Working at Home

Remote Learning Support

Communication

Key information will be communicated in the following ways:

  • Via the School website
  • Using ParentMail. If you are not receiving these, please make sure the school has your current email address. You can update your account directly though ParentMail. If you need to set one up please contact your child’s college office for further assistance.
  • Using the SIMS parent app. You can also use this to make sure your contact details are updated as well as access your child’s timetable and school report. To sign up if you haven’t already done so, please contact: parentsupport@homewood.kent.sch.uk
  • For all remote learning make sure your child has their school email and password to hand as these are needed to access the work. You may wish to make a secure record of these in case they are needed again. Support regarding this can be accessed at helpdesk@homewood.kent.sch.uk

Google Classroom

  • All work is set via Google Classroom for which every student must use their SCHOOL email address (a private email address will not work – even if it is Gmail). Tasks may well require access to other websites and learning platforms – where this is the case links will be provided within the Google Classroom assignments.
  • These are set as assignments at or before 9am on the day of the lesson and will have a “due” date.
  • The “due” date will appear in the linked Google Calendar and will also be the same day as the normal timetabled lesson. This will help students with the organisation of their work.
  • Each class has its own unique class code. Check that your child can access each separate Google Classroom for every subject they study. If they need to join any missing classes, this can be done by emailing their teacher using their SCHOOL email address to request the code. Alternatively, contact your college office who will be able to assist further.

Communicating through Google Classroom

There are three ways students can communicate with their teachers through Google Classroom. Teachers will be available during the timetabled lesson to respond to these.

Each has a different purpose:

  • Class Stream: This is visible to all members of the class (teachers and students) and appears in the order items are posted. It includes all posts and is intended for general announcements. It is not specific to individual assignments.
  • Class comments: These appear separately in each assignment. All students and teachers can see comments posted here. This is intended for general, open comments or announcements about the individual assignment that apply to all students. Where available, students can also use this platform to ask each other questions about the work.
  • Private comments: These are also assignment specific but unlike class comments can be seen only be the individual named. These are intended to ask or respond to individual questions and to provide personalised feedback.

Google classroom and email

By default, Google Classroom is set up to allow email notifications. This means that when posts are added via any of the above methods an email will be sent to all relevant group members. This can lead to a significant number of emails during the day. However, it is possible to control these to some extent via the setting menu.

A summary of different notifications types can be seen in the table below. Each of these can be set independently. The minimum recommended have been highlighted in yellow. However, be aware that in order to see if new posts have been added where notifications are turned off it will be necessary to visit each classroom and assignment individually.

Student notification options

NotificationDescription
Comments on your postsSomeone comments on your post.
Comments that mention youSomeone mentions you in a post or comment.
Private comments on workA teacher sends you a private comment.
Work and other posts from teachersA teacher creates an assignment, question, or announcement.
Returned work and grades from your teachersA teacher grades or returns work.
Invitations to join classes as a studentA teacher invites you to a new class.
Due-date reminders for your workYou have unsubmitted work that’s due within 24 hours.

Further details on how to do this can be found here: Notification settings for Google Classroom

Parent/guardian summary emails

  • These can help keep you informed of how much work is being set. If you have a Google account you can change the settings for this to provide daily or weekly updates. See this link for further guidance.
  • If you need to sign up or change your email address for these, you will need to request an invite via email from your child’s form tutor or college office. You only need to sign up ONCE per student to access information for all of their Google Classrooms.
  • If you have no access to the internet, contact your child’s college office for further guidance and support.

How much work should my child be doing?

  • Students should be doing a minimum of 5 hours work a day.
  • If, after this time, tasks are incomplete students are encouraged to complete the section they are on and hand the work in via Google Classroom – even if it is not fully complete.
  • Should students wish to return to the work later if time allowed, Google Classroom has the facility to resubmit work.
  • Students in Years 10 to 13 may have more pressing demands for important work deadlines and should expect to spend more time working on these where this is the case.

