Following the recent Government announcement, schools are facing the biggest and most disruptive change they have ever experienced, having been ordered to closed for the foreseeable future.
This has had a huge impact on children and families across the UK as they adjust to staying in and learning at home. So, how have schools rapidly adapted to teaching pupils in this new environment? What does this new world of education look like?
At Athene Communications, we work with over 100 schools across the country and have seen first-hand how they have evolved and introduced innovative practices and solutions to maintain high-quality learning and a sense of community during the lockdown.
Keeping pupils excited about learning
The vast majority of pupils are now learning from home, using online resources and tasks set remotely by their teachers. So how are they engaging pupils with the work? Gladstone Primary Academy, part of the Thomas Deacon Education Trust, is one of a few schools which are setting daily challenges to get their children excited about learning. Abbey College have been setting their pupils trick shot challenges, where pupils record videos of themselves completing these challenges and upload them to the PE Instagram page to inspire others.
Celebrities to the rescue
Both pupils at home and in school are enjoying daily educational videos created by their heroes. Some of the most popular include PE with Joe Wicks, now the nation’s unofficial PE teacher, story time with David Walliams, history with Dan Snow and dance with Darcey Bussell. Not only are they informative, but they are providing mums and dads with much needed breaks….
The power of social media
To help families stay connected with their school community, many schools are utilising social media to share online resources, provide updates and continue showcasing great learning going on both at home and in school.
We have seen across the number of schools we support with social media, that it has been incredibly successful. Parents feel informed and enjoy seeing that learning is continuing, with high levels of engagement and lots of positive comments.
You’ve got mail
Other schools have adopted alternative ways to keep in touch. Offord Primary School, part of the Cam Academy Trust, has asked pupils at home to write letters to their teachers about how they are getting on.
At Gusford Primary School, part of the Active Learning Trust, their therapy dog, Pebbles, has set up her own email address so children can write to her. This has been incredibly popular and a great positive story. The headteacher was interviewed on BBC Drivetime and several local and trade press have also covered the story.
Keeping staff connected
Staff are also finding innovative solutions to communicate and boost morale. At Gamlingay Village Primary, part of the Cam Academy Trust, staff are using a GVPositives group to share their daily successes and funny stories, which is maintaining a sense of togetherness.
Children drawing rainbows and displaying them in their windows has become a national symbol of hope and positivity during these uncertain times. Many schools have taken part, showcasing pupils’ artwork in classroom windows.
With our help, Nene Park Academy, part of the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, has amended its logo to include the rainbow.
Schools have also been giving back to their communities with several of The Chiltern Learning Trust schools donating their science goggles to the NHS!
Whilst times ahead look unclear and will remain complex for our schools to navigate, they continue to provide a sense of community and positivity for their pupils and families. What we have seen over the last two weeks shows that schools are prepared to continue to inspire and educate whatever the circumstance.
If you would like support or advice about communicating during this uncertain time, please get in contact with our education team at email@example.com