Lockdown Remote Learning

Staff and students are rising to the challenge of remote learning during the current Coronavirus crisis.

The Spring term has finished and staff and students are taking a well earned break, but despite the fact that the College had to close two weeks early, sterling work was done to get both Year 12 and Year 13 students set up with distance learning and here are just a few examples of what has been taking place.

The Creative Arts department have been utilising Microsoft Teams to conduct lessons as normal. Music and Drama students have been asked to watch online videos before lessons so that during these video lessons they can conduct a discussion as they would in College. Visual Arts students have been able to see teacher PowerPoint presentations during their Teams lessons, just as they would normally and this has enabled teachers to share the work of eminent artists that can influence students in their own portfolios (see image above).

In Business, Law and Accounting, Microsoft Teams is also a preferred method of staying in touch. However, they are also encouraging students to do the 20-hour VESPA Challenge, which has them spending 20 hours improving on skills, hobbies and talents. They then need to summarise what they have achieved, demonstrate their progress and discuss what they have learnt from the challenge.

In Biology and Physics, students have been using Biozone and Kerboodle online textbooks and staff have been setting exam questions though ExamPro and Moodle. Meanwhile, in Chemistry, teachers have recorded videos and posted them to YouTube. A discussion forum on Moodle has enabled students to discuss the contents of the video and share their learning.

Mathematics students are making great use of Moodle guidance to help with their independent study. This involves students watching and making notes to a series of online videos, so they can then tackle set exercises on an online textbook that the department has subscribed to. On completion of set work, students are provided with teacher written solutions to assess and annotate their work. Online tests with immediate feedback are also being completed and there are more demanding exercises to stretch and challenge the more able.

Meanwhile, all Sport, Childcare and Health students were having work set and feedback given through assignments on Microsoft Teams, while A level PE students were also using the TheEverlearner PE online learning platform.

In Psychology, teachers have set students structured independent work to do, which they can access from Moodle. Teaching has been taking place virtually via Microsoft Teams to help students cement their independent work. After Easter, virtual lessons will take place once a week for each class. Staff have also created a virtual library for Psychology students on Moodle – there are sections dedicated to every area of the specification with podcasts, articles and links to documentaries!

In Humanities, a buddy system is currently being trialled, which sees Year 13 students mentoring students in Year 12 via Moodle.

The Media, Film and IT department are delivering a combination of online lessons and the “chat” facility on Microsoft Teams. This software allow teachers to share assignments, handouts, work on a document as a class and continue with class discussions. Students have enjoyed the contact and asked for online lessons to continue.

These are just some of the examples of the work taking place. We pride ourselves on developing independent learning skills with our students, because we are preparing them to progress to university, Higher Apprenticeships or the world of work, where they will have to become even more indpendent. This means our students have been better placed than some younger pupils to deal with this distance learning.

Year 13 students are being encouraged to finish the syllabus despite the fact that no exams are taking place this summer. This is important because we want to ensure our students are ready for the next challenge they face after College, without any gaps in their knowledge.

8 April 2020