Remote Teaching from Home

Here, teachers from Mowmacre Primary School share their experience of teaching from home

Remote teaching from home – using technology to teach from home and minimise disruption to learning


Headlines like these are not unusual, at the moment. Many schools are suffering the effects of covid outbreaks and are struggling with staff and pupil absences.

And whilst you cannot beat face to face teaching, by embracing technology, quality teaching can still be delivered and disruption to learning minimised.

At Mowmacre Hill School in Leicester, teachers are putting their EdTech skills to effective use and using their experiences from the past 2 years to deliver lessons remotely. Whilst this is something that most teachers had to get to grips with during the lockdowns in 2020/21, this time the teachers are at home and the pupils are at school.

Like many schools across the country, Mowmacre is struggling with staff absences, due to covid. This has not stopped teachers who have tested positive for covid (and are well enough to teach) from delivering their lessons from home.

Year 3 teachers, Erin Coltman and Emily O’Flynn, share their experience of live streaming into the classroom, whilst isolating at home.


How were you able to teach from home?

We have been part of the EdTech Demonstrator programme since 2019 and have received a lot of training and support from Kibworth CE Primary School. In this time, we have received training on using MS Teams, Class Notebook, and various educational apps.

The school also joined the Microsoft Innovative Educator Programme which gives us access to a wide variety of professional development online courses, resources, and shared learnings – helping us to further develop our skills and confidence in using technology within the classroom.

Since September 2021, the Year 3 children have had individual laptops and have been using Microsoft OneNote in most of the maths and guided reading lessons. They use MS Teams to access websites such as Century Tech, Timetable Rockstars, Flipgrid and other information. They began to use headphones before Christmas to access Immersive Reader and Myon and we had a lesson in the weeks leading up to the holiday to practice rules, in case of another lockdown.

Describe a typical day of teaching remotely

Emily – We would join a meeting on Teams at 9.30, after the children had assembly. We started with Guided Reading – children had the text and questions on Notebook so they could complete work within the lesson, and I could view their work on Notebook as they did it. I could also work individually with particular children. We then taught English – one day the children had a task on Notebook and another day they were using information shared on Notebook to take notes in their draft books. In Maths, the children would do their rapid recall in Maths in books, which I would then discuss with them. The input would be short, and children would raise hands to talk through their answers. I would then work with a group and check their worksheets on Notebook. In the afternoon, we did a Topic lesson which included lots of work on PowerPoint.

Erin – We began with guided reading where we read the text as usual in class and the children would copy me reading, using expression in their voices. The support teacher had their mic left on so I could hear the children. When the children were answering the questions independently, I kept a group on with me and looked at their OneNotes, as they did their work and supported them.

We then had English lessons where I would deliver the main teaching. We used the ‘hands up’ on Teams for children to answer questions. Sometimes, I would call on children without hands up. This was sometimes slower so I used the support teacher in the classroom at times to leave their mic on so I could hear answers without delay. In one lesson, I had a group carry out a shared write with me but in a group surrounding one laptop to enable the mic could be left on and the lesson could flow more naturally. This worked well with a small group of 5. I was reluctant to have children type answers in the chat, due to their age and speed of typing. A lot of the time when we use OneNote, the children used smart pens to write instead of typing.

After break, we taught Maths. The children used whiteboards to write their answers and held them up to the screen so I could see the answers. I used the gallery view so I could see all the children.

In the afternoon, the support teacher would teach times tables first. We would then teach Science. We used an assignment on TEAMs for each child to create a Power Point.

How were pupils managed in the classroom?

The support teacher and TA in the classroom managed behaviour. Although we were still able to remind children to show us good sitting, as we could see them on the screens. As the mic of the support teacher was left on often, we could sometimes hear the children and speak to them when needed too. The children were reminded to put hands up physically to get tech support from the support staff in the room and to put their hands up virtually for a question we could help with. The support teacher would display the flipcharts on the IWB, as well as us sharing the flipcharts as we taught.

What impact did live streaming have on you and the class?

Emily – It was good to still be able to see the children, even though I physically could not be in school.

Sometimes when your class is covered, you are not sure how individual children have got on with the work, whereas this allowed me to keep a check on children’s worksheets and work with these children, if needed. It also allowed for stability and consistency, as we did not have to use a supply teacher.

Erin – It made me miss them! It was lovely to see them though and they knew I was still a part of their classroom and learning.

It was easier to come back into class when I got back, as I knew how they had been getting on and what they had learned. I did miss the nurturing aspect of our role, which is difficult to deliver online.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to teach from home?

Emily – It really helps if all the children can join on their own laptop and with their own headphones as there are less issues regarding sound/seeing the children. The work and lesson input needs to be simple so the screen can be shared but the children can follow easily. Inviting children to raise their hand and join in also helps.

Erin – Practice! Practice sharing screens, including computer sound. Allow the children to play around with the emojis and hands up. Get them practicing writing in the chat. Have them change backgrounds then explain that there should not be a background on and why.

Give the children the opportunity to play with it before trying to teach as they are inquisitive (otherwise they will do it during your lesson). Set rules such as, only turn on mics when your name has been called etc.

Do not expect children to stop immediately- especially with typing in the chat box as there are always delays and a message will come through after you have said stop. Do things like countdowns from 10. Demonstrate everything every time. Do not expect them to remember immediately.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your remote teaching experience?

Teaching remotely is something that sounds quite different, but it worked well for us, and the children all loved being on their laptops and joining meetings. They quickly adapted and knew what to do and when.

Some of the time the children just wanted to chat so even just having the chance for the children to ask how you are/tell you about their weekend/break/lunch time (in my case, what I had for lunch every day!) helps keep them connected to you while you are not actually there.

It’s important to manage your own breaks and give yourself time away from the screen.  If you are teaching online and then using your laptop for planning and assessment tasks, it can be a lot of screen time for you, as a teacher.  This can be extremely tiring.

Matt Peet, Headteacher at the school said, “Remote learning has helped us revolutionise the way that we teach and connect with our pupils and families. We no longer have to consider the place or space our children (or teachers) are in for them to connect. Our pupils can be anywhere and still be able to log in to the teaching that is taking place in the physical space of the classroom.

Covid, and the isolation associated with it, can see some of our pupils having to stay at home. They may not feel ill and in fact may not have symptoms at all – by providing remote learning removes the barrier of the classroom walls and allows all children who may be at home, for whatever reason, to still fully participate and continue with their learning”.

If you would like more information on live streaming lessons, we have put together a comprehensive guide – Live streaming when the teacher is at home.

You can also come and see how technology is being used to enhance teaching and learning, at one of our Blended Learning Open days.  For more information, visit

Bespoke help and advice can also be provided through the EdTech Demonstrator Programme, which is fully funded by the DfE until 31st March 2022. For more information about the EdTech Demonstrator Programme, visit

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