Continuity of Learning at MACS – approaches to Blended and Remote Learning

Welsh Government guidance to schools states that: “A school’s or setting’s approach to learning will need to adapt to the changing circumstances that we may face during the response to COVID-19. Schools should therefore develop an approach to learning that is flexible enough to adapt to different scenarios as well as differing amounts of in-school learning and learning at home or elsewhere.” (Welsh Government, p.4, 2020)

All schools are currently working through challenging and ever-changing circumstances as a result of COVID-19. Schools therefore are planning and implementing approaches to learning that enables all learners to participate in their education in all scenarios, including when they are in school (and adhering to COVID-19 compliant safe practice) but also when they may be at home due to self-isolating.

Information for Pupils and Parents of MACS – Accessing work via Google Classroom and Oak National Academy

Google Classroom is the principle point of communication for online tasks and Blended Learning at MACS. This does not mean that other resources or websites cannot be used to support learning, but teachers should communicate and share the links to these via their relevant Google Classroom page. If your child does not have access to a Google Classroom for a subject they should, in the first instance, check with their teacher for relevant codes and access information.

The following document which you can download outlines instructions for accessing Google Classroom (including how to login). It also lists Classroom Codes. Also provided on Page 2 is information about the Oak National Academy website; this is a really excellent online resource where teacher experts from around the UK have recorded explanations and provided worksheets and tasks, covering subject content from Early Years right up to GCSE.

This video is an excellent guide to using Google Classroom – it should serve as a good reminder for pupils or help for those who are new to the system

Live-streaming and Video Conferencing: Guidance and Receiving Parental Consent

The school has produced additional guidance for teaching staff and our learners who choose to take part in live-streaming and/or video conferencing as part of Blended Learning. This guidance can be read in full in the document linked, below.

It is important to note that this is a voluntary activity and at MACS Blended Learning will generally take one of three main forms: written instructions, materials and resources for learners to work on and complete (they may be directed to online tasks or paper-based tasks); pre-recorded video instructions or support linked to subject content; live-streaming using Microsoft Teams or Google Meet where learners are online at the same time as their teacher.

The school is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all staff and learners and the guidance produced is to provide clarity and security. Parents/carers will need to provide consent to the live online teaching arrangements provided by Mountain Ash Comprehensive School via an online form (please see link below). This must be completed before your child will be allowed access to any live online lessons that teachers choose to offer.

Blended Learning Calendars

In order for teachers to support our pupils who may be at home, while also teaching lessons to learners in school, meeting time for staff subject teams throughout the year has been set aside for Blended Learning activities (planning, preparation and uploading of materials). The Blended Learning Calendars are important documents for pupils which are produced alongside this and are uploaded to Google Classroom and act as a guide for learners who may have to self-isolate; providing an overview of key topics that would be occurring in school, approximate timescales, and any links/materials/guidance to signpost specific learning resources to help pupils stay on track with their learning. If pupils are unsure what these look like for a particular subject or how to find them then they should ask their teacher.

Blended Learning Calendars have been prepared for learners in the event of a sudden need to self-isolate. They provide guidance on topics, dates, and sources of support.