Holmwood Remote Learning

Throughout the pandemic, Holmwood House became synonymous with high quality online learning. Our parents praised us highly in the previous lockdown period and we have introduced our latest online offering with enhanced features, clear objectives and highly experienced staff.
See below for an outline of what our children experience.

What remote learning looks like for our 4-7 Year Olds

At Holmwood House School, we are committed to ensuring every child can access the very best example of high quality, interactive online learning. Our staff work tirelessly to provide a full curriculum which engages every child to ensure real progress is achieved in their learning.

We have aimed, where at all possible, to replicate a ‘normal’ school day, thus giving children and parents a sense of structure and purpose:

Morning Registration
Pupils touch base with their class teachers each morning at 8.30am. This important pastoral touch point is key to feeling part of the school community. This not only ensures that pupils are up and ready for the day, but also gives an opportunity for them to discuss any concerns they might have or difficulties accessing the technology. Class teachers are also able to outline the school day at this time.

Pastoral Care, Circle Time and Assemblies
Even more than usual, Pastoral Care is a high priority for us as a school. Our close relationship with each pupil is key and staff are vigilant in monitoring each child’s emotional wellbeing. Circle time remains an integral part of the school week and all pupils engage with a shared topic in these weekly sessions with their class teacher, via Google Meet or Zoom video conferencing. The Headmaster takes a weekly assembly either via video conferencing or pre-recorded videos, where our Golden Awards and 5Rs Awards are presented.

Academic Lessons
On average, there are 4 hours of online lessons each day with breaks in between. Teachers continue to deliver the full curriculum for Years R to 3, including music, art, languages and PE.

A typical lesson begins with a teacher-led explanation online which lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. During that time, we seek to engage and enthuse as well as equip the pupils with the structure and resources for their learning.

Pupils then complete some independent learning challenges in Google Classroom under the watchful eye of their teachers and assistants who are available to help and answer questions. Pupils can submit work to Google Classroom so that teachers can look at the work and give feedback in line with school’s Feedback policy, showing the child things that they have done well as well as providing them with points for reflection and guidance for improvement. Class teachers and assistants schedule daily 1-1 and/or small group sessions for individual discussions, support and extension.

Attendance and behaviour in lessons is closely monitored by teachers, Heads of Phase and parents are kept fully in the loop should concerns arise. Teachers continue to use the rewards and sanctions system to keep track of engagement and to keep motivation levels high at this difficult time.

Independent Study
As well as forming part of some academic lessons, work is set in dedicated Independent Study sessions for pupils to move their learning on.

PE and Games
We are keen to keep our children active and the structured PE and Games sessions, led by specialist teachers, aim to achieve this as well as giving the children ideas for individual practice and exercise. In addition to the structured lessons children are given exercise challenges and encouraged to get outside to be active!

Outdoor Learning
We are keen for our children to continue to foster their love of Outdoor Learning. For the children in Years R to 3, one afternoon a week is given over to Outdoor Learning and the children are set an outdoor task.

End of the Day
The day always concludes with an ‘End of Day Round Up’ session. This gives the children the chance to discuss any highlights or successes of the day and provides a valuable opportunity for them to relax and enjoy a story together.

What remote learning looks like for our 8-13 Year Olds

At Holmwood House School, we are committed to ensuring every child can access the very best example of high quality, interactive online learning. Our staff work tirelessly to provide a full curriculum which engages every child to ensure real progress is achieved in their learning.

We have aimed, where at all possible, to replicate a ‘normal’ school day, thus giving children and parents a sense of structure and purpose:

Morning Registration
Pupils touch base with their tutors each morning at 8.30am. This important pastoral touch point is key to feeling part of the school community. This not only ensures that pupils are up and ready for the day, but also gives an opportunity for them to discuss any concerns they might have or difficulties accessing the technology. Tutors are also able to relay any notices about the school day at this time.

Pastoral Care, Tutor Time and Assemblies
Even more than usual, Pastoral Care is a high priority for us as a school. Our close relationship with each pupil is key and staff are vigilant in monitoring each child’s emotional wellbeing. Tutor time remains an integral part of the school week and all pupils engage with a shared topic in these twice weekly sessions with their tutor, via Google Meet video conferencing. The Headmaster delivers twice weekly assemblies either via video conferencing or pre-recorded videos. The Heads of Phase lead phase or Element (house) meetings once a week to add to the ongoing sense of community.

Academic Lessons
On average, there are 4 hours of online lessons each day with breaks in between. Teachers continue to deliver the full curriculum for Years 4 to 8, including music, art, DT and PE.

