Student Newsletter

Oakley College have been producing a weekly student newsletter based on contributions from learners.

Introduce the approach or activity

Alongside proposed deadlines for the return of work, learners contribute to a weekly newsletter. Pre-lockdown this took the form of developing learners’ communication skills to encourage them to reflect upon events which have taken place. During lockdown this has become a means to engage families. This has resulted in learners returning more work, and in tutors being able to assess progress across a range of skills, in a range of contexts. Work is also returned separately from newsletter contributions.

The newsletter takes a different form each week depending upon the contributions from learners. The rules are:

  • The learner must compose the contribution themselves. This can be dictated; hand written; drawn; typed. No style is prescribed.
  • Whatever a learner produces is included as they produce it (safeguarding dependent). No corrections allowed.
  • This is the learners’ space. They own it. Any staff contribution must come at the end of the newsletter. The important information is learner contribution.

Sometimes the newsletter will have the focus on a unit of work- but this is coincidental and merely shows how engaging that topic may have been to that group of learners.

Top tips and key considerations


  • Work with learners’ interests


  • Use holistic assessment methods to show progress

Flexibility / Variety of forms of return of work:

  • Email
  • Dictated over the telephone
  • Photographs
  • Weblinks
  • PowerPoint/ Sway
  • Hand written

Time Commitment:

  • Tutor to collate weekly (during remote learning)


  • Learners and their families consent to their contributions being shared within the context of the agreed recipient list.
  • Learners and their families agree not to share the newsletter without authorisation from the Head of College.

What resources are required?

Range of forms of contact for various families:

  • Telephone
  • Email access
  • Laptop/ computer etc.

How will you capture evidence of learning?

Tutor to use contributions as evidence of learning, cross-referenced against PfA framework/ accredited criteria.