Online Continuous Learning (OCL) Plan

Introduction

Our school mission and vision has never been more relevant than to the position we now find ourselves in.  We will continue to work toward our mission of “providing an outstanding education in an inclusive and international school where staff, students and parents work together in a safe, caring and respectful community.” Although this will look and feel very different, our aim is to ensure continuity in this aim.  

Our aim is to ensure that we replicate as much of the excellent teaching, learning and pastoral support that takes place on campus into our online provision.   In essence, we continue to provide engaging, challenging and enjoyable learning experiences within a kind and responsive environment, so that all learners continue to develop and make progress.     

We are fortunate that we already have technological platforms in place to ensure that we are able to achieve this, along with the expertise and adaptability of our teachers who are able to build on existing, strong relationships with their students, who demonstrate on a daily basis their willingness to continue to develop their creativity and confidence, to challenge themselves and act with compassion, and in doing so, retain and build on everything that is so wonderful about our community. 

Online Continuous Learning (OCL) describes the experience students will have when school remains in session, but when students are unable to physically attend the school campus because of closure, or partial closure, based on current government directives, and/or health and medical advice. 

We utilise a wide range of learning platforms, strategies, activities and methods to ensure effective OCL takes place. Learning will look very different for students of different ages:  the Primary and Secondary School overviews, below,  detail this in great depth. In all cases our primary aim is to ensure we ensure a continuity of learning in line with our Teaching and Learning Policy.  

Both asynchronous and synchronous learning takes place across the school; with the former taking precedence in the Primary School, and the latter taking precedence in the Secondary School.  

An asynchronous learning environment is one that does not require participants, teachers, and students to be online at the same time. Since teachers and students will be spread across the globe and a multitude of time zones, this is essential.

A synchronous learning environment involves real-time engagements and are opportunities for students to participate ‘live’ with their teachers and classmates at a scheduled time. 

OCL does result in different routines and experiences for us all, but we view this as an opportunity for students and teachers to develop new skills and for parents to have an opportunity to take an increased role in the learning processes and outcomes of their children.  Collectively, OCL also contributes to the strengthening of our resolve and our sense of community.  We do acknowledge that OCL results in a substantial increase in workload for all members of our community and the structure of the day needs to reflect and mitigate the negative effects of this.  Mental Health and Wellbeing, as always, will be at the forefront of every decision we make when designing and adapting our OCL provision. It is imperative that we continue to support each other, learn from the experiences as they occur and be prepared to communicate openly and adapt accordingly and appropriately.

E-Learning platforms

Tapestry is used with Foundation classes, Seesaw and Reading Eggs are used with Key Stage 1 and 2. The Google Classroom Suite, including Google Meet, YouTube and Quicktime are used across the Secondary School. Both the primary and secondary teams have shared information about how these will be used and guidelines to help parents access the relevant platforms. The primary guidelines (including Foundation Stage) can be found here, The secondary guidelines can be found here.

  • Staff

  • Students
  • Parents

All enquiries related to the learning should initially be directed to the class or subject teacher.  

All other enquiries should be directed to the Principal, who will utilise appropriate members of the Senior Management Team.

The school website will have a section dedicated to Continuous Learning with useful advice, policies, school updates etc.  Please check this section from time to time. 

The school social media accounts will continue to highlight and celebrate the learning of our students (and parents).  The main accounts are:   Twitter , Facebook and Instagram

The weekly newsletter will continue to be published each Thursday. It will highlight some great learning happening online and answers to frequently asked questions. 

Email will continue to be used to communicate important messages. 

SMS texts and email will be used to communicate urgent and emergency messages. The SMS text will appear on your phone as JBS Alert for NTC users and as BritishSch for Ncell users. 

We will be eliciting feedback from parents on a regular basis to ensure appropriate support and guidance is in place, and is working, and can be subsequently refined, if required.   

Please continue to use the following to contact the school for general enquiries or specific contact details of one of our members of staff:

Phone: 01-5421794
Email: info@tbs.edu.np
For any technical (ICT) queries, please contact our ICT Team on:  ict@tbs.edu.np

The Principal can be reached on:  bplatts@tbs.edu.np

We will prepare a morning welcome video every day or a live Zoom session to allow teachers to check in and share an overview of the day with students. If a pre-recorded video, this will be posted on Tapestry (for Early Years) or to learners’ Seesaw journals (Years 1-6) by 8.30am each day. Children will be encouraged to respond to or comment on this message with how they are feeling. 

The learning for the day will then be divided between activities which are described as Responsibilities, which the students are expected to complete; and Possibilities, a range of choices from which students (and parents) can choose.

In Years 1-6, the learning will consist of:

Two Responsibilities: 1 core (English or IPC or Maths) task and 1 specialist lesson task per day (e.g. World Languages, Music, Nepali or P.E.) – all as Seesaw activities;

and

a range of Possibilities: these might include wellbeing, reading, mental maths or spelling.

Every Wednesday we will aim for a ‘low-tech’ day, with activities not dependent on ICT.

