Delivering a full and exciting curriculum through virtual learning
In light of the Government's decision to close all schools from Friday, all our teachers and pupils at Radnor House started working online from Thursday to fully test our systems and refine processes before the full school closure began on Monday.
Technology plays a key role at Radnor House as a tool to enhance the educational experience of all pupils. Teachers have spent the last month adapting their classes and preparing their pupils to ensure we have a robust long term solution in place for remote learning in response to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 virus.
As part of our preparation, teachers used their lessons on Thursday and Friday to test the delivery of lessons using Microsoft Teams and OneNote for Years 4 – 13 and our online journal, Tapestry, for our Nursery children through to Year 3. All of our pupils and parents have been given full and detailed guidance on the technology and how it will support their children’s learning whilst away from the school site. School is not closed – it has simply moved to a virtual environment!
We are delighted to report all of our pupils, teachers and parents were ready to start the first day of online teaching by 8.20am (in fact some pupils logged on at 7am asking when their lessons were going to start!).
In the Prep School all the children have their daily timetable online which starts with taking a register at 8.20am during their virtual form time, with their first lessons beginning at 8.40am. Every Form Tutor has developed a daily plan to deliver their lessons for all our academic subjects, including Drama, PE, Music and Art lessons. Assessments will still be taking place and feedback will be given to provide the children with the next steps in their learning journey. With the technology we have, the tutors are able to chat with the class, as a group and individually, and review and feedback on their learning on a daily basis.
"I just delivered my first 'real' virtual lesson using Microsoft Teams and OneNote. It's a strange feeling sitting in the empty classroom interacting with students online but they were brilliant! Also used the recording feature for them to watch the lesson again" - Mr Malik
For the Senior School the day starts with their usual registration at 8:20am, during which time the Form Tutor will take a register and have live chats with everyone in the class to check everyone is prepared for the day. The tutor time is essential to ensure that all pupils are ready to learn and to help resolve any issues from the day before. In addition, this time is invaluable to maintain a sense of identity as a member of the Radnor House community.
In the Prep and Senior School, break times and lunch times are scheduled along with weekly “virtual assemblies”. Pastoral care is at the heart of everything we do, so children will also have the opportunity to have one-to-one time with their tutors and our more vulnerable children will be in regular contact with our Head of Student Services.
Understandably, our parents were nervous about the robustness of the technological solutions and wondered if they would be expected to become their child’s tutor. We are delighted to report our parents could not be more supportive as the school has taken on the responsibility of delivering a full and exciting curriculum indefinitely throughout this difficult time. Here are just some of the comments we have received over the past few days from our parents …
"I just wanted to say thank you personally for everything you have done to set up the systems for the Prep children. What you and the other staff have achieved in such a short amount of time is truly amazing."
"My wife and I just wanted to send a brief note to wish you all good health and also to thank you plus the hardworking team around you for your impressive response to this environment. The level of preparation and ongoing care for our children both academically and pastorally is truly remarkable and appreciated. In our opinion it is also a marked differentiator of an excellent school."
"I just want to let you know that we’ve been really impressed at your response, the level of preparation and the excellent communication in these nerve-wracking days. None of it can be easy with the interests of so many people to balance against each other, but from “out here” you really seem to be doing a great job and in a reassuringly sure-footed way."
"We do truly recognise and see how much hard work you are putting in for us all at the moment. So from our household a big thank you for everything you are doing. Thank you all for the amazing work you are doing to keep us all informed and up to date with the current situation."
"I wanted to say thank you once again for your leadership and hard work of teachers in preparing the school for potential shut down. I work for a large multinational and your school is on par with the best companies in preparing to navigate the current environment."
"I wanted to send appreciation to you all for your proactivity, creativity and clear communications. My girls are calm and totally ready to work remotely when the time comes. (They are very keen to teach their ancient mum and dad how to best utilise ‘Teams’ as well!)."
"Your work, communication and vision on this has been so impressive. It has, as others have said, a real weight off my mind. Your provision online has allowed my husband and I to work from home, safe in the knowledge that our daughter was having a full day of lessons. Amazing stuff Radnor!"