We are Engage• 3 Min read

5th January 2021

Support For Teachers New To Remote Teaching (and for those who need a bit of a refresher!)

Following the government’s announcement of the national lockdown requiring schools to move to online learning, our Partnership and Development team,  consisting of teachers and school leaders, have come up with some helpful tips to assist a smooth transition from classroom-based learning to online learning.

Safeguarding and Professionalism

Use a school Teams/Zoom/Google online account to carry out any online learning and make sure you have checked the security settings. You should check with your line manager at school if you are unclear about any of this before beginning


Ensure you have read and understood any of the online safeguarding material provided by the school. If you haven’t been sent anything, check the school website’s policies pages and ensure you are clear that you know how to ensure the safety of both your pupils and yourself. Make sure you know who the school’s designated safeguarding lead is and what the procedure is for reporting any concerns


Set your camera up in such a way so that there is nothing in the background which could compromise you as a teaching professional or that you would just rather your pupils did not see. This could include:

  • Book titles or covers which might be deemed age-inappropriate or culturally inappropriate for your pupils to see
  • Materials expressing overt political affiliations
  • Photos featuring inappropriate material or even photos with gestures
  • Photos of family or friends


Double-check that your technology is working beforehand and, if you are sharing your screen, be careful to close any windows or tabs which could compromise you as a teaching professional or that you would just rather your pupils did not see. This is particularly important when it comes to school emails which may contain sensitive and confidential information


Ensure you are delivering the learning materials in a way which allows students the best opportunity to retain key information. Additionally, create opportunities in each session for students to demonstrate their progress either through live responses or emailing work immediately. As much as possible, attempt to make the learning engaging and interesting to ensure the best possible outcomes for the students.


Follow the curriculum as indicated by your head of subject or key phase. Provide that person with regular updates of your progress to reassure them the students in your care on track with their learning.


It’s important to follow the school’s policy with regard to absenteeism and ensure you are aware of the protocol within your department / year group for getting catch-up work to anyone who misses online learning time


Ensure you engage with any allocated communication time with those responsible for the wellbeing of the pupils in your care to provide updates around learning as well as to discuss any concerns that arise. Staff responsible could include:

  • Head of subject (secondary)/head of key phase (primary)
  • Head of Year (secondary)
  • Head of SEND (if the student has an identified learning need)
  • Attendance and Welfare officer (if persistent absenteeism is a concern)


Ensure you dress appropriately for timetabled sessions as per any guidance provided by the school/academy. If none is forthcoming then make sure you ask what the general expectations are. Most will be flexible on usual attire but all will still expect a certain level of professionalism in how you present yourself.

Top Tips For Online Teaching


  1.  Speak to your colleagues about what they have found useful and successful and take good advice on board
  2.  Work out how to control the cameras and mics of your pupils – it’s a good idea to have everyone muted to begin with and for you to bring individuals and small groups in so that there is not disruptive background noise going on
  3.  Show your face – research overwhelmingly suggests that online learners engage more with a face than with just a presentation. That said, remember to screen share important information while they are engaged in activities
  4.  Break the learning up into bite-sized manageable chunks – this will make your learners more likely to remain engaged
  5.  Pre-record parts of the lesson if your school is happy for you to do this. Not only will this take the pressure off you – it is also a great way for you to see the experience of you that they are getting and will help you to develop rapidly
  6.  Record the whole session so that pupils can refer back to parts should they wish
  7.  Keep pupils on their toes by engaging them with short quizzes – there is a fun, new app called KIALL (www.kiall.co.uk) which has some pre-written questions as well as the chance for teachers to write their own for their pupils. It self-marks and therefore lightens your workload and informs your planning. Try it – you can download for free during Lockdown
  8.  Make sure you that you try to ask everyone in the class a question during the course of the lesson – it will keep them engaged and make them feel appreciated and part of something
  9.  Be consistent with your lesson delivery. Research has shown that pupils often like to stick to a similar format when learning online, so try to have a model structure to your lesson
  10.  Provide an opportunity for the pupils to feedback to you about the lesson(s). Remember, you are learning and they will be your best critics! You can do this in the form of a simple online form / survey. And remember, act on their feedback – they will appreciate it!

We’ve shared a guide to stress-free remote learning which is full of tips and free resources for teachers and students to help support home-based learning. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter to stay up to date with the latest from Engage and the education sector!

Don't forget...

If you are worried, anxious or struggling, support is available. Find out how to access 24/7 help and advice from Education Support UK


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