Orchard Principles of Remote Instruction

The Orchard Principles of Remote Instruction.

Our principles for remote learning are linked to our model for teaching and learning. The fundamentals of teaching a remote lesson are the same as teaching a classroom lesson. Revisiting prior learning, chunking up new knowledge, teacher explanationsmodelling/scaffolding, challenging questions, student practise, and feedback are features of effective learning.

It is essential that what is learned at home aligns with what is taught in school – students should be set work to do at home that gives them opportunities to practise what has been modelled for them in the classroom.

We want to give our students access to the best which has been thought, said and written in every field of human endeavour so that they are able to make a positive difference to themselves others and the world. To this end, we seek to ensure that each teacher in each lesson is a subject expert who knows how to do the best for each learner.

At Orchard Mead we use a model for teaching and learning inspired by the work of Barak Rosenshine, who studied the habits of the most effective and successful teachers, and developed a research-based 10 step process for effective teaching and learning.  We have built these ideals into our Remote Principles of Instruction, which interleave the model of direct instruction around the steps Rosenshine pioneered.  We would expect our teachers to use the same strategies of Direct Instruction online as they do in the classroom, because Direct Instruction is a way of teaching by explicitly telling students what they need to know and why they need to know it, and works just as effectively in a remote lesson. Teachers would still be sharing explicit learning goals and their purpose with students, e.g. by the end of this lesson, I expect you to have learnt/be able to… because…  Our Principles of Instruction form the framework of every lesson, and are shared with staff and pupils in order to ensure that everyone understands what we are aiming to achieve.   Every lesson feeds into a wider cycle of learning over weeks, months and terms, and ensures that all topics are looped back into prior learning to strengthen and deepen pupils’ understanding.


Review of Previous Leaning involves activation of previous learning, prompting students to think about what they have learnt previously, thus helping them with their next steps. Activities which involve recall will be typical in remote learning. As students will follow their normal curriculum sequence consideration will be given to the spacing and interleaving key knowledge when activating previous learning in order to support our students to disrupt the forgetting curve.

Define the Purpose  – In a remote learning environment teachers will continue to be  explicit about the purpose of the lesson.  This is required to access the learning because pupils need to know how it fits into the bigger picture and their wider aims.  Therefore teachers will be explicit about what the learning intention or remote lessons  This is likely to be framed as a big question, or broken down into smaller sub questions

I do: High quality teacher explanations –will be typical and will serve three purposes:

  • Chunking new subject knowledge into manageable component pieces which are brought together to form a more composite association in the minds of learners.
  • Explicitly teaching thinking strategies to students and helping them decide when use them. This second aspect may take place after the practise students engage with and when scaffolds have been removed but forms an essential part of developing independence in the students at Orchard Mead.
  • Modelling and demonstrating a particular skill or area of knowledge in order to exemplify the granular aim.

Following teacher explanation, learning activities will typically involve students summarising, transforming, representing or explaining their learning will help to ensure new content knowledge is incorporated into their emerging schema.

We do: Use of success criteria and scaffolds are particularly important in a remote learning environmentWhen issuing a learning activity which may involve an extended written response it will be typical that teachers share with students the criteria which can be used to identify what excellence looks like. For some students Scaffolds such as writing frames still be required to support some learners.

This step is a way to gradually remove scaffolds and guide students towards independent practice.

I do: Deliberate Practice – As in the classroom environment we still need to provide students opportunities to practising strategies and skills repeatedly, to develop independence and fluency. To support the move towards supporting students with deliberate practise it will be common for teachers to support learners to

  • Work towards specific and well-defined goals
  • Focus on the practice suggested
  • Receive feedback and points for improvement
  • Develop a clear notion of how to achieve similar success in the future

Feedback and Future Review – The use of hinge questions is a typical feature of our curriculum design and remains a powerful way to signpost to students possible misconceptions. It will be typical to see teachers providing a multiple choice question either before or after practise to ensure that teachers can test that they have comprehended the learning intentions. It will be usual to find teachers providing an explanation outlining why one answer was correct and crucially why the others were wrong is to navigate around the development of misconceptions.

Linked to the idea of using success criteria and models, once students have engaged in their practice, self assessment against the specific criteria help students to see to what extent their attempt met or exceeded excellence. Opportunities to improve and refine after viewing a worked example or model can then be built into the remote learning.

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