Live Lessons

Dear Parents and Carers

We hope you and your families are safe and well and coping with the challenges of home schooling. We know that home schooling is challenging for you all, as we once again find ourselves juggling with supporting home learning, work and other commitments. Therefore, we hope this letter will be welcomed by you, as it will inform you of some positive changes to your son or daughter’s home-learning experience. We hope to ease some of the burden of home-schooling for you by further increasing your son or daughter’s independence, motivation and engagement in remote learning.

As of Monday, 25th January, 2021, your son or daughter will receive ‘live’ lessons from the teacher that teaches them in subjects they study when they are in school. Alongside the ‘live’ lessons, they will also continue to receive the excellent and carefully constructed pre-recorded lessons that have been so well received since March 2020 and during any year group isolation periods we had last term. This is a model of learning that we call ‘Blended Learning’ and it allows us to continue to deliver the high quality curriculum that they would experience within school in a varied way: a mixture of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (pre-recorded, worksheets, textbooks etc.) lessons.

In order to deliver ‘live; lessons our staff have been skilling themselves up in the use of Microsoft Teams. ‘Teams’ as it is most commonly referred to, has a range of uses, including being a great platform for remote learning. This means that your son or daughter can now access work that is set by their teachers at home and join a ‘live’ lesson. Teams can be accessed through any PC, laptop, tablet, smart phone, Xbox or PS.

The Teams application has a specific function for education and is now widely being used by schools, colleges and universities across the world. Our IT infrastructure provides a highly secure environment for us to operate within. We expect your son or daughter to access Teams each day by 8:50am and follow their timetable (see FAQs below). Teachers will upload pre-recorded lessons and links to ‘live’ lessons on this platform and your son or daughter will be able to ask their teachers for help through messaging or asking questions during a live lesson. Teachers will set assignments for your child to complete in Teams and they will be able to assess them and provide feedback. All your child’s work, engagement and grades will be in one place!

Everything will be the ‘same’ as it is in school for your child regarding behaviour expectations (see FAQs) and they will follow their normal school timetable. They will already know their timetables and will also have it written in their planner. If they have forgotten their timetable please check your Edulink App.

Please be aware that this move to Teams is new to all of us, students, parents and teachers alike.  We will no doubt encounter some difficulties but working together as partners we will solve them.

Thank you for your support and commitment to our partnership, the strength of which is invaluable in these tough times.

Assuring you of our best intentions at all times,


Catherine Chapman

Deputy Headteacher






What are the times of the school day for online lessons?

Both live (synchronous learning) and pre-recorded lessons/other appropriate work set (asynchronous learning) will be timetabled for your son or daughter at the following times:


Academic Tutor Time (ATT):       8:50-9:20

(Live Year Assembly every two weeks, asynchronous ATT and a live ATT once per fortnight)

P1:         9:20 – 10:20

P2:         10:20-11:20

Break:   11:20- 11:35

P3           11:35- 12:35

P4           12:35-1:35

Lunch    1:35-2:05

P5           2:05-3:05


Where can my son or daughter access the work set or attend a live lesson?

All lesson are accessed via MS Teams. Here is a link sent to students to instruct them how to log on to their work.


My son or daughter has forgotten their normal school timetable. Where can I get it?

You can see it on your Edulink App. If you want a paper copy please email:


How long can I expect work set by the school to take my son or daughter? How do I advise them to sequence their day?

In secondary school the Government have stipulated that a minimum of 5 hours learning should be planned. Therefore, we suggest they follow the timetable above. Further, we are providing them with the curriculum that they would receive in school. What we cover in the home-learning lessons will not necessarily be taught again (although teachers will revisit topics if they see that students have gaps in their knowledge).


Will the teachers teach for the whole hour less?

During ‘live’ lessons, although lesson timings are 1 hour, the teacher will not talk for the entire hour! They may introduce a concept then set your child on a task and then revisit them towards the end of a lesson. They will be available to answer questions via chat (but please note that teachers will have to end the lesson shortly before the next lesson starts). Similarly, in pre-recorded lessons, the teacher may introduce a concept then ask the student to pause the video then complete a task.


Why aren’t all my son or daughter’s lessons ‘live’?

