When the announcement to close schools was made we had to make a decision about what remote learning we could provide for our children. We were fortunately in a position where the Microsoft infrastructure was in place. So within a matter of days, we trained the children on how to access assignments on Microsoft Teams.
From March 23rd 2020 to July 17th 2020, we provided online assignments for children in Years 1-6 via Microsoft Teams. Everyday, teachers were online, setting English, Maths, Reading and Wider Curriculum assignments. Using Microsoft Teams was a bit like a virtual classroom where teachers could set tasks and children could post messages to their teachers and peers, which was also of huge benefit in times of isolation.
We wanted as many children as possible accessing the online learning so we decided to loan some of our school devices to staff and children. Thanks to your generous donation, we were able to buy a class set of 30 Chromebooks and based them in school. These Chromebooks were used by the children who were attending school in their ‘bubbles’ (including children from Year 1 and Year 6, children of keyworkers and vulnerable children). Having these additional devices in school allowed for children on-site to access the same learning as their peers who were home-schooling. As a result, the knowledge, skills and confidence of our children – and staff – in working with this online platform has rocketed!
Going forward, we want to build on what we have learnt and achieved these past months. These recent events have been a catalyst for our school and have proven how important it is for children to develop their digital skills.We will continue to use Microsoft Teams and aim towards a ‘blended’ model of teaching and learning, were we can enhance how we work in school by innovating and integrating technology even further. From September, my role will change slightly as I will be working as Head of School at a just down the road from St Luke’s, called Harbinger. Rebecca (the current Headteacher at St Luke’s) will be Executive Head of both St Luke’s and Harbinger. The school requires support to improve so we will be assigned there but I will continue to lead on Computing at St Luke’s. If you would ever like to visit again, once things have settled, please do let me know, you are more than welcome!
I have attached some photos to show you the different ways we used the new Chromebooks in the past few months, including children accessing Teams online and Year 2 children reading online with volunteers from the BookMark charity (a few photos were post-lockdown but most were during lockdown when children were attending school in bubbles). Thank you for supporting our school and helping to enrich the children’s experience even during lockdown”
Nimesha Nagahawatte – Deputy Headteacher & Computer Lead at St Luke’s Primary School