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19 March 2021

What has the reopening following our virtual learning provision taught us about our school?

What has the reopening following our virtual learning provision taught us about our school?

Last Friday, we celebrated World Book Day and it was an absolute pleasure to see the children in costumes reflecting their favourite book character, and having fun together! The decision to postpone the event in order to coincide with our reopening was appreciated by the children. 

Although, the parent, pupil and staff surveys have highlighted the strengths of our online learning provision, there is no doubt that the discussions and interactions that occur naturally between the children in school, whether stemming from teacher questioning and peer group discussion or the children chatting with their friends between lessons and catching up over lunch, play an important role in furthering personal development. The vital role schools play in caring for children as well as helping them learn has been highlighted by the pandemic.

The pandemic has also encouraged us all to think more creatively about ways of communicating, as well as applying the tips, tricks and technological progression in our repertoire of teaching strategies. 
Feedback is vital to improvement and I take this opportunity to thank those parents who completed the survey. The data indicates that there is widespread appreciation in our community at the speed of adaptation to online learning occurred. As expressed most generously by one of our parents:

“The preparation for the sudden closure, as well as the accommodation for our child’s needs, were remarkable”.

Without exception, parents have rated the school's online learning provision as strong with 87.5% of parents stating that Lockdown 3 exceeded the quality of the virtual provision in Lockdown 1. Only one parent, of those who completed the survey, felt that the balance between live and pre-recorded lessons was not appropriate and, similarly, a single parent did not agree that achievement has been recognised during our remote provision. It is always helpful to receive the breadth of responses and to have just one child not feel that his/her achievements have been recognised is one too many. 
With regard to the question as to whether the children have enjoyed remote learning, there was a mixed response with 62.5% enjoying the experience leaving 37.5% not relishing online access. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the age of the child, the home set-up, familiarity with the use of devices and the child’s preferred way of learning may have an impact on how a child responds to a virtual learning platform. 

I recognise the role that parents have played in supporting their child’s learning and acknowledge that this opportunity, although not necessarily timely given parents’ work commitments, has provided an insight into our pedagogy. I anticipate that parents will attend the Parents' Evening next week with informed knowledge of their child’s learning style and a greater empathy and understanding for what the teachers’ share. 

Remote learning is now an important part of our armoury against a pandemic, or similar threat, for continued education and sustained school improvement. The Bellevue Schools’ Group survey results confirmed that:

“Pupils and parents genuinely grateful for the provision put in place while at the same time looking forward to a sustained period of time in school”. 

‘Back to better’ initiatives that draw on as many positives as possible from this unprecedented period, will empower children to learn effectively both in schools and at home. 

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The Hampshire School Chelsea

15 Manresa Road, Chelsea
London, SW3 6NB

Tel: +44[0] 207 352 7077
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