Imagine the classroom 3200 miles wide! That is exactly what St Davids teachers were faced within our first week of teaching. With students logging on simultaneously from locations as far away as USA and Hong Kong the classroom became a very different space in a very short amount of time.
The challenge of going straight into a full timetable was a daunting prospect but nearly all the students managed to logon with very few issues. One of the big problems to overcome was that of time zones, but, again, students managed to find ingenious ways around the problem, and teachers were able to record tasks for the pupils to do at a time that was appropriate for them.
The feedback received from parents has been overwhelmingly positive- with the vast majority of parents rating in the learning as either good, very good or excellent. The staff had to find new approaches very quickly but existing technologies within the school such as Microsoft OneNote, Quizlet, Kahoot and Flip Grid allowed teachers to create interactivity in lessons that were, in some cases, incredibly remote. The week proved very useful in itself, giving the teaching staff at the school the chance to try different ideas and begin to gauge what works well with their classes.
One of the highlights of the week was undoubtedly the assembly and pastoral time as it allowed the community to come together in a way that barely seemed to be possible just one week before. Maintaining the ethos of the school with students scattered across the globe is the main focus for all of the community and the solutions that have been put forward speak volumes about the commitment of the staff body to the idea of St David’s as a family.
The following weeks are going to present many more challenges, but the ingenuity and resilience shown in the first week demonstrate that Students and staff will be able to maximise their learning in these difficult circumstances.