Remote Learning with Switched on Computing

While there is now an approved vaccine it might be sometime before things go completely back to normal and school closures will still continue, so schools will still need to consider what remote learning resources are available to help teachers and students cope. Pupils can learn through remote teaching, but there are some key steps to take to make sure it is as effective as possible.

A report by the Education Endowment Fund found that the quality of remote teaching is more important than how lessons are delivered. For example, teachers might explain a new idea live or in a pre-recorded video. But what matters most is whether the explanation builds clearly on pupils’ prior learning.

Monitoring the progress pupils are making during remote learning is also key and the report suggests that it can be helpful for teachers to provide support and strategies to enable pupils to work independently. School closures are likely to have a significant impact on the learning of disadvantaged pupils. Considering this, schools are working hard to ensure that they are providing robust remote education that is high-quality and aligns as closely as possible with in-school provision.

The new edition of Switched on Computing is full of exciting activities which could be achieved at home equally as well as at school. I thought I would highlight just three activities to demonstrate how these could be adapted for learning at home.

It’s quick and easy to grant your class access and there is a guide on how you can set up pupils for access as part of the samples mentioned below.

Also, this would work if you use a VLE or work-portfolio app such as SeeSaw or Showbie or even Google Classrooms, materials could be uploaded to these platforms and children could add their work afterwards ready for high-quality feedback.

Key Stage 1

In Unit 1.3 pupils use the Brushes Redux and Autodesk SketchBook apps on iPads to create paintings inspired by the work of famous artists. In Lesson 5 they create work based on Julian Opie’s outline style, this is done as a portrait or self-portrait and could easily be adapted for use at home.

Try this unit with your class

Lower Key Stage 2

In Unit 3.3 pupils create an informative presentation for their peers about a topic or subtopic from another curriculum area. They source images online to illustrate their presentation and film it against a green screen background. Even while working from home, children could research their topic, find images online to illustrate their talk and rehearse their presentations.

Try this unt with your class



Upper Key Stage 2

In Unit 5.1 pupils create an interactive, nonlinear adventure game. They make this as a set of interlinked slides using hyperlinks in presentation software; the player chooses their path. This will demonstrate the first few sessions where the children will plan the adventure, add descriptions to the slides and the links between them.

 Try this unit with your class

Final thoughts

The units of Switched on Computing present a fantastic opportunity for learning and the involvement of learning for children. Units can be adapted for home use quite simply and teachers can always use portfolio apps or other communication tools to help to guide learners in the direction of adapting the units.


Adam Chase is a Year 5 teacher and Computing and Assessment Lead at Old Hall Primary School. He has been the Bury LA Leading Teacher for Computing since 2015, providing training and advice to schools and in 2019 he was appointed the role of SLE for the Bury Teaching School Alliance.
In addition to this Adam speaks at local and national events and is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a CAS Master Teacher and an Ambassador for Book Creator, Seesaw, Nearpod and SamLabs.
Adam’s specialism is how we can use Unplugged Learning to aid children’s understanding. He believes that it has a place in all aspects of Computing and EdTech as it’s where children understand the why and how digital processes work.
In his spare time he is a Scuba Diver/ Instructor and enjoys Triathlons.


computing, Computing and ICT, Switched on Computing

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