REMOTE LEARNING AT THE UNICORN SCHOOL
From Sallie Greenhalgh, Director of Teaching & Learning:
We invested heavily in IT last summer to improve teaching and learning for all pupils at The Unicorn School. Little did we realise then how important that investment would prove to be. All teaching staff have access to a Surface Pro Digital Ink device and staff and pupils have Office 365 accounts. We had only begun to scratch the surface of the functionality available to us until the last couple of weeks. All staff and pupils have had training in how to use Microsoft Teams to deliver remote teaching sessions and parents have received help sheets to enable them to support at home.
A school YouTube channel is currently being set up and help videos being uploaded. This will be shared with all staff and pupils shortly. All pupils are now able to receive their lessons at home following their normal timetable and as part of their normal class. Some classes are even dialling in for break time sessions too. In these difficult times this enables pupils and staff to still feel like they belong to The Unicorn School as well as ensuring that they do not miss out on their education. Pupils have borrowed ChromeBooks from school to help them to access the internet from home if required. The enthusiasm and resilience of pupils and staff has meant that lessons have carried on seamlessly, firstly with some children and staff working from home and some in school and now with everyone at home. I am really impressed with how far we have come in so little time and really pleased we decided to make the investment in IT last year!
Just a few examples of the tremendous feedback we have had from parents:
“As an IT Business Leader and School Governor, I have a good insight into the challenges and commitments required to change well established educational practices, and without question, the Unicorn have impressed me the most. If it is any comfort, as long as the remote tutoring can continue for the time being, as a parent I think that I am getting very good value for my fees bearing in mind the exceptional circumstances that are being managed – Bravo!”
“We have felt that [our daughter] has been very well informed especially in terms of virtual learning. I briefly observed the class today and am delighted at how successful the virtual lessons were. Again thank you so much - I personally cannot express the relief I feel that she is academically being so cared for.”
“Can I just say I’ve been working today at my desk, next to [my son’s] desk in our office, and I am in absolute awe of how fantastic both the children, but also the teaching staff, have adapted to the Teams working. The ability to switch between lessons, interact with a decent number of peers during lessons, switch applications and then liaise, communicate and work on one document with their partner was truly amazing....never mind the fact they kept coming back after each break!”
“The support and teaching they are receiving, is a fantastic example of how brilliantly Young People can be supported through this very challenging time. I know many families who would give anything for their children to have this level of provision and support.”
“Just a quick message to say how magnificently I think the School and the Staff have stepped up to remote tutoring with the Covid-19 outbreak.”