Remote Learning

A Pedagogical Based Approach to on-line Teaching & Learning at Magdalen College School

Having reviewed recent guidance from Professor Daniel Mujis of the Ofsted Research Team (here) and that of Professor Beck Francis of The Education Endowment Foundation (here ) it is emerging that there are some key principles to effective Teaching and Learning remotely.  What is clear from the evidence is that whether teaching happens live online or through recorded video lessons, or a mix of both, what matters is that certain key elements are present.

At Magdalen we have distilled this evidence and what works in our classrooms and context, and aim to ensure that all lessons have the following key elements:

  1. Clarity of instructions
  2. Precise explanations
  3. Scaffolding of learning tasks
  4. Submitted work – Hand in task that can be assessed
  5. Feedback based on accurate assessment
 Key Element

What it will look like

Clarity of Instructions

Video/audio of MCS teacher explaining lesson activities including purpose of activity and clear expectations around Hand in Task

Precise Explanations

Use of available online videos that have KS3, KS4 & KS5 focused content (e.g. Oak Academy, Cognito, Massolit etc) 

MCS Teacher video/recorded explanations in KS3/KS4/KS5 

MCS Teacher live explanations for KS5 

PowerPoint explanations with audio/slides 

Sharing of on-line textbooks or other resources

Scaffolding of Learning tasks

Clearly structured lessons that sequence learning tasks to include instructions, explanations, hand-in tasks and feedback in a logical and habituated way 

Learning tasks that are broken into smaller chunks 

Practice of tasks that includes teacher feedback (live or recorded at set points in the lesson) 

Teachers will be available to support students via a variety of means at key points during the timetabled lesson

Submitted work – Hand in Task (that can be assessed)

Work to be submitted in an electronic form or via an on-line classroom (Teams or G/Classroom) 

This will enable the teacher to assess if the required learning has taken place in that lesson/group of lessons in order to give whole class feedback about key points of learning and common misconceptions 

Assessment of the hand in task will also enable the teacher to plan the next phase of learning more accurately and hence ensure that the learning is sufficiently scaffolded to ensure appropriate challenge and pace

Feedback based on accurate assessment

A video/audio recording that either gives direct feedback to specific learning tasks from the lesson or general whole class feedback to whole class misconceptions. Feedback may also be comments on students work, where appropriate 

This could also be live feedback via Teams or G/Classroom for KS5.

In our approach we recognise that the ‘personal touch’ matters, and this can be communicated through our voice and/or our image on screen. This is why you will see a blended approach that includes recorded teaching (asynchronous) of MCS teachers in all years and an element of real time teaching (synchronous) in all 6th form lessons.

Pupil Engagement

Pupils will be expected to engage fully with the normal school day and with all their lessons. Setting up a quiet and distraction free workspace at home and establishing routines will be vital to pupil’s engagement and progress with their remote learning. Teachers will set work, reward completion, and highlight when tasks have not been completed through Go4Schools daily.

Accessing Remote Education

The central point for setting work with instructions will be through Go4Schools Homework facility. This may lead to other platforms ( or Parents and pupils will be notified if work has not been completed via Go4School as a zero weighted sanction called “Remote Learning Incomplete”. This is not a negative sanction just an indication to parents and pupils that there is outstanding work for that lesson.

Help and support to access remote learning

We are keen to support families that are facing technical issues, be that access to various platforms, login details or how to use various types of software.

We are also keen to support families who cannot access the remote learning because of hardware issues such as access to laptops, Wi-Fi or data and ask that contact is made with the school urgently, as below, so that we can help support and remove any barriers to learning:

Study Time Each Day

5 hours (3 x 100-minute lessons) as per the usual school timetable. Students are expected to be engaged between 9am and 3pm and completing class work at the times they would if they were in school. We will of course be pragmatic and sympathetic where this cannot always be managed. Our aim is to support our pupils to be as successful as possible with remote learning.

Homework or additional tasks may be set that are in addition to the “normal” school day. The style of which will follow our current Homework Policy and be designed to consolidate the tasks completed in lesson time.

Curriculum Coverage

We will deliver the planned curriculum for lessons. There will be some enforced adjustment to the curriculum for practical tasks, for example, where equipment and materials are impractical at home.

Support for Pupils with Particular Needs

Students with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) have a keyworker from the Inclusion Team who liaises with the student and family to support with accessing the learning on a daily basis. A place is available in school for students who have an EHCP.

Students who are on the Special Educational Needs (SEN) register can also access support from a member of the Inclusion or Pastoral teams depending on the support required.

Students who are disadvantaged or eligible for Pupil Premium funding have support from a dedicated Learning Mentor to support with accessing learning and resources for learning. 


A basic principle is that our work online remains within the normal ethos of school expectations in that:

  • Everyone has the right to work without interruption
  • Everyone has the right to feel safe

Engaging in remote learning online everyone should be aware of the school's policies.

Acceptable Use of IT Policy

E-Safety Policy

Covid-19 Addendum to the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

Expectations of behaviour remain at the usual standard, and particularly with regard to manners and kindness. Any concerns about behaviour will be dealt with seriously in line with the school Behaviour Policy

Everyone has responsibility for keeping people safe in school and online. Any concerns about the safety or welfare of a child need to be reported straight away to one of the Designated Safeguarding Leads: Mrs Tudor-Price, Mrs Davies, Miss Tye, Miss Jones, Mrs Cox

If anyone has a concern about the conduct of a member of staff, then this should be reported to the headteacher via

When students are accessing remote learning ‘live’ sessions the following steps must also be taken

Students must

  • use their school accounts to access remote learning
  • be working in a shared/communal space or room with an open door, and supervised by an appropriate adult where possible
  • be appropriately dressed e.g., clothes they might wear for a non-uniform day, not pyjamas
  • leave microphone and camera off during any ‘live’ session unless specifically instructed to switch them on by the class teacher
  • where instructed to switch cameras on, ensure that they set the background to ‘blurred’
  • behave as they would in lessons, particularly with good manners and kindness
  • pass on any concerns they have about other people’s behaviour to a member of staff at the earliest opportunity

Parents should

  • ensure that students are appropriately dressed, equipped and located to access remote learning
  • support students in knowing their log-ins and looking after equipment to support remote learning
  • ensure that other persons in the house are suitably dressed and behave in a way that is conducive to lessons continuing undisturbed
  • pass on any concerns about online conduct that they have about other people’s behaviour to a member of staff at the earliest opportunity

Staff will

  • only use approved platforms to interact with students (MSOffice and GSuite) via school log in details
  • dress appropriately and ensure background is blurred when live cameras are in use
  • ensure that no personal data or confidential information is visible when streaming sessions
  • control student use of microphones and cameras through direction and personal control
  • monitor ‘chat’ features to ensure students interact with manners and kindness
  • make students aware that school leaders will ‘drop-in’ on ‘live’ sessions as they would visit classrooms in school
  • act immediately if any safeguarding concern arises, which may include terminating the ‘live’ session to prevent any further risk or harm
  • pass on any concerns they have to the suitable member of staff (Leader of Learning, Head of Faculty, Designated Safeguarding Lead via MyConcern, member of Senior Staff) at the earliest opportunity