Earlscliffe Online

Welcome to Earlscliffe Online.

Through Earlscliffe Online we continue to deliver the teaching of all our courses, including GCSE, IGCSE, and A-level, as well as our Business Diploma, the University Foundation Year and the EPQ. We also deliver TRaC™ testing and results, marking and feedback, university counselling, and a range of further provision.

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Aims and Objectives


Our online learning is an alternative provision necessitated by global circumstances. Crucially, its effectiveness is not reduced by a natural distance between learner and teacher, because our students have been taught face to face for months and years by their teachers and a common understanding and professional bond already exists, unlike standard online learning programmes. Furthermore, our students are ambitious and keen to complete their courses to gain the grades required for academic progression.



International Transition Year 

(ITY or UK Year 11) 

To continue with timetabled lessons, homework, coursework, and tests from 21 April taught by usual teaching staff 

Students to provide evidence through all the above following the guidance and feedback of their teachers in order to maximise GCSE/IGCSE performance 

Teachers to submit final GCSE/IGCSE subject grades to the relevant examination boards (Pearson Edexcel, AQA, OCR, CIE etc) by the end of term 

Examination boards to issue final GCSE/IGCSE grades by the end of July 2020 



Year 12 

(first year of A-level course) 

To continue with timetabled lessons, homework, coursework, and tests from 21 April taught by usual teaching staff 

Teachers to issue end of year Effort and Attainment academic grades and full reports by the end of the summer term 

Year 12 to complete their UCAS Personal Statements by the end of the summer term following guidance from Mrs Fitzpatrick, UCAS Counsellor, Mr Johnson, Deputy Head and Mr Harding, Headteacher 

Year 12 to produce a draft of their Extended Project Qualification (c. 5000 word research project) by 19 June



Year 13 

(final year of A-level) 

To continue with timetabled lessons, homework, coursework, and tests from 21 April taught by usual teaching staff 

Students to provide evidence through all the above following the guidance and feedback of their teachers in order to maximise A-level/EPQ performance 

Teachers to submit final A-level subject grades to the relevant examination boards (Pearson Edexcel, AQA, OCR etc) by the end of term 

Examination boards to issue final A-level grades by the end of July 2020 

Universities to confirm places in mid-August 2020 



Year 13 

(Level 3 Diploma in Business and Management) 

It is essential to state that there is no change in the method of assessment on the Diploma in Business and Management course 

To continue with timetabled lessons, homework, coursework, Diploma assignments and tests from 21 April taught by usual teaching staff 

Teachers to submit final Diploma grades to ATHE (Awards for Training in Higher Education) by the end of term for external moderation. 

ATHE to issue final Diploma grades by mid- August 2020. 

Universities to confirm places in mid-August 2020



Year 13 

(University Foundation Year) 

It is essential to state that there is no change in the method of assessment on the UFY course 

To continue with timetabled lessons, homework, coursework, UFY assignments and tests from 21 April taught by usual teaching staff 

Teachers to submit final UFY subject grades to Deputy Head by the end of term for internal moderation 

Earlscliffe to issue final UFY ‘Statement of Results’ by early July 2020 

Universities to confirm places by mid-August 2020



Daily subject timetable


The academic subject timetable continues as normal, following the usual timings (all times British Summer Time). For some students based in time zones well in advance (i.e. +7) of the UK, they will attend most lessons but may well access some recorded sessions or arrange a separate 1:1 Skype session with their teachers. Homework will be set as usual and submission deadlines must be adhered to by students. 

Attendance


Attendance in lessons is expected. Teachers will take a register using the online Isams system that we normally use. Parents will be informed of absence from lessons. Teachers will expect students to be online prior to the start of the timetabled lesson, dressed appropriately. Students should not eat or drink during the lesson. In broad terms, the expectations and norms do not change. 

Method and technology


We aim to keep things simple. At present we plan to deliver online lessons by Skype. The teacher will invite all students in a class to a conference call on Skype and deliver the lesson accordingly. Homework will be given to the students at the end of the lesson which will also be put on to the ‘MyHW’ app as normal. Resources such as PowerPoint presentations, documents and PDFs will be placed on the school’s ‘Smartfile’ website, where relevant videos and podcasts are also stored. This technology is not new to the school and students have a single login to access the materials. Some live and pre-recorded lessons will be placed on to the ‘Smartfile’ website. 

Submitting work and teacher feedback


The expectation is that students will submit work before or by the deadline set. Students will be informed of the format in which work is to be submitted, i.e. a Word document or JPEG etc. Homework will be marked diagnostically and students given feedback either in the online lessons, by email or in 1:1 Coaching conversations by Skype. All word processing software has ‘comment’ capability and teachers will also use this.

