Since the COVID-19 crisis, we have all had to face new challenges. Remote Learning has become part of our ‘new normal’ and as we continue to follow the ever-changing Government Guidelines, we can proudly reflect on how far we’ve come and how well both our staff and pupils at the Infant and Junior School have adapted to new teaching methods and learning environments.

In the week prior to lockdown, packs of materials were prepared for the children to take home in the event of lockdown. These were designed as an initial stop gap to keep learning going whilst the staff adjusted to a new way of teaching. They included workbooks, exercise books and for our younger pupils resources such as individual whiteboards and simple maths equipment. The whole School had to jump into action and staff were quickly trained in using Microsoft Teams to directly communicate with our pupils. The Infant staff were also trained to use ‘ShowMyHomework’ to post their planned activities. The Junior pupils had lessons to refresh their knowledge of Office 365 – using email, collaborating and sharing documents as well as using MS Teams.

Over the Easter Holidays and the INSET day at the start of the Summer Term, the Infant and Junior School Staff learnt how to: Set up Google Classrooms, plan and deliver work via their Google Classrooms, organise Google Meets and how to use them effectively to ‘live teach’ with groups of learners. They learnt how to record teaching videos both of themselves and sharing their screen for pupils to watch before attempting an activity; how to mark and give feedback to individual pupils about attainment, effort and progress using Google Classroom and also how to use a variety of G-Suite tools to expand range of activities pupils asked to complete.

There is nothing better than a bustling classroom full of children and we know the importance (now more than ever) of face-to-face communication, that’s why we made it our priority to ensure that our pupils were and are still having that contact as much as possible. Our Infant children have been having three live lessons per day with one live story time. Our Juniors have been able to watch their lessons as a pre-recorded video, followed by a live meet to discuss the activity, some of the lessons have been delivered completely live. Junior School pupils continue to have a live tutor session each morning and evening. All music lessons, singing practice and choir rehearsals have also been done live.

In this way, it has been almost ‘business as usual’ for our children as they been taught and have been able to actively learn every day throughout this lockdown period. As a result, they have continued to make great progress in their education and have continued pastoral care and daily contact with school, their teachers and peers.