Ballard School was quick to implement a completely new way of teaching following the sudden closure of schools on 20 March.
With the Government announcement coming just two days before schools were required to close, staff had to work fast to provide a high standard of education for pupils on a remote basis just a few days later.
The independent school which provides education for children aged two to 16, set out a clear plan, with the intention that pupils should follow their normal timetable. All lessons from pupils’ timetables are being replicated online, complete with resources, via Microsoft SharePoint. Staff were also given training in the group communication and collaboration platform, Microsoft TEAMS, to enable them to deliver lessons and engage with their classes remotely.
Many teachers began delivering ‘live’ lessons during the first week of the school closures, with the aim being that every teacher will do so from the beginning of the summer term on 21 April.
A parent said. “My son told me this morning that he feels that everything is going well for him so far. It’s giving him structure to his day, keeping him focussed and helps him to still very much feel part of the school.”
Headmaster at Ballard School, Andrew McCleave, said, “For all staff, this is a completely different way of teaching. I think the teachers and support staff have done an amazing job to get us to where we are with the online learning.
“We are also so grateful for the patience and support shown by our families, who themselves are going through enormous upheaval in their own lives.
“We feel it is so important that teachers can still interact and respond to their pupils, and that classes can engage in discussions together.”
It is uncertain when schools will reopen, with Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson MP, stating that schools would be closed ‘until further notice’. Mr Williamson stated that it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that schools will be closed until September.
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