We have had 1675 Zoom meetings, 679,550 minutes of Zoom meetings and 30,911 Zoom participants – and that was just this week. With Somerset@Home, our learning has certainly transformed over these past weeks as we have shifted to delivery on our online platforms.
Agile has become part of our day-to-day and the creativity and can-do attitude of all has never been valued more than in these times. Along the way, we’ve extended our existing use of platforms and challenged some traditional ways of doing things to great effect. The relationships at the heart of our time in the classroom still remains core; we’ve simply had to look at different ways to continue to be engaged – teachers with students and students with teachers.
One of our great tenets of ‘continual improvement’ has continued to hold true. Each week has brought new improvements and additions to Somerset@Home. In the Junior School, as teachers and students have become familiar, comfortable and confident with Zoom, additional sessions have been added for subjects, specialist lessons and small group sessions for a more individual learning or guided reading. In the Senior School, tutorial sessions and small group sessions have been options used as needed, small group sessions with Heads of House and Year Level Co-ordinators have been scheduled to catch up with students and moving forward, break out rooms in Zoom will be on offer for collaboration and discussion.
The continual improvement has not just been with our Zoom sessions, departments and year levels have continued to look at how different learning activities can best occur and made use of a range of different software and solutions to great effect. Teachers and students have become Schoolbox whizzes and learnt new skills and different ways to collaborate and learn. The benefits of this time with the use of technology in teaching and learning will be something that will not be lost.
The transition to online has continued to evolve – exercise and sport has gone online, music lessons, Wordsmiths, dance lessons and IT Help. Teachers have been creating video content – from videos on simultaneous equations, to world heritage activities, to phonics lessons and Photoshop tutorials – and students have been engaging with these as our statistics continue to affirm.
We all cannot wait until we can be back together again in the same physical space, but the learning certainly has not stopped and week by week, the online opportunities are being extended and challenges are being addressed. The support of all in our community at this time is valued and appreciated – parents helping children, students working with teachers, IT staff assisting with support requests and all staff developing new ways of working and responding to these times. Along the way too, we are reminded of the richness of what occurs at Somerset and the experiences that we will all enjoy when we return.
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