time to provide a richer digital school experience. This has included the Insights feature which tracks student engagement and Assignments which has replaced Show My Homework as the tool utilised to set and collect student homework and assignments. Insights provides analytics for each Team member including the length of engagement, contribution to posts and number of interactions whilst assignments provides a central point to provide and access student feedback to work submitted.

Although Bentley Wood students have returned to full face to face teaching in September, new Teams for each class have been created including pastoral Form teams which continue to share digital assemblies and PSHCE content.

IT Policy and Key Protocols

The protocols outlined below are general guidelines on how staff and students are expected to interact and behave using the digital school.  Some protocols outlined below would be specific for a lockdown only scenario where face to face teaching is not possible. Although face to face teaching has now resumed many of the protocols and practices will still apply to help ensure clarity and consistency.

  • All staff have had safeguarding training on how to keep themselves and students safe online. Students and staff know how to report concerns.
  • SEND, EHCP and other vulnerable students are carefully monitored and communicated with to ensure their needs are met.
  • All students and staff use Microsoft Teams as the core platform to teach and communicate with each other.
  • No other method of video communication platform is permitted e.g. Zoom, What’s App - besides Teams.
  • Teachers should use to use Groupcall to text message and email parents.
  • Audio and video chat is enabled during online meetings with students.
  • All video lessons that are recorded are to be uploaded only to Stream no other platform is permitted.
  • PSTN calls have been enabled for certain users via Teams e.g. Safeguarding leads, HOY to keep in contact with students and families, this maintains their privacy.
  • Attendance and engagement is carefully monitored. Follow up calls are made and escalated where necessary
  • The call facility is disabled for all students

No 1:1s conversations or groups permitted unless authorised, e.g. counselling  

In addition to the Key Protocols additional guidance for staff and students is outlined to clarify expectations.

Staff expectations 

  • Teachers are to follow curriculum plans and to keep to the timelines
  • Staff are expected to signpost isolating students to resources and assignments in line with the curriculum plan
  • Students will be encouraged to follow their normal timetable which will enable opportunities for scheduled interactions through Teams.
  • Departments should provide friendly versions of the curriculum schedule to students that help direct them towards the correct resources at the correct time.
  • Teachers to ensure that student work; Content and lesson resources are clearly labelled to signpost students in line with the curriculum schedule e.g.Year 8 >> Sikhism >>Lesson
  • The assignment feature in Teams should be used to collect students work, teacher may also use One Note class notebooks to collect and assess student work, where appropriate.
  • Teachers are to monitor the hand-in of work and inform HODs and HOYS where expectations are
    not being met.
  • Students effort and work should be praised and encouraged.
  • Staff should use Teams for department and year team conversations/meetings.
  • Any devices used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and where possible be against a neutral background.
  • Language must be professional and appropriate. 

Students expectations 

Bentley Wood Virtual School Etiquette Current classroom behaviour and expectations should be mirrored in our virtual school. 

  • Students are expected to:
  • Address teachers and other students politely and appropriately e.g. no use of slang
  • Ensure the content you are posting is suited to the Team’s purpose- Respect peoples’ privacy by not taking pictures or videos of teachers or other students
  • Be an active participant – you are expected to be available online during the school day to respond to your teachers/peers and actively contribute to discussions.
  • When isolating or in lockdown; to follow the normal timetable schedule by completing activities set through Teams.
  • Complete all assigned classwork and homework tasks ensuring these are handed in thorough Show My Homework, MS Teams and One Note.
  • Complete a log of learning each day for each subject. 

FAQ

School Continuity Plan image 1AHow can my daughter access more training in Teams? - Students have been trained in school on how to use Teams but should she need further help we suggest selecting the Training button in Teams in the left-hand corner which has a comprehensive set of videos and guides to get refreshed in using Teams.

We have a technical question, who can support us? - Please email askit@bentleywood.harrow.sch.uk detailing the issue as much as possible.

Should I expect to find all my resources from classwork on Teams? -Teachers will be posting resources onto Teams which are to supplement the classroom teaching not replace it. All homework will be posted onto Teams. Only in cases of group isolation will live teaching and curriculum delivery be delivered through Teams.

We have made the decision to isolate my daughter, what do I do about her work? - You will need to follow the usual school attendance procedure and ensure that you have informed the attendance officer. Please ensure your daughter logs into Teams and completes all her homework assignments. Further information on accessing resources and activities for subjects such as supplementary work will be signposted in Teams.

Will my daughter receive live teaching if she needs to isolate? - Live online teaching and teaching in the classroom as the same time can be complicated. At this moment in time we will not be offering bespoke teaching to individuals but all relevant work will be posted on Teams and supplementary resources will be signposted for students to engage with.

My daughter’s teacher has been told to isolate will she receive any support on Teams? - We maintain the highest expectations of staff and students on our digital school. Staff who have the ability to do so will use Teams to dial live into the lessons they are timetabled for. Where they cannot they will use the default cover procedure to provide pupil instructions and resources; Teams will be used as a resource where it is most appropriate depending on activity and instruction.

Our daughter is SEND, what remote support will the school offer if she needs to self-isolate? - Teaching assistants will support online where appropriate to ensure students with specific needs are remain engaged with their learning.

There are links on the school website to GCSE POD, BBC Bitesize and Seneca what are these?

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BBC Bitesize

The BBC bitesize website contains carefully curated content for subjects separated into different key stages. There are links to videos, text, quizzes which summarise key content for each subject.

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SENECA Learning

SENECA is an online free learning platform which is designed to support memory of key topics. There is a variety of content and interactive resources which adapt to the response of students and tailor content according to how students respond to key questions. Content is often presented in the form electronic revision cards to make it accessible to students.

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GCSE POD

With podcasts for 27 different subjects arranged into topics and then tested, GCSE pod is used to help aid revision specifically for each student. Each student in Key stage 4 is given a login, they listen, watch and engage with the content. After taking short tests after each section, GCSE pod creates custom playlists to support any areas of improvement in specific topics for each GCSE subject.

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Some useful tips

Working remotely will have its own challenges, however there are some key things to make the experience as productive as possible.

  • Establishing the school routine by following the timetable will provide the necessary structure to ensure high levels of productivity.
  • Taking short regular breaks is essential when engaging with screen time for prolonged periods.
  • Organise a work space to use throughout the day specifically to do your work.
  • Ensure you stay hydrated.
  • Be sure to take regular exercise.

Reduce any distractions such as phone notifications or alternatively try the pomodoro technique:

  1. Decide on the task to be done.
  2. Set the pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes)
  3. Work on the task.
  4. End work when the timer rings and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
  5. If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes) and then return to step 2; otherwise continue to step 6.
  6. After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.