James Lascelles, headmaster at King Edward VI Grammar School, told the Leader that the system put in place by his school is something that “no other Lincolnshire school has done”, involving ‘proper’ live lessons and a structured timetable which ensures that pupils are getting almost as many ‘live lessons’ now as they would be in the classroom.
The scheme has been such a success that, according to a survey conducted by the school, only around 15% of parents said that they ‘always’ or ‘usually’ think the school should re-open before September. A further 80% of parents said the scheme ‘always’ or ‘usually’ improved online learning for their child.
Mr Lascelles said: “On March 25, ‘Phase 1’ started only three working days after lockdown, and our students in Year 10 and 12 began live online timetabled lessons using a high end global business solution similar to Zoom.
“Students have been and are continuing to receive 20 live lessons per week - only five less than they would normally receive if they were at school.
“Since returning after Easter we have expanded our offer to include Year 9 GCSE students and adapted our approach to Year 7 and Year 8 learning to ensure that they also have live one to one contact with subject teachers every day. We are now teaching the entire school, live, online, daily.”
He continued: “As KEVIGS Online moves into ‘Phase 3’ after half term it is clear from this week’s parent and student surveys that the pattern of Phase 2 has clearly worked, especially for the all-important examination classes in Year 10 and Year 12.
“Phase 3 of KEVIGS Online is therefore not about making any radical changes because ‘Phase 2’ has provided the workable foundations for proper online learning.
“Instead Phase 3 is about building on those foundations. Our Combined Cadet Force moved online before Easter and continues to run ever Tuesday night; we have Debating and Politics Club restarting and various music ideas flowing; we continue to look at the opportunities for virtual parents’ evenings and our Year 12 and Year 7 induction days will go ahead virtually. We are also working hard on developing a virtual open day for prospective pupils.
“At the same time we are constantly listening, improving and adjusting the model with our eye on the long term future of education in 2020/21 as we gear up for our re-opening in September. It remains our view that we will be mixing KEVIGS Online with some form of on-site provision during the autumn term.
“KEVIGS Online is an enormous achievement, and on behalf of all of the staff, the students we serve and their parents, I would like to pass on my deep gratitude to everyone for their tolerance, patience and support as we have all worked hard at the challenges that home working brings: engaging with new technology, adapting our lessons, and the routine changes we have all had to go through.
“Inevitably there has had to be an enormous amount of near constant change and adaption to shape KEVIGS Online and make it successful.
“None of this would have been possible if it we hadn’t listened carefully to the huge amount of feedback we have asked for and received from everyone.”
• If your child attends a school that is not mentioned in this week’s paper, visit their website for re-opening plans.