The start of term for teachers normally begins with an INSET day. This involves training, communication about the new school year and ensuring teachers are up to speed with latest safeguarding legislation. At RGSW, we also always reserve some time to disseminate information about our Digital Learning Programme. However, this year I was also tasked with delivering a remote presentation at an entirely different family of schools; The Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge.
Like RGS Worcester, The Stephen Perse Foundation consists of a number of schools that provide outstanding education from nursery up to Year 13 in Cambridge. It is also an Apple Distinguished School and was able to provide remote schooling during lockdown. However, over the summer, Stephen Perse contacted Apple as they were felt their staff were suffering a little ‘digital fatigue’ and wanted some inspiration for the new term. Apple immediately thought of RGS Worcester as the perfect school to complete this task and made contact to make suitable arrangements.
On the 2nd September, using a combination of Google Meet and Nearpod, I delivered a 25 minute presentation to over 150 staff from across the Stephen Perse Foundation, sharing details of our remote learning efforts and some the incredible feedback we had received from parents, pupils and staff. I highlighted that despite the significant challenges represented by COVID, having a digital learning programme meant that learning was not lost and our pupils had been able to continue to progress their studies, collaborate with teachers and peers whilst creating and completing exciting projects and work in a variety of digital formats.
Following the presentation, Vice Principal, Tracy Handford had this to say “The Stephen Perse Foundation was pleased to share reflections on remote learning with John Jones from RGS Worcester. Both schools achieved exceptional uninterrupted provision in the delivery of a full curriculum throughout lockdown through online teaching and learning. As both organisations look towards the challenges of the coming academic year, the opportunity to learn about John’s recent experiences and great resources has helped Stephen Perse staff to recognise that their exceptional efforts and ability to manage challenges were shared by another Apple Distinguished school.”
This challenging times offer a real incentive for schools to work together, share good practice and be there for one another as ultimately we all share the same mission; to ensure learning continues for our pupils and they are able to fulfil their endless potential. Having a holistic and forward thinking digital strategy goes someway to ensuring that happens.