We have listened to your feedback and have streamlined the way we are sharing learning online and now only use Google Classroom. Since Easter a number of teachers have also delivered live streamed lessons. These are similar to the news or a sporting event on television. Learners have some interaction by posting comments or working with shared documents, but were not able to talk to their teacher.
We are excited to announce that, following pilots with fully live lessons delivered to several GFM classes, we are expanding these into a large scale pilot. Over the coming weeks different departments will be trialing a range of methods of delivering live lessons online. Learners will not receive live lessons in all their subjects, but should all receive some live lessons. This trial will help us to find where live online learning is helpful and where other methods of home learning may still be better. Please can you support us with this trial by enforcing that we will be expecting the same high levels of behaviour in online lessons as learners demonstrate in school. Learners are expected to wear school uniform to live lessons.
Live lessons, as with other online lessons will be shared via Google Classroom. This can be accessed online or with the iOS and Android apps. If you wish to look at this, please log in using your child’s email address and password then navigate to the to-do list to see a complete list of their assignments and also of live lessons.
We are aiming to set a total of approximately 15 hours of work per week which learners and families have indicated is a manageable balance between maintaining learning and not overloading.
To help learners make the best use of Google Classroom click here for two Student Quick Start Guides we.
Dear Parents and carers,
Thank you for all the positive feedback about live lessons, we have received a small number of questions about these that we wanted to share with all.
We have been working and learning together with several local, national and international schools to develop a range of effective ways to learn online and we are excited by what live lessons can offer alongside these other strategies. GFM Schools have been running live streamed lessons since Easter which have been very popular and have also run a small number of live lessons with partner schools. These have allowed the teacher to work directly with their class, explain and model the content clearly, check learning by questioning learners and offer immediate feedback.
Do I have to have my camera on?
The GFM are piloting live lessons on a larger scale this week with a number of teachers. Children will be invited to have their camera on, but this is optional, so they can choose to keep them turned off (or put tape over the camera to stop it being used). We understand some parents will prefer not to have the camera on, which we will totally support. We have learnt that a lot of students like having the camera on because they can communicate more effectively with the teacher and each other. Through our small scale trials and feedback from partner schools learners have expressed that being able to see the teacher and their class has been a key element in them feeling connected and positive about their learning. When cameras are on the teacher can also see children’s expressions in response to material that is being taught and adapt the lesson accordingly using these non-verble cues. If cameras are on for any part of a lesson, we ask that pupils consider their environment to make sure everything the camera can see is suitable.
Do I have to attend the lessons?
We would encourage all learners to attend any live lessons they have, but understand there will be reasons that make this difficult. Live streamed lessons will continue as will the setting of learning activities via Google Classroom. During the coming weeks of experimenting with different types of lessons we aim to understand the best ways to enable learning remotely for our community (and recognise the place of learning activities away from a computer). We will be seeking feedback from children about what they find most effective so that we can plan and deliver the best learning experiences possible.
Why do I have to wear school uniform?
We have asked students to wear school uniform during live lessons so far and have received a lot of support for this. This applies to when children are in live lessons and the camera is on. We have spoken to students who have taken part in the pilots and they have responded positively, saying it makes them feel ready to learn and more like a normal lesson. This also removed the need for further guidance about what is acceptable to wear in front of the camera and what is not appropriate. We would therefore ask you to support us with this and if there are reasons that your child cannot wear their uniform then we would ask them to keep their cameras off.
Will the lessons be recorded?
Live lessons will be recorded. When a lesson is recorded the person talking or presenting is recorded along with and screens that are being shared or presented. This does mean that if your child talks during a meeting that they will be recorded too. Some recordings may be shared to Google Classroom for revision, but this is likely to be within the Sixth Form. Short sections may also be recorded for training purposes. To avoid any video of your child being recorded please refer to the advice above with regard to turning the camera off (or put tape over the camera to stop it being used).
I have looked on Google Classroom and cannot see any live lessons, where are they?
As this is a trial, each subject area is trying out slightly different methods. Some are providing a live lesson to one class, others are combining groups and some are broadcasting to whole cohorts. This variety gives us the opportunity to learn about the different options and manage . Teachers have been given guidance on how to add these lessons to Google Classroom as an assignment (for individual classes) or a link to the lesson for larger groups. It does mean that each learner will be invited to some live learning, but for the pilot it will be different subjects for different learners. Keep an eye on Google Classroom as they are added over the week.