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Virtual Learning @LPS


This policy has been created to ensure that all schools within our cluster can provide virtual learning, safely to learners.  This document provides strategies for the safe use of the technology to ensure compliance with our agreed safeguarding protocols.  


Continuity of Learning 

The response to COVID-19 has dramatically changed our lives. In this challenging context, the education system has been disrupted but remains of central importance. 


During this time when most learners are not able to attend settings and schools in person, our Senior Leadership Team, Governing Body and staff have devised a series of robust distance learning strategies to ensure all parties are safe and supported within their roles or needs.  This approach is linked to the Welsh Government’s continuity of learning programme ‘Stay Safe. Stay Learning.’


The Stay Safe. Stay Learning – Supporting the education system guidance, outlines the steps schools should plan to ensure routine contact with learners.  Headteachers, Senior Leaders and Governing Bodies are required to draw on guidance and develop their school or setting’s approach to a blend of flexible online and offline remote learning for learners both at home and/or attending Hubs. 


There are two approaches to consider for remote learning: 

  1. Asynchronous: take place more independently at different points in time.

  2. Synchronous: take place with multiple learners and teachers at the same time.


Asynchronous approaches provide greater flexibility and can be effective for the practitioner to prepare, greater flexibility for parents/carers and learners to manage at home.  Therefore, this method is the recommended main approach considered by schools and settings when organising distance learning. 


Synchronous approaches such as live video streaming may be practical and appropriate in certain circumstances particularly in support of learner engagement and well-being. Synchronous or ‘live streaming’ lessons with learners can be very useful for keeping in contact with learners, with an advantage being that feedback to and from learners is instant and interactive.


However, there are numerous considerations to be taken for synchronous or live-streaming sessions to be safe for all parties concerned.


In the Welsh Governments Stay Safe. Stay Learning documentation it states that, 


“Should a setting choose to use synchronous approaches such as live- streaming, governing bodies, headteachers and staff must have full regard to local safeguarding guidance. Any live-streaming should be done on a voluntary basis – staff should not be directed to undertake live-streaming of lessons.


Decision-making at a school level may determine whether live streaming is appropriate for you to host lessons with your learners. As in any school setting, all accountability is owned by the headteacher and governing body of the school.”


The Welsh Government recommends that: 

  • All live-streamed lessons should be carried out using Microsoft Teams via Hwb, rather than an external provider. 

  • Staff must only use school issued devices and therefore the school will need to supply these.

  • Due regard should be given to the considerations outlined in their guidance to ensure all staff and learners are appropriately protected and safeguarded. 


Professional Union Guidance:

Teaching unions have published their guidance and stance regarding their members being asked or instructed to use live-streaming solutions to undertake lesson. 


They state a clear, sensible and measured view on what is safe for any virtual learning strategy: 

  • Tasks that require little or no access to technology are preferable in order to cater for everyone. Where schools do use technology, they should use the technology that pupils and teachers are familiar with.

  • Variety is key and bite-sized chunks of work are more likely to be completed and could be part of a bigger project. We cannot expect pupils or parents to replicate the classroom at home.

  • Teachers set flexible tasks that cater for students’ interests and abilities – online learning cannot totally replicate the sort of classroom learning to which students and teachers are accustomed.

  • The interaction needed between teacher and pupils in school is high and cannot be easily replicated for a young audience, even at KS4 level.

  • Any school which carries out online lessons must have protocols in place to protect staff and safeguard pupils, and no teacher should be expected to carry out any online teaching with which they feel uncomfortable or in the absence of agreed protocols.


30 Considerations for Synchronous Approaches:

Our cluster, SLT and Governing Body have made a list of considerations that would need to be looked into before adopting a synchronous approach to virtual learning.  All considerations must have the schools’ safeguarding protocols and principles at the core in order to protect all learners and staff. 

