Remote Learning Guide & IT Support (Updated Sept 2021)

Remote Education Provision: Information for Parents (Sept 21) This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to students and parents about what to expect from remote education if local restrictions require entire cohorts (at WHS we refer to these as Year Groups) to remain at home.

Students will continue to be supported remotely through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called ‘Firefly’. There is a student app for iOS and Android and we suggest this is used to enable students to keep track and access all work set. The app can also be used on an iPAD. If you do not wish to use the app, you can still access the VLE via the link via Students will use their usual school password to access the platform.

Contacting Staff
All staff emails are accessible by the students through their school email accounts, and if in doubt about any work they can always drop them a quick message. The staff are excellent at replying and will do all they can to support. This may be by email or, alternatively, by having a 1-1 Teams meeting with the student. We would of course encourage all students to remember email etiquette when contacting staff. It is both polite and good practice to make sure that the email starts with Dear Mr etc, or a similar salutation. We have had some students who have been over familiar in their tone of emails, and we would remind everyone that emails should read in a similar manner as you would normally converse with the person receiving it. They should not be written like social media posts.

Live Teams Meetings/Lessons Protocol
Students who are in live Teams lessons or meetings with staff need to make sure that they always have their cameras on. This creates more of a classroom feel and helps the teacher gauge how students are understanding topics they are covering. It also allows for better interaction around question and answer sessions. These meetings and lessons are also normally recorded so students can review them, and for Safeguarding.

Firefly Student App

There is a student app for iOS and Android and we suggest this is used to enable students to keep track and access all work set. The app can also be used on an iPAD. You can also access the VLE via the link on our website. Students use their usual school password to access the platform.

The school code required is: WILLIAMHOWARD

This link will give further information about how to use the app:

Completing Work

Students will receive lesson instructions and tasks via their Tasks section on the VLE

Work should be completed in the students’ exercise books, which they should now have at home.

Marking tasks as done – This is how to let the teacher know that work has been completed.

Marking Work as Completed
The day to day tracking of work completion is done by monitoring if students have marked that they have completed the lessons they have been set. All students must make sure they indicate when they have finished their lessons by marking them as complete. The second stage of work tracking is then the marking of submitted assessments, which check that the learning which the students have completed has been secured. The students will always receive timely feedback on their completed assessment work from their teachers.

Spare Exercise Books
If a student completes their current book in any subject then spare books are available from  school.

IT Support

We are offering a support service to students who are unable to access their school resources. We will be able to help with login issues for the VLE and Office365, as well as guidance on how to download Office365.

For support, please email and a technician will contact you as soon as they can. Please provide as much information as you can in your email, including your login name, and screenshots if possible. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR PASSWORD.

Please bear in mind we will be prioritising helpdesk requests, and cannot offer support for issues with home computers. We will also need to validate your identity before we can reset passwords.

Office365 – CET Secondary students are entitled to a copy of Microsoft Office365 for use on their home computers, tablets and phones. Instructions on how to access and install the software can be found here:

We recognise that many families face challenges around broadband capacity, number of devices available and connectivity, especially with many parents now also working at home. In the last couple of weeks we have distributed a large number of laptops to help, but we know that we cannot overcome all the pressures. Our systems, we hope, do take into account most scenarios, but if there are any particular issues your child is facing please do let us know so that we can try to address them.

Support with Broadband and Data Allowances
We know that streaming video lessons and materials to devices can put pressure on household data allowances, dependent on how families access the internet. There are some systems that various companies have put into place to help, which I would like to highlight to you:

BT Broadband
Have removed the caps on all home broadband plans so that every customer has unlimited data to use to support working from home or remote learning.

Mobile Data Support for families in receipt of Free School Meals
For any family that qualifies for Free School Meals and relies on mobile data to access the internet, using either EE, O2, Vodafone, Three, Sky Mobile, SMARTY, Tesco Mobile or Virgin Mobile, we can apply to have their data allowance increased at no cost. If you think you fall into this category please contact the relevant Year Group Manager as we will need some details from you.

Data SIM cards
We have a number of data only SIM cards that have been donated to us from Vodafone. If you have an old smart phone then one of these cards could be used to enable another device in your household. If this would be of benefit to you please contact your child’s Year Group Manager.

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