Google Classroom is an easy to use online tool that allows teachers to send information to students in their classes. Sometimes, this will be simple class messages (“Don’t forget to come to the revision session tomorrow lunchtime”), but more often it will be instructions and resources for homework.

Your son/daughter has a Google Classroom “class” for all of the subjects on their timetable. By logging in to either the Google Classroom website in a web browser or by using the Google Classroom app (Google Play, App Store) on their phone/tablet, they can see all of the “announcements” (messages) and “assignments” (homework) that their teachers have sent them. There is also a handy “To do” list (and a longer term calendar) that collects all of their upcoming homework deadlines in one place. They can also set up notifications and reminder emails, to help them to never miss a deadline. Why not ask your son/daughter to show you Google Classroom from their account, so you can better understand what they experience when they use it?

As a parent, you do not have the same level of access to Google Classroom. However, the school can associate your email address(es) with your son/daughter’s Google Classroom account as a “guardian”. This means that you will be sent a summary email (daily or weekly, as you choose) which includes all of the announcements and assignments by class. This is very useful, in particular, in helping students with their homework and guiding them in managing their time and meeting deadlines. We add all parents automatically using the email address given on the “data checking sheet” that you return at the start of each year. However, if your email address changes or if you would like further “guardians” added, please let us know.

Is all homework recorded on Google Classroom? What about the paper planners?

Yes, all teachers will record all homework tasks as a Google Classroom “assignment”. If your son/daughter clicks/taps on their “To do” list (or the Google Classroom calendar) they will see a list of all of their homework along with the deadline. As they complete each piece of homework, they can mark their homework “as done” within Google Classroom and this will remove it from their To Do list and Google Classroom will stop sending them reminders to do it.

Students still have a paper planner and we still encourage them to use it if it works for them or if they do not have easy access to Google Classroom at home.

Why does my son/daughter have so much overdue homework?!

When you receive your summary emails from Google Classroom, listed first are any homework pieces that Google Classroom thinks are overdue (ie not done). This list can be quite long and, as a parent, it can be quite alarming to see. However, it probably doesn’t mean that your son/daughter hasn’t done their homework!

Most teachers recording homework on Google Classroom are not collecting it (electronically) via Google Classroom. Google Classroom is therefore unaware of whether the homework has been submitted or not. We are trying to encourage students to click the “Mark as done” button that appears on the homework task in their Google Classroom once they have completed it. Some students are getting very good at remembering to do this, but some are still forgetting. If you are seeing a long list of “missing” homework in your email summaries, please first ask your son/daughter if they are remembering to do their Google Classroom housekeeping before worrying that they have not done their work. Remember, whenever any homework is not handed in on time, you will receive a notification email from Fallibroome’s “Ready To Learn” system. If you don’t get an email from RTL, your son/daughter is doing everything on time, regardless of what Google Classroom thinks!

Why am I not receiving any guardian summary emails?

Summary emails are only sent out if there is something to put in them. If your son/daughter is having a (very rare indeed!) day/week without any announcements or assignments, you will not receive an email.

Why can’t I see any attachments?

Lots of announcements and assignments posted by teachers will include attachments or web links. Unfortunately, these are not shared with parents in their summary emails. You will need to access Classroom via your son/daughter’s account to see these.