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Learning During Lockdown

Thanks to the hard work of teachers, support staff and the IT Department, and the dedication and motivation displayed by the pupils, the online learning environment at Farnborough Hill is thriving.

Pupils are following their normal daily timetable of six lessons per day, logging in each morning and afternoon; keen to learn. The curriculum continues to be followed although, in some cases, the order in which topics are being covered have been swapped around to best suit the current environment. Teachers have adapted their lesson plans to make the most of the home environment, from Science setting experiments that can be completed with everyday household objects, to Geography challenges based around upcycling … it remains School, albeit an online version. Year 11s have started their A level Foundation Course, which you can read about here.  Weekly assemblies and PSHEE challenges bring the School community together and have included tasks such as participating in a virtual choir and keeping a gratitude journal.

One parent commented that they do not see their daughter during school hours except at lunchtime, when they venture forth for sustenance, while another mentioned how much they enjoy overhearing snippets of class discussion as pupils discuss Shakespeare or debate philosophy.

Year 8 pupil Gabby has been keeping a Lockdown Diary; we have included an extract below which gives a lovely insight into a typical day:

So, lockdown is quite good, nothing major is happening. Well, not at home anyway, in the world a lot of major things are happening. Lots of people find it distressing because things are so uncertain and because everything seems uncontrollable. But, I am just going to control what I can (wash my hands, social distancing etc) and isn’t it better to not know what is ahead? To be honest, life is uncertain every day, even before Coronavirus started. You never really know what is going to happen next; anything could happen at any time. What I am trying to say is that things really are not that different, we are just as uncertain as we usually are; but now is when we realise just how unpredictable life is, so that is making everyone feel uncertain.

I want to focus on the positives of lockdown, so here are some:

  • We are saving money from petrol, train fares etc
  • I get to experience home-schooling for the first time
  • I get to spend time with my family
  • We will appreciate being in each other’s company more
  • Lots of people are focusing on getting exercise, staying fit and healthy 
  • From now on, everyone is going to be so much more hygienic
  • Turning up to school in pyjamas is always great
  • It gives everyone time to think and reflect; often the hustle and bustle of our lives does not leave much time for this
  • We are saving lives by being in lockdown
  • The hard work of the NHS is being recognised a lot more
  • We are learning to appreciate food more as we only go food shopping once a week
  • There is more time to do hobbies such as art

Of course, this whole situation is surrounded by negativity, and that should be acknowledged, but not dwelled on. We cannot spend all our time feeling negative, when there are so many positives as well.

The NHS Clap For Carers just happened and it was beautiful; everyone standing outside smiling, clapping and cheering for the NHS. Watching this makes me feel like we (the whole of the UK) are a warmer community now. It is also a reminder that we are in this together, all going through the same thing and are here for each other.

Although online school is different to normal school, it still works and the teachers at school are working so much harder by helping us all to understand everything, working out how to use all the software and being extra organised, even in these circumstances. I feel very grateful for them.

In conclusion I'm feeling positive.

 

 

On the social side, the School community has been making the most of technology to keep in touch. Whole year group Zoom quizzes, Microsoft Teams chats, social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and our excellent Weekly Newsletter (see the most recent version below) have kept everyone in touch and highlighted what is happening in each other’s lives.

There is no doubt that the School is not the same without physical togetherness, but we are together in the only way we can be at the moment; we are thriving in our close community, we are still learning and we are still here.