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The Richmond upon Thames School

The Richmond upon Thames School

Excellence Through Endeavour

Curriculum

We are an inclusive school and all students are stretched and challenged to exceed their personal best. To secure every child’s academic success and independence, they experience demanding teaching.

Our approaches ensure that all teaching fosters students’ critical thinking and engagement in sophisticated concepts. While our curriculum is in many ways very traditional, we aim to take an enterprising approach to its design, capitalising on innovative applications of digital technologies and partnership agreements. Our extended day allows us to ensure students benefit from rich and varied learning experiences. All students study a broad range of subjects including Art, Computer Science, Design and Technology, Drama, English, Geography, History, Mathematics, a Modern Foreign Language, Music, PE, Prep, PSHCEE, RE and Science. In Years 7, 8 and 9, students elect two enrichment options, which they change termly.

Our enrichment options include catering, dissection, choir, Karate, 3-D model making, gardening, a range of sports clubs and more.  Peripatetic teachers offer optional paid 1:1 and small group music tuition through the  Richmond Music Trust. We also compete in sporting tournaments against other schools and hold an annual sports day which links to our house system.

At RTS, learning extends far beyond the walls of the classroom, from explorations of Kew Gardens for Science Week to trips to theatres, galleries, masterclasses with commercial industry leaders, projects with universities and weekend camping trips. As a technologically aware school, all of our students use their school iPads to access cloud-based classrooms for each of their subjects where they make use of resources from lessons and work through independent extension activities.

Pre-learning activities (homework), which are mostly completed on site during Prep time, provides support for students who require it, and a calm, well-resourced study space for more independent learners.

Through our best endeavours, we strive to prepare our students for the next stages of their lives. We do this through a combination of methods, including PSHCEE, Academic Tutor-led Citizenship, through assemblies, presentations, employer visits, seminars, masterclasses, workshops, drop down days and 1:1 sessions.  

As a school, we are committed to ensuring that the learning experience supports all of our students to develop to their full potential. We recognise that some students may have particular strengths, whether academic, musical, artistic or sporting and that others require support with special educational needs or disabilities. To support all students our dedicated staff work together to ensure no student is left behind and we do this by providing stimulating, engaging learning experiences delivered by excellent teachers.

Remote education provision: information for parents

This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to students and parents/carers about what to expect from remote education where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.
For details of what to expect where individual students are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page/document.

The remote curriculum: what is taught to students at home

A student’s first day or two of being educated remotely might look different from our standard approach, while we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching.

What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of students being sent home?

  • All students will be able to access their normal school timetable via their subject Google Classrooms on the school iPads. Whilst the remote provision is being set up, students may have additional (remote) time with their form tutors and/or Heads of Years via live streams or Google Meets so they can be told what to expect from the remote provision moving forwards.

Following the first few days of remote education, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school?

  • Yes, they will broadly follow their normal school timetable with some amendments to ensure it promotes mental health and wellbeing during a lockdown situation.
     

Remote teaching and study time each day

How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?

  • We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take students broadly the following number of hours each day and will be equivalent in length to the core teaching students would receive in school. students follow their school timetable, see example  here.
  • Key Stage 3 and 4: 5 hours each day (Number of hours – there are minimum expectations for remote provision). 
  • Work set will include both recorded or live direct teaching time, and time for students to complete tasks and assignments independently.
  • Students will be expected to complete the work before their next lesson but teachers are aware that some students may need time to complete the work outside of the lesson if they have other commitments at home or circumstances which make it difficult for them to complete during the lesson period (such as wifi issues, sharing of equipment with siblings, caring responsibilities etc).

Accessing remote education

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

  • All students are equipped with one-to-one devices (iPads). Any student who does not have one will be lent a device for the duration of the partial school closure. All remote learning will be delivered via Google Suite of Education (Google docs, Google Meets etc).
  • All students are members of each of their subject Google Classrooms and Year groups, and all lesson resources and Google Meet codes will be posted on their Google Classrooms. students join their Google Classrooms at the start of the academic year.  

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?

We recognise that some students may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those students to access remote education:

  • 4G wireless routers
  • Chromebook loan for those without an RTS-iPad or while their school device is being repaired
  • Technical support will be available to all families during any partial school closure in case of issues accessing resources or remote live lessons.

How will my child be taught remotely?

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach students remotely:

  • Resources posted on Google Classroom
  • Live teaching via Google Meet
  • Previously recorded content
  • Live Stream (experiments, assemblies etc)

Engagement and feedback

What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

We expect students to engage with their remote learning as much as possible but reasonable adjustments will be made for those struggling to adjust to school closure and both pastoral and curriculum support will be offered where necessary to support students with their learning. Parents and carers should support their children in the same way they do when schools are open: by engaging in dialogue about the work set and the work produced and offering support and guidance where appropriate. 

How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?

  • Heads of Year will monitor student engagement with and attendance of remote lessons and will contact home if prolonged absences from remote lessons are observed. 
  • Curriculum Leaders will monitor work produced by students during their remote lessons and will contact home if concerns arise relating to effort and progress.

How will you assess my child’s work and progress?

Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children. For example, whole-class feedback or quizzes marked automatically via digital platforms are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others. Our approach to feeding back on student work is as follows:

  • “Live” marking on student digital books as they are completing tasks
  • Written or audio-recorded comments on student work produced in digital books or uploaded to their subject Google Classroom
  • Teacher questioning during Google Meet sessions
  • Google Quizzes 
  • Pre-learning
  • Teacher feedback on common errors and then redrafting by students using the “cribsheet” method
     

Additional support for students with particular needs

How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?

We recognise that some students, for example some students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we will work with parents and carers to support those students in the following ways:

  • Remote education for self-isolating students
  • Where individual students need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school, how remote education is provided will likely differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching students both at home and in school.

If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?

  • If the majority of students are in school, the teacher will teach a “live” lesson to the class but will share a Google Meet code with those students who are self-isolating. They will join the Meet via their iPads and be able to follow the lesson from home. The teacher will still expect self-isolating students to contribute to the lesson, complete the work remotely and answer questions in the same way they would if they were in school. The teacher may not be able to respond immediately to questions from self-isolating students due to the fact they are “live” teaching the lesson to students in school.