Back To School

For more details on how we are preparing for a safe return to school this September, read our Back to School Guide.

Technology Platforms

Find out about the technology platforms we will use to support our Online Teaching and Learning programme and how to access them

Technology Platforms

Find out about the technology platforms we will use to support our Online Teaching and Learning programme and how to access them

The core platforms that we are using to delivery our Online Teaching and Learning Programme are the Firefly VLE and MS Teams which will be used by both Preparatory and Senior School teachers.

Some departments may use additional supporting platforms and these include GCSE Pod, My Maths and ClickView. Teachers will communicate with students and parents where these are being used.

Work will be set the day/evening prior to the day it is to be completed; in any instance, the work will appear on the VLE before the lesson is due to take place. This is designed so that students can check their work before registering with tutors in order to identify problems early and notify their tutor during registration.

It also allows parents and their children to organise a schedule for the day around both the live sessions and work to be completed.

Students will be able to download the work and then either print it out or complete it on a computer. Work that has been printed out can be sent back to teachers by uploading a scanned image or photograph of it.

There is no expectation that you have to print work at home, you can write out work on paper or your exercise book instead. In any case that you upload an image (scanned or photographed), or as a document (e.g. PowerPoint or Word) you upload this to the VLE. If you are required to complete practice examination papers for year 10 or 11 these will predominantly be posted to you with addressed and stamped envelopes for you to return upon completion.

We hope that these arrangements will help to take some of the pressure off parents, as we encourage students to develop their independent learning skills and feel more connected with their teachers. If you are struggling to access any platform, please contact either your tutor or Mr Brough.

Screen Time

This is clearly an unusual situation for everyone, where there is a greater reliance on digital devices than usual. We recommend that students try to spend no longer than four hours on a device each day.


Regular breaks are crucial, students should have their break and lunchtimes as they would have at school.

If a student has spent the designated lesson time on a task and has made their best effort, they should upload what they have done.

Do not spend hours completing singular tasks that are designed to be completed within a 55-minute lesson after the live Teams session.

We are focussing on the quality of work, not quantity.

Teaching staff will work together to ensure that the work set is balanced across a mixture of mediums. If you feel your child’s screen time is exceeding what is reasonable, please do contact their tutor so that they can help to coordinate communication between teaching staff.

If you need further support on monitoring screen time as a family or other concerns around the use of the digital world,  you can read Google’s advice here. This is excellent and provides tools for families to have open discussions around misuse and responsibilities as well as the positive aspects of the digital world.


Students must attend these sessions. Tutors and the Senior Leadership Team will be monitoring attendance closely as we are expected to do. This is not only to ensure work is being completed but most importantly that we can continue to monitor the welfare of our students in this difficult time.

All students are expected to register at 8:40 via a live Teams session the Tutor will schedule.

Preparatory school students can return to their normal work once they have registered and Senior Students will be expected to discuss the day with their tutors at this time.

Those in Nursery can email in by 9:00 to allow staff to know they are well and can access any activities that have been outlined.

Nursery will need to register at 13:00 in the afternoon via email.

There is also a 14:00 registration for all non-nursery students.

We very much appreciate that circumstances at home will be difficult for many and so we will offer support wherever we can. The registration sessions are important for us to offer that initial point of contact.


Remote Learning User Guides

You will need to access the VLE through the website and not the app during this time.

When logging into this platform you will need to go in as a cloud user. First, go to the school’s website and click the link marked VLE, this will then redirect to the login page. If there is an issue with this you can go directly to the site by entering the address below into your web browser, this is supported by most browsers though you may have to try an alternative if Safari does not load the page. Google Chrome works well on Apple devices as an alternative. There is no www. before the web address:

Once on you will see the login page to the right.

You will need to click on cloud user on the right-hand side then enter your child’s login details. This is also the same for the parent portal login. All children have been asked to check they can log in at home in advance however if they have forgotten the login details please contact Mr Brough directly.

This is the same if you are having issues with your parent portal login.


When logged in your child will see their dashboard, this shows any tasks set by staff for the students. You will also see a section at the top for any messages sent to you by staff.

Any work your child is required to do will either be sent directly as a task or appear in the resources section under ‘Work for Home’. This has separate sections for each year group and subject. If you are unable to access content or need help with the task itself, please contact individual staff directly in the first instance. If you are experiencing a technical issue, please contact Mr Brough directly.


