FAQs for parents

What do we teach and how close is this to the standard curriculum?

At King Edward’s Witley, our pupils are taught the full range of subjects offered in each section of the School whether in classes or through remote delivery. All pupils are expected to follow their timetables which they access through the School’s virtual learning environment, Firefly.

Lower School and 3rd Form pupils study a compulsory curriculum covering core subjects – English, Maths, Science, either French or Spanish, Latin, Geography, History and Religious Education as well as a range of more practical subjects: Art, Computer Science, Drama, PE, DT, Food Science and Music. All pupils also take PSHE/Pursuit of Excellence. We are not setting prep/homework in these year groups, but if work is not completed in class, pupils will be asked to complete it in their own time, and we also require all children to read for 30 minutes every day and to keep a log or journal of their learning.

Our Middle School pupils in 4th and 5th Form study nine GCSE subjects, as well as Critical Thinking, PSHE and PE/Games.

Our Sixth Form pupils are studying for either their IB Diploma or three A-levels.

There is no change to the timetable or the curriculum for pupils undertaking distance learning, although some lessons are recorded for pupils living in different time zones. Pupils in 4th, 5th and Sixth Form will have subject-related work to complete outside of lessons.

How long should work take?

In 1st to 3rd Form, all lessons are 45 minutes, allowing pupils a 10 minute break between lessons. For 4th Form and above, all lessons are a maximum of 50 minutes, allowing pupils a 5-minute break in between lessons. They should be encouraged to use their break times to move away from screens.

Lower School and 3rd Form pupils should be able to complete tasks set in class time if they remain focused during classes. Some will be able to complete tasks much faster than others, but should be encouraged to review and check their work carefully to make sure it meets the teachers’ expectations. All work set in class should be completed to a satisfactory standard (see Academic standards and expectations below). Where children are struggling, parents should liaise with tutors.

Our Middle School pupils should generally be doing between 1-2 hours of work outside classes for each GCSE subject per week. This will vary and again, whilst we do expect all pupils to meet deadlines, we are understanding where pupils are struggling to complete work. Parents should liaise with tutors if there are any issues that we should be aware of.

Our Sixth Form will have a full programme of coursework and independent study to complete as part of their IB or A-level courses.

Academic standards and expectations: We expect our pupils to participate fully in lessons, with cameras on, responding to questions and engaging in discussion, debate and online tasks to the best of their ability. Where pupils are not delivering their best in lessons, teachers will contact tutors and may also contact parents to discuss ways forward to support their learning.

Written work should also demonstrate that pupils are actively taking notes, practicing skills and developing their knowledge and understanding of the content of a lesson. Work that is inadequate or incomplete will be issued with a Repeat, and the teacher will ask the pupil to complete the work to a higher standard with a clear deadline for submission. This may require those pupils in the 1st to 3rd Forms to complete work out of class time.

Where work is not submitted at all, teachers issue a “Missing Work notification“. Again, the pupil is expected to complete the work out of lesson time. Pupils are expected to meet all deadlines, but these may be discussed between parents and teachers if a pupil is unwell or unable to complete work for some other reason. Generally, our pupils do strive to produce work to the best of their ability, but where there is consistent underperformance, children and parents may be asked to meet with a subject teacher, tutor or Head of Year to discuss the reasons underlying the underperformance.

How does my child access remote classes? What equipment is needed?

All children need a laptop to access their remote classes with a reliable broadband connection. We deliver lessons using a range of programmes

• Firefly, the School’s virtual learning environment,
• Microsoft Teams, a platform that allows video meetings, phone calls and areas for shared content and individual content,
• Zoom, for meetings and lessons.

Pupils should log onto Firefly every morning. They will find their timetables on their Dashboards, with Tasks and links for Zoom or Teams-based lessons.
More information for parents can be found here: KESW@Home
For parents and pupils:

What do I do if our online access at home is unreliable?

Please contact the IT Helpdesk on ITHelpdesk@kesw.org. Our team are standing by to support pupils and their families with technical issues and advice.

How will my child be taught remotely?

We plan and deliver our lessons using a range of techniques and approaches. We seek to make lessons varied and engaging by using blended learning so that pupils also have a break from excessive screen time, and the opportunity to have one to one support with teachers and tutors.

How do you monitor pupil progress and achievement? How are work and progress assessed?

Pupils are asked to upload their work or complete assignments. Teachers may download these and mark them offline or provide online feedback through Firefly or other software programmes. Pupils have two to three tutorial sessions each week, and tutors will monitor progress and achievement. We continue to reward pupils with Merits, Distinctions and Commendations for high quality work, and we also continue with half-termly grades and reports.

For exam year groups, we also set assessments and tests which should be conducted in the equivalent of exam conditions.

What additional support is given to children with specific learning needs?

Our Learning Support Department is led by Mrs Zoe Marsden (marsdenz@kesw.org) and we are fully committed to supporting our pupils with specific learning needs through individual and small group lessons. All pupils can contact the Department where they discover they may have particular concerns or difficulties with a specific subject, although we recommend that any difficulties are initially discussed with your child’s tutor.

ICT

#KESW@Home FAQ for parents

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