All schools to plan for learning that has no connection or relationship to school or the curriculum!

The DFE guidance for the full opening of schools sets out some expectations on schools to be able to deliver ‘remote learning’ in a number of scenario’s:

· Individual pupils ‘self isolating’ or shielding at home

· A class or small group needing to isolate

· A local lockdown that requires school closure

This requires that ‘remote learning’ is integrated into the schools wider planning so that, where required, teachers can quickly and confidently implement the processes and systems required.

BUT – let’s consider remote learning – “Remote: having very little connection with or relationship to”….

This is surely the last type of learning that any school or teacher wants? How can such learning be integrated if it’s to support a well sequenced curriculum, provide opportunities for assessment, monitor progress and provide feedback.

Therefore schools need to consider online and offline learning, Online teaching, access to physical materials and resources and in most cases probably a blended approach of all three.

Download my Top Ten Tips for planning online Teaching & Learning

remote tips
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Online Teaching – opportunities for pupils to meet with their teacher online for a teacher led session. This could be whole class, small groups or a mix of both (most of the common online meeting tools now provide ‘breakout’ room functionality – depending on the age, you should ensure you have an adult in each break out room).

In this context it’s also important to factor in timetable and communication is key.

· If you’re supporting a number of children isolating at home, whilst continuing to teach the rest of your class in school, can those at home join remotely, for certain lessons or parts of lessons?

· Can you share the materials you are using?

· Utilise built in Whiteboard functionalities in online meeting tools so that those at home can see the concepts you’re explaining.

· Use another adult to monitor ‘chat’ or ‘raised hands’ features so that those at home can participate and ask questions.


Online Learning – pupils are accessing content at their own time and pace and completing activities and receiving feedback.

· Can you re-purpose Powerpoints / interactive whiteboard content so that students can access this from home?

· Add your tasks to the content so that pupils are clear on what they need to complete. If relevant, set clear expectations on timeline, what you want to see and when.

· Could you set an online quiz / test as part of your content to inform assessment?

· Do you have access to commercial content platforms / resources that you can allocate content and tasks?


Offline activities – this could be an art project, reading, writing, using printed materials etc. We are all much more aware of ‘screen time’ and there shouldn’t be an expectation that pupils are set in front of a computer screen for 6 hours a day either interacting in Online Teaching or completing Online Learning activities. Ensure you planning allows for activities to be completed away from the computer. Pupils / parents could take photo’s of the work they have completed or they could make a video.

(My 6 year old participated in fantastic 'online' art lessons during lockdown. Teacher facilitated / directed art projects, with material packs pre-prepared and sent home to support the activities. The online was merely a way of communicating and providing support - the activities were very much physical / offline).


Wellbeing – the DFE guidance says schools should plan for pupils to have daily contact with teachers. This is important for those at home to maintain a feeling of community and to be ‘connected’; it’s also an opportunity for pupils to ask questions, for teachers to see if pupils have any concerns or are worried about anything. In a wider lockdown / school closure scenario it’s important to have ‘check in’ points and provides an opportunity to maintain community. For Primary age children a regular online ‘Show and Tell’ session can work well – although don’t try and do all 30 children in each session!


Download my Top Ten Tips for planning your Online Teaching & Learning

remote tips
Download PDF • 2.27MB

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