The physical closure of schools nationwide from March 24, as part of the government’s nationwide response to managing COVID-19, has seen Long Bay College teachers working extremely hard to ensure the College can continue to provide high quality teaching and learning opportunities for students through remote learning.
“As part of our culture of care, we wanted to ensure students can reach out to teachers and each other as quickly as possible. Our staff have been outstanding, working extremely hard to get everything ready within a very tight time frame. We are very proud of how well they have managed this process,” says College Principal, CJ Healey.
Judging by the responses made by students’ parents and caregivers on the College’s social media pages, it’s apparent family members were impressed by the school’s ability to pivot so quickly and provide a new system that will keep students connected and engaged in their studies while the need for social distancing remains in place.
Studies, via virtual classrooms, began on March 26, the first official day of lockdown. Lessons are delivered via the online platform, Microsoft Teams. Students connect with their teachers remotely while following their regular timetable. They are encouraged to complete their set work in a timely fashion across each school day (where possible) and use the structured check-in/lesson times to touch base with their teachers.
With just two days of Term One left when remote learning started, students and teachers had the opportunity to set up and trial the new system ahead of the holidays.
“Remote learning is a new experience for us all – staff, students and parents. It’s a whole new way to teach, learn and connect,” says Mr Healey. “We expected the first day of online learning to have its successes and failures, frustrations and accomplishments. That is, after all, what learning is all about.” But feedback from parents, staff and students after the two day taster has been extremely positive with student attendance at online classes impressively high.
French Teacher, Heather Jenkins says, “Our students are so keen to learn, which makes our job much easier! I miss them already, but am loving how hard they are working.”
A parent wrote in to the school to say, “I’m impressed at how well the system for online classes is working on the first day. Considering how quickly the circumstances changed leading up to school closures, everyone at LBC has really done a great job. An added bonus for me is being involved in my child’s learning, as it’s all happening right here!”
Students are now on term break for the next two weeks but the nation is expected to remain in lockdown for the next four weeks. When Term Two begins on Wednesday, April 15 students will be required to logon from home to complete their studies, until further notice.
Information about how to get started in remote learning can be found on the Long Bay College website here.