Virtual Kimbolton - Spring Term 2021
Our multi-platform package of online learning is ensuring continuity of education for all our pupils.
Welcome back to “Virtual Kimbolton”, Spring Term 2021. While we all miss being in school, we know the resilience and enthusiasm of our pupils, staff and the wider community will ensure this period of online learning is busy, productive, and, hopefully, fun. Following government guidance, most of our pupils – including our boarders – will connect with us from home, while some of those whose parents are critical workers will undertake their online lessons in school. Building on our successful programme of remote learning during last year’s lockdown, this term we are offering an enhanced, multi-platform package that will ensure continuity of education for all our pupils.
Prep School children from Reception to Year 6 will use the interactive learning platform ‘Seesaw’ to follow a daily programme with a similar format to the normal school timetable. They will enjoy a balance of subjects alongside time for physical activities, independent learning, daily reading, and instrumental practice for our musicians. Each pupil has their own digital learning journal and can complete work using a variety of interactive online tools including draw+record, collage and video, to show what they know in the way that works best for them. All communication is approved by the teacher via the ‘Class App’, to ensure responsible use. In addition, Microsoft Teams will be used for individual music lessons (for pupils of all ages) and to provide pastoral opportunities for children and teachers to meet on a regular basis, whether as a class or in smaller groups. Prep Headmaster, Mr Phil Foley says: "During the previous lockdown, each pupil's independent learning skills, self-sufficiency and personal organisation developed exponentially through our successful virtual programme. The children are very well-equipped to navigate the weeks ahead successfully and I dare say, they will!"
Senior School pupils can look forward to blended learning via iTunesU, Showbie and Microsoft Teams, with the emphasis on a mix of structured lesson time, academic work, and a good home–school routine. The aim is to provide a balance of intellectual activity, physical activity, social interaction, and relaxation. Pupils will follow their normal timetables, Monday to Friday, with varying formats across subjects. Typical tasks might include reading, watching lessons, completing activities and worksheets, real-time discussions, and live lesson teaching elements. In addition, Tutors will be in contact with their tutees at least weekly to check on their progress and wellbeing.
We have been a digital school for many years now, and our online provision received positive feedback from both Prep and Senior School families during the previous Covid-19 restrictions. We hope Virtual Kimbolton #2 will continue to keep our whole community as engaged and positive as if pupils were still in school. As Headmaster Mr Jonathan Belbin says: “It is so important that we maintain continuity of learning. After all, as the US author, Neil Postman, once wrote, 'children are the living message we send to a time we will not see”. We are all mindful of the responsibility which this brings.”
Mr Christopher Bates, Deputy Head (Academic) adds: “Enthusiasm, empathy and self-improvement are key Kimbolton character traits. Teachers and tutors are here to help, and we know our pupils will step up to the challenge to be independent, organised, and to work hard so we can pull together as effectively as we did last summer.”