St John Plessington Catholic College

Google Classroom – Distance Learning Strategy

1 July 2020

Dear Parent / Carer

Google Classroom – Distance Learning Strategy

Nobody could have predicted the situation that we find ourselves in due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Since the start of lockdown, our staff and students have been accessing the Google Classroom online platform. This has enabled our students to continue with their learning remotely and to also interact with their teachers throughout this difficult time. 

We have taken this opportunity to set all of our new Year 7 students up on the Google Classroom platform. Initially, students will be in what we call a Google Classroom – Yr7 Transition 2020, led by Mr Ashton (Head of Learning) and Mrs Grabe (Learning Coach). We believe this will be a nice first step in getting to know the students and to try to alleviate some of the anxieties that they may be experiencing at this time. The Google Classroom facility is secure in that there will be no function for class stream/chat therefore students will not communicate with each other. However, Mr Ashton and Mrs Grabe will be able to post activities and class messages to the students. Should students need to get in touch, they can do so with a direct message to the teacher. Mr Ashton and Mrs Grabe will be posting messages twice a week (Monday and Friday) and we hope that in this way our new students will begin to feel part of the SJP community as they embark upon their seven year journey with us. Various activities will be posted such as quizzes, competitions and reading tasks. When new messages or activities are posted within this classroom, students will be notified but we do encourage them to try and access every Monday and Friday, at a time that best suits you. The first activity we will be asking students to complete is an ‘All About Me’ booklet. This will then be given to their form tutor so that they can begin to get to know the students within their form. Their new form tutor will also be posting a welcome message in due course.

As this facility enables teachers to upload resources, assignments, tasks and include links to relevant learning websites, we may also get subject teachers to post some summer activities in preparation for students beginning their subjects in September. 

We do appreciate that all students will have different levels of access to ICT. I can assure you that we will keep it simple and ensure everything is accessible regardless of the device that is being used. We also understand that some students may not have access to the internet or a device to access Google Classroom. If this applies to your child, then please let us know via and we will ensure alternative materials are sent out to students.

Please see below for all details needed to access Google Classroom:

  • How can my child access Google Classroom?

This can be accessed via the website from a laptop or computer. If you have access to smart devices (smart phones/tablets) there is also a free Google Classroom App that can be downloaded where students can access their specific classes.

  • How does my child log on to Google Classroom?

Each student has a unique log in (username) and password.

Username – This is your child’s 6 digit date of birth and their initials in capitals (initials are their legal forename and surname) with the school domain following

Password – This is the same as the beginning of the username (6 digit date of birth and initials in capitals).

Example for John Doe:

Username – (6 digit date of birth, initials in capitals & school domain).

Password – 010106JD (6 digit date of birth & initials in capitals).

For security, when your child logs in for the first time they will be asked to change their password. We recommend students write this new password down so they do not forget what they have set.

  • How does my child access the Yr7 Transition 2020 Google Classroom?

Once your child has logged in, they will see their home page. There will only be one class on here called ‘Yr7 Transition 2020’. Students should then click on this class and it will allow them to enter and read any messages in the class stream. This is where they access any activities to be completed.

  • What if my child’s log in doesn’t work?

Please email us at and we will be able to help. 

We are aware that this is all very new and fully understand that you will be working hard with your child to ensure completion of their current home learning tasks or perhaps your child is preparing to return to school. The aim of the Google Classroom is to help our new Year 7 students with a smooth transition and to alleviate any worries or anxieties they may have.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you in advance for your support in an extremely difficult situation. We look forward to welcoming all of our new Year 7 students to SJP.

Yours sincerely

Ms Maria Sharratt

Deputy Head Teacher