  1. Safeguarding and welfare of learners is paramount and takes precedence over all other considerations.

  2. Continue to follow your school’s safeguarding policies, at all times.

  3. Ensure that all staff and learners are safeguarded against anyone recording lessons without the consent of all parties – in order to comply fully with GDPR protocol, Safeguarding and Child Protection Policies.

  4. If any staff have a genuine safeguarding concern about a child, they should discuss these with the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection, ensuring concerns are reported as soon as possible. Policies and procedures for reporting incidents of misuse must be followed at all times. 

  5. Special consideration on the location of the camera for staff and pupils – ensure there is a neutral backdrop without the risk of other household members intruding on the video call. This point has great potential to take controlling factors away from the school, SLT, Governing Body and LA.

  6. Ensure students and staff have a safe and appropriate place with no bedrooms or inappropriate objects/information visible.

  7. Consider the purpose, benefits and limitations of a live-streaming lesson. 

  8. Consider if an alternative method is more appropriate, e.g. if a demonstration is planned, perhaps a screen recording may be more suitable. 

  9. Consider availability of learners, e.g. will all learners be available, will some need to join or leave at different times? It is recommended that the number of learners on the session is considered. 

  10. Ensure the length of live-streamed lessons are appropriate for your learners.

  11. Consider the availability/strength of each learner’s network connection and take steps to provide the best possible conditions for stable connectivity if required (i.e. the provision of MiFi devices). If there is likely to be inequality of access due to connectivity issues, hardware issues, caring for siblings or any other reason, you may wish to consider alternative lesson formats. 

  12. Ensure the lesson is planned in advance and sufficient notice should be given to learners and parents/carers as required. 

  13. Check all content is appropriate and for any tasks requiring online research, check the suitability of the websites prior to the lesson. 

  14. Ensure that all learners have access to software applications required, this can be facilitated through the Hwb platform. 

  15. Be mindful that if the lesson includes tasks, some learners may require more time than others. 

  16. Ensure appropriate use agreements are in place for all learners involved in live- streaming lessons. 

  17. Any live streaming should continue to work in the same professional manner as they would in the classroom and adhere to professional standards of dress when in front of the camera. 

  18. Ensure there is always at least two members of teaching staff online and present at all times during any live-streamed lesson and not have one-to-one live-streaming lessons with learners. 

  19. Be conscious that in an online environment remarks are being heard by a 
number of learners and could be easily misconstrued. 

  20. Ensure all staff are aware that parents can observe these lessons and make/have varying judgements on the content, standard and delivery of lessons. This would breach the 3 observations of staff per year protocol.

  21. Ensure sessions end for all participants, ensuring learners are not left alone and unsupervised in a session the teacher has left.

  22. Be mindful of the need for confidentiality; especially if you are live streaming a lesson from a venue where other adults or children are present. 

  23. As a live-stream recording constitutes personal data, you must comply with your school’s data protection policies and GDPR regulations. 

  24. Consider recording all lesson to provide any evidence for complaints or grievance proceedings. 

  25. Consider setting out acceptable behaviours and expectations at the beginning of each session. Clearly communicate that ‘classroom standard’ of behaviour is expected from all 

  26. There is a share screen function in Teams, therefore staff would need to ensure that learners do not share something inappropriate on their screen. 

  27. Ensure the dress code of all learners is appropriate.

  28. Ensure that only school-registered accounts are used by staff and learners, never personal ones.

  29. Consider keeping a log of everything - what, when, with whom and anything that went wrong.

  30. Ensure that vulnerable CP/LAC pupil’s anonymity can be maintained if requested. 


Cluster Decision for the use Virtual Learning and Rationale:

There is a wide range of streaming media available via the internet and teachers are aware of the benefits of incorporating these resources into their teaching. However, due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, there are risks associated with this type of media where content is uploaded by the general population and is largely unregulated. This presents issues with the validity of the content, potential copyright and other legal issues, as well as its appropriateness for the intended/unintended audiences. 


