The return to school after the Christmas break sees us back in lockdown and providing Guided Home Learning (GHL) once again. This time, better prepared and now with previous experience, we have this down to a fine art.
As the whole country continues to debate whether schools should remain open or closed, we have continued to provide care for the children of critical workers and worked hard to perfect our Guided Home Learning programme for those at home in order to replicate the quality of the education provided in school.
Teaching and Learning
Teaching and learning works both ways. As a school, we welcomed feedback about our GHL provision last time and used that to help create an even slicker operation this time. As experts in how girls learn, we already know what makes them tick, but it can be quite different in a remote setting and it seemed fitting, and was very helpful, to take on board the comments from girls, teachers and parents after the first lockdown.
We are very fortunate to have so much quality technology at our disposal making remote teaching and learning much more manageable. But being at home is of course very different to being in the classroom, and our GHL programme is designed to give the girls an experience as close to that which they have in school as is possible. This includes punctuality, behaviour, appearance, participation and general commitment to learning. Our expectations of our girls in a Google Classroom are the same as in a physical classroom.
We have taken on board what helped the girls (and the staff) to deal with GHL previously to make it a positive and rewarding experience as well as an educational one. Workload, structure, clarity, praise, homework, deadlines, targets, marking – all of these things are affected by a shift to GHL. And we mustn’t forget the camaraderie, fun and friendship that comes with a school setting for the whole community. Virtual enrichment clubs and staff meetings help to bond the school community – it’s really important that we all support each other. And our parent feedback suggests that we’re getting it right.
GCSE and A Levels
We are extremely conscious of the needs of those girls who are in Year 11 and Year 13 as they surely face the biggest disruption to their education at its most critical stage. Exam years are challenging at the best of times, so it’s vital that our girls get the best education and support from the school to ensure that they have the best opportunities for their future as they possibly can. The national situation seems to change on a daily basis, and we have to remain flexible and prepared for any outcome. Our Guided Home Learning programme along with our pastoral support and additional provision from the GDST gives our girls a head start. We’re confident that whatever happens over the coming weeks and months, we will keep our standards high so that prospects remain bright.
So with a sense of déjà vu, we make our way through the spring term. Our classrooms and corridors are much quieter than we’d like, but we need our school community to be safe and healthy above all. Guided Home Learning may be around for a while and as we know, practice makes perfect. Education is vital for society and we will always ensure to keep up the good work.