Online Teaching


Dear All,


I hope everyone is finding that things are settling down into a routine with remote teaching, though I am guessing everyone is very busy in many other ways outside of this with data collection, options, preparation for assessments and considerations for how best to determine Year 11 grades again. There is certainly always a lot to do.


With a full return to remote learning I thought it would helpful to send through a document from HIAS (the full document can be accessed at the very bottom of this post) which captures conversations with schools from the first lockdown period regarding online learning. The document draws together a number of the ‘lessons learned’ to help schools add to their thinking and planning for this year ahead.

Page 5 of the document provides some specific details about approaches to remote learning and a number of solutions to the challenges schools faced. Some key points here are about:


  • ‘Live’ online lessons lasting for as long as required - in other words not necessarily the full hour, or 50 minutes etc that would happen as part of a face to face timetable, rather the time hinging around the students learning effectively.

  • Combining classes and team teaching with the second teacher responding to comments in the ‘chat bar’ as the first carries on working in the normal traditional way.

  • Blending online and off line learning - students being clear about when ‘lessons’ take place, what they need to do in-between lessons and how the work fits together. Teachers using lessons as ‘events’. Schools reported this approach was highly effective at maintaining motivation for both students and teachers.

The document builds on this, mentioning specifically about the importance of thinking carefully about the first principles of learning students require, and then planning blocks of work related to this. The idea of using ‘sites of instruction’ and ‘sites of application’.


  • Sites of instruction - points where students are taught a new idea/construct. Direct teaching and discussion of the idea with work completed to check students understand (teacher correcting student thinking as appropriate).

  • Sites of application - students then using these ideas/skills in a different context or part of their own creativity - the teacher again checking for understanding and correcting accordingly.

There is also evidence that pre-recording some of the elements of ‘site of instruction’ is extremely useful for students to refer to in the ‘site of instruction lesson’ and then (as regularly as required) when working ‘alone’. The advantage of pre-recording is that there can be a real clarity and precision with teacher instruction as this can be carefully planned and scripted beforehand.


I hope that everyone finds the document useful. At the next phase of network meetings with Heads of Department, it will be great to discuss this document and share current online practice between colleagues.


Please can in touch any time - shaun.riches@hants.gov.uk 07515 937231


Remote Learning and Secondary Schools
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