Submitting work

  • All work should be submitted through Google Classroom. Help for students on this has been provided via video however further guidance can be found HERE
  • Ideally work should be submitted in digital format if assignments require it. However, If a digital format is not required or possible, other means of providing evidence of work completed can be used such as a photo of work written on paper.
  • It is important to “Hand In” (or “Turn In”) assignments as they are completed (even if no digital evidence is required) because this removes the assignment from a student’s “To Do” list, alerts the teacher that work has been completed and removes the task from Parent/Guardian notification emails if you use them.
  • It is also important to note that students should not mark work as “turned in” when they haven’t done it. Although teachers will be able to see this easily it is more difficult for parents to check without looking through each individual assignment.

Other things to consider

  • Have a supply of paper and other stationary including pens, pencils etc.
  • Encourage a suitable working environment where possible. A quiet space where students can work without distraction (including those from phones and other electronic devices) is best although individual circumstances may dictate the extent to which this is achievable.

Years 11 & 13

With the impact of school closure and a change to the way in which external exam grades will be awarded again this year it is important to note that exams have not been cancelled – only the exam season in its usual form. It is more important than ever that students carry on their studies at home in order to be prepared for formal assessment later in the year.

Details of exactly how this will work we will be provided as they become clear. In the meantime you can keep up to date with announcements as they happen via the following useful links:

Remote learning – FAQs

If my child has done all the work set, what else could they do to continue learning whilst remote education is in place?

It is important to check that work has been completed fully and thoroughly to the very best of their ability. Work should not simply be rushed through so that they can say it has been done. This may mean going through work to add more details, reading through work to check for accuracy or re-drafting a first attempt to improve the quality of a piece of work.

In addition to the specific work set for each subject, all students have access to a Google Website that provides a range of useful learning tasks to engage in. These are organised by year group and subject. You can only access this site by logging in with a school account. As with Google Classrooms, this cannot be accessed by any other means.

Other useful educational activities include:

  • Reading – ideally set works or texts but reading novels or other suitable materials such as age appropriate subject journals or research materials is always a good use of time.
  • Research into different careers
  • Re-reading notes on topics covered so far to make sure learning is secure.
  • Completing any incomplete work due to previous absence.
  • Extended use of on-line learning platforms such as:
    • MathsWatch – All students already have logins.
    • Educake (Science) – All students already have logins.
    • SENECA Learning – There are a range of courses available for improving literacy here for Year 7 and 8 students.
  • Some active exercise is also to be encouraged.

My child cannot sign into Google – how can they resolve this?

Please note that only school addresses can be used to access the School’s Google domain – private Gmail addresses will not work. All students have been provided with a school email address and a password for Google. If they have forgotten their password, please email the school using the address below from a parental email address already registered with the school. We need this in order to verify that it is you.

Email support: helpdesk@homewood.kent.sch.uk

If my child is ill, do they need to complete the work?

We would expect all students to complete work at home if they are healthy enough to have come to school under normal circumstances.

Is my child expected to work during school holidays?

As a general rule, additional work will not be set over the holiday period. However, this may sometimes be necessary in order for students to meet important deadlines (particularly in Years 10 to 13) and some may wish to use this time to catch up on tasks already set or finish incomplete work.

My child can sign into Google but cannot access a particular Google Classroom – how do they do this?

Students can do this by emailing their teacher using their SCHOOL email address and requesting the code.

How can I check that work is set?

The best way to do this is to ask to see your child’s google calendar. All assignments set with a due date will appear here. You may also wish to sign up for Guardian email summaries from Google Classroom (See below for further details.)

I am not receiving Google Classroom email summaries – how can I get these?

If you need to sign up or change your email address for these, you will need to request an invite via email from your child’s form tutor or college office. You only need to sign up once to access information for all Google Classrooms for each student. However, you will need to accept a separate invitation for each child.

https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/answer/7126518?hl=en

My guardian summary tells me that there is a lot of work missing

This could be for one of three reasons:

  • Work has been completed but submitted via email. This work will not be shown as completed. All work must be submitted using the correct assignment page in Google Classroom.
  • Students have not clicked the “turned in” button when handing in assignments. It is vital they do this when work is completed and handed in.
  • You have been told by your child that they have completed work when they haven’t. From time to time it is worth asking to see the work they have done to be sure.

My child has a question about their work – can they ask for help from home?

Students can message their teachers but this MUST be done directly through the Google Classroom platform. Email must not be used for this purpose as teachers cannot keep track of comments or replies to messages sent this way.