MORE than 100 families signed up for Ripon Grammar School’s first virtual training session on online learning for parents, aimed at helping them better support their children at home.

While staff have been working hard to ensure RGS can deliver a full and inspiring blended learning curriculum both online and in class, and students have been incorporating new ways of learning as they adapt to changing circumstances, some parents have felt left behind.

Nearly half of parents with secondary school children report that they find it difficult to support their children’s learning at home, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, says RGS teaching and learning specialist Helen Mars, who leads the parent training classes.

The school uses the Microsoft Teams learning platform: “This year, the focus on online learning suddenly became more urgent. Having used Teams as a parent and a teacher, I thought it would be helpful to brief parents on the main ways their child would use it,” she explains.

“Although pupils have all had training in school, it’s important to know as a parent how you can support your child and help them if they get stuck. It’s also very useful to check if their work is all done and what feedback they have received, just as you would if you looked in their exercise books or planner.”

Parents, who are sent a link which takes them to the virtual meeting, can discover where to find files, documents, assignments and tasks and how students submit work, as well as learning more about good practice for using the online space and in online lessons, with time for questions at the end.

Mrs Mars, who has also run an online evening course for more than 60 teachers and departments across Yorkshire the benefits of using Teams, said she was preparing to run further sessions according to demand or in the event of further or partial lockdowns.

See an outline of Mrs Mars’s training session here.

Parent feedback:

Thank you for taking the time to run this evening’s webinar. I found the meeting very useful and appreciate all the work that you and the other teachers at RGS are doing to support our children at the moment.

Thank you so much for this evening’s session. It was extremely clear and very useful! I shall now look forward to torturing my son to get his teams log in details so that I can check up on him! Thank you again for your time and for the clarity of the presentation.

Just wanted to say thank you for the training session on Microsoft Teams that you held yesterday evening. It was extremely helpful.