Kimbolton During Lockdown
Find out how our pupils continued learning during lockdown.
Summer Term 2020: Due to the COVID-19 situation, Kimbolton School is currently only open to children of key workers, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, as well as offering limited in-school teaching days for Fourth Form and Lower Sixth Form.
If you are a prospective family wishing to discuss entry into Kimbolton School for your child(ren), Mrs Rosie White, our Registrar, is available to assist you. Please email her to arrange a call and, in the meantime, see our Prep and Senior Open Morning information pages for a first look around our school campus from the comfort of your home.
'Virtual Kimbolton' continues throughout the Summer term, with many of our children learning online and their teachers providing a varied and stimulating range of lessons and tasks for them to complete. Whether our children are on-site or not, Kimbolton remains their school and we continue to care about them. Find out more below and see some of our pupils' work in our 'Learning in Lockdown' photo gallery.
Before School closed, tutors spent time with their classes, talking about 'Virtual Kimbolton' and how it would work, allaying their concerns and promoting good home learning habits.
Our aim is to deliver the courses and curriculum so that children continue their educational journey and develop academically, whatever stage they are at in the school. Children of key workers may attend school, following the same programme as their home-based peers but supervised by teaching staff.
Prep School (Reception to Year 6)
Children now follow a daily programme that offers a degree of structure and continuity of learning as far as practicable. There is a balance of subjects to enjoy each day, time for activities, independent learning opportunities and space for daily reading plus instrumental practice for our musicians. They receive work daily via messages to their parents who then return the completed work in a similar way.
From the Summer Term, the Prep School will be using Seesaw, an online learning support tool, with staff uploading resources for children to access from home.
Feedback from Parents:
- 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.
Update: In just four weeks up to early June 2020, the pupils and staff had made over 42 000 posts on Seesaw, resulting in more than 57 500 comments on pupils' work and nearly 7000 'likes'!
Senior School - First to Fourth Forms (Years 7 to 10) and Lower Sixth (Year 12)
We have been a digital school for many years now with all Senior School pupils and staff using iPads and iTunesU for some teaching, homework and course delivery. The Senior School's switch to remote learning has therefore been relatively straightforward.
We have scaled up the provision to provide a virtual school: delivering lessons, work, learning and course content to pupils based on their school day and timetable. Teachers upload lessons to iTunes U for the particular day so that pupils can work online and maintain their learning habits, term time routines and exam preparation.
Schoolwork varies from subject to subject but the essential elements are the same as in school, namely: following curriculum content and courses; academic tasks; reading and research; handing in of work for marking and feedback; online discussions; and email dialogue between teachers and pupils. Pupils follow their timetabled lessons in the sequence if not necessarily exact timings of the day.
Importantly, for us as a school, for our pupils’ education and wellbeing, and for our families, we are following a daily and weekly routine with a balance of academic and intellectual activity, physical activity, social interaction and relaxation. Pupils are following their normal timetables, Monday to Friday, with online lessons and guidance for academic work and physical education to keep them healthy and active in body and mind. Classes and pupils are ‘buddying’ up with other pupils online to share and support each other and families are being encouraged to set aside some reading time and to factor in exercise and fresh air breaks where possible.
Tutors are contacting their tutees at least weekly to check on their progress and wellbeing.
Feedback from Parents:
- I am just writing to extend my thanks to you and your staff for your amazing response to the Covid-19 pandemic and particularly yesterday's announcement. Your emails have been informative, pragmatic and actually very calming. I feel very lucky that my son is in an environment where he is so carefully cared for and nurtured. I wish you all the very best in the forthcoming months.
- Keep up the good work. I appreciate what you and your staff are doing for our children in these extraordinary times.
Senior School - Fifth Form (Year 11)
During the Summer Term, in place of their revision and GCSE examinations, our Fifth Form will be following our pre-A Level HeadStart programme. This gives them an opportunity to embark early on the next stage of their education via general and broadening pre-A Level courses based on their A Level options and led by our Sixth Form teachers.
