Welcome back to school (albeit online!). I hope you had a safe and enjoyable break with your children. We appreciate that these are unsettling times for all. Please be assured that at DePS we will try to maintain as much normality as possible by providing a quality online learning experience for your children.
As mentioned earlier, we have launched Google Classroom for all children which provides us with a great means of setting work for students, interacting with classes and individuals and giving meaningful feedback about student attainment and dialogue about how to improve. Today, many students came online and interacted with their teachers and submitted their work. All teachers were present to support and guide. Having reviewed the responses from students today however, we would like to make some adaptations to ensure full engagement from all students. It is our intention to replicate the school experience as much as possible. As a result, we have decided to make the following changes from tomorrow:
From now on, we will follow the timings listed on the class timetables each day of the week. The relevant teachers will introduce each lesson each day through a class video conference. We will do this through Google Hangouts Meet. All students will be able to participate in the lessons and interact with the teacher. The teacher will also be able to share their screens with the class in order to model writing, collate ideas, show presentations, videos, documents etc. This will enable the whole class session to progress much as it would in school.
You can find Hangouts Meet at meet.google.com or you can download the Hangouts Meet app for tablets and phones from the App Store (iOS) or the Play Store (Android). You will need to log in using the school student accounts. Details of these were shared in your child's Communities (and used today to access Classroom).
Your child will be invited to each lesson through Google Calendar. They will receive an email invitation in their mail accounts for each lesson. The teacher will also place a link to each Hangout on Google Classroom. On the phone/tablet app you will see a list of the classes for the day and the timings and a button to join. Teachers will record the sessions and post these to Google Classroom for future reference.
Please note that input for each lesson should last for approximately 15/20 minutes. It is expected that the children use the remainder of lesson time to complete the tasks set on Google Classroom. The teachers will remain online in the stream and on the documents to support the classwork. They will also be available for discussion with parents via Communities.
Due to this change your child will be expected to follow lessons as they would in a normal school day and therefore work between 07:40 and 14:20. Please ensure that they are online and working during the full school day. All Teaching Assistants will be online too and monitoring and supporting students as much as possible.
Undoubtedly, there will be some teething problems as we get our full online distance learning programme fully operational. We are there to support you in this process. Please contact us if you have any difficulties. After a few days we expect this to second nature. Working together, we can make this a great success. We look forward to working with your child online.
(Please note that due to the levels of independence in the Foundation Stage, we will not be able to follow the normal timetable in these year groups. There will be two longer teacher input sessions each day for Nursery, FS1 and FS2 at 09:00 and at 12:00. The teachers will also set home/family activities for the children to complete linked to the input each day. As far as possible, activities set will be fun and play-based)