Overcoming the learning challenges of lockdown and online learning at THS

As schools across the UK are now well into what may prove to be an extended period of online learning, Tiverton High School is pleased to say that feedback on the success of our online learning provision has been overwhelmingly positive from parents, students and staff.

Having reviewed online learning in the summer term of 2020, THS made a decision to move to the Google Classroom platform for the current academic year. This decision was supported by a programme of intensive training for our staff and students when we returned in September, and this certainly seems to have had a very positive impact. We have included a few of the comments we’ve received from parents, so thank you so much for the feedback.

“Thank you to you and all the teachers for getting this system of online school up and running. I think you’re doing an amazing job.” Parent.

“Our daughter struggled with doing school work during the first lockdown. But she is absolutely loving the live lessons. She’s been up early and sat at her laptop studying all day since Tuesday! Thank you for all your hard work.” Year 7 parent.

Levels of student engagement in the online learning are now significantly higher than in the summer term of 2020, with attendance in online classes being close to what we would expect in a ‘normal’ school day with students in school.

While teachers continue to set independent learning tasks supported by videos and other resources, the ‘live lesson’ parts of our online teaching programme have certainly met with approval from parents and students, who all welcome the opportunities to see their teachers and tutors, and to hear their voices whilst working from home.

While we very much look forward to seeing all of our students back in school when it is safe for them to return, we feel confident that the quality of teaching and learning that they are receiving in the virtual world is as good as it can possibly be.

Of course if you have any suggestions of feedback we are always keen to learn and improve ourselves. Please email admin@tiverton.devon.sch.uk

“Please thank your staff for the work they are doing at school when everything is changing, for you often weekly. My daughter has found the school work provided easy to access, set at a useful level and with teacher always available throughout all the lessons. At my work I am lucky to chat to many people. I often ask about home schooling, it’s a nice neutral subject and I have heard some really humorous stories.

I also hear how people feel about how a school has provided the lesson content and support. I have continually heard how people have been really impressed with how THS has dealt with this and perhaps some schools have not done so well as you. I felt I ought to share some feedback to you, I hope you do get praise from other parents, and I think it will be well deserved.” Year 11 parent.

“I can’t imagine the stress you had over the holidays. Our son had a great remote learning day yesterday and he was impressed with the way in which it was delivered. So a massive thank you to you and your staff for keeping him motivated and happy.” Year 11 parent.

“Just wanted to thank you all for your hard work. We are lucky to have Google Classroom. My daughter appears to be enjoying hers. And finally hear her on her breaks chatting to her friends is lovely to hear.” Year 11 parent.

“I just wanted to say how much we appreciate everything that the school is doing to get pupils through this horrendous situation. Not sure how you have all coped with umpteen last-minute changes and requirements – alongside the stress of all the usual workload and staying healthy and safe yourselves.
Thank you to you, and all your staff, from some very grateful parents.” Year 10 parent.

“I just want to say how impressed I am with the online learning. The teachers are brilliant and THS has yet again proved to be great. Thank you all for your hard work.” Year 9 parent.

“I think it’s incredible what THS and Heathcoat Primary are providing. Honestly, I do. In the real world if you want to teach for an online school you have to apply for the job, be a geeky IT nerd with years of developing your own resources behind you, then do at least three months training and then another three months shadowing someone before they ever let you anywhere near solo flight. Here we are. Everyone tipped in at the deep end AND regular classroom teaching too. And dealing with 40 billion emails and message from IT morons like me who can scarcely find the on button. I honestly am gobsmacked with admiration, and very, very happy not to have to do it myself”. Year 8 grandparent.

“I would like to inform you that it is an amazing school. I would like to let you know that, throughout this whole horrific situation they have been absolutely spot on, going way above and beyond what I, or anyone else, could have expected of them. They have kept us informed, every step of the way, despite this joke of a government repeatedly making decisions and u-turns at the very last minute giving school staff ridiculously short notice to change arrangements. They have kept our children safe, even continuing to take part in contact tracing six days into the Christmas holidays – what should have been an extremely well-earned break for them. They have continued to work long after the school day has finished, and on the weekends and in the holidays, just as they always do, with precious little recognition and without the pay deserved for the hours and hard work they put in. They are working hard to provide laptops for students who need them, with the help of our amazing community. I would like to report my child’s school, and every single member of staff who works there, for being absolutely bloody amazing! I sincerely hope that they soon start to get the recognition, respect and the funding, that they need and deserve.” Letter to Ofsted by Year 9 parent.

“Thank you for all the hard work at school – it is amazing and working so well from this side! Please feed back just how brilliant it is and how every parent is so relieved that their children’s education will not be compromised by Covid. THANK YOU!!!!! You are all doing such an amazing job!!” Year 8 parent.

Parent of Year 7 & 8 children called to thank all of the staff for the amazing job that they are doing at the moment. She said today that when her children were at home learning that they were fully engaged with their lessons and are really enjoying them.