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Aquinas College – Remote Education

Aquinas College is committed to providing high quality learning, teaching and assessment to all students. We have adapted our curriculum delivery in line with Government guidelines and will continue to adapt to further changes whilst maintaining a focus on our core values and guiding principles for learning, teaching and assessment. The support for students in our care is a priority and we will continue to support students’ education and well-being through our core studies programme and pastoral systems, which will operate as close to ‘normal’ as possible throughout lockdown. Pastoral input and support (including learning support, careers and counselling,) will be delivered to all students remotely and we have made additional provision for our most vulnerable learners. In line with government guidance, vulnerable students will be offered access to the college building where there will be support available to enable them to access their studies. Students accessing the building will be monitored by the Senior Tutor and ALS team.

Remote Education Provision for Students

The college is providing a full timetable of remote lessons during the current period of closure. Remote lessons will take place for all delivered academic qualifications, both daytime and adult education evening classes, according to the college timetable. For daytime students, this means that students are able to work within the structures of the normal college day and guided learning hours. In other words, students will be attending lessons remotely and on a daily basis as they would if they were physically in college.

Arrangements for Virtual Learning and Assessment

The college uses Google Classroom as the platform through which students access resources, instructions, assessments and written feedback. Students access lessons through Google Meet and are taught as a virtual class for the timetabled periods. Attendance registers are taken for every remote lesson and students may be asked to attend referral sessions by their teachers if they are in need of additional support.

Student Attendance and engagement is closely monitored through weekly ‘Engagement Sheets’ completed by class teachers and attendance registers. Where a student is ill, they should follow the normal college procedures for absence notification.

Group Tutors will continue to have 1:1 meetings over Google Meet with their students on a weekly basis. Tutors will target students most in need of support based on engagement and attendance tracking. Meetings and any targets/actions will be recorded on our pastoral log.

Senior Tutors will be a point of escalation for pastoral concerns and will also meet students in need of support/intervention via Google Meet. Senior Tutors with support from Student Services will maintain an overview of tutor group attendance and engagement. Senior Tutors will also contact all students in their cohort with an active safeguarding concern on a weekly basis.

Pastoral concerns will be shared with parents/carers wherever necessary and parents/carers will receive a weekly email alerting them to any unauthorised absences. Students will receive a weekly email from the Assistant Principal Pastoral updating them on developments and highlighting key messages.

The college’s core curriculum will continue to run remotely as it has done since the start of this academic year. Students will be required to complete weekly tasks for 10:10 (tutorial) and General RE on a weekly basis. Task completion in core studies will be monitored by Group and Senior Tutors.

Students will still be required to attend a weekly pre-recorded virtual assembly via their tutor group’s virtual classroom. Parents will be informed where there is a continued lack of engagement with core studies.

Where the demands of practical subjects or assessment require an adapted method of delivery in a given week, students will be given clear instructions as to what is expected of them and the work to be completed within each session, along with relevant deadlines for completion. Subjects may plan to complete timed assessments during a particular session in the week, for example, or to target and support individual students in the class while others complete a task.

The delivery of live lessons allows for assessment and feedback, through questioning and short task completion to take place within the lesson and for student progress to be supported.

Students will also complete formal assessments, according to the college’s assessment calendar and Mock Exams. Where formal assessments are linked to subject review points, parents and students will receive formal feedback on progress.

Expectations of Students

Students are expected to attend all lessons, to be punctual and engaged in their learning. The college has a set of guidelines for our expectations of students during the remote learning period and when attending remote lessons. These have been communicated to students and can be found on the following link: Studying at Home During Remote Learning

Arrangements for Studying Practical Courses

Courses with practical elements are delivering lessons to students through Google Meet. Where there is a need for specialist facilities or equipment, arrangements will be made with students through departments and subject teachers.

Support for Students without Connectivity, Devices or a Suitable Learning Environment at Home

Students in the above category will be offered access to college devices or access to the college building to engage with lessons. Students accessing the building will be monitored by the Senior Tutor and ALS team. Students facing issues with ICT will be able to access support from the IT team and Learning Centre team. The college has invested in additional devices to loan to students during lockdown.

Support for Students with SEND

Students who receive in class support will continue to receive 1:1 support remotely. Additional Learning Support staff will attend remote lessons with the student and then have a follow up meeting over Google Meet to review the lesson, and to ensure that students are able to complete the work set

Support for Students who have an Identified Need

  • Information about students’ needs and strategies to support them has previously been shared with their teachers, who are continuing to adapt lessons and strategies to remote learning in line with the demands of individual courses.
  • Students who have in-class support from a Learning Support Assistant will continue to receive this, via a combination of Google Classroom, Google Meet and email.
  • Students who have 1:1 support outside the classroom will continue to receive this via email and/or Google Meet.
  • Where students have exam access arrangements, every effort is being made to replicate these, as far as possible, for assessments that are taking place remotely, either by subject teachers within Google Classroom or by the Learning Support Team via Google Meet.
  • Students who use assistive technology as their normal way of working already have the appropriate technology for them for use at home. Advice and support is available to those students via email.

Support for Students who have an Emerging Need

The Learning Support team can offer students a 1:1 meeting via Meet to discuss the needs of individual students, along with possible strategies and support. Where assessment for additional learning support is needed, this should be discussed with the Learning Support Department