Distance Learning at Ysgol y Dderwen

The school’s approach has been established in light of the review of the evidence on remote learning published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) as part of their package of resources to support schools, during periods of full and/or partial closure. It is recognised that there are many interpretations to how distance learning could be delivered. However, it is broadly accepted that there are two forms available

  1. Asynchronous learning where students complete activities independently, at different points in time, based on their own wishes and/or home circumstances.e.g.

>Pre-prepared learning packs differentiated appropriately for individuals. These also allow pupils to work in settings such as with grandparents, where access to a computer is difficult.

work set on google classroom/ J2E or Flipgrid (depending on the child’s class

2. Synchronous learning where students complete activities with multiple students and staff at the same time, usually online. These are more commonly known as ‘live-streaming’ or ‘live-lessons’.

Recognised Benefits

The Education Endowment Foundation’s rapid evidence assessment examines the existing research (from 60 systematic reviews and meta-analyses) for approaches that schools could use, or are already using, to support the learning of students while schools have reduced operations owing to COVID-19. A copy of the evidence assessment is available here.

The school recognised that asynchronous approaches to learning provide greater flexibility for students and can be easier for parents/carers and students to manage at home. It may reduce anxiety of some pupils who may struggle to maintain the pace of synchronous lessons. However, synchronous approaches to learning, such as ‘live-streaming’ may be practical and appropriate in certain circumstances. This is particularly the case in support of student engagement. Synchronous or ‘live-streaming’ lessons with students can also be very useful for maintaining contact with students and staff. A further advantage being that feedback to students is more interactive.

In determining our approach, the school has drawn on the EEF’s findings, which conclude that when implementing strategies to support students’ remote learning or supporting parents/carers to do this, key things to consider include

  • Teaching quality is more important than how lessons are delivered;
  • Ensuring access to technology is key, especially for disadvantaged students;
  • Peer interactions can provide motivation and improve learning outcomes;
  • Supporting students to work independently can improve learning outcomes; and
  • Different approaches to remote learning suit different types of content and students.

Revised approach from January 2021

There is much public debate about the merits of each type of learning. Welsh Government guidance is clear that accountability for distance/remote learning rests with individual schools. Therefore, our decision on the approved approach to distance learning has been made in light of this independent guidance.

The school’s approach to distance learning will place a greater weighting on asynchronous approaches. This permits students to undertake work independently, at a pace suitable to their needs, as well as supporting the delivery of content in a more flexible manner. Asynchronous lessons are likely to include classroom teachers providing accompanying videos and/or voice overlays to the planned resources in order to support deeper understanding through providing greater clarity of instruction and feedback for understanding.

While there are many strengths to this approach to distance learning, it is recognised that limited interaction with staff may have a limiting factor to motivation and the quality of learning taking place. As a result, the school provides all registration classes synchronous or ‘live-streaming’ experiences twice a week.

Support for families

We understand that during periods of lockdown, where nearly all pupils are working remotely, that families need support with helping their child access their learning.

We would like to remind you that we are always here to help – to listen to and answer queries on a daily basis. Although the school doors are currently closed, education and care continue. Please feel free to contact us.


“In all cases, it is important for teachers and school leaders to use their professional judgement in determining the support they provide their students and to monitor its impact on learning”.

Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)

Home Learning Plans 6

Uned Dan 5/ Under 5’s Unit     QR Codes

Year 1 and 2 Unit

Year 3 and 4 Unit

Year 5 and 6 Unit

Home Learning Plans  5

Uned Dan 5/ Under 5’s Unit

Year 1 and 2 Unit

Year 3 and 4 Unit

Year 5 and 6 Unit

If you like to get in touch with us, click on the image below:-

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Home Learning Plans 4

Y 3 and 4 Unit

Y5 and 6 Unit

Nursery/Reception Apps

Year 1 and 2 Apps


Lessons and Worksheets- click on the link below

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Ysgol y Dderwen’s Curriculum

There are four purposes at the heart of the curriculum at Ysgol y Dderwen, that support the children to be:-

  • ambitious, capable learners ready to learn throughout their lives;

  • enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work;

  • ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world;

  • healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.