The simple answer is they don’t need to be. Everything we do at Gateacre is founded on what is proven to work by research.  Live lessons are good, but so are other methods such as pre-recorded, narrated PPTs. Daniel MuijsOfsted’s Deputy Director, Research and Evaluation argues,

Some think that a live lesson is the ‘gold standard’ of remote education. This isn’t necessarily the case. Live lessons have a lot of advantages…. But live lessons are not always more effective than asynchronous approaches. (What’s working well in remote education, 11th January, 2021).

He asserts that asynchronous recorded lesson can be just as effective.


What are the protocols (rules) my son or daughter has to follow during a ‘live’ lesson?

The rules your son or daughter has to abide by are no different than in school. I have attached our protocols for lessons on MS Teams here.  Please discuss with your son/daughter our expectations.  This will enable a smooth period of engagement and learning during each live lesson.


I don’t have any data on our mobile device to support my son or daughter’s remote learning – what can I do?

There is now a government scheme available for schools to apply for an increase in mobile data allowances on certain networks, for students whilst learning remotely.  More information can be found here:  At the moment they are supporting the following networks: EE/Three/Sky Mobile/SMARTY/ Tesco Mobile/Virgin Mobile/O2. For more information email,


We don’t have a laptop or computer for my son or daughter to access MS Teams – what can we do?

MS Teams can be accessed on many devices, not just a laptop. If your son/daughter would prefer to access certain lessons using their Xbox or PlayStation, please find further guidance here on how to do so.  Also, you may be eligible for a device, please contact


I don’t have any Internet access to support my son or daughter’s remote learning – what can I do?

You may be eligible for a dongle that gives you free access to Internet from the school. Please contact Mrs Boulton on


What else can I do to support my child?

There is a really good link to a variety of support documents for everyone in the family, ranging from support for choosing A Level courses, dealing with teenagers and virtual work experience. There may be something of use to you in it!  Parent's Guide to...


Do I have to supervise them?

No. We are trying to replicate the classroom and you would not be in the classroom with your child. See Parental Protocols here.


My child is ill and they are meant to be in a ‘live’ lesson?

Notify the school as you would normally to inform us your child will not be attending a live lesson.


How will you check my son or daughter is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are any concerns?

Staff will use the tracking aspect of MS Teams to check for engagement. If your child is not engaging in a particular subject, the subject teacher will email or phone you. If your son or daughter is not engaging in two or more subjects you will be contacted by their HoY or AHoY.


How will you assess my son or daughter’s progress?

Work will be assessed on Teams. If your son or daughter is completing paper copies, these will be assessed in school when they are brought back to us. You may be able to take photos of the work and email these in which would also support the assessment progress.


My son or daughter has additional needs. How will you support them?

We recognise that some students, for example some pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may find it challenging to learn remotely. In their ‘live’ lessons’ the LSA who usually works with your son or daughter will be there to assist them. Also, LSAs have access to pre-recorded lessons and tasks set, so they can be contacted for support (as can the class teacher) via email.


My son or daughter is in Y11 or Y13 as the Government have cancelled exams and so ‘they don’t have to work’. Is this true?

No. Although GCSEs have been ‘cancelled’ and we have been advised that there will be some form of ‘Teacher Assessed Grade’ the details of how we will award these is still not available. Therefore, it is vital that your son or daughter must continue to attend lessons, do the work to the best of their ability and ask questions. Please continue to support us with their engagement and efforts. 


My son or daughter is in Y10 or Y12 and they think their exams will be cancelled next year. Is this true?

Even though the Y11 and Y13 are not sitting exams due to the pandemic, we fully expect that exams will go ahead in 2022 without any changes. Therefore, your son or daughter must work as hard at home as they do in school.


My son or daughter is in KS3. They think they don’t have to work as much as they don’t have exams. Is this true?

No. Although there are no formal exams for your son or daughter, they are assessed throughout KS3. Also our curriculum at KS3 forms part of a tightly sequenced curriculum, journey. Therefore the things they learn in KS3 will form a foundation for GCSE. Keep encouraging them to do their very best throughout the period of home-learning.

Other useful links please click here

For a summary of our Remote Learning Policy please click here

Please click here to read our about our Remote Learning provision