As with all change, taking time to really understand and take on board what your intentions are will make all of the difference.
Closures and remote learning mean identifying what this really means to your setting and the needs of the students. What is important - outcomes, how many hours a day they are engaged for, ‘child-sitting’ activities?
Teachers’ thoughts and feelings on this really is crucial - and needs to be built in so you can differentiate and personalise information for each student. Once you have a handle on this you can be confident that you will maintain continuity, anchor the learning, and maintain the focus of impactful learning.
When planning, we advise keep it simple - do a few things really well.
Make things easy to understand, clarify expectations, and consistently provide support to teams and teachers.. Also let them know where they can ‘check in’ and how often, just as you would in real life. Some schools are offering a buddy system or ‘virtual staffroom hours’ for people to remotely check into.
Based on China and Canada, we suggest you look at 2 hours (maximum) for primary aged children a day and about 3 hours (maximum) for secondary.
Consider what class sizes you can maintain.
How many staff do you need - and how can you look at flexible working now to share the load with other co-working or vulnerable parents (pregnant, people with disabilities, or elderly) in your teams?
How can you best engage with your community - including your most vulnerable (PP, SEND and FSM) students?
Consider what timetables parents will use at home - as they potentially juggle work, multiple dependents (at home and out), devices/bandwidth, and their own dispositions to learning / education.
This needs to be a balance of engaging and maintaining learning outcomes.
Add into this consistency of approach. What are your minimums? How can you guarantee / ‘enforce’ this? What will engage the majority? How can you best support home learning from your site / remotely with your team?
Look at how you can move beyond the pressures of the first few weeks to a potential longer term solution (of 12 - 16 weeks). Who will lead on different aspects of your curriculum, safeguarding, ICT use, year groups and needs? Plan to have these discussions as soon as you can - and be flexible.