Secondary

5 tips for… successful online provision

Academy21 offers some advice on how online learning can support schools

30 Second Briefing

Academy21 is a provider of live and interactive online teaching, working with schools and local authorities to enable quality alternative provision.

This is delivered by fully qualified and experienced teaching staff who lead learners in real-time lessons.

1. Define your model – who, where, when

As with any new initiative, consider who exactly you think it will work for. Online schooling can work for a range of students, but your needs will be unique to your context.

Examples can include a hybrid solution delivered on-site, in a specifically staffed and focused unit; short-term solutions for respite away from the classroom, or to break a cycle of habits; a part-time option, enabling students to take subjects important for their future pathways; or a long-term plan, for reconnecting with learning and/or gaining transition skills and qualifications.

“Online schooling can work for a range of students, but your needs will be unique to your context.”

2. Preparing students and families

We sometimes see schools encountering challenges that stem from online alternative provision being a significant change for their students and parents.

First, focus on articulating the issue you want to solve. Then, gather the members of staff you know can help make it work. Next, nail down your vision – how do you see it working in reality?

Finally, involve families and meet with them to ensure they understand the challenges involved, your vision for resolving them and what you expect to happen if all goes well.

3. Build buy-in and communicate clearly

Online is different. Families’ views, informed by very local experiences during the pandemic, will be mixed.

Involve your school’s IT support to ensure that student access is appropriately set up, and check that all leaders and pastoral colleagues understand the plan. This will build a sense of purpose and avoid the risk of miscommunication.

Many of our schools often find that parents/carers are pro-online learning, and welcome the changes in students’ mindsets that a shift in the learning environment can bring about.

“Involve your school’s IT support to ensure that student access is appropriately set up, and check that all leaders and pastoral colleagues understand the plan.”

4. What next?

One hurdle with online alternative provision can be the question of what comes after. Should the student transition to further online learning, return to the same or a different physical setting, or enter a technical qualification?

The answers to those questions will differ depending on the student and type of provision, but when next steps are ill-defined, students can struggle with motivation.

By co-creating targets with the student in terms of their attendance, expected improvement, and attitudes to learning, you can create a sense of common purpose that will contribute to their transition plan. It’s advisable to assign an account leader who can provide extra support.

5. Reintegration

When it’s right for the student, reintegration into school full-time is Academy21’s ultimate goal.

Its unlikely that a sudden, full return will work – instead, we recommend building up their readiness via clubs, selected subjects or social times.

We’ll often find that a staggered return over a few weeks, with the student continuing their online learning at school, is most effective.

For more information, call 0800 208 8210 or visit academy21.co.uk/ap-tips.

Key points
  • Academy21’s provision is 100% live, consisting of interactive and highly engaging classes delivered by our team of fully qualified and experienced teachers
  • Our provision is delivered in partnership with schools in order to provide a solution that works best for your young people, and prepares them for successful outcomes
  • We are quality assured by numerous processes, and we can be found on more than 50 Local Authority alternative provision frameworks and directories
  • Our provision is varied, with academic and wellbeing support for Y7 to Y11 available for different durations across a range of subjects
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Academy21

academy21.co.uk
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