AfA Bulletin 2: 25th March 2020

Dear colleagues,

We hope that you are well.

We realise that we are all facing a challenging time. We at Achievement for All want to thank our teachers who are working in schools and settings to look after vulnerable children and those of key workers. As well as providing an array of learning opportunities, through use of technology, for those children and young people at home. AfA weekly Bulletins aim to support you and your staff in providing ongoing quality education for ALL children and young people during this unprecedented period.

Staying in contact:

We know that many staff are rostered to go into schools and that when in school they will be supporting the children in their care. Therefore, we appreciate it may not be appropriate for our Achievement Coaches to have telephone calls/skypes etc with School Champions when they are on site. Our Achievement Coaches will be in contact with School Champions in the coming days to find out when School Champions are on rota in school, when they may be available to be contacted and how and when they would prefer this to happen. Our priority is to support all our schools and settings during this challenging time.

We appreciate that your priorities must be to keep staff and children safe and healthy and to look after your own health and family. Be assured we only ask for a preferred contact point, in order to stay in touch, no alternative “private” information will be stored centrally, and only the people you have given permission to will be able to access it during this period.

For example, should your coach be taken ill a Deputy Regional Lead or Regional Lead may contact you on their behalf, until they are fit enough to resume communications.

Each week, based on the information from settings and schools, we are sharing some suggestions to support you, your colleagues and parents and carers. This week, we offer support in how to run meetings electronically using Microsoft Teams, a quick reminder of where you can access free supporting materials from our learning platform ‘The Bubble’, and some excellent resource links.

Our main priority is to maintain the high level of service we pride ourselves on. Needless to say, we will experience some challenges like everyone else, but we are ready to help.  We will continue to track all activity, with the view to providing further support in the post COVID–19 stage, when we will have coaches able to support you and your team in closing gaps for students who have fallen behind their peers.

Please feel free to contact me direct if you need further support

Best wishes,

Sonia 

Running meetings:

In order to use Microsoft Teams, the first stage is to upload Office 365 (to access Microsoft Suite). If you have not already done so, follow these links:

  • How to access free Microsoft 0365

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/education/products/office

  • How to schedule A Microsoft Teams Meeting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjdN1u1Rg34

CPD: Using the AfA Bubble

TOP CPD TIP: How about using The Bubble to support subject or faculty small group video conferencing using Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout or Teams?

The Bubble can be found here: https://bubble.afaeducation.org/login  Your School Champion will have the organisation code necessary to open an account if you have not already done so. 

The Achievement for All Bubble

The Bubble enables your education setting to develop leadership and professional practice, through conventional INSET sessions, but also to support small group study, coaching sessions and individual reflection: over 4,000 Achievement for All early years settings, schools and colleges across the UK have been part of the community of practice that has helped to develop this resource. We also share learning, approaches and resources from valued partner organisations in The Bubble Open Zone.

Full instructions regarding opening an account and using The Bubble can be found here: https://afaeducation.org/content/bubble/the-bubble-guide-and-site-map/ If you are having difficulties contact: bubblehelp@afaeducation.org

How can we improve our support for learning through digital technologies?

Many education settings, school leadership teams and teaching professionals would have strained every sinew to put in place a remote learning package for their children and families... with very little opportunity to stop and consider further ideas and possibilities. This is totally understandable! 

But as days turn into weeks, there will also be time and space to reflect deeply on your digital platforms, your expectations and the real impact of technology on learning.

Over the coming weeks Achievement for All will be supporting a deep reflection into the power and potential of digitally supported learning, now and beyond the Covid-19 emergency. For example, how can some of the latest low-cost/no-cost apps that are now available transform the way learning is supported, seamlessly, in and out of the classroom? Look out for future communications from Achievement for All.

Our Digital Literacy module can be accessed by all schools and for staff CPD and there is new content giving guidance on remote learning. Log into The Bubble- keep your browser tab open, then paste this into another tab and you will go straight to the Module Unit: https://bubble.afaeducation.org/module/771/unit/2749

Resources:

Parents and Carers:

https://afaeducation.org/news/covid-19-support-for-parent-carers-and-children-young-people/

EEF has published a number of relevant guidance reports – in particular, Working with Parents to Support Children’s Learning

Maths:

https://afaeducation.org/news/help-with-maths-during-school-closures/

Reading:

https://200millionminutes.org/

AfA Bulletin 1: 18th March 2020  

I wanted to write to all our partner settings, schools and colleges to update you on Achievement for All 3As response to the Coronavirus pandemic. As a leader of a charity, parent and citizen, I fully understand the uncertainty and worry this situation creates. I wanted to reassure you we will remain committed to supporting all partners as follows: 

Coach visits:

  • In the remaining weeks up to Easter we will continue to support settings, schools and colleges online or by phone where this support is possible and helpful.  Our leadership and back office teams are able and ready to work from home and will do so from Wednesday 18th Our Telecom and IT systems are all cloud based; we can continue supporting you regardless of where we are located. As a Microsoft partner with 8 years’ experience of remote working we are well equipped to enable our leadership and support staff to provide support. We worked remotely when moving offices and have tested it out on ourselves so can share our learnings.
  • Given the impact on staff capacity in settings, schools and colleges, coach visits can be rearranged with schools and settings at a later date in the summer term, deferring meetings scheduled for May, if possible, to June 2020, if not September 2020. Alternatively, a coach visit can be delivered by Microsoft Teams.  In the intervening weeks all ongoing enquiries and support will be responded to by Regional Leads, Deputy Regional Leads and our central team. 

For children and young people:

  • We are able to help you with your curriculum and support plans if required. We will be providing additional support for vulnerable and disadvantaged children and their parents, on our news page – afaeducation.org, which will be updated weekly with information and support provided every Wednesday in the coming weeks and months.
  • We will be extending our Million Minutes reading campaign beyond March so that children are encouraged to read at home over the coming weeks, running through to the end of the summer term, Friday 10th July https://200millionminutes.org/

For setting, school and college colleagues working at home:

Our main priority is to maintain the high level of service we pride ourselves on. Needless to say, we will experience some challenges like everyone else, but we are ready to help.  We will continue to track all activity, with the view to providing further support in the post COVID–19 stage, when we will have coaches able to support you and your team in closing gaps for students who have fallen behind their peers.

 Please feel free to contact me direct if you need further support

Best wishes,

Sonia.