Online Learning - A Guide for Students in the Upper School

How can you make your day more structured?

Adding structure to the day when learning online

Download this SCHEDULE PLANNER to give structure to your day

How can you stay safe while at home and online? 

Video Lessons and Videoing

  • Video lesson from where it is quiet and you won’t get distracted (avoid distractions)
  • Where possible, video lessons should take place when a family member is around (a family member should be around)
  • Keep doors open when on a video lesson or making a video so family can see what you are doing  (doors open!)
  • Keep backgrounds simple. Make sure nothing in the background is inappropriate or reveals your location (no inappropriate things in the background)
  • Wear normal day clothes which you would wear out that aren’t too revealing - no pyjamas! 
  • Tell your parents if you are having a one to one video meeting with a teacher and record it.


Interacting with others on the internet and through social media

  • Being at home on your own, you may get bored and tempted to do something stupid that you will later regret - DON’T DO THIS!!!
  • Speak politely and be kind to others online - treat them like you would in real life and remember your manners
  • Do not reply to messages from online bullies or ‘like’ nasty postings
  • Never share your location or personal details online or through social media
  • Make sure your privacy settings are set so that strangers can’t view what you post
  • Do not accept friend requests or other contact from people you don’t know - there will be a lot of bad people, pretending to be someone else, who will be targeting students who are at home alone 
  • Never send or post images of yourself or others that you would not want your parents or teachers to see - REMEMBER it is an offence to send sexual images or content to anyone under 18. 
  • Never request sexual images or content to be sent to you or access websites that you would not want your parents or teachers to see
  • Tell your parents and teachers if you are sent or see something inappropriate
  • Tell a teacher or a counsellor if there is someone who you are worried about - maybe they are feeling isolated or unhappy, being bullied online, are sending inappropriate messages, being contacted by strangers - you want your friends to be safe too

How can you get more out of the technology we use?

Top tips for online behaviour and expectations

  • If you joined a lesson late, please be courteous and acknowledge the teacher or the group that you joined (no need to make a fuss). If you don't understand, please use the chat function to ask the teacher for clarification.
  • It should be clear which work is compulsory and which work is considered extension of independent work. Make sure you have made an informed decision about the amount of challenge you intend to take on. It is often not possible to complete all the possible options available to you. If you are not sure about the expectation, please ask your teacher.
  • If you asked your teacher a question, please, be patient. Do not contact them with the same question via email, chat and Google Classroom. Practise being independent while waiting by attempting the task, looking back at previous work to see if you did a similar question before, asking one of your peers for help.
  • Please avoid sending completed work to your teachers inbox (unless they have specifically asked you to)
  • Submit your work on the platform identified by your teacher, for example, Google Classroom and do so before the set deadline. If you are unable to do this, you should email your  teacher to let them know
  • Email your teachers if you are having technical difficulties which prevents you from joining video conferencing sessions or completing tasks online. Submit your work on Google Classroom before the set deadline. If you are unable to do this, you should email their teacher to let them know.

Top Tips for device use

  • Use a laptop or iPad. Please do not use your phone if possible - the screen is too small!
  • Inkable devices are really helpful and very often writing notes this way can be quicker than typing

Top Tips for your browser use

  • Students using a Mac at home should have Google Chrome installed as an additional internet browser. Safari does not always work well with the online software emulators we need to use in Computer Science for coding. Also Safari does not always work well with software such as Pixelr as Focus on Sound. Please update your OS to run design related apps or programmes such as Fusion 360, Photoshop, Sibelius and Procreate.

Top tips for using Google Classroom/OneNote 

  • Regularly check Google Classroom/OneNote Chemistry and Physics) for updates from your teacher.
  • Use the ‘Classwork’ tab on Google Classroom to view posted revision material. This where most instructions and materials will be found

Top tips for using ClassKick

  • Try to make use of the handsup function if you want help
  • If you work from an iPad, download the Classkick app instead of accessing it though Chrome or Safari

Top tips for using Flipgrid

  • When you need to produce a video on Flipgrid, try to not read from a script you wrote already. Make sure to give 100% effort for pronunciation.
  • Have a look at what some of the students in your class have recorded to make sure you’re on the right track with your own video task. 

Top tips for using Quizlet

  • When studying on Quizlet for language learning only use the learn section and try to master all new vocab. Then when you are confident, take the test and try to achieve at least 90%. Otherwise get back to the learn section and practise some more.

What do the faculties advise?

Teacher office hours

When you need to contact teachers please remember that teacher office hours are the same as school hours - 7:40am to 4pm. Outside of these hours, teachers might be able to reply promptly, but do not expect a reply until office hours. 

What have you been telling us? 

Please keep the feedback coming in - it is very useful

You prefer Zoom. 

Great feedback...teachers agree! So now that is what we mostly use

You have experienced lagging.

If the software does not return to full speed you can email your teacher and Also refer back to Google Classroom to see if further instruction is posted there.

Sometimes you feel a bit demotivated 

You have already  recognised one of the biggest challenges of online learning. The key to overcoming it is structure. That is why we provided the diary link to give yourself an opportunity to plan out your day. Teachers will start to provide a mix of pre-recorded lessons and live lessons. This will help you to be more in control of the planning of your day.

Look out for the PE department’s training sessions and physical challenges to take you away from the screen LINK?

Remember the positives: many of you have extra time with no travelling - try to use it well!

You feel overwhelmed by the screen time

Teachers are aware of this and will plan lessons that have a maximum 20 minutes of screen time where possible. Activities will make more use of textbooks. So, for example, you could expect 5-10 minutes introduction via zoom and then non screen time activity and a round up of 5-10 minutes using zoom.

Teachers will start to provide a mix of pre-recorded lessons. This will help you choose when to access the material.

Look at this experience as time to get on top of your reading - a book can be a holiday from the world around you.

Homework is too much on top of the class time

In order to prepare you for your exams or simply to deliver the best education possible it will be necessary for teachers to set work that challenges you. Where possible we will try to not set up more screen time. Even though the school is closed we still need to develop our learning in line with normal expectations.

You are not sure how you can ask teachers difficult questions when you are not even in school

Your tutors and Heads of House are all really keen to know how you are getting on. Don’t be shy send them an email if you want to tell them what’s going on.

You sometimes feel a bit lonely

We understand - we miss you too! The first thing to understand this is normal in the situation of a school closure. 

So what can we do? Teachers and students  can and will make more use of breakout rooms within ClassKick for example so you can do more group work with your friends. Are there projects you can do with your friends for example a shared review of a series you like watching or a video diary of your day? Anything that allows you to share your day will help you feel you are not alone in the experience.

You are used to have Tutor time before period 1. You will instead be registered in Period 1 and then at the end of certain days within the week there will be a Tutor Group meet up. This will give you an opportunity to tell your tutor how you are feeling.

You are worried about preparing for exams

The school is maintaining close and regular contact with all of the exam boards to ensure we have all the latest information. When we have new information we will communicate with you and your parents.