Remote Learning Guidance for Upper School Parents

Principles of Remote Learning

Teachers and pupils can attend Bedford School online through Firefly, which is The School’s Virtual Learning Environment. Microsoft Teams or other online platforms may be used to enhance lessons when and where appropriate. Where this is the case, all links will be posted as part of the Firefly task for that lesson. Teachers will continue to assess the boys and specify where and when they will be expected to submit work so that progress can be checked. Note that boys in Year 3 and Year 4 will use Google Classroom, rather than Firefly.

Teachers will plan activities that relate as closely as possible to current class content or skills. The activities will reinforce existing understanding or introduce new content as planned in regular schemes of work. Boys will be able to carry out the tasks assigned by teachers independently, including accessing the material.

Boys should follow their normal timetable, so much as is possible, and access all learning set by teachers via Firefly. Where a task is to be completed, boys should submit via Firefly (rather than email or by sharing the document) unless otherwise instructed by their teacher. If boys are unclear on the task requirements, they should email their teacher.

We understand that there may be issues with home connectivity and will be mindful of this and support boys as well as we can. There will also be differences between content in subjects; we envisage that we will learn from all that we do. If coursework (or other non-examination assessment) forms part of the learning activity in lessons, different arrangements may be required. Teachers will contact boys separately about this.

Please do discuss the Remote Learning for Pupils guidance and rules with your son.

Tips for Parents

  • It is important that your son has access to a space which is quiet and ideally in the vicinity of an adult where possible. Boys may want to use headphones to listen in during live lessons if they have other distracting activities taking place in the home. However, we advise against listening to music whilst doing any school work, as most evidence points to it having a negative effect on concentration and learning for all but some creative tasks. 
  • A buzzing or vibrating phone is most often a big distraction. Putting phones in a different room for the duration of the lesson is best; keeping up with the demands of remote learning will require focus and resilience so keeping mobiles out of reach would replicate the conditions of a classroom setting.
  • Encourage independence in school work, and encourage boys to try to think through problems or issues on their own as far as possible. However, please do encourage your son to communicate with his teacher if he has genuine difficulties; there is much support available if he asks and has tried to find a solution himself or has a real problem.
  • Ask questions that help your son find solutions e.g. ‘where could you find the information for that?’ or ‘what will this work look like if it is your best effort?’, or perhaps ‘what would your teacher say / think?’.
  • Ensure your son uses Firefly to check tasks (the work set as lessons), aiming to complete work during the timetabled lesson allows teachers to better deal with any misunderstandings or issues in a timely manner.
  • Do encourage your son to keep to normal break times and encourage social activity during these times with others at home.

Useful areas within the Bedford School website

Secure Parent Portal
  • Includes School Information, Reward and Conduct Record, School Reports and the Daily Bulletin
  • Dashboard:  Includes areas for checking prep and tasks set (In the case of Remote Learning, work set for lessons)
  • Tasks: Includes a list of all tasks set for pupils and due dates
  • Resources: Prep / Upper Subjects: Includes curriculum content
  • Resources: Prep / Upper School: Includes Library and Supporting Learning 
Google Docs or Google Classroom
  • These are web-based platforms that include ways to share work with a class. Boys can work independently or collaborate with others. Teachers can monitor and comment on the work so that improvements can be made. Work can be assessed in these documents. 

Physical Activity at Home

In line with the recommendations from the World Health Organisation, the Bedford School Physical Education Department believe that all boys should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. This activity can include general play, games, sport, recreation or planned exercise.

With this in mind the Physical Education department will be posting (on Firefly and other platforms) age-appropriate activities that will be suitable for inside the house and outside in the public domain. The aim will be to give all boys accessible, varied and enjoyable exercise options. Department members will also be available, via email and other school systems, to answer any questions or give advice around exercise, athletic development, nutrition and wellbeing.