Remote learning: how to make the best use of small group sessions

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.

Last reviewed on 17 February 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 42109
  1. Split classes up into breakout rooms during live lessons
  2. Timetable sessions for differentiated learning and support
  3. Continue with your usual interventions
  4. Give pupils a chance to socialise during the school day
  5. Provide pastoral support and develop life skills

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