With our south-west London site closed at the moment, Harrodians are busy addressing the challenges that the shift from face-to-face to remote learning presents to all of us
Thanks both to the expertise of our in-house IT specialists and the research put in by teaching and management teams, Harrodian’s grasp of how to communicate with and teach its students remotely and virtually has come on in leaps in bounds. We have developed our plans over the past month using Skype, Google Meet and Google Classroom, Edulink and a combination of these and others to meet the needs of each of our age group departments (which you can find out about here).
We’d like to apologise for any glitches and to request the understanding and patience of our community as we settle into a consistent working rhythm.
It’s quite clear, however, that the transition from personal to virtual learning will not be as simple or smooth as we’d wish. As I write this on Monday 23rd March, we have already seen an Edulink ‘outage’ and restoration to working order this morning. We’d like to apologise for any glitches and also to request the understanding and patience of our community as we settle into a consistent working rhythm.
The inevitable surge in global demand across all such platforms and apps means that similar hiccups and frustrations are likely to be part and parcel of all children’s learning experience – and that of their parents – right across the world this spring.
You can be sure that, as our understanding and experience of this unfamiliar virtual teaching landscape grows over coming weeks, our tech specialists and teachers will be continuing to evolve their approach so that all of us are as well-prepared as we can be to meet the educational challenges of all our age-group departments when the Summer Term begins on 20th April.
Our tech specialists and teachers will be continuing to evolve their approach so that we are well-prepared to meet the educational challenges of all our age-group departments when the Summer Term begins
'In the meantime, we wanted to share two examples of on-line lessons our teachers have been testing over the past week. The first took place last Friday after pupils had left Harrodian. The 14s (year 10) GCSE Art pupils have been looking at the painter Bridget Riley as part of their GCSE coursework and went independently to the exhibition about her at the Hayward gallery some months ago. 'To inspire the 14s, I asked teachers and other staff to join me for an hour-long Art lesson and to experiment on recreating Riley's painting 'Nataraja' (see the banner image, above) in paint or oil pastels,' says Ms Caldecott. 'I will be setting the lesson in due course on Google Classroom by using the pictures and films I made of my fellow teachers working during that hour.'
On the same day, English teacher Mr Hardern, was busy working with his Lower 6th A Level class on a video-conferenced analysis of a chapter of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: ‘We read and annotated it in advance and then students took the initiative, leading the discussion, suggesting quotations,’ says Mr Hardern. ‘I just threw in the odd question to keep things going. What a brilliant class they are!’
Students took the initiative, leading the discussion, suggesting quotations... I just threw in the odd question to keep things going. What a brilliant class!
Michael Hardern, English Teacher
With the school closing for teachers as well as staff today, all remaining on-line teaching until the end of term on 27th March will be coming from teachers' home computers.
We will be providing parents and pupils with regular updates on our on-line learning plans. In the meantime, we welcome any suggestions for any improvements or initiatives that can improve your children’s on-line learning experience at firstname.lastname@example.org.