Due to these risks, all schools within our cluster have made the decision that we cannot ensure the safety of all our learners and staff during any form of live streaming.  


The only benefit of synchronous learning holds over asynchronous learning is that live streaming has an instant response and feedback time when functioning perfectly.  Apart from this, all other learning benefits are equal.


However, by adopting an asynchronous approach (premade video lessons), all safeguarding and acceptable use of media protocols can be maintained, ensuring the safety and protection of all learners and staff.  Prior checks, reviews and editing of prepared videos would be a prerequisite to ensure all policies and safe practices are adhered to.


LPS Virtual Learning Strategies during School Closure:

At LPS we have devised a robust and sustainable approach to our home learning system for all learners to continue their academic development and support for their wellbeing.  All logins for online platforms are reissued at the start of a new academic year, when required through the year or before a forced school closure.  Our home learning system includes:

  • MyMaths: see more detailed explanation here

    • Class teachers will set 1 full unit per week.

    • Accompanied by an online marked activity to complete.  

    • Teachers will feedback via the MyMaths system.

    • Pupil are able to self-evaluate their progress via the MyMaths system.

  • Reading Eggs: see more detailed explanation here 

    • Class teachers will set a focused spelling lesson per week.

    • Accompanied by a series of challenges and a word list (within the online activity).

    • Additionally, teachers will set an online comprehension task per week.

    • Once these tasks have been completed, children will also be able to select their free choice virtual reading books.

    • Pupils will also be able to play numerous games, quizzes and competitions with children from around the world. 

  • Topic Work:

    • Class teachers will set these activities via their LPS Class Page.

    • This will be focused on research, questions, links to websites or ideas for the use of Office 365 & J2E.

    • Teachers will provide personalised feedback via email to celebrate achievements and create a dialogue between the class teacher, learner and parents/carers.

    • Work is celebrated and uploaded to the class pages. This also develops a sense of community amongst the learners and their class teacher.

  • Additional Learning Needs and Support:

    • ​Children with severe and complex needs receive more specific, tailored learning plans including personal asynchronous video support. More frequent communication between the class teacher, ALN leader, parents/carers and outside agencies (where required) to feedback, evaluate and plan next steps of their learning.


LPS Virtual & Home Learning Links:

HWB - The Curriculum for Wales and free educational tools and materials:

At LPS, most of our online learning happens here, the resources are outstanding.

Each pupil has online access to:

  • Office 365 - Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, Teams, OneNote, Sway and more

  • Google Education 

  • Just2Easy

  • Flipgrid

  • Encyclopaedia Britannica

  • Playlists

  • Adobe Spark

  • J2BlastLearning tables and spelling through fun games


LPS Subscriptions:

  • MyMathsMyMaths offers interactive lessons and assignable homework, along with a wealth of resources that will help support confidence and fluency in maths.

  • Reading Eggs: Reading Eggs makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great online reading games and activities. And it really works! Children love the games, songs, golden eggs and other rewards which, along with feeling proud of their reading, really motivate children to keep exploring and learning.

  • LPS Kids Zone: Learn about all areas of the curriculum through fun online games on our website.


LPS Additional Online Resources:

  • Oak National Academy: Online Classroom - Supporting every teacher to support every pupil.

  • Phonics Play: Here you will find lots of information for parents about phonics including; what exactly phonics is, how it is taught in UK schools and suggestions for helping pre-schoolers prepare for learning phonics. You will also find lots of games and ideas to explore with children at home.

  • Oxford OwlFree eBooks for home learning.

  • World eBooksWorld eBooks have made many of their online books available for free!

  • ScratchWith Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.

  • MakeCodeBBC Microbit support and ready-made projects to help you develop Coding skills.

  • Swansea Library OnlineOur libraries may be closed but our services are still open! Find the latest news about reading downloads, our online resources and activities.


This policy was created April 2020

This policy will be reviewed when required.

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