An industry alliance has been formed to launch The National Online School.

A fully supported, proven curriculum programme designed to deliver a complete, blended pupil experience across school and home settings for key stages 1 – 3.

Today, key partners are announcing that they have formed a shared-goal partnership to deliver The National Online School.

Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust brings curriculum, Inspection Framework and blended teaching expertise, supported with content and platform services from the Hodder Education Group, connected by GLUU, who shape EdTech best practice into a solution that can be evidenced and shared. The trio are being joined by the children’s non-fiction publishing house, What on Earth Publishing, which has teamed up with Shireland to curate a connected learning pathway mapped to the National Curriculum.

With many pupils having lost up to five months of schooling in 2020, the project will be a core offer for ‘catch-up’ services to help close the attainment gap and to help better support learning from home for all students. The National Online School is built to ensure a coherent and blended offer between school and home, online and offline, and to deliver a broad experience for pupil, parents and carers, and teachers. The platform will deliver a unique combination of curriculum planning, flipped learning, digital content, assessment and reporting, and – crucially –support for mental health and wellbeing. All lesson plans will incorporate guidance for parents to act as a learning coach in addition to teacher-support materials.

The National Online School will launch in September 2020 serving selected MATs and Local Authorities through the autumn term, before being available nationally as a full subscription service for all MATs, schools and tutors from January 2021. Launching with Year 5 in September 2020, the service will expand to cover additional years  by September 2021.

The platform is fully flexible and designed to be used ‘out of the box’ or customised with schools to support the needs of teachers, pupils and parents across the country. 

The service in headlines:

  • A Complete, Coherent Curriculum Programme (CCP) for key stages 1 – 3
    • Designed and ‘powered’ by Shireland Collegiate Academy curriculum plans and teaching
    • Context, cross-curricula delivery and digital literacy all supported through the CCP design
    • Focused attention for launch on Y5 and KS2/3 Transition and closing the attainment gap through assessment-targeted Intervention Resources
  • Ability to customise and localise the CCP
    • Deliver through MS office, Google Classroom or a proprietary school platform (the latter from January 2021)
  • Teacher support to lesson level
    • Support for planning and delivery
    • The materials required for whole-class delivery
    • Materials designed for non-specialist teachers (especially at KS3) with proven efficacy from the Shireland experience
    • Video lessons and live online learning
    • Links to third-party services and content
  • Student content for supporting all classroom lessons and work from home
  • Designed for parallel school- or home-learning tracks with the ability to switch seamlessly between them
  • Student mental health and wellbeing stream integrated
    • Teacher support materials and CPD
    • Student content and support
  • ‘Light touch’ data tracking and reporting linking teachers and parents/carers

The solution is expected to attract great interest from across the UK and international schools delivering an English curriculum. It is expected that there will be demand internationally, at Ministry level, helping to support Government ambitions to increase UK education exports.

Sir Mark Grundy, CEO, Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust says, “There has never been a more urgent need to adjust our curriculum and pedagogies to reflect the emerging landscape resulting from COVID-19. The education system needs to respond quickly but thoughtfully to help our children reach their potential. This collaboration is one of a series of programmes we will support to ensure we do not end up with a lost generation of learners.”

Christine Major, CEO of GLUU says, “Parents now have to be more involved in their child’s education. It is no longer enough to leave them at the school gate and we are setting out to make the new world of blended learning a joined up and positive experience for schools and parents alike.”

Lis Tribe, MD of Hodder Education Group says, “This is a worrying time for so many schools, teachers and pupils, and the need to provide support enabling pupils to catch up on their learning will continue for a long while yet.  We are glad to be part of a partnership which will make a major contribution to closing the gap, by providing a comprehensive curriculum to support learning whether at home or in the classroom.”

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