For years 7 to 11

You will need to log into the VLE each morning by 8:40am, this will allow you to raise any issues with tutors about the work you have and then plan your day around the live lessons you will have on Teams. Staff will have work uploaded for the day by 8am that day at the latest.

For Nursery – Y6

Your teacher will deliver the lessons to students via Teams, any work for the lessons can be accessed through the VLE. Students will be informed by teachers as appropriate.

Tips For Students

If staff require you to upload work to return you need to click on the task they have set directly, this will then load the details of the task with a bar above it, this will have three buttons.

The first allows you to attach a file to send to the staff, please remember to click the blue send file button at the end of uploading.

The second marks the task as complete, the last will allow you to comment on the task and ask teachers questions, they can also send feedback to you through this method to help you along.

If you need to message a teacher generally it is best to email them, additionally, we have found that those users on Apple devices get on better using the Chrome browser rather than Safari. This is an Apple issue that Firefly are working in conjunction with Apple to improve for the next version of the platform.

Please also ensure you mark your tasks as done each day if you do not the ‘overdue’ tasks will appear first, and you will struggle to find the latest work.

Additionally when you click on the button ‘view more tasks’ you will see a full list of your tasks, you can filter these by staff or lesson by clicking the boxes on the left, make sure you untick them afterwards or it will only show tasks from that teacher. Otherwise, you are expected to check the platform every day, you will need to ensure that you are proactive in completing work do not leave it all to the end of the day.

Embedded Content

As many of the additional platforms we use embed and integrate into the VLE you may need additional logins. ClickView, for example, will need your office 365 login, the password for this is different from the VLE. If you have any issues through external platforms other than the VLE that the school provides please contact Mr Brough

Additional resources and Resources for the Preparatory division

These can be found under the resources tab
at the top of the page, in here you can click
on ‘Work for Home’ and find the relevant year group. Subjects and work are then broken down under each year group. From here staff can post resources and additional content for students to access. If this is required, it will be indicated in the task description.


Once logged in Nursery students have a separate dashboard, this does not display a timetable or task overview as the Nursery follows a different structure to the rest of the school. You will, however, find tasks under the resources section as described above. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact


For years 7 to 11

You will need to log into the VLE each morning by 8:40am, this will allow you to raise any issues with tutors about the work you have and then plan your day around the live lessons you will have on Teams. Staff will have work uploaded for the day by 8am that day at the latest.

For Nursery – Y6

Your teacher will deliver the lessons to students via Teams, any work for the lessons can be accessed through the VLE. Students will be informed by teachers as appropriate.

Teams will be used as the platform through which we deliver the live lessons and registration sessions. You will need to check the calendar on the left-hand side each morning to see what lessons you have scheduled for the day.

You will need to use the login that has been given to you, this will then take you into the teams portal. This can either be done through the website or the app, some students have found the app to be more stable whereas others the website. This seems to be device-specific so you may have to try both to see which works best. You will not be asked to upload work to the Teams platform. If you are unable to upload to the VLE for any reason, please email staff instead. This is as we are developing the platform in the background to make better use of cloud facilities in the future.

If you click on specific teams it will take you into the channel for the group. In here you can add comments or join discussions. There may be several channels within a team, these will appear on the left-hand side. Teachers will create separate channels for different topics or for areas they want to split. If you click on each channel you can access its resources.


Lastly do not make your own teams as the system will need careful monitoring to ensure it continues to run smoothly. As students you should treat this as a professional working platform, not as a chatroom, comments are to be related to classes or work only.


All Year Groups

You are expected to register with your respective tutor by 8:40 each morning, this will be a video based session and will last around 20 minutes (email for Nursery). They will also need to register at 14:00 (13:00 for Nursery).

You will have a session for each timetabled lesson for the day excluding games, this will be scheduled before the start of the day and last between 15 and 30 minutes depending on the task. You will then be asked to complete work independently.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a digital hub that brings conversations, content, resources and apps together in one place creating a vibrant learning environment.

How will it work?

Lessons will still run for students, with the teacher talking to them through the computer screen rather than at the front of the classroom. This face to face contact will allow the teacher to keep track of students and give students the chance to ask questions, keeping their lesson as similar as possible to learning in school.

Different subjects will sit in different channels and these will also become a place to go for any resources shared by the teacher, or recordings of classes to go over the information.

