Distance Learning

The Bushey Academy Distance Learning Guide

Our Distance Learning Guide outlines how we want to ensure that all of our students are able to continue learning even when the school is closed.  This is clearly an unprecedented and challenging time and the academy will be providing regular updates for all parents and carers. However, our view is that by knowing right from the start about how we will communicate, expectations of the learning experience and how families can support their children, we are all more likely to be able to manage this transition time and for our young people to be successful.  Communication of the start of this plan, and any subsequent adjustments, will be primarily via the website.

Our plan is designed to be an inclusive, that recognises technology has a key role, but understands that not everyone has access to the internet or their own computer all the time. As a result, the academy has arranged for ‘paper only’ resources for key subjects to be made available to students who need them.   Any student in Year 7-11, without access to the internet or a computer, are being provided with paper based work or a school laptop.

For the vast majority of students, this will not be necessary and work has been set electronically for them by our teaching staff on Google Classrooms. There will be two weeks’ worth of initial work in each subject for students to complete.  Where possible, students are asked to follow their usual timetable for their subjects and work on the activities and tasks for the period of a normal 50 minute lesson. This will provide them with a structure to the day, and helps to ensure an even amount of time is dedicated to each subject as it would be if students were present at school.

We recognise that students will respond in different ways to this new working arrangement. Many will take to it very smoothly. However, those who find independent work difficult will find this challenging and need more support. We have high expectations, but are also realistic about the challenges this situation will present. Our tips and FAQs are designed to help all families during these trying times. You will find these at the bottom of this page.

Parent Information on Online Working

We are well served by our Google Apps for Education system, located by logging on to the school website at www.thebusheyacademy.org

To log on to these tools, please use the green login box in the top right hand corner of the school website. Students each have a username which is the same as their logon to use school IT equipment. The format of the username is as follows: –

  1. Year started secondary education (Y7 would be a 9 for 2019, Y8 an 8 for 2018, Y9 a 7 for 2017, Y10 a 6 for 2016, Y11 a 5 for 2015, Y12 a 4 for 2014 and Y13 a 3 for 2013)
  2. then first four letters of surname
  3. then initial.

So John Smith in Year 7 would be 9smitj

Your son / daughter will have set up a password.

Our main tool for posting resources to be completed away from the school is Google Classroom. This can be found by clicking on this logo on the toolbar across the top of the website once you have logged in.

Each student has a classroom page for each of their subjects, and if they have not accessed the relevant page before they must click on the “enrol” button.   Students also have access to their Google mail account once they are logged on and this should be used to communicate with teachers if they are having any issues with the work set.  Work has been set for tomorrow and for the following week and by 1pm on Friday 27 March, work for the following week will be posted. Students can email their teachers for clarification or to ask questions. 

Tips for Parents and Students

  • Establish routines and expectations: start times, breaks and lunch at school are at clear times. Maintaining this routine can help maintain a positive work ethic. Avoid spending the day in your pyjamas!
  • Identify a clear physical space in which to work: this will make it easier to focus on your learning, without other distractions.
  • Talk about the plan for the day, and the lessons ahead: spending extended time working at home is unfamiliar territory. Talking about how things are going can help pre-empt any problems.
  • Set times to be on and offline: There will be more screen time than normal whilst working at home. You may have to share devices with family members, and setting time limits in advance can help manage this successfully. Equally, spending time offline is important to maintain a sense of balance in the day. Mrs Beveridge will be setting cooking for the family as the Food Technology work so do please upload photos and food reviews!
  • Remember to exercise: Your wellbeing is enhanced by physical activity, so do make time for this. This can really help if you are feeling anxious, which is completely normal whilst you are working from home.
  • Talk about things on your mind: it will be a big adjustment working from home every day. Talk about how things are going. The international situation is highly changeable. It is normal to feel uncertainty about this too. Be conscious of how much of the news you watch and talk about what you are watching.
  • Read a book: Escape, relax, unwind. Look after yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is my child’s work? 

All learning activities will be on Google Classroom, and your child should be working through this platform each day.  All students have received training on Google Classrooms and use this online platform regularly.

I know lots of the learning activities are on Google classroom. I can’t seem to make that work. 

Try setting your Internet browser to Google Chrome. This can give greater functionality. If you have any issues with IT access please use the email itsupport@thebusheyacademy.org

My child does not understand what to do. How can they get help?

Please be mindful that online learning is a significant change for teachers as well as students. We will all adapt as quickly as possible, but the more enquiries we receive, the longer it will take to respond to them. If your enquiry is essential, please don’t hesitate to contact the relevant subject teacher via their school email address.

How will SEND support operate now?

Any changes to local authority services will be regularly updated on the local authority website for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) www.thegrid.org.uk. Further general information and advice regarding SEND can be found at www.thegrid.org.uk/learning/sen. Special Needs Jungle is also an excellent resource for parents for further advice www.specialneedsjungle.com. Twinkl (www.twinkl.co.uk) are letting all parents have a free month of unlimited resources with code: UKTWINKLHELPS. Follow the link on www.twinkl.co.uk/offer. If you would like guidance on talking with your child about the coronavirus there are a number of links  on the school website www.thebusheyacademy.org/teaching-and-learning/send/ . You will also find ideas on how to structure your child’s day to minimise the impact of this difficult period.  Your child’s subject teachers will be available via email to answer any questions relating to classwork set through the online learning platforms.  If your concerns are of a safeguarding nature please consult the sections below.

I have a safeguarding issue that I would usually discuss with school. What can I do?

Our school website has lots of resources and links that might be able to help you. Please see http://www.thebusheyacademy.org/pastoral-and-safeguarding/safeguarding/  The number for Children’s Services is: 0300 123 4043

Young Minds also run a free 24/7 crisis messenger service for any young person needing support for a mental health concern and they can be contacted by texting YM to 85258.

In case of an emergency please dial 999.

My child usually sees the school counsellor. What happens now?

At present, the academy is unfortunately not able to offer this service.

My child is eligible for Free School Meals. Can you help?

The academy has been providing specific support for students eligible for Free School Meals by means of Sainsbury’s food vouchers.  We are now moving to the national scheme run by the government.  All eligible families are being contacted separately.

Can my child come onto the school site during closure?

Generally no unless:

  1. They are the child of a key worker and/or vulnerable (this has to be with prior arrangement)
  2. They have asked for and been given permission for a one off visit (eg to pick up an item left in the school). To seek permission please email admin@thebusheyacademy.org

When will you reopen?

At the moment we are closed until further notice.  We will share reopening plans as advice becomes available. We very much look forward to having everyone back with us as soon as possible. Updates on Covid-19 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus