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    Smooth Transition to Remote Learning for Prep Pupils

    Children from Reception to Year 6 enjoy lessons in lockdown using the interactive learning platform ‘Seesaw’.

    Creativity is flourishing at the Prep this term, as teachers and pupils adapt to lessons in lockdown using the interactive learning platform ‘Seesaw’. As we enter the term's fifth week of Virtual Kimbolton, children from Reception to Year 6 are following a daily programme that offers structure and continuity of learning during the COVID-19 crisis. Our remote lessons are delivered with a similar format to the normal school timetable, with a balance of subjects to enjoy each day alongside time for activities, independent learning, daily reading, and instrumental practice for our musicians. 

    Seesaw creates a powerful learning loop between students, teachers, and families, with staff uploading resources for children to access from home. 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. Mention must be made of a recent Year 6 RE project, where pupils researched non-religious thinkers such as Darwin, Marie Curie, Mary Wollstonecraft and Socrates, and then created video ‘interviews’ with their chosen historical character.

    Additional timetabled initiatives are aimed at developing life skills and helping busy working parents. These include ‘Helping Hands’ – a time when a child can help with specific chores to help them understand how a household works and how they can contribute. ‘Get Active’ replaces PE and Games, with options to get outside and play football, go for a run, walk a dog or ride a bike. For the Lower Prep, ‘Move and Groove’ encourages our youngest pupils to have a fun dance to their favourite song, before continuing onto their next lesson. Finally, at the end of the day, ‘Ready, Steady…’ is a time for children to ensure their work is completed and handed in (with the help of parents) and to check that they are organised for the next day.

    Feedback from parents has been overwhelmingly positive:

    • "Thank you very much for your efforts and hard work in planning our virtual school. It is quite inconceivable that we find ourselves in this situation in the year 2020, and yet here we are. I realise that you will have faced multiple challenges with more to come, undoubtedly. Kimbolton has a strong team mindset and pulling together in the same direction will deliver a win. I am very grateful for the care and education you have provided for my one and only daughter. She loves her school and her teachers. She will miss you all yet hopefully will see you in the not too distant future. Thank you again for your dedication, resilience, creativity and team spirit. Thank you for looking after our children and those whose parents are essential healthcare and support services workers."
       
    • "I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to all the amazing staff at Kimbolton Prep. You have all gone above and beyond in a truly difficult and unprecedented situation. Thank you for keeping our children safe and happy. Thank you for providing them with continuity of learning and security. Your actions speak volumes about the core values of the School. We are very grateful."

    Reception teacher Miss Whiterod said: “The children have really taken to life on Seesaw! We have provided lessons that mirror what the children would be completing in school, with Reception learning about Space and thinking about what they would take in a rocket to the moon; Year 1 learning about the seaside and features of the coastline; and Year 2 learning about Knights and Castles and looking at non-fiction texts to find information. Alongside this, there is writing, maths, music making, and lots of other wonderful things happening - even our weekly assemblies are included! We have really liked the flexibility of being able to provide feedback to the children via a written or a voice message. The children enjoy hearing our voices and we look forward to receiving their work, listening to their messages and watching their videos."

    Year 6 teacher Mr Cardwell added: “Seesaw has allowed us to bring a normal routine to our children, mirroring a typical day in school, including assemblies, break times and the welcome addition of ‘Get Active’ and ‘Helping Hands’. The online platform supports our creative curriculum where our teachers can offer instant and direct feedback to individual children. This can be in the form of verbal feedback, or even explanation videos which are tailored to those needs.” 

    As we settle into the new term, Prep pupils are gaining new skills, becoming more intellectually curious, and more self-reliant - whatever stage they are at in school. Our recent newsletter celebrates how they are rising to the challenge of remote learning – thank you to everyone who has contributed so far and please keep your photos coming in!