Vranch House is a centre for the treatment of over 2,000 outpatients with physical difficulties, a provider of various therapies throughout Devon and an independent Day School in Exeter for children with significant physical difficulties.

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Last updated: 27/05/2024

Remote Education Information - VHS - Jan 2021

Date added: Thursday 11th February 2021
Latest updated: Thursday 23rd February 2023

Remote Education provision at Vranch House:

information for parents and carers

This information is intended to provide clarity and transparency to parents and carers about what to expect from remote education where national or local restrictions require entire cohorts (or bubbles) to remain at home.

For details of what to expect where individual pupils are self-isolating, please see the final section of this page.


What is ‘Remote Education' and when does it occur?

Remote Education is the Government's term for education delivered to pupils who are not attending school during the COVID - 19 pandemic.  As per absence caused by illness or other medical reasons, remote education is not necessarily put into place the first day of absence; it will come into play when a prolonged planned/enforced absence from school has been identified.

A pupil's first day or two of being educated remotely might look different from our standard approach, while we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching.


What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of pupils being sent home due to their having COVID - 19 symptoms or incidence of a ‘positive' COVID - 19 test result in their class?

Your child's class teacher will have collated and have ready the most up to date:

  • Individual VIEW Curriculum Goals for the term
  • Physiotherapy, Occupational and Speech & Language (S<) plans - as appropriate

The above documents will be sent home via email or Earwig if a pupils is required to self-isolate following their displaying symptoms of, or has been in close-contact with someone who subsequently tests ‘positive' for, COVID - 19.  Please support your child to continue with the activities described in their VIEW goals and Therapy plans and see your child's Earwig Timeline for examples of your child completing these exercises or typical learning tasks in school.


Following the first few days of remote education, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school?

We will aim to deliver support in all the key elements of your child's individual curriculum remotely, wherever possible and appropriate. However, we may need to make some adaptations to, or substitute, some activities as we cannot always replicate the specialist equipment or expertise that we deliver in school.

For example, we cannot replicate Hydrotherapy, Rebound Therapy or Innowalk session via remote education, but we will endeavour to supply suggestions for alternative activities which can be safely and meaningfully conducted at home.


Remote teaching and study time each day

What are your expectations for my child's engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

Knowing your child(ren) as we do, we wholly understand and acknowledge that their relative health and general wellbeing can have a significant impact on their ability to engage with learning.  It is our hope that you and your child will find the resources we provide, and the content we make available, useful and helpful in engaging your child(ren) in home learning. 

We are all ‘creatures of habit' and the establishment of ‘school at home' routines may not become established overnight; there may well be resistance from your child(ren) to engage in activities normally carried out in school, whilst at home.  It is therefore our goal to support you in setting up and establishing home-learning routines during periods of extended absence from school.  We will do all we can to help you mirror the use of visual cues, symbols, timetables, key events/activities and can supply visual aids/symbols or other low-tech Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) tools to support this.


How long can I expect work set by the school to take my child each day?

We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will engage pupils up to the following number of hours each day:

EYFS + Key Stage 1 + 2


Up to 3 hours a day, on average across the cohort, with less for younger children

Key Stage 3 and 4  

Up to 4 hours a day, on average across the cohort


The above figures should be taken as maximum total durations for some time spent each day on: physiotherapy and occupational therapy work, Speech & Language and any topic or theme based work set by the class teacher.

Parents and carers will know their child(ren) best and will be aware of signs of fatigue, loss of concentration or the need for regular breaks.  Our advice is that tasks that require a child's active participation, intense concentration or physical exertion are alternated with low-intensity, calming activities set by your child's class teacher.


Accessing remote education

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

The majority of the educational resources will be shared using our online platform Earwig Academic.  Please ensure you access your child's Earwig Timeline daily to check for new content and information.  This content may well be supplemented by emails from your child's class teacher, so please also regularly check the inbox of the email address you have provided to the school.

Your child's class teacher will also arrange online video calls so your child can see and hear their peers on a regular basis whilst away from school.  The preferred platform for these video calls is Zoom, though Skype may also be used at parent's/carer's request.  The frequency, timing and duration of these video call link-ups will be stated by your child's class teacher.

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?

We recognise that some pupils may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those pupils to access remote education:

How will my child be taught remotely?

We may use a combination of the following approaches to teach pupils remotely:

 •          live teaching (online lessons) via Zoom

  • recorded teaching via Earwig Academic
  • printed and/or physical resource packs produced by teachers

•           reading books pupils have at home / provided by the school

  • commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or

            areas, including video clips or sequences

Over the course of the previous national ‘Lockdowns', we have found that the following websites have some fantastic resources, suitable for the majority of our pupils:


Engagement and feedback


How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work?

All parents and carers have the ability to upload ‘records' that include photographs, videos and comments to their child's Earwig Timeline, where they can be viewed by all Vranch House staff involved with your child (and any external professionals who you have given your consent to view their Timeline).  Vranch House staff may then comment on these records.  This two-way flow of information may also be supplemented by emails and/or video/telephone calls.

Your child's class teacher (or a preferred member of our staff to be stated by parents/carers) will telephone, on an agreed frequency, to check-in with you around your child's engagement with the remote education provided, any resources or equipment you may need and any other ways in which we can support you and your child(ren)

If any concerns are raised by parents/carers or the school, these will be discussed openly and a plan agreed to address these concerns e.g., referral to GP, contact Social Worker for additional support.


Remote education for elective self-isolating pupils

It is important to note that Vranch House School has remained open throughout the COVID - 19 pandemic and serial periods of national ‘lockdown'.   The School and Outpatient Clinics constitute safe, protective environments where all necessary measures are taken to prevent the transmission of, and infection by, the COVID viruses.  Whilst we support parents and carers should they make the hard decision to ‘shield' or self-isolate as a family, our main focus must remain on the on-site provision of education and health services to those who rely on Vranch House for both of these essential services.

Where parents or carers of individual pupils decide to electively self-isolate, but the school remains open to them, how remote education is provided may differ from the approach for whole classes/cohorts as outlined above. This is due to the time constraints and staffing challenges of teaching the majority of pupils in school whilst supporting individuals at home.

If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?

We will endeavour to ensure individual pupils taking part in elective self-isolating have access to planned, well-sequenced, meaningful and ambitious work each day in a number of different areas.  Your child's class teacher will aim to provide learning content, resources and feedback, with a minimum to include:

  • Individual VIEW Curriculum Goals for the term
  • Physiotherapy, Occupational and Speech & Language (S<) plans - as appropriate
  • Printed and/or physical resource packs produced by teachers
  • Essential therapy equipment that we have available to loan, for example: specialist seating, standing frames, wedges etc.
  • Reference emails containing links to a range of commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences - as appropriate for your child(ren)


 Downloadable version HERE