Pupils will still hand in homework through Microsoft Teams and teachers will offer high quality feedback – these tools will allow some normality where schooling is concerned.

Why is it perfect for our families?

  • Face to face contact – pupils and teachers still have face to face contact which is so important in making sure wellbeing, as well as academics are monitored. At a time where so much change is happening, our teachers want to be there to support pupils and face to face contact makes this easier to do.
  • Virtual classroom – keeping a lesson routine is vital for our families’ wellbeing: structure will help pupils feel less overwhelmed with change and will also help parents know how to manage their time and energy.
  • Easily accessible – access from phone or desktop with easy to use, intuitive software.

How do I access the resources?

You child will need to click here and sign in using their normal school log in details.

More information on using Teams and Office 365 for remote learning is available from Microsoft here.

Watch the introduction video here

ClickView is designed to use short clips to enhance the lesson and your understanding, if videos are embedded into the VLE they will automatically load, you may have to use a computer to do this as certain phones do not support all of the video features offered.

Staff may choose to send you video content or questions through ClickView, this is a platform that syncs directly through the VLE. This will require you to log in through your Office 365 login using The password for this will not be the same as the VLE for security reasons.

If you are unsure what your password is please contact your tutor in the first instance, again if you have a technical issue please contact Mr Brough. Email:

Staff may set you work on this, if they do, they will let you know in the tasks description for the VLE. You are able to make your own ‘pods’ by collating short clips they offer.
If you have not used the platform before:

  1. Go to
  2.  Click on ‘NEW HERE? GET STARTED!’ and select pupil
  3. Enter the details it asks for but ensure you have added the school name
  4.  Create a sensible username and password

If you have logged in previously it should allow you to reset your own password, however, if you experience any technical difficulty either contact the support team for GCSE pod or Mr Brough.

MyMaths will be used by the maths department in the senior school to set and monitor work done by the students.

The initial login for this is below, then your child needs to log in with their credentials if you need these or your child has forgotten them please contact Mrs Hyde.


Assignments will appear on the home page for this, the maths department will then be able to see the scores for your child and send feedback.

Logins: Please double check you are using the correct login for each platform, they are similar and the number of these will be reduced as we make further use of the platforms going into the next academic year post lockdown. Of course, the nature of the use of these platforms will change significantly and therefore work is ongoing in the background to review how best this will be done.

Devices not uploading work: We are aware that students at home will be using a vast variety of devices and therefore the systems we have chosen are designed to be compatible with as many of these as possible. Those with Apple devices have commonly had the greatest number of issues though these are generally Apple issues. Our advice is to ensure that you use the web version of the Firefly VLE and try either the Chrome browser or Firefox browser over Safari. (Essentially the way the Apple OS handles files can cause issues with the file upload). Likewise, you may find the web version or app version is more stable for Teams depending on the device or the version of the Apple OS you are using.

Knowing if you have a web lesson: Use the calendar feature on Teams, this will show you which lessons you have that day and what time they will be so you can organise yourself. Students in the Senior division should be taking responsibility for their learning and planning their day as independently as possible.

Live lesson seems empty: Staff have to transition between live sessions, as staff may have different home circumstances, or may have to cover additional sessions for other staff who are unwell you may need to be patient. Staff will join the scheduled sessions on time though if you join early the session may seem empty, be patient and staff will appear.

Echo on live session: Unless instructed otherwise you should have both the camera and microphone off as you join as a session if everyone has their microphone on at once you will get an echo from some devices speakers that others will hear. You also do not interfere with the session by clicking on the whiteboard feature or requesting control of presentations.

Microphone not working: If the microphone on your device does not work this is not an issue, next to where you would hang up a call you will have two options, one lets you see who is on the call (the participants). The other is the chat for that call, this will allow you to add a comment which the teacher will see.

Work will not upload on the VLE app: This is again common to Apple devices and to do with the way the operating system reads files through third-party apps. This is something Apple are developing with Firefly for the next version of the app but in the meantime, we recommend that you avoid using the app to upload work. Please continue to use it to check for tasks and view the timetable but use the website to upload files.

I can’t use the chat in Teams: The chat feature has been disabled for MS Teams for students, you can still post comments in the Teams themselves that staff will see but these are public. If you have specific questions about work it is best to email staff directly. A list of staff emails can be found on the school website in the Parents section. If the email fails to send change the end of the address to instead.

01604 752050