‘Remote learning’ is intended to refer to any learning which takes place when students are away from school. The school’s remote learning programme has been established in light of the Welsh Government continuity of learning ‘Stay Safe. Stay Learning’ programme. This also takes into account updated guidance by Welsh Government, released in January 2021, in relation to ‘Live-streaming and video-conferencing: safeguarding principles and practice’

Our Approach to Remote Learning

The school’s approach has been established in light of the review of the evidence on remote learning published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) as part of their package of resources to support schools, during periods of full and/or partial closure. It is recognised that there are many interpretations to how remote learning could be delivered. However, it is broadly accepted that there are two forms available

  1. Asynchronous learning where students complete activities independently, at different points in time, based on their own wishes and/or home circumstances;
  2. Synchronous learning where students complete activities with multiple students and staff at the same time, usually online. These are more commonly known as ‘live-streaming’ or ‘live-lessons’.

At Hawthorn High School, ‘Live’ lessons/sessions are defined as:

  • Video conferencing session delivered through Google Meet (whole or part sessions)
  • Pre-recorded instructional video sessions with a focus on independent study.

Remote learning work and, when needed for video conferencing, Google Meet links will be uploaded to the subject Google Classroom at the start of each session time. Assignments completed in either of the above ‘live’ session types should be uploaded to the Google Classroom at the end of the session.

Recognised Benefits

The Education Endowment Foundation’s rapid evidence assessment examines the existing research (from 60 systematic reviews and meta-analyses) for approaches that schools could use, or are already using, to support the learning of students while schools have reduced operations owing to COVID-19. A copy of the evidence assessment is available here.

In determining our approach, the school has drawn on the EEF’s findings, which conclude that when implementing strategies to support students’ remote learning, or supporting parents/carers to do this, key things to consider include:

  • Teaching quality is more important than how lessons are delivered;
  • Ensuring access to technology is key, especially for disadvantaged students;
  • Peer interactions can provide motivation and improve learning outcomes;
  • Supporting students to work independently can improve learning outcomes; and
  • Different approaches to remote learning suit different types of content and students.

Revised approach from January 2021

There is much public debate about the merits of each type of learning. Welsh Government guidance is clear that accountability for distance/remote learning rests with individual schools. Therefore, our decision on the approved approach to remote learning has been made in light of this independent guidance.

The school’s approach to remote learning will continue to place some weighting on asynchronous approaches. This permits students to undertake work independently, at a pace suitable to their needs, as well as supporting the delivery of content in a more flexible manner. Asynchronous lessons are likely to include classroom teachers providing accompanying videos and/or voice overlays to the planned resources in order to support deeper understanding through providing greater clarity of instruction and feedback for understanding. This method also allows for pupils to revisit and revise key learning episodes.

While there are many strengths to this approach to remote learning, it is recognised that limited interaction with staff may have an adverse effect on motivation. As a result, the school will aim to provide all year groups with some synchronous video conferencing sessions on a regular basis. The ambition of the school is that students can expect, on average, to receive at least one session a day with a video conferencing element. This balance is designed to support student engagement. However, we recognise that this change may not happen instantly for all classes. Where a video conferencing session is used, the subject staff will continue to upload the asynchronous material for that lesson so that students can continue to access the learning resource outside of the timetabled sessions.

How can you help your son/daughter to engage in their remote learning?


  • At the beginning of every week, encourage them to check which of their lessons will involve a video conferencing element so that they can be prepared and organised. This information will be posted to their subject Google Classrooms at the beginning of each week.
  • Every morning at 8.30am, they need to log onto their year group Google Classroom page and follow a link to a Google Form register. Twice a week, this will be a video conference via Google Meet and accessed via a link in the year group Google Classroom.
  • We recommend that they then follow their normal school timetable. At the beginning of each of the three lesson sessions, they will again be asked to register (following a link from their classroom teacher). It is important that they do this every day so that we, as a school, know that they are engaging in their online learning.A video explaining how to do this in more detail can be found following this link: How to register on Google Classroom
  • At the end of every lesson (or when the work has been completed) their work should be uploaded back to their Google Classroom for their teacher to provide feedback to them.

We do understand that individual family circumstances vary, which might mean it is difficult for siblings to all adhere to the same school timetable. If this is the case, and your son/daughter is completing their work outside of their normal timetable, they still need to register at 8.30am and complete their Session 1 register. On this register, they will find an option to tick: I am completing the work after the timetabled session. This will then notify us in school that they are engaging, but at a different time.

Establishing a healthy remote learning routine with your child

Whether your son or daughter is following the school timetable or not, it is important to encourage them to establish a healthy remote learning routine. To help you with this, you can access a guide to support your child’s remote learning routine by following this link: Guide to supporting your child’s remote learning routine

If your son/daughter is not engaging in their home learning, or has not registered for their lessons, a member of our Engagement Team will be in contact to offer any support that might be needed. Our Engagement Team are also on hand at the school if you have any questions about the remote learning your son/daughter is receiving. Please do not hesitate to call if this is the case.

Resources to help you support your child with their remote learning:

Guidance on Blended Learning for Parents and Carers


GCSE POD– There are some free resources here without having to pay for the subscription