Home Learning

Our Approach

Esther learning tricky words with Granddad at home

We have developed a home and blended learning rationale in response to Covid-19 so that we are fully prepared for all eventualities.  We are keen to ensure that our remote education is simple yet accessible for all.  A blended learning approach is where our pupils learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching whether in school or working at home.  Home learning will build on and complement what is done at school.

Our blended learning approach has considered how to incorporate

  • Synchronous learning – where pupils and teachers interact in a specific virtual space, through a specific online medium at a specific time (zoom)
  • Asynchronous learning – where learning happens on the individual’s schedule.  Teachers provide the materials and assignments with pupils having the ability to access and satisfy these requirements within a flexible time frame.  Materials might include directed texts, self-guided interactive learning resources, or pre-recorded lessons and podcasts.

This information is intended to provide you with clarity and transparency about what to expect from remote education if local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home. For details of what to expect where individual pupils are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.

The remote curriculum: what is taught to pupils at home

  • We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate.
  • Our remote learning provision is coherent and carefully sequenced and mirrors the curriculum which would have been taught in school at any given point in the year.
  • We have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects, for example P.E.  We would encourage families to take daily exercise in line with the Government restrictions as well as following the suggestions in our remote learning resources.


Reading remains a key focus in our home and blended learning approach.  This will support access to the rest of the curriculum.  We will encourage pupils to read aloud in a range of situations, read daily for pleasure, assess daily phonic/spelling/grammar lessons and be read to by an adult (parent / teacher / TA).

What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of pupils being sent home?

In the event of a bubble closure, we will endeavour to work as quickly as possible to provide synchronous remote learning.  Teachers, if well, will spend the first day of absence preparing their Zoom sessions, which will commence on the second day of absence.  An up-to-date Home Learning Pack for the week’s learning is uploaded on our school website on a weekly basis so will be available immediately.  This should be used alongside other resources we signpost to, including:

  • Oak National Academy
  • BBC Bitesize
  • Letters and Sounds for home and school
  • Daily Reading Eggs / Eggspress
  • Reading daily for pleasure
  • Times Table Rockstars

How will my child be taught remotely?

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach pupils remotely:

  • All children in Reception and Year 1 will receive high-quality teaching, delivered daily by the year group teacher (unless the class teacher is unwell) using Teams. 
  • Children in Year 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 have access to high-quality teaching, delivered daily by the year group teacher (unless the class teacher is unwell) using Zoom.
  • All children will receive a weekly ‘learning pack’ which will support pupils to work flexibly and independently.  This will support the live learning led by our teachers and is available on the home learning section of our website.
  • Reading is ‘set’ as part of weekly home learning with all children across school expected to read daily.   Children will be ‘set’ reading tasks to complete online including Letters and Sounds / Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress. All children will be allocated activities based on their reading proficiency.
  • Teachers may also ask children to complete videos found on the Oak National Academy website or BBC Bitesize to support their learning.

How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?

The Department for Education recommends that schools set work that is of equivalent length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school. This includes both remote teaching and independent work.

In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, this is equivalent to 3 hours a day, on average, across the school cohort.  This means that children in year 2 may expect work set by the school to take more time than children in reception.

In Year 3, 4, 5 and 6, this is equivalent to 4 hours a day.

In addition to engaging with remote teaching and independent tasks each day, it’s important to encourage your child to engage in social interaction and age appropriate activities as well as regular exercise.

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

  • Each week (on a Friday), parents will receive an email from school with all the necessary live-learning links for the following week.
  • The weekly ‘learning pack’ is uploaded onto our school website each Friday afternoon for the attention of parents and carers.  Materials within the pack might include direct texts, self-guided interactive learning resources, or pre-recorded lessons and podcasts.  Teachers may also set non-academic challenges for pupils e.g. treasure hunts, maths walks, building dens etc.  

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?

  • Pupils without access to a device at home are invited to attend school – in line with government guidelines
  • A small number of individual devices are available for families to loan and these are allocated to pupils in greatest need.  Phase Leaders are in regular communication with parents, as are class teachers about level of need.
  • Internet connection is made available for those parents who may need it (for example, sim cards with unlimited data have been issued to over 50 parents in the Autumn Term 2020).  Phase Leaders are in regular communication with parents, as are class teachers about level of need.
  • All work packs can be accessed on a number of devices and it is not necessary for these to be printed off.  For those that cannot view the on-line work packs, paper packs are prepared for individual collection. 
  • For those pupils who cannot share their work electronically, copies of completed work can be hand delivered or posted into school for the attention of the class teacher.

What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

  • Teachers will make regular contact with all children/parents in their classes to keep in touch and to ensure children are accessing learning.
  • All children are expected to engage with the home learning set by school and this will be monitored daily. 
  • We encourage and promote parents and carers to establish a daily routine with regular sleep patterns, regular breaks, opportunities for age appropriate activities and exercise and to encourage pupils to engage in a daily act of kindness.
  • Where engagement with remote learning is problematic, a familiar adult will make contact with parents/carers and the child to discuss additional support that might be needed.
  • If you or your child are struggling to engage with the home learning, please contact the school office by e-mail (enquiry@hillwest.bham.sch.uk) or by telephone (0121 3085392) and a member of staff will be in touch.

How will you assess my child’s work and progress?

At Hill West we know that assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process.  Assessment is the means by which we monitor the progress of pupils and evaluate the effectiveness of the quality of learning and teaching.  It involves making judgements about a pupil’s level of knowledge, understanding and attainment in processes, skills, knowledge and understanding in relation to the Early Learning Goals or the National Curriculum Programmes of Study and then deciding on the most effective teaching strategies to adopt, to formulate the next steps.

During this period of remote learning, your child’s teacher will use a variety of methods to assess progress:

  • Highly effective oral feedback will be provided during live learning. 
  • Quizzes and retrieval practice – children will enjoy completing these which will help them to identify their own strengths and areas for development.
  • Chatroom discussions or the chat function will be used for children to submit answers so that the teacher can check for understanding.
  • Peer and self-assessed feedback will be planned for in the live-learning sessions.
  • Show and tell – children will be encouraged to show and discuss work they have completed and their confidence level in relation to the learning objective and task.
  • Submitting work – parents can email completed work into school to be forwarded to the relevant teacher.

How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?

We recognise that some pupils, for example some pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home.

  • The SENDCo is working to support families, leaders and teachers to ensure that all remote learning is tailored to the needs of individual children with an identified need. 
  • Phase leaders and class teachers are working collaboratively with families to so that the progress of children from their individual starting points is at least good.
  • Weekly meetings have been arranged with the local authority to discuss provision for pupils with EHC plans. 

Remote education for self-isolating pupils

Where individual pupils need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school, how remote education is provided will likely differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching pupils both at home and at school. 

If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above? 

Home Learning Packs which mirror the curriculum taught in school are prepared by teachers and uploaded to our website on a weekly basis.  In the case of an individual isolating, these should be used alongside the many other resources we signpost to on our Home Learning website pages, including: 

  • Oak National Academy
  • BBC Bitesize
  • Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised
  • Daily Reading Eggs / Eggspress
  • Reading daily for pleasure
  • Times Table Rockstars

If I have any questions or queries about the remote learning provision, who should I contact?

If you have any questions or queries about our remote learning provision, please contact your child’s Phase Leader.  Mrs Rebecca George for Phase One, Mrs Jaimey Thomas for Phase Two and Dr Rhian Warrack for Phase Three.