This is a real opportunity to do the sort of things that teachers want to do but cannot because of the time and specification constraints of A Levels. It is a form of 'super-induction'. Pupils will follow courses of study with work to do based around reading, research and mini-projects. The courses will last for the duration of the summer term with certification upon course completion and the successful submission of the projects generated between the pupil and teachers in each of their three subject areas.
We are not teaching the A Level specifications (that will begin in September), but we are giving our pupils a real academic breadth to their future A Level studies; a grounding in their chosen subject areas; development of study techniques and acquiring higher reading levels. The study programme will also give pupils momentum before we begin classroom teaching again later in the year.
Tutor support will continue with a minimum of weekly contact.
Feedback from Parents:
- I thought the first week of 'Virtual Kimbolton' [just before our half term] was brilliant. Considering he was still reeling from the cancellation of the GCSE exams, my Fifth Form son was surprisingly engaged and completed all of the tasks without any fuss. The 'extras', such as the Headmaster's assemblies, have kept him anchored into School life, interested, and have continued his contact with peers that aren't in his immediate friendship group. From a parent's perspective, the weekly correspondence with his tutor to check what he has been up to and that he is still ok is excellent.
- The HeadStart programme will keep my child engaged with the School. It will stop him drifting during the long gap to September, especially when there are so few out-of-home options. The fact that it is focussed on their chosen A Level subjects makes it a taster course and thus more attractive than any extension to their GCSEs. My son isn't so sure about it - but I know he'll acknowledge the benefit afterwards!
- We were incredibly impressed to see how quickly and comprehensively the School responded to the exceptional situation imposed by Covid-19, which included the cancellation of GCSE exams. From our side, the move towards early A Level focus has given us great reassurance and more importantly, it has relieved our son's concerns and given him the opportunity to move on mentally and refocus his energy, after the dramatic turn of events. It’s a great idea and a fabulous opportunity. We are entirely sure that, with the support of his teachers, the HeadStart programme will give O a real advantage, giving him a unique chance to broaden his understanding and delve deeper into his A Level subjects, through research, reading and project work. He will start the Lower 6th year, when it comes, with confidence. We appreciate that a huge amount of planning, thought and man-hours must have gone into the fine details of this programme during the Easter holidays. Sincere thanks to everyone involved.
Senior School - Upper Sixth Form (Year 13)
With their public examinations cancelled and therefore a long six months until the start of their university courses, we have offered our Upper Sixth students the opportunity of an optional pre-University study programme. By looking ahead and taking the initiative, they will be able to lay the foundations and groundwork for their university studies whilst adding a positive element to their CVs and personal development.
This will encourage them to continue their academic, active thinking processes in a productive way with a focus on their degree course, or work area. It will provide a grounding in their chosen subject areas, keep study habits fresh, broaden reading, and give them a competitive edge when they begin their university careers later in the year.
Those who opt-in will have their tutor as a sounding board and support on what they want to do during the summer term.
Feedback from Parents:
- At a time of great uncertainty, particularly for our young people at the end of their school career with “what next” beckoning, I feel that the programme being offered to Kimbolton UVI will be of huge benefit. Whilst the period of lockdown that we’re all going through has generated understandable worry about the future, it has also been the catalyst of people showing genuine kindness and support to one another. I see what the school is offering as an extension of exactly that. The compassion offered to our 17- and 18-year-olds in terms of emotional assistance, as well as a prompt to continue exercising their minds, will be invaluable.
- This time presents a unique chance to be able to extend one’s learning, enjoy hobbies and interests, and explore new skills. I applaud the school in encouraging the UVI to embrace the opportunities out there, particularly with a view to preparing for university, all under the steady guidance of their known and trusted tutors. The efforts of the teaching and support staff to change the way that our children approach their learning in the term ahead is needless to say hugely appreciated.