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Remote learning in the Senior and Sixth Form

Remote learning in the Senior and Sixth Form

Remote learning and hybrid learning has been a challenge for students, staff and parents alike but a challenge that everyone in the St Mary’s community has risen to and excelled at.

The first lockdown had been an incredible time in which we were able to utilise very effectively our internal cloud-based systems, existing training on Microsoft Teams and, very importantly, the fact that all students had a school device with which they already were familiar. This gave us a great advantage when it came to being able to continue our excellent provision online and to various locations around the globe.

September 2020 gave us a new task in educational delivery with the advent of Hybrid Learning. With students having to self-isolate or unable to return to school due to travel restrictions, teaching staff adapted very quickly to delivering lessons both online and to students in the class. That challenge of ensuring inclusivity for all the members of our community, alongside continuing to deliver high-quality lessons and provide students with opportunities for assessment and meaningful feedback is one that, again, all members rose to, adapting to overcome some of the hurdles that were encountered along the way.

It’s a sad consequence of the pandemic that some members of our community have not been back in the physical school buildings for over 12 months now. However, I am buoyed by the sense of belonging I have seen so many of our students around the globe stating they have experienced, as teachers and form tutors continue to ensure that the St Mary’s ethos of inclusivity and a Christian community, with the respecting, nurturing and loving of each member, continues to be practised every day.

Online and hybrid learning has blended well with the philosophy behind HPL. Students and staff have had to think creatively and flexibly to adapt their teaching to the online environment and it has led to many teachers making changes permanently to how they impart their subject to their students. Students too have had to show resilience and self-discipline in taking ownership of their learning and ensuring they stay motivated and focused whilst joining lessons from all over the globe.

A strong feature of both online and hybrid learning has been how it allows for collaborative work and gives students who may not always have the confidence to contribute thoughts and ideas in lessons to be more able to express their metathinking in meaningful ways to their peers.

So too has it given teachers a new tool for meaningful feedback that allows students to receive personalized comments and then the opportunity to refine and adapt their work to continuously improve and develop.

Here, Ruth Taylor, Head of Sixth Form outlines the approach to Remote Learning in Sixth Form

Opening up new possibilities

2020/21 has meant a time of great challenge but, alongside the challenge, it has also been an exciting time in seeing how the school has evolved in its use of digital tools, probably a number of years before we would have otherwise done so. It is an exciting time to be in teaching as we see new possibilities and opportunities for online and hybrid learning but the most wonderful aspect is to be back in school together for this.

Mr Mallabone

Return to Magnolian 2021