Remote Learning at St Francis (Spring Term 2021)

Even during these unprecedented times, where schools across England are once again closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, continuing to provide a stimulating learning experience for our pupils remains our top priority, alongside providing pastoral care and maintaining the school community. 

When schools were closed again at the start of 2021, we switched seamlessly to our full on-line provision, which had been refined and enhanced after we sought out and acted upon parent feedback from our previous remote learning in the Summer Term 2020. We are currently providing our pupils at home with a fully structured school day and all-round support as part of our school community, delivered via Google Classroom. This platform allows pupils to be taught, to complete work and submit it, as well as interact with their teachers and each other remotely. The provision is tailored, depending on the age of our pupils. So, understandably, pupils in Pre-Prep (Reception to Year 2) experience different levels of structure and interaction to those pupils in Prep (Years 3 to 8).

Prep School

For our Prep pupils, each day begins at 8.40am with a live ‘Form Time’ with their Class Teacher or Form Tutor. This is a chance for pupils to ask questions, interact with their classmates, and provides a positive start to the day of remote learning.

A full day’s timetable of on-line lessons is delivered using a mixture of on-line work, pre-recorded teacher videos, instructional presentations and live classes with our teachers, who are available during the lesson to answer questions from pupils via Google Classroom or live using Google Meet.

Family time is scheduled in-between lessons at break and lunchtime. Fresh air, outdoor activities and healthy eating are all encouraged to help the children be as receptive as possible for their learning.  PE and enrichment activities are included, as are Assemblies which are also conducted live using Google Meet. There are regular opportunities for children to catch up with their Class Teacher or Form Tutor.

The school day finishes at approximately 3.45 pm.


Our youngest pupils in Pre-Prep have a more fluid timetable, which reflects their age and learning style. Each morning, the child’s teacher sets a plan for the day’s learning, which typically includes morning sessions on Phonics, Maths and Literacy and afternoon sessions for Topic, Art, Science and PE. The day starts with a live Class Teacher session or an Assembly at 9.00am.

Teaching is delivered via Google Classroom, using a mixture of live lessons and videos with work available to download and complete. There is plenty of opportunity to make models, create paintings and learn from experiments! Pupils are read stories and take part in teaching sessions with their teachers online using Google Meet, as well as having regular, individual, one-to-one catch-ups with their Class Teacher. They are also supported in developing their use of technology, by filming and editing their own videos to share with their teachers.

Pastoral Care, Wellbeing and Community

Pastoral care remains vitally important, pupils in both Pre-Prep and Prep have weekly live sessions with their Class Teacher or Form Tutor on Google Meet to see how they are doing. Our teachers and SLT continue to provide support to our families, even going so far as providing technology for pupils where necessary.

Wellbeing is being taught to help support our pupils through this challenging time. In ‘Learning For Life’ lessons, pupils explore resilience and identifying their feelings, mindfulness and gratitude as well as developing practical skills such as online safety and, for our older pupils, thinking critically about media reports.

The sense of School community remains strong even though we are physically apart. Pupils are provided with theme days and competitions. 

Pupils are able to continue with their individual music and learning support lessons, all delivered on-line.

Whilst Remote Learning cannot fully replace the experience of a ‘normal’ education at St Francis, during this temporary situation we feel confident that we are offering the ‘next best thing’ for our pupils.

To find out more about St Francis, or to arrange a telephone call with our Headmaster, David Sibson, please phone 01672 563228 or email Admissions.