The aim of this page is to outline Bradfield College’s delivery of a full remote education whilst the government’s closure of schools continues. We live in unprecedented times and no pupil, parent or staff member has lived through this experience before; however, as you will see from our plans below, we aim to deliver as full a Bradfield educational experience as possible. The academic and pastoral aspects of College life will be genuinely interactive, on a daily basis, through the use of Microsoft Teams, whilst a varied co-curricular programme alongside weekly wellbeing sessions, ‘screen-free’ time and guidance through daily Chapel or assemblies, will give structure, balance and direction to this new education experience. We also hope to deliver several ‘live’ events over the course of the term, including major assemblies and whole-school services as well as musical and other cultural events.
A key principle has been to offer the daily structure that young people very much need and that mirrors much of the normal rhythms of the school day, but with an element of flexibility that is so necessary in these rare times when circumstances at home may be so very different to normal. The timetable for a week of Bradfield College remote education can be seen in the next section and an overview of the academic, co-curricular and pastoral delivery follows.
The day will begin with year group assemblies or House Chapels that pupils would normally attend, followed by the morning session of teaching and learning. Two hours in the middle of the day offers the flexibility to have lunch and some down time or to complete that day’s co-curricular commitments. The afternoon sees the second teaching and learning session for the day, with time after that allocated to another opportunity to fulfil co-curricular obligations if not already completed. Each evening is available for private study, the catch-up of work or free time. Each weekend, challenges (intellectual, physical or skill-based) will be set for pupils to engage with.
At this difficult time the wellbeing of pupils is more important than ever, and Wednesday afternoon is dedicated to this with wellbeing teaching and learning as well as a significant period of ‘screen-free’ time to try and ensure a healthy mind and body.
As we already know, remote education requires pupils (and staff) to upskill in their technical appreciation of various platforms and applications. This will, of course, take time for some and support pages for functions such as Microsoft Teams, OneNote and others can be found on the remote learning pages of Firefly. The laptops pupils would normally use for College should be more than adequate in terms of technical hardware.
We are fully aware that this will be a very new experience for pupils, parents and staff and there will be teething problems. IT support, Tutors, HsMs and class teachers will all assist but if frustrations occur, we will, of course, be understanding.
We are genuinely excited by this programme and will continue to review its delivery as term progresses.
For the Summer Term, Bradfield’s academic curriculum will be delivered remotely, taking full advantage of FireFly and OneNote, and importantly using Microsoft Teams to bring live video-casting to the experience, re-establishing the relationship between pupils, teachers and peers. Although the online platforms will be the same, each year group will have its own, distinct curriculum for the term ahead.
On teaching days, pupils will focus on two subjects, with the volume of work for each varying between 2.5 – 3.5 hours depending on the year group. We believe fewer academic sessions but within which there is a range of media supported by creative, stimulating resources is better for the learner – the pupil. Evidence suggests that pupils benefit from having less information to process over the course of the school day; they retain information for longer and, importantly, teachers have more time for individualised feedback throughout any one session.
At Bradfield, remote lessons will:
- Allow teachers and pupils to interact, live on the screen as they do in the classroom;
- Include video and audio content;
- Allow for traditional subject content delivery i.e. good old direct instruction;
- Create opportunities for pupils to collaborate, online and offline;
- Have the same high expectations in terms of engagement and academic ambition.
This term, subjects will be allocated either the morning or afternoon session, starting at 9am and 2pm respectively (Wednesday 1pm – 3pm).
Pupils will continue to make progress in English, Maths, Science, Divisions, Languages and Physical Education. In parallel, pupils will be introduced to two further innovation projects (Design and Web Design), building on their song-writing challenge last term.
Faulkner’s pupils will sit End of Year examinations in the second half of the term.
This is an important term for this year group as pupils look to make good progress in their chosen GCSE subjects, building all-important momentum for November Trial examinations: the final formal checkpoint before sitting their GCSE papers in summer 2021.
Shell pupils will also be expected to work on innovation projects, focusing on Music, Design and, separately, Web Design.
In the absence of public examinations, pupils will embark on Early Sixth Form Courses (please note these are not pre-A Level nor pre-IB courses. Ideas, concepts and skills introduced this term will not be revisited in the Michaelmas Term). Pupils will begin studying either their three chosen A Level subjects or three IBDP higher level subjects.
(Again, please be advised that these are not ‘taster’ courses. Pupils will be timetabled to begin studying the Sixth Form subjects to which they have committed already. Having embarked on the summer term, should any pupil wish to change subject they must first speak with their Housemaster/mistress who may subsequently liaise with the College Timetabler regarding viability.)
