03 June 2020

Live sessions!

Next week, we are pleased to announce that some brave teachers in some year groups will be offering our first trial live sessions for the children to take part in via the ‘Google meet’ platform. These live sessions will take place on Wednesday 10th June.  Please check the ‘Extra Activities’ section on your child’s home learning page on Monday 8th June to see if a session is being offered for your year group.

At the moment, we are trying our very best to make our home learning offer varied and engaging and we hope your children have been enjoying all of the excellent narrated PowerPoints and videos that staff have created each week.  Our shutdown blog this week is being taken over by Year 6 and it’s clear that the work that Harrison, Teddy, Una and Yvonne have been doing is varied and thoughtful and they have enjoyed the work they have been set.  Offering live sessions is the next step and we have been working hard to ensure the platform we will be using is as secure as possible for teachers and children.  For this reason, and because all of our staff are working from home on a Wednesday, teachers are not able to offer class specific meets.  The meets we offer will be led by one of the teachers from the year group but all children are welcome to join.  We cannot guarantee that your child will see their own teacher but we do know, having done a few very well attended trial sessions with Year 5 and Year 6 children this week, that all children really enjoy seeing each other and interacting with the host teacher.  If this trial goes well and feedback from teachers and MACs is favourable we may be able to make this a regular feature of our home learning.

In order to join a meeting, your child will need to be set up and logged on to our secure Pegasus Academy Trust Google Classroom facility. Details of how to get logged into this are in this document Google Meet Instructions V2 and at the bottom of this page in the ‘downloads’ section.

Please ensure that you have gained access to our Google Classroom before the sessions next Wednesday so that you can check that your child’s 306 login and password work.  All logins should look like this: abcde1234.306@gsuite.pegasusacademytrust.org and passwords will be a simple word followed by a number e.g. tooth6.  You should be able to find the 306 part of the username in your child’s contact book.  You then just need to ensure that your login to Google includes @gsuite.pegasusacademytrust.org.  If you need any help with the login details, please email your child’s home learning email address by Tuesday 9th June at the latest.  We cannot guarantee that we will be able to help you with login information on Wednesday morning before the meet begins.

On Monday, you will be able to check the Extra Activities section of your child’s home learning page to find out the time of the meet and the nickname needed to gain access (for safeguarding reasons we do not provide a web link as on some other less secure platforms).  You simply put the nickname into the ‘join meeting’ request box at the specified time and you will be admitted to the meeting.  This guidance is provided in the document above.

As this is a trial to see how the meets work with children of all ages, we are aiming to keep them quite short and simple.  To begin with it is likely to be a short story time session.  Once everyone has been admitted to the meeting and greeted and the teacher is ready to start, you may be asked to mute your microphone and turn off the camera.  We have found that this enables meetings to run much more smoothly.  We strongly advise that children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are supervised so that these things can be done quickly.  Two members of staff will generally be present and the meetings will be recorded to ensure that all are safe.  These recordings are only for assurance purposes and will not be available after the meeting.

Please bear with us if these meetings do not quite go to plan.  Some teachers have invested huge amounts of time running trial meetings in order to troubleshoot technical issues and we really hope we are almost there with it all now.  We are entirely reliant on teacher goodwill in order to deliver this as we cannot require our staff to broadcast from their own homes and our thanks go to those who are taking this first step.  Mrs O’Connor from Whitehorse Juniors managed to host a meeting with over 70 Year 6 children on Wednesday 3rd June with very few issues so we’re hoping everything will go smoothly next week.  Some devices seem to be more intuitive than others so you may have to experiment with what works best in your household – phone, laptop, desktop etc.  Please only have the meeting open on one device at a time as we have found this causes dreadful feedback making it difficult to hear the host teacher clearly.

We hope to see some of you in the live sessions next week!

Published on 3rd June, 2020

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