All classes offer a number of ‘face-to-face’ Zoom sessions. The frequency and range of these sessions are dependent on the age and needs of the students in each class.  Typically, there will be a morning check-in Zoom session which will introduce the learning for the day.  In some classes this will take place after students have had an opportunity to preview the learning activities on Seesaw or Tapestry beforehand. In some classes, students may choose to only begin their activities after they have had an opportunity to meet their teacher and listen to instructions and explanations about the learning for the day. During the day and at different times during the week, there will be further individual, small group or whole class Zoom sessions provided by the class teacher or classroom learning support assistant.  Several of these Zoom sessions will also provide bespoke support interventions in reading, phonics and mathematics. 

In Early Years, the learning will consist of:

Two Responsibilities

1 activity set by the classroom teacher and 1 specialist activity per day;

and 

a range of Possibilities: these might include art, story time or roleplay. Our aim is to keep activities  ‘low-tech’ to minimise screen time. 

For Early Years, we will also be using Zoom in order for our teachers to be able to have short conversations about daily life with the students. 

For all Primary students, teachers and classroom learning support staff will be available online between 8:15am and 2:30pm, i.e. normal student working hours. Each week, class teachers provide an updated timetable, with all Zoom links and an overview of each day’s activities. Exemplar timetables may be viewed here:   

Foundation 1  |  Foundation 2   |  Year 1   |  Year 2   |  Year 3   |  Year 4   |  Year 5   |  Year 6

Further details on our guidelines can be found here.

It is important in a secondary school context that students are able to continue with their wide range of subjects to ensure that they continue to enjoy a challenging programme of study and make as much progress as possible learning from home. For our older students, especially those approaching public examinations, it is important that we maintain a robust programme of learning to ensure they are adequately prepared to perform to the very best of their ability. For these reasons, we have developed our provision to provide an increasingly demanding learning programme as we progress upwards through the year groups.

Lessons include live elements run through Google meet or Zoom. This allows for crucial interaction between students and teachers and indeed students and their peers. Many lessons are a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous learning, which reflects the nature of on-campus lessons as closely as possible in an online environment. Teachers also use a variety of platforms to mimic a real classroom setting as much as possible such as ‘Jamboard’ for collaborative learning, ‘Peardeck’ for instant assessment and feedback and ‘breakout rooms’ for group discussions.

Work is set using a variety of methods such as those found in the Google suite of educational apps. Teachers communicate with students via email and Google Classroom. Teachers communicate with parents via email and Engage, through which we continue to report student attendance and progress as usual.

Online Learning in Secondary: 

  • Our current online provision includes all timetabled lessons for all key stages as per their Engage timetable which you can find in the parent portal; 
  • Lessons will include a live, whole class element, with around 50% of our contact time ‘live’ overall; 
  • Lessons may also include small group work with other students and tasks which students must complete independently; 
  • KS3 lessons have been cut to around 45 minutes, to allow students to have movement breaks and organise themselves for the next lesson; 
  • All work will be set for students as assignments on Google classroom; 
  • KS3 students will not be set extra ‘homework’ other than independent reading or optional challenges; 
  • As normal, KS4 students can expect around 1 hour of homework per subject, per week and KS5 students can expect around 4-5 hours per subject, per week;
  • We will continue to share key information with students through online assemblies or live briefings for particular year groups and through the weekly student briefing which is published on a Monday at 8am; 
  • Scheduled parent teacher conferences and parent information sessions will take place online.

Timings of the Online School Day:

Pastoral support

Our aim is to continually promote student wellbeing and maintain an outstanding pastoral care provision for students and families. We will continue to engage in close relationships with students and parents, responding to individual concerns and providing personalised care for students.

Full details of our provision and structure can be found here along with our expectations of all students which can be found here.  

Reading

As we provide continuous learning to students, reading is an excellent way to challenge students academically as well as to improve their wellbeing. It is a simple activity to do independently and can help relieve stress and anxiety. Here is some advice for parents on how you can encourage reading at home, including reading lists and links to downloadable resources. Our online school library for students can also be found here

Public Examinations 

An overview of the procedures for this year’s cancelled examinations can be found here.

Following the evidence collection deadline on 28th May, the week commencing 31st May will be an ‘evidence review week’ during which there will be no timetabled lessons whilst teachers carefully analyse and grade the work that will be submitted to the boards as evidence. 

Following ‘normal’ examinations, students would have an extended summer holiday, however, with the majority of our students in lockdown- many feeling isolated- and the need for students to maintain good study habits after 14 months of educational upheaval, we think it is important to provide continued learning opportunities for our students. Our aim is to balance these needs alongside giving students a well earned break and the longer summer holidays they would usually have after examinations. 

