Many thanks to the 300+ parents who completed our home learning survey. With such a high turnout, the results have provided us with a far clearer understanding of how our students have responded to and been affected by, the move to remote learning.
I think the word unprecedented has never been used as much. The world we all found ourselves in on the 20th March as the school gates closed and the lockdown began, was something I never imagined I would ever experience. Even as the situation in China and then Italy, filled the news headlines, the possibility of school closure for a few weeks (never mind months!) seemed very unlikely.
The past term has been a steep learning curve as we have adapted to a new way of working and living; bringing with it new challenges and achievements. Setting work from home (or school on my key worker days) has been a strange experience. PowerPoints fine-tuned, narrations added, videos made, quizzes created and everything uploaded.
It was great to see that the hard work put in by the teachers at PGHS has paid off, with the vast majority of parents feeling that their daughters have appropriately been challenged during lockdown and that most have continued to enjoy their learning and make progress.
In a week when a government poll suggested that over 2million children were working for less than one hour a day, it was great to see that this was not our experience with our girls clearly working incredibly hard. We know this commitment to their studies reflects a range of factors, including the unstinting support of parents and the resilience and ambition of our students.
Throughout the home learning period, I have been involved in countless discussions with subject staff regarding the best way to teach remotely. Clearly, there is no perfect solution. Research by the EEF (Education Endowment Foundation) has shown that it’s the quality of the resource and the clarity of instruction, rather than the way it is delivered, that matters.
As a school we have opted for the on-demand approach, allowing students to access resources at a time that suits them (and their families) while enabling students to slow down and repeat lessons if necessary. We have been ever conscious of the ICT restrictions in some households, appreciating that not everyone has constant access to a quiet workspace and a personal PC.
Throughout the lockdown period we have prioritised the mental health of our students, acknowledging that both the spread of coronavirus and the sudden and dramatic change in lifestyle will have caused considerable anxiety for some. Throughout the lockdown period, our team of pastoral staff have been working with parents and pupils to help those requiring support. It was therefore encouraging to see that so many parents reported no deterioration in their daughter’s wellbeing. If you feel your daughter would benefit from some pastoral support from school, Raising Achievement Coordinators can be quickly and privately alerted through the wellbeing function on ClassCharts.
Once again, many thanks for your support and help over the past three months. With the news today confirming that schools will be open to all students in all years on September 3rd for the start of new academic year, I’m sure we are all looking forward to a more normal Autumn.
Mr Ward, Senior Assistant Headteacher