Expectations for learning from home

How to structure teaching from home including daily and weekly structures, and online and offline activities.

Schools must follow the latest school safety advice.

Know your community and your students

Schools are best placed to know their students and community. The use of digital platforms may enhance the learning experience for students.

The expectations below should be applied to your school context to ensure students and families get the best learning experience from home or school.

Structure the week

Communicate

Regular contact between teachers and students is important for wellbeing. Check ins also ensure that students and their families understand lesson instructions.

Schools should establish clear lines of communication with their community. Communication may take the form of:

  • pre-recorded instructions to assist with completing activities
  • video conferencing sessions
  • emails and messaging through digital platforms to provide instructions and feedback
  • phone calls.

Be explicit

The following expectations are based on the latest national and international research. Schools should:
  • support students and parents with explicit teacher led instruction. These instructions could be live or pre-recorded and may include unpacking new vocabulary or an explanation of what needs to be done. Scaffolds or worked examples can be useful in supporting students with new content or concepts.
  • adapt existing programs and planning to support students learning from school and home with one unit or work. See planning and programming advice for more support.
  • provide students with regular opportunities throughout the week to connect with their teacher about their learning.

Be flexible

Expecting that students follow a standard school timetable does not account for the differences in learning from home as:

  • the school timetable accounts for time to set up, pack away and move between classes
  • parents and other children may need to use devices or rooms at different times of the day
  • parents and carers of younger students may have to fit helping their children in around their own schedule.

Schools and teachers can support students by:

  • making a pre-recording for students who won’t be able to join in for live sessions. This is useful if you cannot guarantee that students will all be online at specific times.
  • giving students a choice of times to check in during the day, or run several short optional check-in sessions.
  • designing any work that must be submitted to allow for flexibility as well. There should be no consequences for students who are submitting work outside normal school hours.
  • allowing regular breaks for students and staff based on the remote learning guidelines.

Balance activities

Ensure students are provided with a balance of learning opportunities. This includes explicit teacher led instruction, teacher and peer feedback, self-reflection, screen time and independent or group activities.

The balance of activities needs to be stage appropriate and follow the time expectations for each year level. Careful consideration should be given for younger students to ensure that a variety of activities can be completed independently. Supporting activities with short instructional videos may enable independent learning. ABC educational resources may assist programming activities for younger students.

Even if you are delivering learning online, you should aim to provide a balance of online and offline learning activities for your students for several reasons:

  • some parents will need to schedule their child’s learning at times that will work with their own needs
  • students will complete work at different speeds and require varying levels of support
  • presenting learning in different ways will help students stay engaged in their work through the day
  • giving students choice in how they work will let them choose the way that best fits their circumstances.
Teachers should also try to limit the number of digital platforms for students while learning from home. For example, teachers and students could use one platform for video conferencing and one for completing activities.
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