Our aim is to provide the highest quality care and education in a happy, caring, active and safe environment to enable all children, whatever their ability, to achieve their potential. Emphasis is placed on learning the basic skills of literacy and numeracy and the importance of making them relevant and meaningful to the child. It is important to make the children aware of their environment, their community, their country and the world.


By using a teaching and learning method which is based on themes, the structure of our curriculum contains six Areas of Learning and Experience.  Each one of these Areas of Learning and Experience make distinct and strong contributions to developing the four purposes of the curriculum. Together, they define the breadth of the curriculum.   The wealth of  educational experiences form an integral part of the curriculum, to broaden the children’s horizans, stimulate their imagination and promote enjoyment in learning.

The six Areas of Learning and Experience are:-

  • Expressive arts;

Through the Expressive Arts schools and teachers can encourage children and young people to develop their creative appreciation and talent and their artistic and performance skills. The Expressive Arts provide opportunities to explore thinking, refine, and communicate ideas, engaging thinking, imagination and senses creatively. They also promote exploration of issues of personal and cultural identity. Engagement with the expressive arts requires application, perseverance and close attention to detail, capacities that have benefits across learning more widely.

The expressive arts provide inspiration and motivation as they bring children and young people into contact with the creative processes, performances and products of others and stimulate their own experimentation and creativity. They provide many opportunities for experiences such as visits to theatres and galleries and for bringing the specialist expertise of, for example, artists and musicians into the classroom. Achievement in the expressive arts also provides a basis for lifelong participation and can ultimately contribute to a thriving economy and cultural life for Wales.

The Expressive Arts support ambitious, capable learners encouraging them to explore new and challenging areas of experience and to strive to improve their performance. By developing their creativity in a range of forms of expression; providing rich contexts and challenges within which they can work collaboratively, learning from critical appraisal of their work, learners become enterprising, creative contributors.  Learners become ethical, informed citizens by understanding their own cultural identity and those of societies in other places and at other times, and to explore complex and difficult issues. Learners become healthy, confident individuals as the Expressive Arts help them to develop resilience and feel more confident as they gain enjoyment and personal satisfaction from creative expression; contributing directly to enriching the quality of their lives.

  • Health and well-being;

Health and well-being is about the physical, psychological, emotional and social aspects of our lives.

Health and Well-being is the key enabler of successful learning. Learners will gain knowledge and understanding about how their social, cultural and physical contexts, mind and physical state affect their health, well-being and readiness to learn throughout their lives. They will engage critically with a range of information to support their decision making and their developing values and identities.  Developing social and team working skills helps them to become ambitious, capable learners and prepares them for the workplace.

Learners will have opportunities to engage creatively with challenging ideas relating to emotions and relationships. They will develop the skills to talk about these and become enterprising, creative contributors. Physical and other activity will provide learners with contexts for playing a range of roles in teams.

They will learn how to make positive choices and how these affect their own and others’ health and well-being. They will learn to interact with different social, cultural and physical contexts. They will learn how to engage with these responsibly, appreciating the importance of contributing positively and respecting others. They will consider the social and ethical issues that impact on the health and well-being of others, becoming ethical, informed citizens.

Learners will learn what influences their health and well-being, including healthy eating, physical activity and misuse of substances, and how to make the right decisions.  They will develop the skills and dispositions that enable them to become healthy, confident individuals. They will learn the importance of resilience, self-regulation, seeking support and developing positive relationships.

  • Humanities (including RE which should remain compulsory to age 16);

Humanities is the study of the human experience in the past and present in Wales, in the United Kingdom and in the wider world. It includes historical, geographical, religious and non-religious, political, economic and societal factors and concepts.

Through exploring ‘what matters’ about the humanities, learners will study people, place, time and religious and non-religious beliefs/world views. They will learn about Wales, Britain and the wider world, in the past and present, to build a solid base of knowledge and understanding of historical, geographical, political, economic, religious, non-religious and societal concepts. They will follow processes of enquiry, critically evaluate the evidence that they find, apply and communicate their knowledge effectively and thereby become ambitious, capable learners.

Learners will develop a range of skills and dispositions to become enterprising, creative contributors and responsible citizens. They will engage critically with local, national and global issues and use their knowledge to make links between challenges and opportunities in the past and present, and imagine possible futures, to contribute positively to improving the lives of people in their local community, in Wales, in the United Kingdom, and in the wider world.

