Blended Learning

If 2020 taught us anything, one major lesson was around the use of technology and online platforms to increase our support to those who access our services!

How are we using distance and blended learning to work with our students in Craftworks College during Covid-19? This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to students and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education, which we call distance learning, as well as for those who are still attending college.

Remote education provision

From 5 January 2021, all schools and colleges have been required to close to most pupils and students. Whilst vulnerable pupils and students, and the children of key workers, can continue to be educated onsite, DfE expects schools and colleges to immediately offer all other pupils and students access to remote education.

The national lockdown, and at times local restrictions, require people to stay at home and only leave their homes for limited reasons such as to buy food. This is in place to keep people safe, to limit the contact between people, and thus reduce the chances of exposure to Covid-19

We are very aware of the need for access to support services during this time. KCC have put together two really helpful pages North Area Support (including Swale) County & National Support Services

Students in College

What measures are in place if my child is still attending college?
We have put in place a system of protective measures that managed and controlled any risks for when students attend college. These are in line with the government guidance for keeping safe during this pandemic.

We have put in place a system of protective measures that managed and controlled any risks for when students attend college. These are in line with the government guidance for keeping safe during this pandemic.

What system of control is in place at the college?

Prevention :

  1. Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who are required to stay at home do not attend the setting.
  2. Where recommended, or required by regulations, use face coverings.
  3. Clean hands thoroughly and more often than usual.
  4. Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
  5. Introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents.
  6. Minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible.
  7. Where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Response to any infection:

  1. Engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.
  2. Manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19).
  3. Contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice.

Craftworks College is following the asymptomatic coronavirus (COVID-19) testing programme put in place by the government. Students, on their return to college, will be offered 2 tests 5 days apart to test for coronavirus. Staff are being tested on a weekly basis to ensure they are suitable for work.

What happens if someone becomes symptomatic?
If anyone at Craftworks College becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they will be sent home and advised to follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. Currently, this sets out that they should arrange to have a PCR test for COVID-19 if they have not already had one.

Please see for latest government guidance.
If a member of staff or a student have tested positive whilst not experiencing symptoms but then develop symptoms during their isolation period, they should restart the 10-day isolation period from the day they develop symptoms. Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate in accordance with the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Students who start displaying coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms whilst at Craftworks College should, wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household. In exceptional circumstances, if this is not possible, Craftworks College will seek to transport them home.

If a student is awaiting collection they will be looked after by a member of staff in a separate, isolated area.

Do students have to wear face coverings?
In settings where students are being educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils where social distancing cannot easily be maintained. All Craftworks College students and staff are asked to wear face coverings whilst working indoors. Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. For example, people who:

  • cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability.
  • are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip-reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate.

What about social distancing?

Everyone should avoid close, direct face to face contact and minimise time spent within 1 metre of anyone. However, it will not be possible when working with many students who have complex needs or who need close contact care. These students’ education and care support should be provided as normal. All our students will be supported to maintain distance and not touch staff and their peers where possible. This will not be possible for some students with complex needs and it is not feasible in some sites where space does not allow.

The distance learning curriculum

What is taught to students at home?
A student’s first week or so of being educated remotely might look different from our standard approach, while we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching.

What should my child expect from immediate distance learning in the first day or two of students working from home?
At Craftworks College we want to make sure that all of our students, whether at our college sites or working from home, still receive an education that enables them to learn, to have social interaction and thrive.
Tutors and Teaching Assistants will be in regular contact with the students to talk to them about how they are and to set them work. We are here to listen and to help where possible. These are very difficult times for students and we know that many are finding the changes in routines challenging, being asked to work in a different way uncomfortable and are missing the interaction with their friends and tutors.

Following the first few days of distance learning, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in college?
We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in college wherever possible and appropriate. However, we have needed to make some adaptations as the courses we teach are very practical. Each course has an aspect of learning that is about the student being able to demonstrate that they have acquired the “knowledge” around the subject and the “stills” to demonstrate they can practically apply that knowledge. For instance, in learning horticulture, a student may be asked to show that they understand the reasons behind why it is necessary to clean the tools and care for them. They may talk about keeping the tools maintained and to keep the tools effective. This shows their knowledge. The student is also asked to demonstrate their “skills”. For instance, to actually clean the mud off the tools, clean and oil them and check them for safety.

