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REMOTE LEARNING: Yorkshire tech support initiative transforms education


Executive Headteacher, Andrew Truby at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Dinnington, is urging schools in Yorkshire striving to implement effective remote education and concerned about potential Covid outbreaks further to reopening on 8th March to reach out to EdTechSheff, who can provide tailored government funded expert advice, guidance and training on remote education to those who apply.

“The school has been supported by EdTechSheff who have provided great advice on appropriate devices and infrastructure and supported and inspired the teachers. As a result, we now have great remote learning happening every day.” he said.

EdTechSheff is a collaboration between EdTech Demonstrator schools - King Ecgbert School and Notre Dame High School - two of 48 institutions recognised by the Department for Education (DfE) for their effective use of technology. EdTechSheff helped equip St Joseph’s teachers with the skills required to create and set up their own virtual classrooms and to continue delivering engaging lessons to pupils who are learning remotely. “Each morning, the pupils register remotely and this sets the tone for the day and ensures accountability.” said Mr Truby, “The children benefit from a well-designed curriculum with a combination of live and pre-recorded lessons, in-built assessment and regular check-ins with the class teacher throughout the day.  We have noticed especially with younger children that regular contact with their teacher and peers really helps with motivation and well-being.”

With just under half of the 103 pupils age 3-11 years old learning remotely and the others attending school as children of key workers, Mr Truby explained, “As a school, we are responsible for the education of all our pupils whether they are at home or at school therefore the curriculum they access is the same. It is our duty to ensure that all our pupils continue to make strong progress in all areas.”

With Notre Dame High School also a designated Associate Research School, EdTechSheff is perfectly positioned to support schools with what the evidence base says about effective remote learning. “Knowing those aspects of remote teaching where technology is most likely to have an impact allows schools to prioritise time and resources where they will make the most difference,” explained John Coats, EdTechSheff joint EdTech Demo Project Lead, “It’s important for schools to understand the ways in which the use of technology is likely to deliver the best results for their pupils and also means they can then request support that is tailored to their needs. After an initial consultation we then offer a blend of face to face ‘live’ sessions as well as access to training resources on the EdTechSheff YouTube channel and EdTechSheff.org website.”

EdTechSheff is part of a national network, funded by the DfE to offer all publicly funded schools and colleges advice, guidance and training in the effective use of technology, including how it can support remote education.  Support available includes one to one or small group advice and training, online tutorials, webinars and recorded content.

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