In celebration of lockdown learning
8 March 2021
Pupils across the country are about to finally return to school – many of whom have been learning from home for over two months, not to mention many more months over the past year.
This moment presents an opportunity for Bellevue schools to reflect on the achievements made in the face of the challenging months of ‘Lockdown 3’. Despite January’s overnight schools closure announcement, Bellevue teachers responded with enthusiasm and flexibility, their pupils resilient as ever.
Elmhurst School for Boys, in south Croydon, swiftly adapted to online learning, with a structured daily timetable balancing learning with social interaction.
‘Elmhurst’s teachers have shown an unmatched dedication to providing a seamless continuity of education since the very first lockdown,’ comments Headteacher, Tony Padfield. ‘Teachers delivered live lessons throughout the day, aligned closely to the boys’ normal school timetable.
‘We also scheduled social time and ran wellbeing sessions to focus on the mental health of pupils. Our parents have provided amazing feedback.’
Nationwide changes to assessments, also announced in January, caused great concern among families across the country. At Ealing Independent College however, Principal Allan Cairns took this in his stride.
‘At the College, we’ve the luxury of being able to offer extensive levels of support through our small class sizes.
‘For this lockdown period, we enriched our praised online learning provision through our EIC Hub. This is an extensive, user-friendly resource for GCSE and A Level courses, which I hope will continue to fulfil a modicum of support in the challenging times we are going through.’
For Wandsworth Preparatory School, creativity remained at the heart of its online provision.
‘Online learning needs to be creative, engaging and surprising,’ says Headteacher, Jo Fife. ‘In lockdown, children miss out on opportunities for interactive role play and imaginary games. We adapted our remote teaching to give children that outlet.
‘At Wandsworth, you could still find pirates hunting for treasure and teams of detectives interviewing suspects. Why? Because stepping into the shoes of others inspires children. It gives them a break from the norm and an escape from the world of the pandemic in which they’re surrounded.’
For The Hampshire School, Chelsea, the focus of ongoing pastoral care provision concentrates on each child to identify subtle changes to their normal behaviour. Each morning, pastoral meetings identify individual pupils who may benefit from early support and targeted interventions.
‘During this difficult chapter, pupils, staff, and parents have demonstrated tremendous resilience,’ says Headteacher, Dr Pamela Edmonds. ‘Together, we actioned an all-inclusive timetable of blended learning, deriving strength from the school’s Core Values: respect, resilience, responsibility, community, and excellence. Continued progress and positive wellbeing have been the key priorities.’
Our video, above, showcases just a small selection of achievements made across the Bellevue pupil community so far this term. As we enter a new phase of learning, we celebrate all that has been accomplished already, in the most testing of circumstances.
You may also enjoy… our Education Director’s Challenging Tuesday Chats series. Visit our Talks page to have a watch.