UCAS Guidance


The UK universities admissions process (UCAS) will be started online with Year 12 as usual at this time of year, and they will all open their personal UCAS accounts through Earlscliffe. Mrs Fitzpatrick will lead this initiative, culminating in Year 12 students having completed their Personal Statements by the end of term. Year 13 students will continue to receive UCAS support and counselling as required in order to make fully informed choices when selecting their final two university choices from the offers received. 

Mr Fish is always available for Year 13 students needing advice: timfish@earlscliffe.co.uk 

Extra-curricular activities and academic enrichment


There will be continued provision of cultural activities on Wednesday afternoons and at other times led by our staff: 

  • Writing for Academic Purposes 
  • Arachnids 
  • Astronomy 
  • UNESCO Club 
  • Art and Design Club 
  • Fashion Forum 
  • Debating Society 
  • Environmental Group 
  • ‘Soundtrack to Life’ an introduction to classical music 
  • Arduino Club 
  • Drone Club 
  • Chess Club 
  • Year 13 EPQ Clinic 


Physical health 

We encourage all students to take regular exercise and to record their output. The more competitive can compare their performance to that of their friends. Regular exercise will not only maintain fitness but also reduce stress and anxiety. 

Mental health and well-being 

Our Nurse, Ms Jo Stokes will be writing to all students with advice on how to stay ‘healthy in mind’ in the coming weeks. She will be suggesting a variety of strategies informed by medical best practice. Students will also continue to support each other admirably throughout a challenging period, as they always do. 

The Dukes Diploma 

All our Year 11 and Year 13 students will have any extra-curricular and enrichment activities completed up until the end of the summer term validated and certificated as The Dukes Diploma. Our sister colleges - Cardiff Sixth Form College, Rochester Independent College and Fine Arts College - will also be part of The Dukes Diploma programme.


Term dates


These remain as published: Tue 21 Apr – Fri 22 May and Mon 01 Jun – Wed 24 Jun 2020 

No lessons on Fri 08 May which is a UK public holiday. 

Our Valedictory Dinner scheduled for Sat 20 Jun is currently on hold and should it be postponed will take place next term after current Year 13 students have started their university courses. 

Public exam entries


All public exam entries remain in place. Teachers will submit final grades for our Earlscliffe students next term according to exam board published assessment criteria. 

Tier 4 information


For those students on Tier 4 student (Child or General) visas, we are informed that we, the school, can mark any physical absence as ‘authorised’ without it having a negative impact on a future visa application, i.e. for UK university. Furthermore, we will have the attendance records of our online lessons as evidence if needed.

The Advantages of a Virtual Classroom


Although for many the virtual learning world will be new, for most young people the use of technology in daily life is a familiar one. There are significant advantages to the online world when applied correctly to a learning context, and here are a few of them. 

Clearly, flexibility is the most obvious advantage. Without the physical restrictions of a traditional classroom the opportunities to expand learning, research and note-taking in your own time and in your own style are evident. Being able to keep notes on a cloud or thread work through platforms such as Google Docs gives learners scope to track and follow information in a way they are most comfortable with; in a time-frame they can set, to an extent. 

Working from a house or set study area at home can boost focus as the environment is often more familiar or more comfortable for the learner. Frequent breaks that can’t be afforded to learners in a physical classroom, and that have been proven to increase the retention and recall of knowledge, are much more realistically possible. 

The individual learner has greater autonomy. They must be self-motivated, where required, and this promotes greater personal responsibility while nurturing self-reliance: all valuable skills outside of the classroom and with real-world application. 

Learners can get instant access to materials, homework, answer keys, classwork and portfolio work. In many cases where work was submitted as hard copy both sides of the virtual classroom can track changes through soft copies and see progress more clearly. 

Remote learning allows greater scope for all learning styles and preferences. Shier, more reticent learners have time to formulate responses and often find their voice. Everyone has more time to understand 


and respond to questions and queries as it’s easier to revisit what has been asked or set. 

Teachers and learners have far greater opportunities to bring their personality in to the classroom. The online space allows for the inclusion of blogs, video conferencing (a useful tool in the modern business world), animation, social media, storyboards, forums and other innovative technology. The freedom in a virtual classroom allows for more creativity and broader, global perspectives to be woven into lessons. 

There is and has to be, wider scope for assessment. New possibilities are opened for formative assessment and assessments of factual understanding can be automated. This all frees up time for more meaningful interactions between learners and instructors. 

The virtual learning environment is an inclusive one. Not just for the student body but for the campus. Campus resources can be integrated as academic and student support services are directly integrated in to the design of the virtual lesson. Students and faculty have limitless options for diverse and enriching learning activities and opportunities. 

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