Courses will balance course content with key skills. Equally, the additional term of teaching will allow teachers and pupils to ski ‘off-piste’, considering contemporary topics and real-world applications of the content. Each subject will, however, run its own formal assessment in the second half of the term. In a number of subjects, A Level and IBDP pupils will enjoy being able to study alongside each other.
SKILLS FOR LIFE
Alongside examinable courses, pupils will complete the Skills for Life programme, led by Bradfield’s Director of Teaching and Learning and guided in philosophy by an Education for Life. The programme seeks to further develop these attributes in pupils whilst equipping them with the skills they need to flourish personally and academically. Dubbed ‘essential life skills’ by The Sutton Trust, such attributes are associated with better academic outcomes and also better prospects in the workplace where there is an increasing emphasis on their value.
The programme comprises a core offering (focusing on presentation, self-management, and extended writing and research skills ahead of pupils embarking on their EPQ or Extended Essay). In addition to this, pupils will choose a number of modules, ranging from creativity and entrepreneurship to critical thinking and web design. Choice affords pupils agency over their Skills for Life curriculum, graduating from it with the attributes they need to be most effective in the Sixth Form, and indeed after they leave the College.
LOWER SIXTH (LVI)
Our Lower Sixth pupils make a sharp start to the Summer Term, starting immediately on their Trial Examinations; these will follow a formal timetable which pupils have already received. We trust pupils to uphold the integrity of the assessment and work under the same conditions as those in the Old Gym – alone, in silence, no mobile phones, no internet, etc. After the time allocated (included extra time for those awarded it), pupils will return their scripts for marking. These grades make up part (but not all) of the evidence-base for UCAS predicted grades. More importantly though, they will offer more information (under formal, timed conditions) on where individuals need stretching and supporting.
After teachers have fed back on exam performance, individually and to their teaching groups, pupils will recommence working through course content. Crucially, they will re-engage with their EPQ (A Level) or Extended Essay (IB).
In the second half of term, this cohort will begin hearing more about UCAS, overseas university opportunities, and the plethora of alternatives available to them as school leavers.
UPPER SIXTH (UVI)
Pupils will understandably be preoccupied with the ‘calculated’ grades they will be awarded, due to be published in August. We anticipate a number of pupils wanting to take advantage of the autumn papers for which we will, of course, support them throughout the Summer Term with academic tutorials, past papers, mark schemes, and feedback on written work submitted.
Regardless, pupils will engage with Bradfield’s university bridging course and life skills programme. In planning for the Summer Term 2020 we have understood the uniqueness of the situation and tried to turn this into an equally unique opportunity. We have created an offering that bridges the gap between life at Bradfield and what happens after that time is over, no matter what that entails.
Examples of courses available to pupils include:
- How to Design a Successful Business Model
- Introduction to the Music Business
- Journalism, the future, and you!
- Finance for Everyone: Decisions
- Finance Essentials
- Create a Social Media Marketing Campaign
- Intro to Intercultural Studies: The Branding of Culture
- Sports Marketing
- How to Code: Simple Data
- Intro to the Internet of Things (IoT)
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills at Work
- What makes an Effective Presentation?
- Online courses for certification ranging from PowerPoint for Business to the InvestIn Young Lawyer course;
- Enhancing essential skills from Fashion, Media and Marketing (from the University of Arts, London) to The Art of Structural Engineering: Bridges (from Princeton University, USA);
- Information on community volunteering opportunities during the current international crisis.
This experience sees Bradfield as a platform, where our Upper Sixth cohort is presented with the early opportunity to embrace adult life, stealing a march on the pack and generating real momentum for the world that awaits.
Finally, and crucially, we believe that this offering will allow our pupils to answer the question ‘What did you do that made a difference in the 2020 pandemic?’ with confidence and enthusiasm.
For the Summer Term, Bradfield’s Co-Curricular Programme will be delivered remotely, taking full advantage of FireFly and YouTube, and a variety of other platforms to bring some live video-casting to the experience. The online platforms will be the same, but each year group will have its own, distinct Co-Curricular Programme for the term ahead that mirrors many of the wider areas of life they would have been engaged with here at Bradfield.
It is essential that pupils have an opportunity to be creative, take physical exercise and experience as much as possible away from the daily academic focus. Good mental health and wellbeing are closely linked to engaging in co-curricular activity and this should not be discouraged whilst learning remotely. Learning to be flexible and adaptable to our new environmental circumstances is already a key life skill being learnt for all of us.
The Co-Curricular Programme will consist of:
- Sport: Physical athletic development training, running, cycling, Stength and Conditioning, circuit training;
- Skills Masterclass: Skills development and challenges in a range of College sports via Firefly/Hudl/YouTube;
- CC Options: Art, Photography, Dance, Yoga, Creative Writing, Book Club, Film, Touch Typing, Cookery, Debating and many more;
- Music: Individual lesson tuition (1-1); performance platform and showcase;
- LAMDA: 1-1 lessons;
- CCF: Remote learning package (selected cadets);
- Bradfield Diploma: Shell research essay, reading list and current affairs blog.
