![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/ff85de7d-40f2-4035-8f14-de7d07fa0063/747f9886-f203-42f4-97a8-a9af614ae94aLbQ@Homeblogpic.png ""){: .center } by Ryan Molyneux The government has announced that blended learning will now be a main focus for schools come September. OFSTED inspections will focus on how well schools implement a blended learning approach following the coronavirus pandemic. Teachers and school staff have been flexible, hard-working and innovative during lockdown. Some schools have already implemented a blended learning approach to adapt to the current situation. A mixture of remote and classroom learning has been a great way to prepare pupils for the eventual return to school. It is also an integral approach to help pupils carry on their learning journey during school closures. We recently held a Webinar hosted by Cherise Duxbury, Year 6 Teacher at Washacre Primary School in Bolton, and Deb Lyons from Bolton SICT. The discussion was lively and engaging, and our hosts and guests detailed ways in which they have been implementing blended learning into their schools, and their plans for the future. In this article, we will highlight a few of the issues that were raised in the webinar, and ways that LbQ can help schools overcome these barriers before bringing blended learning into their schools this September. Implementing remote learning ---------------------------- ![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/ff85de7d-40f2-4035-8f14-de7d07fa0063/636fce46-5b3b-4f83-adb5-6a1123cf6d73flippinfailureimage.jpg ""){: .center } The first major barrier for teachers was to get a remote learning platform set up as quickly as possible to ensure that learning could continue during school closures. Washacre Primary tackled this issue head on by setting LbQ tasks on Seesaw that their pupils could do from home: _ “LBQ and Seesaw have provided us with an amazing platform to support our online learning throughout lockdown. It has been very positively received by parents, pupils and staff. The opportunity to feedback to children so that they get pertinent time sensitive feedback to develop their learning has had a significant impact on all our pupils.” – Vicki Lowe, Deputy Head at Washacre Primary _ The pairing of online learning tools that pupils and staff were already familiar with helped the school transition into a culture of learning from home. Cherise Duxbury took the idea of remote learning one step further. She created videos for her pupils that detailed particular topics and put them on Seesaw. The children then commented on these videos with any questions or observations. This approach creates a dialogue between teacher and pupil, and brings the classroom to their home. Internet connection ------------------- Establishing a routine of online learning was the initial step in the right direction, but a common stumbling block for most of our guests was internet connectivity issues. _“It can be difficult with broadband provision at home as not everyone has a connection, never mind a good connection.” – Webinar Guest _ Ensuring good internet connection is nigh on impossible, but there are schemes in place to try and give internet access to as many children as possible during the pandemic. BT have recently joined forces with the Department for Education (DfE) to offer disadvantaged children with home schooling by giving them [six months free internet access](https://newsroom.bt.com/bt-to-help-disadvantaged-children-with-home-schooling-offering-six-months-free-internet-access//). The government contingency guidelines also note that providing resources to children without suitable internet access should be a main focus of school contingency plans come September: _“We expect schools to provide printed resources, such as textbooks and workbooks, for pupils who do not have suitable online access.” – Government guidance for the full opening of schools _ LbQ can help you adhere to this guidance! All of our sets can be printed to provide pupils with access to the education resources they need. We also have a number of beautifully illustrated full text Guided Reads that can be printed and set as tasks for remote learning. Devices ------- ![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/ff85de7d-40f2-4035-8f14-de7d07fa0063/4a37a0f8-41c4-4f9c-b3d2-c3980bff7eb5blendedlearningblogimage.jpg ""){: .center } Another big issue raised about blended learning was access to devices that could connect to the internet. Some children could not have access to shared learning devices at specific times of the day, or even at all. One suggestion made during the webinar was to loan school tablets and devices to families that needed them, and this has been a successful strategy for some schools, even though it did come with its own set of logistical issues. Cherise Duxbury has dealt with the issue of intermittent access to shared family devices by setting an LbQ task to last all day. This meant that pupils did not miss out on a lesson due to them not being able to connect at a certain time. She praised the flexibility of LbQ, and how it allowed pupils to access learning at a time of the day that is convenient for them and their family! Online resources ---------------- Having a wealth of online resources that children can access easily was another way in which Washacre Primary adapted to blended learning. They shared a number of LbQ teaching resources for their pupils and parents to access as extra-curricular activities during the school closures. This approach also aligns with the government contingency guidance for schools returning in September: _“We expect schools to give access to high quality remote education resources” – Government guidance for the full reopening of schools _ A new way of learning --------------------- After a thorough discussion of all the approaches to blended learning, the question of a new way of learning was posted in the webinar chat: _“Do you think this way of learning will be around for some time to come?” _ The resounding answer from the group was “yes, definitely”. Blended learning has not only been essential for navigating learning through lockdown, but it is essential for the future learning journeys of children. We’re here to help ------------------ As well as the blended learning webinar being a lively, engaging and informative discussion between education professionals, it highlighted the wonderful work that teachers and school staff have already done to keep children on their learning journeys. They have gone above and beyond for their children, and they have adapted to a blend of remote and in-school learning before it was even a government necessity. Since lockdown, over 30 million answers have been completed, marked and given personalised feedback on LbQ. We will always be here to help you hard-working educators in whatever ways you need! Click [here](https://youtu.be/lPjh1Fprxk8) to watch the webinar discussion on YouTube. If you would like to try out Learning by Questions with your classes, you can [register for a free account](https://www.lbq.org/Register/) today and gain access to 1,000s of Question Sets at both primary and secondary level. For more information, or to book a demo with a member of the team, please [contact us](https://www.lbq.org/Contact-Us?demo=1//).