A typical lesson begins with a teacher-led explanation online which lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. During that time, we seek to engage and enthuse as well as equip the pupils with the structure and resources for their learning. Pupils then complete some independent learning challenges in Google Classroom under the watchful eye of their teachers who are available to help and answer questions. Work is submitted and marked as it would be in school. The lesson ends with a final whole class video conference to ensure that pupils are happy with the tasks and have understood expectations. Learning Support teachers are also available in virtual ‘break out rooms’ on Google Classroom for those who need a little extra help or assistance.
Attendance and behaviour in lessons is closely monitored by teachers, tutors, Heads of Phase and parents are kept fully in the loop should concerns arise. Teachers continue to use the rewards and sanctions system to keep track of engagement and to keep motivation levels high at this difficult time.

Independent Study
As well as forming part of some academic lessons, work is set in dedicated Independent Study sessions for pupils to work independently of the teacher in a similar way to being in this type of session when in school.

Games
An inter-year Games Challenge encourages pupils to use some of the daylight hours to clock up some exercise outdoors, through either walking, cycling or running. Pupils log their times through the Challenge Portal and the winning year group is announced each week in assembly. This Games activity is in addition to weekly PE lessons.

Socialising
We are keen to ensure our pupils can continue to socialise and interact with their peers. Breaktime and Lunchtime ‘meets’ are available daily, overseen by staff and parents and staff have developed ‘out-of-school’ social activities in the evenings including challenges and shared cooking sessions, for example.

What our parents said…

‘This term has been our first experience of lockdown with a school-age child, and we were naturally apprehensive about how the situation would affect his academic and emotional development. However the quality of care and commitment from all staff has been outstanding – Holmwood’s home school provision is dynamic, engaging and interactive – as close to the classroom experience as we could possibly hope for. Our son is learning and feels connected, and this is down to the diligence and skill of the class teacher and the specialist teaching staff, as well as the sophisticated use of technology. Thank you so much, my husband and I are extremely grateful, and have never felt more pleased and relieved that we chose Holmwood House.’

‘I think what you have achieved for the children is outstanding and it would appear the children are enjoying it immensely. You have pushed the boundaries of expectation to the maximum. I would like to both congratulate and thank all your staff.’

‘As ever, we are blown away by the set up that has been put in place for our children. You have clearly built on what was already best-in-class from April / May last year and made it even better!’

‘I just wanted to pass on our thanks for the exceptional remote learning our son has received, especially given the very short notice you all had. Even though this is our first experience of remote learning with Holmwood House, our son has got to grips with everything really quickly and is managing to be almost completely independent with his day which is incredible for us working parents. All the teachers have been really supportive with the children during lessons and the list of items needed for the next day makes life very easy, so thank you. I would also like to say a special thanks for the attention to social interaction as being a sociable child, our son struggled with this in the last lockdown and it is wonderful to see the school prioritise this so well.’

‘Just a little message to thank you, Mrs Talbot and Mrs Lincoln for everything you are doing. You are all amazing and we can’t thank you enough.  We can’t even begin to imagine how tricky it is organising everything and finding the time to set, mark and fit in all the 1:1s and you are all doing such a great job.

Since we both work we just wanted to thank you for such a flexible schedule and say how well we think it is working. No need to reply at all but we just wanted to say a big thank you!’
‘Thank you for all the hard work that has gone into this week. I know how unbelievably draining it is for everyone and as a parent I am very grateful’.

‘Remote learning is working well, the timetables and fixed 1-2-1 times are very helpful and the independent study time is incredibly valuable for finishing off work, spending extra time on trickier concepts or reward time in the garden!

Teachers sharing the lesson outlines and learning objectives has really helped us to focus and they are appreciated as they clearly involve lots of work. We also appreciate that we are given notice when extra equipment or preparation is required, it has made this process more manageable and the children certainly benefit from the diversity.
We cannot think of much in the way of constructive feedback as the small issues that we did experience (timetable, children muting others) have all been addressed.
We remain very grateful to the entire HH team and we think the learning provision, support and understanding during this time is, once again, outstanding.’


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Holmwood House Nursery School

151 Coach Road, Great Horkesley,
Colchester,
Essex CO6 4DX
T: (01206) 273 827
E: nurserymanager@holmwood.house

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Holmwood House Preparatory School

Chitts Hill, Lexden,
Colchester,
Essex CO3 9ST
T: (01206) 574305
E: office@holmwood.house

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