Confused about the best way forward with your remote learning? Our planning tool helps you prepare the best approach for your pupils – whether your teaching is live or pre-recorded or a mix of the two


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Mixed messages about how remote learning should be delivered has left some schools feeling more confused about what to do next.

Live or pre-recorded?


Live is the ‘best way in terms of delivering teaching’, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said in the House of Commons this week. But Ofsted’s Research Head Daniel Mujis said this was a ‘myth’. Live lessons aren’t always best – pre-recorded content can sometimes be more effective. Live lessons can mean less interaction with other learners, which is known to motivate them with their learning and improve outcomes, he said. It is also less flexible.

Which method to use will depend on your pupils and the type of learning you are covering. He gave his key tips on how to provide quality remote learning – see below. Most curriculum leaders will agree with Mr Mujis – putting the needs of your pupils first to ensure they continue to access your school’s curriculum in the best way possible in this new format is what matters most.


Tailored to your pupils’ needs


As with all aspects of teaching and learning (T&L), there is no one size fits all. What you provide will need to be tailored to best suit the needs of your pupils. This is still a relatively new way of working. So it is important not to put too much pressure on yourself to have the perfect system up and running immediately. For many, this is about learning and adapting as we go.



Key tips from Ofsted

  • Keep resources as simple as possible – don’t overcomplicate them with fancy graphics and illustrations that detract from the core content
  • Stick with the core principles of effective T&L that guide your classroom practice. This includes:
    • giving pupils the bigger picture
    • applying to prior learning
    • communicating clear expectations of the learning session to the pupils
  • Make sure your explanations of content are clear and straightforward to avoid any misunderstandings
  • Break content into smaller chunks – as many pupils find it more difficult to concentrate when learning remotely
  • Focus on the most important knowledge and concepts
  • Try and incorporate peer interaction and activity, as this can be more motivating for pupils and can improve learning outcomes
  • Remember – quality of teaching comes first
(‘What’s Working Well in Remote Education’, Ofsted)


How to plan for this


The DfE has said KS3-4 students should be given at least five hours a day of remote learning. This includes direct teaching as well as time spent by pupils on completing activities.

So how can you and your teaching staff best plan for this? The key issue is to focus on the main objective of the learning. This will invariably be driven by your core vision for T&L and your curriculum. It is then a matter of deciding how your approach to implementing the T&L needs to change so that you continue to meet your objectives within the remote learning setting.

As Ofsted says,  providing a quality curriculum still applies. It is a case of aligning your current curriculum to a remote learning format as best as possible.

The free tool provided below aims to help you with this planning. It helps you ensure that the upcoming remote T&L is tailored to your pupils’ needs, uses the formats that best support their learning, and puts your curriculum centre-stage in all of your online teaching – whether this is live or pre-recorded, or most likely a mix of the two.


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Download now to make it easier for yourself and your teaching staff to prepare for the next tranche of remote learning sessions.



Planning Tools for all Aspects of Remote Learning


For comprehensive tools on how to plan your remote learning going forward, see our special guide Lead&Learn: Remote learning. This includes tools to help you:

  • identify where and how to improve your current approach
  • best map your curriculum content to your remote learning timetable
  • structure the T&L well
  • decide what technology to use and when
  • use appropriate forms of assessment
  • provide teachers with the required support
  • support pupils to do well with their remote learning
  • engage parents so they play their part in ensuring a positive remote learning experience for their child.


Learn from the advice and examples of good practice in the knowledge articles, then complete the planning tools to identify exactly what changes to prioritise going forward, and how to bring about improvements.




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