There have been concerns raised in the school community about whether a learning deficit exists for students as a result of the school closure and move to online learning. Understanding the practical impact of the school closure is important so that teachers can effectively prepare for the new school year.
In order to gauge the impact of the school closure on our students’ learning, the Cycle Leaders collaborated with the Subject Coordinators to gather information and feedback from teachers. The results were compiled in a survey, from which, the following conclusions were drawn.
- All subjects were able to cover the syllabus for all year groups, with the exception of PE.
- There is no learning deficit, although it must be noted that the manner in which students learnt over the past months was a considerable change for them.
- To help students adjust to the online learning environment and to adapt to the changes currently happening in the world, about 50% of teachers indicated that they offered enrichment activities on top of the syllabus.
- There was more room for differentiation and personalised learning when school went online.
- The vast majority of our students have learnt a lot of new skills and have demonstrated that they have matured considerably. Some key words that were mentioned by many Subject Coordinators were: autonomy, maturity, new skills, pro-active approach, independence, self-discipline and creativity.
We also recognise that despite these findings, there might be students who don’t feel confident that their learning has progressed after the period of online teaching. Our teachers are very sympathetic to these feelings and are always willing to provide additional support to students who may need it. This can be discussed directly with your teachers.
Looking forward to the new school year, there are reports that Secondary schools will return to on-site learning from September. Our period of online learning has helped improve the computer literacy of staff and students alike and has opened the doors to many new possibilities for the use of IT platforms going forward. When the school does return to on-site learning, it is anticipated that we will continue to implement some degree of blended learning, with Microsoft Teams being seen as a positive starting point for the new school year.