Learners will understand their own and others’ rights, values, ethics, religious and non-religious beliefs/ world views and philosophy. Through understanding, respecting and challenging different religious and non-religious beliefs/ world views and how to exercise their democratic rights and responsibilities, learners will become ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the wider world. They will consider, explore and make informed choices about sustainability and the impact of their own and others’ actions in Wales, in the United Kingdom and in the wider world.

By developing their personal stances on matters of religious and non-religious world views, ethical challenges and social inclusion, they will become healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society in Wales and the wider world. Exploring the natural world, locally, across Wales and in the wider world, will help them to develop their well-being and a sense of place.

  • Languages, literacy and communication (including Welsh, which should remain compulsory to age 16, and modern foreign languages);

Languages, literacy and communication are about developing knowledge, skills and dispositions in oracy, reading, writing and literature within and across languages. They also develop learners’ cultural understanding and identity, their sense of self, and their place and voice in society which can contribute significantly to a thriving economy and cultural life for Wales.

Languages, literacy and communication contribute to developing ambitious, capable learners who are effective communicators in Welsh, in English, in other languages and through digital media. Meaningful contexts will stimulate learners to acquire and apply skills, knowledge and understanding, develop positive attitudes to language learning and ultimately become intrinsically motivated to learn and use languages.

Learning languages brings different perspectives. Being confident in using languages enables learners to adapt skilfully to different roles and contexts, think creatively, solve problems and take risks, becoming enterprising, creative contributors, both individually and collaboratively.

Languages, literacy and communication contribute to developing ethical, informed citizens. Learners gain the knowledge and skills they need to participate confidently and make their voice heard effectively. They will learn how to engage critically with languages and literature across a range of media. Languages and literature develop learners’ sense of identity, helping them to understand their culture and community, and gain a feeling of belonging. Developing skills in languages, literacy and communication can help learners to keep themselves and others safe in the real and virtual world. Healthy, confident individuals can articulate their feelings, interpret those of others, and develop positive relationships.

  • Mathematics and numeracy;

Mathematics and Numeracy AoLE promotes Ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives by:

  • Developing a positive attitude towards the subject.
  • Establishing a lifelong interest in mathematics.
  • Encouraging learners to be independent, curious, open-minded, willing to accept mistakes and learn from them in a mathematically purposeful way.
  • Developing metacognition so that learners know which steps to take to improve performance

Mathematics and Numeracy AoLE promotes Enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work by:

  • Encouraging learners to be creative by taking risks when considering different ways of tackling mathematical and numerical problems.
  • Instilling competency in learners to analyse mathematical situations and construct logical arguments in response

Mathematics and Numeracy AoLE promotes Ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world by:

  • Creating opportunities to have evidence based discussions and make informed decisions
  • Enabling the critical analysis of data to develop informed views on social, political, economic and environmental matters.
  • Embedding learners’ understanding of personal, local, national and international finance

Mathematics and Numeracy AoLE promotes Healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society by:

  • Encouraging learners to use their numeracy skills across the curriculum to make effective choices to ensure lifelong health and well-being

Instilling the knowledge and skills to manage personal finance and budgeting now and in the future; interpreting information and data to assess risk

  • Science and technology (including computer science).

Through understanding ‘what matters’ about science and technology, learners will develop a secure understanding of the world and become confident, capable and creative.

Science and technology are dynamic.  Ambitious and capable learners understand that knowledge is always subject to challenge from new evidence and technologies, and must reflect changes in scientific and technological understanding.

Science and technology use prediction, testing and questioning.  Learners will understand that if repeatable observations, prototypes or experimental results do not support an idea, they have to be rejected, or modified and tested again.  Learners who are enterprising, creative contributors embrace such challenges.  They take risks, innovate and evaluate, and learn to generate solutions.  They are resilient and purposeful.

Learners who are knowledgeable about science and technology become ethical and informed citizens, able to draw on and evaluate evidence to reach conclusions.  Arguing rationally, morally, consistently and objectively supports their evaluation of evidence.

Learners who will become healthy and confident individuals know how to find information about physical and mental health and well-being.  They are able to use what they know about the impact of nutrition and exercise on their bodies.  Their knowledge and understanding of science and technology help them to live independent and fulfilling lives, and keep themselves and others safe.