Pupils will be expected to undertake two Sport activites and two further Options each week (see weekly timetable) that will run for 45-60 minutes. There are two slots in the day (excluding Wednesday) available for co-curricular activity and pupils are encouraged to choose whichever one fits their personal timetable and preference. Pupils in Shell will be expected to undertake the Bradfield Diploma programme as well. Music lessons will happen remotely via individual VMT’s and pupils are expected to practice daily.
Each week, new activities and programmes will be added to the various CC tabs. It is important the pupils try to vary their choices in the options section whilst some of the sport and physical activities have weekly progressions that need to be followed.
Tutors will touch base each week and discuss what has been undertaken and advise on changes or choices as the term progresses. As pupils access the offering on Firefly, it acts as a form of registration which tutors will be following up.
We appreciate that this is a difficult time for your child(ren) and that they will inevitably take some time to adapt to the different learning environment. The pastoral support we will continue to offer has a simple aim: to help your child to thrive in a remote learning environment.
THE HOUSE TEAM
It is clearly a difficult time for all, and your children may also have concerns unrelated to the outbreak; not having the social interaction and support that the College provides on a daily basis is something we should all be conscious of. There are no counsellors at home, no moments after a lesson or on a sports pitch or in the boarding house when a chat with a teacher or friend is possible right now – all of these things are part of the College’s usual way of working and something many rely on.
However, we are committed to continuing our excellent pastoral care during these unusual circumstances:
- The individual tutoring pupils will continue to receive with a weekly tutorial either through Microsoft Teams or via the telephone, becomes even more important now, and all pupils should feel that any individual problems (from using this new technology, to how they are feeling) can be shared and hopefully solved through this regular interaction;
- HsMs will continue to contact pupils in groups (either through Teams or on the telephone) and individually in order to ‘check-in’ and keep a close eye on progress as well as offer support and advice;
- All Houses will have a House OneNote notebook, on which HsMs will post regular House Calls every week as well as other activities for pupils (and tutor groups) to engage in. This platform also gives the opportunity for pupils to communicate with each other too (on the collaboration page) and HsMs will continue to foster a strong sense of a House identity and community, albeit online. Microsoft Teams will also be used to have a live weekly House “Call,” celebrating achievements of the week and providing another opportunity for valuable House interaction.
Our aim during this remote period of teaching is to offer supportive Wellbeing lessons that address some of the issues surrounding isolation, whilst covering topics that aim to support pupils’ mental health and emotional wellbeing long term, in line with our usual responsive Wellbeing curriculum.
- Each Wellbeing teacher will be responsible for a year group and will deliver a weekly lesson specifically tailored to their needs which will include a mixture of screen time and activities. Different ways of supporting the wellbeing of our pupils will be collaboratively explored, and in addition to this, sources of support available in school (where appropriate) or online will be signposted. Specific topics covered will include: managing anxiety and staying calm; emphasising the importance of finding ways to feel positive through activities that are enjoyable; maintaining a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating habits; and exercise and maintaining good sleep habits;
- In managing our pupils’ wellbeing, it is also important to ensure pupils have time away from screens whilst recognising that due to the current situation young people (as well as parents and carers) are going to be spending considerably more time online! Perhaps we should not worry so much about screen time in these circumstances, but rather focus instead on screen use. A balanced range of activities will be suggested for pupils to participate in on a Wednesday afternoon such as podcasts, videos and meditation. There will be an element of interaction available to these activities if pupils choose.
COUNSELLING AND OTHER AVENUES OF SUPPORT
Please refer to the Pastoral/Wellbeing page on the Remote Learning section on Firefly, which will contain regularly updated links to useful resources that support us all, including a vlog from our Director of Wellbeing.
We pride ourselves in being a “Talking School.” As a school educating over 800 pupils, it is inevitable that some of our pupils will need help and advice from time-to-time. The excellent support networks provided by the College’s pastoral teams and Medical Centre amply fulfil this need for most pupils, but some may need additional specialist support from professionally trained counsellors to help them through difficult periods. To this end we will continue to provide all pupils with access to a professional, fully qualified counselling support service remotely, through Microsoft Teams, Skype or Zoom. Pupils could either email counsellors directly on their College email (firstname.lastname@example.org) as they would do in a usual term time, or they could discuss how to access a school counsellor with their HsM or the Deputy Head Pastoral. Once agreed, this service would provide a neutral, safe space for pupils to supportively consider issues such as family dynamics, friendships and anxiety they may encounter from time to time.