Since schools in the UK once again found themselves facing closure at the beginning of the Spring Term, our news feeds have been filled with articles, statistics and discussions about the successes and challenges of remote learning.
Much has been written not only by teachers and educationalists, but parents and families, government organisations, and independent charities about the pros and cons of virtual ‘school’. But in the midst of the Google classroom and a full-timetable of online lessons, there is one voice that is in danger of being overlooked: that of our students.
As we reach the end of this half term, we turn to the students of KPS to hear their thoughts on how remote learning has gone over the last six weeks.
Many students found that the full-time use of technology has increased their confidence in using different software and applications. As one student puts it: “The best part of remote learning is that it makes you better with technology and makes you realise what an adult who is sitting behind an office the whole day would feel”. In addition, the use of a laptop has made note-taking much more accessible for some: “The best part of remote learning is that work is accessible” and "there is an ease to writing notes.”
Remote learning has also helped some students with their confidence, taking away the pressure of speaking in front of a class which can be daunting: “I can get really nervous when I'm around [others], so working online has given me more courage to participate in class”.
Despite missing their friends, a number of students enjoyed being able to spend time with their loved ones during the school day, which they wouldn’t normally do: “[I have enjoyed] being able to see my family in break time”.
Similarly, learning from the comfort of their own homes has meant that students can spend their short breaks refining and perfecting their talents and hobbies away from the screen, even giving them a platform to share their interests and hobbies outside of school with their classmates. One student was excited that he could “show my talent easily because I can get my guitar whenever I want.” Another commented: “I've found I have more time to do things that I want to do”.
Finally, several students observed that the new way of learning has given them more self-awareness, helping them to better understand how they like to learn, what helps them focus, and what they find distracting. One student observed that “the best part of remote learning is focusing on yourself more”. Developing an understanding of their own best-learning practices is crucial to students’ success, and will serve them for many years to come.
At Kensington Park School, we are proud to have developed a model of remote learning that has not only ensured students continue to follow a full teaching timetable, with ongoing pastoral support and co-curricular provision, but has encouraged them to take ownership of their learning, and develop crucial life skills, such as organisation, self-discipline, and independence. We are committed to listening and responding to the needs of our school community, our staff, students and parents; if you have any questions about remote teaching and learning this term, please do contact your son’s or daughter’s tutor or a member of our senior leadership team.