You are here:

Last reviewed on 17 February 2021
Ref: 42109
School types: All · School phases: All

Whether they're in lessons or having a break, pupils learning remotely can benefit from small group activities. See how video calls and breakout rooms can give your pupils opportunities to talk, play and work together while they're learning at home.

With thanks to the schools that contributed to this article - find out more about them at the bottom of this page.

Split classes up into breakout rooms during live lessons

This is one of the features provided with digital education platforms including Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom. 

As you would in a physical classroom, let older pupils work independently in small groups, with teaching staff moving between the different breakout rooms to supervise.

Younger pupils (early years and Key Stage 1) may need more support from staff to work in breakout rooms. This could involve: 

  • Putting a member of teaching or support staff in each room
  • The teacher moving between breakout rooms more often
  • Shorter breakout sessions with more of the lesson taking place all together

Randomly assign pupils to groups during live lessons Pre-select pupils for each group Run

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.


New eLearning: DSL refresher training

Your DSL’s training should be refreshed at least once every 2 years. 

Designed in collaboration with safeguarding experts, our 2.5 hour online refresher training course reminds DSLs how to put their knowledge into practice, with in-depth, real-world scenarios.


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.