Prep School Distance Learning
Overseeing the distance teaching and learning of our Prep School has brought me great pride during this most recent lockdown. The first lockdown was a rush to find the best way to continue the teaching we had been trained to do in a school environment, to navigating around teaching from home with spouses working, children learning and cats thinking the device teachers were working from, was their sleeping spot. From the other side of this, parents were thrown into a world where they had to juggle their work, teach their children at home and run a household. Even as a teacher, teaching your own child is no easy feat.
This most recent lockdown in Primary schools, which was thrust upon us less than 12 hours before we were due to open our doors, has shown me how far we have come as a profession and especially how far my staff has come. We have listened to the feedback made by parents during the last lockdown to make changes to the teaching and learning this time.
The main focus for this time around was to offer more live lessons and allow the pupils to see their teachers and each other through weekly class meetings, end-of-day drop ins, and assemblies. For many parents they are able to carry out their own work more easily as their child is focused on the lesson being taught to them, by their teacher, taking the pressure of the last lockdown off the parents.
By the end of the second week, all parents/guardians had been contacted by their child’s class teacher with a telephone call, and any problems they may have had, those in school have worked to help resolve.
Just as the way we teach in the classroom needs to be adapted to the different styles of learning within the class, online learning is different for everyone. Due to the number and types of devices in the home or the amount of screen time pupils are used to, some pupils have difficulties accessing the curriculum. We have worked with the parents to find a solution that works for them and allows their child’s learning to continue.
Our teachers have been amazing through this time but I do not want us to forget the staff in School who are supporting our key worker children and keeping the school running. They are working behind the scenes, just as parents are at home, supporting the children with their learning. We have a team of people in School, during uncertain times, caring for the pupils and maintaining the school for when the rest of the staff and pupils can return.
All staff who belong to a school, whether they be working from home, working in a school or have been furloughed are all part of a team of people who join together with the parents at home to care for our pupils and their education and it is because of this that countless hours are spent helping and supporting each other through this period.
My gratitude to those parents who have taken the time to email their support is immense as it really does mean a lot to the staff and really does keep them going when times are tough as I hope my words of thanks and appreciation mean something to them for their continued support at home. By Keryn Neaves, Senior Deputy Head, Prep School
Prep 1 pupils enjoy learning about the Great Fire of London through Microsoft Teams, Live Lessons