Whilst the students are working from home we will seek to focus the work set on the knowledge based learning. When the student is able to return to site we will concentrate on the student being able to acquire and demonstrate their skills based learning.

Remote teaching and study time each day

How long can I expect the college work to take my child each day?
The number of hours will remain consistent with their typical college week. Please be aware that some students may experience changes to their timetable.

Accessing distance learning

How will my child access any online distance learning you are providing?
We have been able to provide most students with laptops for them to be able to work on. All students have been given a college email address so that they can communicate with their tutors. They have been given access to the Google drive, known as G-drive, where a system of information can be shared between staff and learners. This is called Google Classroom. Tutors are able to set work on the platform and then see when students have accessed it and the work that they then save on there for the tutors to see. Google classroom is really a place where the teacher can share assignments, videos, worksheets and pictures so that the student can see the work they are to do. It is a place where they can then work on the assignments and both the tutor and the student can see the work there.

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access distance learning?
We recognise that some pupils may not have suitable online access at home. For some working at home on a computer will not be easy or suit them. We are able to print work off and send work home to students to do also. This can then be sent back to the tutor to mark and offer feedback to the student. We will ring the student to talk through the work, help them to understand anything they are unsure about and answer questions.

How will my child be taught remotely?
We use a combination of the following approaches to teach students remotely:

  • We invite both the students in the classroom and those learning at home via a ‘video call’ to meet at the beginning of the day for a time to check in and catch up with each other. This is a time to socialize with their peers and say how they are.
  • We will then outline the work for the day.
  • We will talk through the task helping the student to see which unit the work is working towards the specific elements and what the key aims are.

The student will be helped to understand how this work will fit into their portfolio and build on to the learning that has already taken place.
The tutor may use:

  • live teaching (online lessons) to convey information where tutors and students engage in discussions around a topic
  • a pre-recorded session where they are demonstrating a particular skill
  • work assignments – either set through the students’ Google classroom or printed and sent home
  • textbooks and reading books pupils have at home
  • commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences
  • internet research activities.

Engagement and Feedback

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

We know that each household has different circumstances and that not all parents and carers are able to provide direct support for their child with their learning. At Craftworks College we expect parents to:

  • enable the students to have a space for learning that allows our students to be able to hear their tutor, feel safe, is private enough to speak with their tutor or peers, and to be able to ask questions when unsure.
  • ask their child to be up and ready to engage in learning on the timetabled day of the week by 10am.
  • ensure our students carry out the work set and to ask if they are unsure about any aspect of the work.
  • ensure that our students answer phone calls made by the teaching staff so that we are able to support the wellbeing and needs of the students
  • encourage their child to monitor their emails for tutor feedback

How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work, and how will I be informed if there are concerns?

  • We will continue our welfare calls on a regular basis and each tutor will feedback on the work set and returned.
  • If we feel that the student is not engaging or there is an issue, the tutor will call home to speak to the student and the parent or carer

How will you assess my child’s work and progress?
Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children. For example, whole-class feedback or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms may form part of the weekly on going assessment of work and learning.

  • Tutors will give feedback on work posted on Google Classroom.
  • Tutors will send students written feedback on assignments.
  • Tutors will seek to speak to students on a regular basis
  • Teaching Assistants will ask how the student feels they are doing during welfare checks

Additional support for students with particular needs

How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access distance learning?
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. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we will work with parents and carers to support those pupils in the following ways:

  • We will work with each student on an individual basis, taking into consideration their disability, learning styles and needs.
  • We will convert information into accessible formats such as communicate and print, videos and pictures.
  • We will liaise with you to see how we can take a whole tutor family approach to supporting the educational needs of your child

Remote education for self-isolating pupils

This will take the same format as above

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