The week of full school reopening is upon us, and no doubt your little treasures are already super excited to get back in the classroom and see one another again. But inevitably, there will still be some pupils who need to learn from home, and the question remains - how can you include them without doubling your workload or compromising your in-class teaching?
Digital learning has thrown up some… let’s say, ‘interesting’ challenges. We’ve seen small children become the hosts of online classes on account of their teacher’s wifi cutting out, only to then mute the teacher and commandeer the class when the teacher manages to rejoin. We’ve seen kids make their Zoom background a picture of them “paying attention” while they disappear to get some snacks. And then there was the young lad who changed his name to “reconnecting...” so the teacher wouldn’t ask him any questions. Not ideal, but you have to admit, pretty innovative!
And while I can’t help you anticipate whatever these little evil geniuses come up with next, I can share some tips on how to make one aspect of remote learning, that is, remote reading, that little bit simpler...
I like to look on the bright side of life, but even I’ll admit that 2021 feels like it’s being directed by Quentin Tarantino. We’ve seen an attempted coup across the pond, alarming COVID-19 statistics over here, and most notably for school leaders - an announcement to partially close all schools with less than 12 hours notice.
Of course, school leaders took the announcement in their stride - which is admirable, given that they probably still have whiplash from the many other sharp government U-turns over the past year. Nonetheless, they’ve still been expected to pick up where they left off and deliver quality remote provision, and at a moment's warning. If this rings true for you, take a look at this advice from our colleagues over at The Key, and their practical examples from the school leaders within their network.
For those of you who keep a keen eye on this blog, you will know that over the last few weeks I’ve been sharing insights from a report written by our colleagues at The Key about the challenges of school business management during COVID-19. In the first blog, we looked at the worrying impact of COVID-19 on wellbeing and workload, and in the second, we delved into how the workload of an SBM has changed, and the subsequent challenges that have come up.
While The Key is not a campaigning group, the team are committed to making the life of any school leader easier through their expertise and guidance. In that vein, the report includes some recommendations for remedying the identified challenges: