January 2021

Over 750 pupils responded to our survey. The main findings are summarised below with our response. You told us that over 450 of you access your remote teaching and learning on your own laptop. However, there are still over 100 pupils sharing a laptop, and over 90 of you can only access your work via a smartphone. A small number of pupils are relying on a shared tablet or smartphone.

Our Response: NTS was initially allocated a small number of free DfE laptops and more recently an additional top-up of laptops for sixth-form students. We were also donated a small number of laptops from Sellafield which we are grateful for. We have been working hard to allocate these devices to pupils and students who need them most and are in the process of sourcing more suitable Windows 10 compatible devices. Mr Walker will be in touch with those pupils working on shared tablets or smartphones as soon as they become available.

85% of you are working for at least 3 hours per day and 60% of you are spending between 4 – 6 hours on your remote learning per day with over 70 pupils spending more than 6 hours on remote learning every day. Only 15 pupils told us that they are spending less than 1 hour per day.

Our Response: It is encouraging to see so many of you spending the recommended time on your learning at home. However, it is important that you take regular breaks and if you are unclear how long a particular task is supposed to take, please contact your subject teacher. If you have any concerns about workload you can either, contact your Form Tutor or Head of Year.

We asked you what sort of activities you found helpful for your remote learning. The most popular options were (the number in brackets indicates the number of pupils who selected each option):

1) Streams Video PowerPoints (pre-recorded video lessons with teacher demonstrations, explanations or modelling) (333)

2) PowerPoint slides from your teacher to work through at your own pace (321)

3) Worksheets (317)

4) Online quizzes with instant feedback (274)

5) Seneca learning and other online platforms such as Duolingo (253)

6) Teams Lessons (232) We also asked you what sort of activities you found least helpful in your remote learning.

The top five responses were:

1) Using subject text books (162)

2) Online tutorials such as YouTube and Oak National Academy (156)

3) Worksheets (148)

4) Activities on Moodle (120)

5) Teams Lessons (113)

Our Response: Our remote learning principles have always been based on providing all pupils with a varied diet of online and offline activities. We are aware that a number of pupils have to share a device at home with siblings or parents and we are aware that Internet access can be unreliable in certain locations. We will always take this into account when considering the type of lesson that is set, the most suitable mode of delivery and the resources that we want pupils to access.

We asked you to tell us what you do if you find work challenging or become stuck. It was reassuring to see that the majority of pupils who responded would email their teacher and many of you told us that you also contact your friends to discuss work too.

Our Response: We are pleased that so many of you are contacting your teachers and talking about ideas and new concepts that you are finding challenging with friends and family members as this can also be an effective way of learning too. Please continue to utilise your teachers’ knowledge and expertise whenever you become stuck with your work, and continue asking for help. You can contact your teacher via school email on the usual day of your lesson. If you have technical issues with IT, please contact the school as we have our IT support department working on site during the school day.

We also asked you what barriers have affected your remote learning. In response, you told us that the biggest barrier to overcome is motivation, which is understandable when working independently and in a non-school environment. You also identified the following as being significant barriers:  Internet and Broadband issues (poor or unreliable connection) and access to a suitable device (28%)  Other household distractions (such as siblings, games consoles etc.) (29%)  Some of you also told us that you have additional caring responsibilities too.

Our Response: If you need any additional help and support from school, please let us know. We are currently awaiting the first delivery of DfE Internet Routers, which, will be distributed to help families who are struggling with Internet and data issues.

Finally, we gave you an opportunity for you to tell us how we could improve our remote learning provision at NTS. Over 300 of you added additional comments, summarised by ‘type of suggestion or comment’ below:  60 of you expressed a preference for more online ‘live’ lessons using Teams or more online learning (we do not use Zoom).  In contrast, some of you have requested less screen time and more offline, practical activities.  Some of you expressed concern at the amount of work being set and that you found it difficult to complete it within the 60-minute lesson time.  Lesson instructions are made clearer and you would like teachers to acknowledge your emails when your work is submitted, and if possible, more feedback.  Over 150 of you used the final section to tell us that you are happy with the current provision, complimented your teachers on the work they are setting you or stated that you had no additional suggestions for how we could improve it.

Our Response: We understand how challenging remote learning can be for everybody including your parents and other family members. We will continue to provide a varied diet of online and offline activities as some of you pointed out that too much screen time is not good for your mental health and wellbeing. Your teachers will select the most appropriate mode of delivery for your remote learning, which may include ‘live’ Teams lessons. During ‘live’ lessons, we will ask you to adhere to strict protocol, so no cameras (Teams is not like Zoom and the number of live cameras that can be displayed is limited to 9 at any one time) and microphones muted unless the teacher asks you to unmute. In addition, the week beginning Monday 8th February we will run Teams Tutor Group Wellbeing Tutorials in small groups with your Form Tutor where you will have an opportunity to discuss any worries or concerns that you may have and an opportunity to interact with your friends at school. We will work hard to ensure that lesson instructions are as clear as possible, that your emails are acknowledged by your teachers and feedback provided where possible. We are also pleased that so many of you appreciate the variety of lessons that your teachers are working hard to provide you with and thank you for all the positive comments.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to our survey.