How to give children effective remote education during lockdown

With heavy lockdown restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is unsurprising that the Department for Education has announced that KS1 and KS2 2021 SATS will not take place.

Although I and the SMASH Maths team full-heartedly agree with their decision, it still feels quite unreal that for the second year running, yet another year 6 cohort will be missing out doing key end of primary school exams and our children will not be going into school.

Despite lockdown restrictions, it is therefore of great importance that schools, teachers, parents, and carers work together as best as possible to continue to support every child’s learning and, most importantly, wellbeing.

Gavin Williams (UK Education Secretary) has clearly stated that ‘during the period of national lockdown strengthened remote education expectations will be put in place, with schools expected to provide a set number of hours of high-quality remote education for pupils, supported by further deliveries of laptops and tablets for the most disadvantaged.’

Schools will be expected to offer pupils online lessons and a set number of hours of remote education for pupils. The latest guidance released from the DfE in early January 2021 (Restricting attendance during the national lockdown: schools) states that the amount of remote education provided (to include both recorded or live direct teaching time, and time for pupils to complete tasks independently) should be, as a minimum:

    • Key Stage 1: 3 hours a day on average across the cohort, with less for younger children

    • Key Stage 2: 4 hours a day

    • Key Stages 3 and 4: 5 hours a day

It also states Ofsted will play an important role in holding schools to account for the quality of remote education.

Remote education

Every school will have a different perspective on how this looks and can be achieved in their school. Also, how students are supported with their remote education at home will vary considerably due to several factors: parents working at home, access to laptops / devices, robustness of internet access, number of siblings in the household!

It is, without a doubt, a huge challenge for schools, pupils and parents to embrace.

At the end of October 2020, the DfE (with The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)) put in place the guidance ‘Remote Education good practice’. This states the elements of effective remote teaching.

We at SMASH Maths have reviewed all guidance in this first publication, together with the most recent guidance, and consolidated the 60 plus pages of information into a comprehensive checklist for school leaders and parents to use, as below:

From my years of experience working with schools, but also being a mum of two boys, I fully acknowledge what a challenging time this is for schools, teachers, parents, and children! It is a time like no other and we are being asked to adapt our education provision for our future generation using effective remote education.

How can SMASH Maths help with remote education?

At SMASH Maths we hope we can play our part with supporting pupils’ remote education provision for Primary Mathematics learning. Our high-quality digital weekly practice is:

1. Proven to improve learning retention using our unique spiral practice approach.

2. Engaging for students as every question completed is provided with feedback:

    • Correct answers are rewarded with fun motivating GIFs.

    • Incorrect answers have expert, step-by-step audio and written guidance on how to solve every question.

3. Time efficient for parents and teachers as we guarantee:

    • TWO high-quality, carefully written SMASH Maths Practices delivered direct to your inbox (all questions are in line with the primary maths national curriculum).

    • Our practices (quizzes) are broadly in line with White Rose schemes of work, so we do not introduce new topic content before it has been taught by teachers in school. The DfE’s ‘Remote Education good practice’ guidance says ‘Tests and quizzes are an important part of effective teaching and can be easily created to precede or follow teaching sequences.’

    • Topics do not need to be individually selected using SMASH Maths. Instead, every SMASH Maths Practice covers every area of the UK maths curriculum every week to improve maths confidence and understanding. This is our unique SMASH Maths Spiral Curriculum!

If you are a parent, register here for our exclusive 25% lifetime discount code and access to blogs, free teaching videos and maths tips. We are launching very soon in January 2021, after which this 25% discount code will not be available.

If you are a schoolteacher, senior leader or maths subject leader, contact us here and we will get back to you personally on solutions that we can provide for your school.