From 7th June, the following will be provided for each year group:

  • Year 11 Students will begin ‘bridging lessons’ in the subjects they have selected for A Level; this will be on a reduced timetable of 2 lessons per subject per week and will be an excellent introduction to A Level study which we wouldn’t usually have the opportunity to do; there will also be transition sessions led by Ms Amanda Hemelik, Head of KS5, to prepare students for the sixth form;
  • Year 12 Students will continue with their subjects into the second year of A Level course content; this will be on a reduced timetable for 3 lessons per subject per week and again, is an excellent opportunity for students to start the next academic year in a position of strength;
  • Year 13 Students will have the option to attend mentor sessions and complete the introduction to university courses that we will share with them via their Google Classroom; there will, of course, also be plans made for graduation.

At times of change it is always useful to reflect on the skills and values we all hold and look at how a challenging new situation or change can be used positively to develop these skills and values.  Our vision is to help develop young people who strive for excellence and are kind, through an emphasis on challenge, creativity, compassion, confidence and community: examine and discuss as a family how each of these can be developed and refined.

Below are suggestions that you can use as a way to support your family’s general well-being. Talk about your plan as a family, and schedule it into your family recreation time.

Connect: Have a regular family dinner, arrange a family game or quiz night, and have fun together. Make the time to stay connected to family and friends through regular video and voice calls.

Sleep: Good quality and regular sleep is vital for maintaining mental wellbeing. Insist on a regular bedtime routine for your children and avoid any screens an hour before bed.

Eat Well: A nutritious, balanced diet helps to support physical and mental development. Make it a family activity and involve your child(ren) in the preparations.

Practice Gratitude: Make it part of your daily routine to think of 3 things you and each member of your family is grateful for. This makes everyone stay positive and ensures that everyone starts the day in a positive frame of mind.

Give: Think of ways in which you can show random acts of kindness to one another. Look at ways in which you can connect and support your community or as a family choose an organisation you wish to support.

We know from our research that when online participation goes up among any age group, so too does exposure to potential harms. At TBS safeguarding our students is a priority at all times. In our virtual learning environment, the ways in which our staff and students interact may be different, but we remain committed to providing a safe environment for each of our students, following our code of conduct guidelines. The school regularly assesses the safety risks of any online platforms or tools used with students. All Zoom and Google Meet sessions will be recorded.

Working together online means students and teachers are engaging in learning environments that are more informal and different from the usual professional classroom environment. This means we need to have very clear expectations for the students.

  • Students must turn their camera on (unless they have been permission to turn it off)
  • Students should have their microphone muted unless the teacher asks them to talk.
  • Students must be in an appropriate space to learn.
  • Students must wear appropriate clothing (not pyjamas).
  • Parents do need to monitor their child’s online usage and we recommend that all computers are used in a family space.
  • Students should use their first name and first letter of their last name as their onscreen name. No nicknames. Anyone who’s name is not recognised will not be admitted to the session.

As we work within an online platform for education and learning, it is important to remember how we respect and respond to others as caring and supportive individuals. Although we may not physically be on campus, we expect all students to continue pursuing excellence within their learning and demonstrating kindness towards one another. All online activities will be conducted in a safe and respectful manner so that your learning and wellbeing can continue being supported. We believe that Challenge, Confidence, Creativity, Community and Compassion will be achieved and maintained if we all follow the guidance below: 

This is an online community that we are all a part of and therefore all share a responsibility for. The support of students achieving this responsibility is greatly appreciated.

  • How long will the campus closure be for?

We have a provisional return date of Monday 16th August, 2021.  If this date changes, we will provide as much notice as possible and at the very least, 2 weeks notice.  This will be communicated through SMS, email, Twitter, website and in the newsletter.  

  • Will teachers be available if parents want to meet on campus?

It would be advisable to have this conversation online but if necessary, and permissible under government guidelines, this can be arranged. 

  • Will there be access to the School Library?

Yes, if permissible under government guidelines. Due to the social distancing guidelines, a maximum of 75 students/parents are allowed on the site at one time and when using the library, only 25 will be permitted in this space.      

  • What if my child fails to go online at the time of a live stream?

All students will receive a schedule/ timetable (parents will have access to this also) and are expected to be able to organise their time effectively.  If there are mitigating reasons for non attendance e.g. internet failure at home, the stream will be recorded and available to watch at a later time.  

  • Can my child complete the learning tasks outside of ‘normal school hours’? 

Where possible and practical, we would encourage all students to follow a routine of completing the online and other learning talks when they are set – especially if it is a live stream situation. Primary students do have more flexibility.  Teachers will be available between 8:15am and 4:30 pm to offer help and feedback although this may not be immediate due to their timetables.   

  • Will the school campus be available for children to play around? 

In the first instance, no.  This will be reviewed in light of current government guidelines.

  • Will one to one student support still be available?

Yes. Teachers will provide this as will the ALN (Additional Learning Needs) Department.

  • What support can be provided by school for single parents working from home and managing more than one child?

This will certainly be difficult and will take careful time management.  In the first instance, teachers and Assistant Heads will be able to provide advice and guidance on what realistic learning outcomes can be achieved based on your specific context.  Please contact us and ask for this advice!

  • What support can be provided by school for households with only one device and more than one child?

If households are unable to purchase additional devices, please contact the ICT team, who can loan a school device. 

Return to Campus (RTC) Guidelines

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