Colleges draw on the lessons of first lockdown for classes

LESSONS went ahead on schedule for private college students yesterday morning, albeit remotely.

Blanchelande College principal Robert O'Brien. (29159994)
Blanchelande College principal Robert O'Brien. (29159994)

Remote learning infrastructure has been used since last March, so is now familiar for both pupils and staff.

However, the second lockdown announcement still came as a shock, Blanchelande College principal Robert O’Brien said.

‘Our teachers have shown terrific spirit in taking this on, but I have asked parents to support teachers during this challenging time, when many teachers have their own family circumstances to navigate, particularly their own children who may need their help,’ Mr O’Brien said.

Infants are set recorded videos each morning, with Years 3 to 6 having a reduced timetable to stay focused.

‘Senior school students, however, are having a complete live timetable, which is a step up from the last lockdown when we ran a reduced timetable due to the unfamiliarity everyone had with the process of remote learning.’

Blanchelande Year 10 student Peter Green said he feels more comfortable compared to last year.

‘I think this is because last year lockdown crept up on us quite quickly and it took us by surprise, but this year we all know what to expect from our school and our teachers know what to expect from us.’

Head girl Zoe Tester said remote learning was more familiar, although not the most ideal method.

She said they were lucky that the school prepared quickly and thoroughly to avoid missing learning.

‘I’m sure the island will do everything it can to get us back to normal again soon.’

The Ladies’ College asked parents and teachers to encourage, motivate and praise students, acknowledging that it is impossible to replicate a usual school day.

Maintaining provision of teaching and learning, encouraging daily exercise, and avoiding screen time is desired.

‘Having a routine whilst working remotely in unsettled times can be helpful, and following the timetable adds structure to the day,’ a spokesman said.

‘We do not expect parents to be teachers and we hope our pupils and students will speak directly to their teachers if they are finding it difficult to complete work for any reason.’

Core work has been set to make returning to school easier, with optional extended work available, having found it unrealistic and undesirable to complete a usual quantity of work.

Teachers are available to speak to throughout lessons, and will be present at the start or end of lessons, teach live throughout, have pre-recorded material or post work online.

Elizabeth College principal Jenny Palmer said a mixture of live lessons, video and set tasks have been arranged on digital platforms used for homework and parental communications.

‘Our provision does have to be manageable and we will review and adjust as necessary after half term, should that be required.’

Usual timetables are being followed for now, with students encouraged to avoid too much screen time.

Students and teachers had their own devices already connected to the college’s systems.

For student and staff support, tutor time and assemblies will continue.

‘Our staff have been fantastic in stepping up to this task, continuing to keep a strong focus on the needs of our students and responding to what is required.’

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