What is meant by Blended Learning?


In the development of their approach to Blended Learning, schools should consider ways of:

  • Maximising opportunities for communications and dialogue with children, young people and their families and continuing to build relationships and resilience.
  • Benefits of play and outdoor learning will be factored into learning plans – including opportunities for learners to be physically active, to enjoy and learn about their natural environment, and to relax.
  • Ensuring regular contact for children and young people with a key adult from their usual place of learning who knows them well, to talk about their wellbeing; to share experiences during lockdown, including successes and challenges; to offer compassion and individual support as required; and to support engagement with learning.
  • Ensuring regular access for learners to high quality activities through working with teachers and practitioners in educational settings and remote learning at home, in line with the curriculum to reflect local circumstances.


In the development of their approach to Blended Learning, schools should consider ways of:

  • Setting out a clear statement of intent to prioritise the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of children and young people, practitioners and families. Recognition that good health and wellbeing is fundamental to ensuring that children and young people can engage effectively in their learning
  • Using the Refreshed Narrative for Curriculum for Excellence as a practical tool to support a curriculum rationale for the BGE and senior phase in the Recovery Phase, with an early focus on reconnection in the initial stage of returning to school.
  • Engaging with partners in youth work, culture and sport who may be able to enrich the offer available for children and young people outside school hours.
  • Engaging with their parent councils and forums to utilise the skills and experience of the parent community in supporting learning.
  • Focusing on learning across literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing as the initial priority, with increasing learning experiences across all four contexts of learning.
  • Exploring how the timetable and blended learning provision in secondary schools can provide a clear emphasis on health and wellbeing, literacy and numeracy, and access to learning in a wider range of curriculum areas as both the context for these aspects and for subject content and skills.
  • Working with learners and their families in drawing together evidence of learning to begin to determine children’s achievements together with their next steps in learning. The moderation cycle will be a helpful process to follow.


In the development of their approach to Blended Learning, schools should consider ways of:

  • Recognising that children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds may have faced multiple barriers to learning over the period of the school closures.
  • Applying the principle of equity to consider how to provide additional and appropriate support where it is most needed in order to maximise engagement with learning and continue the work to close the poverty related attainment gap.
  • Amending and further developing school plans for Pupil Equity Fund spending to support equity challenges for pupils as a result of a blended learning model being adopted.


In the development of their approach to Blended Learning, schools should consider ways of:

  • Focusing on promoting and developing skills that will increase children and young people’s abilities to learn remotely and identifying opportunities to develop future skills that will help equip them for the uncertainties of the future.
  • Supporting children and young people through a variety of approaches to demonstrate their learning, skills, knowledge and understanding across the curriculum, e.g. through discussions, writing, reflection, observation and practical activities.

What is Blended Learning?

It is widely suggested that learners are not engaging with many existing remote learning approaches. The literature supports the use of blended learning as a means to increase engagement. Blended learning is thought to achieve this through:

  • Providing agency to learners combined with monitoring and communication from teachers
  • Providing opportunities for personalisation and differentiation
  • Providing learners with opportunities to feel successful
  • Rewarding social learning interactions with peers, teachers and parents

Definitions of Blended Learning vary across the literature but most sources agree that blended learning utilises elements of face-to-face learning and teaching in combination with online content. To satisfy most definitions a blended learning approach must allow learners some control of the time, place, path and/or pace of their own learning.

Further Reading on Blended Learning