Remote Learning at St Francis 

Even during these unprecedented times, where schools across England are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, continuing to provide a stimulating learning experience for our pupils remains our top priority, alongside providing pastoral care and maintaining the school community. 

When schools were closed on 20 March, we switched to full online provision, which has been refined after we sought out and acted upon parent feedback. We are currently providing our pupils with a fully structured school day and support as part of our school community, delivered via Google Classroom, at home. This platform allows pupils to be taught, complete and submit work, as well as interact with their teachers remotely. The provision is tailored, depending on the age of our pupils. So, understandably, children in Pre-Prep (Reception to Year 2) experience different levels of structure and interaction to those children in Prep (Years 3 – 8).

Prep School

For our Prep pupils, each day begins with a live ‘Form Time’ with their Form Teacher. This is a chance for pupils to ask questions, interact with their classmates, and provides a positive start to the day of remote learning.

Online lessons are delivered using a mixture of online work, pre-recorded and live classes with our teachers, who are available during the lesson to answer questions from pupils via Google Classroom or live using Google Meet.

Family time is scheduled in-between lessons for break and lunchtime. Fresh air, outdoor activities and healthy eating are all encouraged to help the children be as receptive as possible for their learning.  The afternoons are for another subject lesson and PE and enrichment activities or Assemblies, conducted live using Google Meet. The school day finishes at approximately 4 pm.

Pre-Prep

Our youngest pupils in Pre-Prep have a more fluid timetable, which reflects their age and learning style. Each morning, the child’s teacher sets a plan for the day’s learning, which typically includes morning sessions on Phonics, Maths and Literacy and afternoon sessions for Topic, Art, Science and PE.

Teaching is delivered via Google Classroom, using a mixture of video and work available to download and complete, as well as plenty of opportunity to make models, create paintings and learn from experiments! Pupils are read stories and take part in teaching sessions with their teachers online using Google Meet. They have also been supported to develop their use of technology, by filming and editing their own videos to share with their teachers.

Pastoral Care, Wellbeing and Community

Pastoral care remains vitally important, pupils in both Pre-Prep and Prep have weekly live sessions with their Form Teacher on Google Meet to see how they are doing. Our teachers and SLT continue to provide support to our families, even going so far as providing technology for pupils where necessary.

Wellbeing is being taught to help support our pupils through this challenging time. In ‘Learning For Life’ lessons, pupils explore resilience and identifying their feelings, mindfulness and gratitude as well as developing practical skills such as online safety and, for our older pupils, thinking critically about media reports.

The sense of School community remains strong even though we are physically apart. Pupils have designed House Shields, taken part in VE Day celebrations and an online version of Sports Day – House Distances.

Pupils are able to continue with their individual music and learning support lessons, all delivered online.

Whilst remote learning cannot fully replace the experience of a ‘normal’ education at St Francis, during this temporary situation we feel confident that we are offering the ‘next best thing’ for our pupils.

To find out more about St Francis, or to arrange a telephone call with our Headmaster, David Sibson, please email headmaster@stfpewsey.co.uk