You are here:
How to deliver live lessons to pupils learning from home and in school
Learn from computing lead and teacher, Ben Chaffe, about how his school is approaching live lessons to reduce teaching workload and keep pupils at home engaged. Find out how he incorporates pupils who are learning from home into lessons in school – and get practical tips on how to make this work for your school.
Why you should try this approach
Reduces teacher workload
A teacher will be teaching pupils in school and those at home the same thing at the same time. You may only use this approach for 1 lesson each day, but that's still 1 hour where your teaching staff are able to streamline work.
Promotes pupil engagement
It allows pupils at home to still feel connected to their class and teacher by being able to:
- Interact with their teacher during lessons
- Hear instructions as well as reading them on the set work
- Ask questions directly to their teacher
Takes away some of the burden on parents
Most pupils will be able to use the technology independently from their parents.
When this approach can work
It’ll work for you if:
- You have pupils in Key Stage 2 (KS2) or above, including secondary pupils
- Your school is using a digital education platform like Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams, and is set up to teach live lessons (see the section below for help with this)
- Your pupils are able to access a device whilst at home
- You have anything from all pupils at home to just 1 pupil at home and the rest in school - so this approach can also work in future if any pupils are at home because they're self-isolating
School example: a case study
Having some interaction throughout the week still helps pupils stay engaged and feel connected to the school
Scorton Church of England (CofE) Primary School is a small rural school in Lancashire. Computing lead and year 3/4 teacher Ben Chaffe tells us that they originally developed this approach to include self-isolating pupils in live lessons, but they've continued to use it whilst the majority of pupils are at home.
They use it for the 1 live lesson at the start of each day - for the rest of the day, pupils follow recorded lessons. Some of their pupils aren't able to attend a live lesson every time, for example if they're sharing devices at home, but having some interaction throughout the week still has an impact on keeping them engaged and connected to the school.
What you'll need to do before the lesson
Get pupils prepared to interact in live lessons
If you've been using a digital education platform for a while now, and staff and pupils are confident using it, then you can skip past this section to 'upload online tasks'.
Teach pupils the basic skills
For primary pupils, you'll need to teach pupils a summary of the the basics of how to use your platform so pupils don't need to rely on parents as much to access the technology and can fully participate in the lesson. For example, they'll need to know how to:
- Log in
- Access work
- Use the chat function
Ben looked to embed this knowledge for his pupils by building learning about how to use their school's digital education platform, Google Classroom, into the school's computing curriculum. He planned the autumn term around online communication and messaging - take a look at Ben's planning document to find out what they covered.
Make sure you've put safeguarding measures in place
Check you have all of the appropriate control measures in place for delivering live lessons - use our article to help you with this.
Upload online tasks to your digital education platform
Upload the work to be completed by pupils at home during the lesson, to your platform in advance of the live lesson - making sure you include instructions for each task.
Scorton CofE Primary School uses Kami for some of their online tasks, which is a free extension for Google Classroom that allows pupils to edit onto pdfs. The mention of this product does not constitute an endorsement from The Key.
Here's an example of a task Ben created:
Set up the technology for use during the lesson
If possible, set up a laptop (with camera) so you can have some face-to-face interaction with pupils at the start of the lesson. See a diagram below of a portion of a classroom, with an idea of how you might want to set this up if running the live lesson from a classroom in school.
If you don't have a camera, that's still okay as pupils at home will still be able to hear you whilst you're teaching.
What you'll need to do during the lesson
Start by welcoming all pupils
- Welcome your pupils in class, and pupils at home, to the class - you'll want to make sure your video is on at this point if you have camera
- Check with your pupils at home to see that they can hear you from where you'll be delivering the lesson
Ask pupils at home questions to help you check their understanding and make sure they're staying engaged
- Once you've welcomed pupils at home, switch to sharing your screen so pupils can see what's on your digital board. It's okay that pupils at home can't see your face at this point, as they'll still be able to hear you and the rest of the class in school
Direct some questions to pupils at home throughout the lesson
- This will help you to check their understanding, but also to make sure they're staying engaged
- Remember that you'll need to allow time for the pupil at home to answer the question by unmuting themselves
When setting a task for pupils
- Explain any instructions to the whole class. Pupils at home will be able to hear these instructions, as well as read them afterwards on the task that you've uploaded to your digital education platform
- Set pupils in class off on the task, and go over to your laptop or switch back to the video link on your computer. Ask your pupils at home to turn on their microphones, and check each pupil understands what they need to do
- If you're setting a longer task, you can go back to the computer to check how your pupils at home are getting on
Thanks to Ben Chaffe, computing lead and year 3/4 class teacher at Scorton Church of England (CofE) Primary School, for sharing this approach with us.
More from The Key
Bitesize training with a big impact
Our on-demand training has your whole board covered and lets them learn at a time and pace that suits them.
Help your new governors hit the ground running with our expertly-designed induction training, and our role-specific courses support your link governors develop key skills and confidence in their role.
Upskill your staff, any time, anywhere with CPD Toolkit.
The most effective way to deliver engaging virtual training to support the professional development of your staff.
Downloadable courses and 5-minute online summaries provide flexibility for training, whether staff are participating in-school, via video call or independently at their own pace.
The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.