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 Bristol Free School

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Bristol Free School remote education provision: information for parents  

The remote curriculum: what is taught to students at home 

A student’s first day or two of being educated remotely at the beginning of self-isolation or local/national restrictions might look different from our standard approach, while we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching.  Please note that full details of the school’s curriculum is available on our website for each subject and year group. If the content of the remote curriculum is different this will be made clear by subject teachers. 

What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of students being sent home?

If your child has been sent home to isolate while school is operational, they should follow their normal school timetable. Lessons should be accessed via Microsoft Teams. Your child will complete the same tasks as other students and will be able to interact with their teacher. If their normal teacher is not available tasks will be set for your child to access with instructions for how work should be submitted where applicable.

In the event of a local or national restriction which means school is not operational students will be expected to follow their normal school timetable. Tasks will be set on Microsoft Teams. Some live lessons will be available depending on capacity within the school. This may vary over time. 

In both cases the intention is for remote learning to be available from the first day, although it may on occasion take a second day to be up and running. 

Other software may be used in line with the detail elsewhere in this document, in addition to Microsoft Teams as stated above.

Following the first few days of remote education, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school? 

As far as practicable your child will receive the same curriculum as would be the case in school. Tasks in practical subjects such as art, design/technology, drama, music and PE will be adapted when necessary for home schooling.  

Remote teaching and study time each day 
How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day? 

We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take students broadly the following number of hours each day: 

Secondary school-aged students not working towards formal qualifications this year 

At least 5 hours per day including homework demands. 

Secondary school-aged students working towards formal qualifications this year 

At least 6 hours per day including homework demands. 

Accessing remote education 
How will my child access any online remote education you are providing? 

We will use Microsoft Teams for 

  • Tutor Time
  • Live lessons
  • Recorded lessons
  • Access to resources
  • Setting assignments during lessons and for homework.
  • Delivering feedback.

We will use ClassCharts for

  • Tracking attendance, rewards (house points) and behaviour breaches
  • Setting learning tasks when a teacher is absent 

Lessons should be accessed using a device suitable for the task. The same applies to completing work. In most cases this will be a laptop or PC. Students should also be in a location where they are able to concentrate. 

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education? 

We recognise that some students may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those students to access remote education: 

  • We will lend suitable devices to students who do not have access to one which can be for their sole use during the school day.
  • We have a limited number of devices which enable a suitable internet connection which can also be lent to students. Students require access to a connection which means they are able to fully engage in lessons which have video input, whether live or recorded, throughout the school day.
  • We will support families in acquiring additional education data through issuing data dongles or supporting them to access local data schemes
  • In general we will avoid printing materials, or receiving hard copies of work, as both the remote curriculum and the facility to submit work are available electronically whether students are in school or at home.
  • If your child does not have access to a suitable internet connection, and we have run out of devices which enable one, they are classed as vulnerable and may be able to attend school. Please contact the school if this is the case.

You should contact us via  for further information. Alternatively please call us on 0117 9597200.

How will my child be taught remotely? 

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach students remotely. 

The range of approaches we will use to teach students remotely are:

  • live lessons 
  • recorded lessons
  • activities set during lessons, or to cover a series of lessons or for homework, some of which require access to websites.

Each student will receive a blended approach, the nature of which is likely to vary from day to day and subject to subject.  

Engagement and feedback 
What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

Our expectations are that parents ensure their child:

  • follows their normal timetable and attends on time. 
  • engages fully with all activities which are set. 
  • reads and engages with all communications which come from the school, including from their subject teachers and form tutor. 
  • gets you to contact the school if they have concerns or difficulties with their learning. 

If parents and carers wish to contact the school about a curriculum concern, they should email stating their child’s full name and the specific issue they need support with.

If parents and carers wish to contact the school about a pastoral concern, they should email and it will be referred to your child’s tutor, year leader and senior staff depending on the issue raised.

Periodically the school will contact you to complete a survey to gain your overall feedback. 

How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns? 

We will do this by: 

  • taking a register for each lesson, every day. 
  • monitoring and marking work submitted by students as appropriate. In general work will be marked within 5 working days, and often sooner. 
  • subject teachers contacting you via (email) if there are issues with the completion or the quality of work. 
  • the school contacting you within two working days if there is a serious issue with engagement or attendance. 
  • form tutors contacting you via (email) if there are issues with the completion or the quality of work.
  • allowing you to check ClassCharts for updates on attendance, behaviour etc. 
  • sending reporting information home as per the whole school calendar.
How will you assess my child’s work and progress?

Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children. For example, whole-class feedback or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others. 

Our approach to feeding back on student work is as follows: 

  • Live lessons enable students to receive immediate verbal feedback on learning and tasks.  
  • Some tasks will be marked, and feedback given as appropriate. Through this, students will receive feedback on their work for at least one subject every week. 
  • Some tasks, such as online quizzes, are marked automatically and the outcomes available instantly. 
  • Feedback will be given to individual students, or via the whole class, as appropriate depending on the task.
Additional support for students with particular needs
How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?

Bristol Free School recognises that some students, for example those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we will work with parents and carers to support those students, replicating the normal provision as far as possible. The SENCo will explain openly and honestly to parents and carers which services are possible to deliver and what alternatives can be put in place.

The SEND department will: 

  • make school provision available to vulnerable students, including those with an EHCP.
  • monitor that the taught curriculum is differentiated, including resources and tasks, considering potential barriers created by online learning.
  • provide advice and guidance to subject teachers about differentiation.
  • maintain regular communication with families to monitor engagement and offer support.
  • provide each EHCP student with a key worker and a weekly mentoring session, either via Teams/phone call or in school.
  • arrange for Teaching Assistants to support some online live lessons for students who have this provision in their usual lessons.
  • provide mental health support, such as Thrive, ELSA and the school counsellor.
  • enable students to receive remote Occupational Therapy T, SALT and physiotherapy.

EHCP students working from home will have:

  • a risk assessment agreed with the parent and carer.
  • a weekly conversation with the SENCo or key worker to discuss provision and plan additional support.
  • details of the provision and how engagement and support is being monitored record with the local authority.

Annual reviews and consults will continue in the usual way, with priority given to students at key transition stages.

Referrals and outside agencies:
  • The SENCo will continue to make referrals for EHCPs, Top Up funding and for assessments, for example with Bristol Autism Hub
  • The Educational Psychologist, Alison Benson, is carrying out assessments but these are taking place remotely.
Remote education for self-isolating students

Where individual students need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school, how remote education is provided will likely differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching students both at home and in school.

If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?

Please see the information at the beginning of this document. Access to lessons through Microsoft Teams will ensure your child receives a high-quality education.