Since schools and colleges were told to close, the College building has been shut but S6C students continue to attend timetabled lessons online from home using Google Meet and Google Classroom and a combination of synchronous and asynchronous teaching. Maths teacher, Phil Greenwood, has even taken a whiteboard home so he can continue teaching via webcam! S6C students are all familiar with Google Classroom as teachers use it in ordinary College life to share resources and set assignments; it encourages independent study by allowing students to access work from home to continue their learning outside of the classroom and to submit assignments online. Now teaching is online, S6C teachers are using timetabled live video webcasts to run classes where they continue to pose questions to students as they would in class to ensure there are no gaps in knowledge going into Year 13. Until very recently, Year 13 students were also attending online lessons which enabled them to stay engaged with their studies and continue to prepare for their next step at either university, an apprenticeship or employment.
Principal Simon Firth says “We’re doing online quizzes, interactive lessons with Jamboard and even running our Clubs & Societies programme with online versions of Gaming Society, Film Club and sporting activities. Our Tutorial Programme is also continuing online with tutors meeting with students via Google Meet where they discuss targets, attendance and wellbeing.” Student engagement has been high and one student said “I enjoy online lessons as it enables us to crack on with work in our own comfortable environment and work in our own way” another said “It’s been great so far but I miss being with my friends and classmates.”
In Business A Level, Catherine Pennington challenged her students to develop a Business Plan for a new start-up firm and then face her in The Den for some gruelling questions. First Year student Thomas Green said “I loved doing this task, as it just helps bring out the creativity in people and I want to be able to express myself through my subjects. I’ve learnt a lot about building a business over the past few months so it was nice to be able to put it in an actual plan”
The students worked with business partners of their choice to create a plan worthy of potential implementation. Catherine felt it was an awesome way for young people to express a “can do” attitude, and encouraged her students to use the recording of their Business Plan Review in a digital CV when they are ready to find work or put their plan into action.
Later this term we will have our second online Development Day, this day will focus on career planning. The day will be held virtually using pre-recorded videos and live sessions on Google Meet. Students will hear from universities, ASK Apprenticeship service and local employers. There will be a focus on researching your options after Level 3 study with specific guidance on using online resources at a time when events on site cannot take place. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to university representatives and watch videos from a variety of employers made specifically for our students to introduce them to a wide range of employment sectors.
See what our students have to say about online teaching on our Facebook page.
All of us in the Salisbury community have been affected by the Coronavirus and it is heartwarming to hear all the stories of people coming together to make a difference. At S6C students have been reaching out to see what help they can provide; students are completing their full college programme whilst working in care homes, working and volunteering at the hospital, and even joining the first responder unit. Working in a care home, Alice says “During this crisis I’m continuing my studies by logging onto video calls, attending all the lessons I can while attempting to maintain some normality. In terms of helping my community I’m continuing going to work at a dementia care home on the weekends, however I am picking up extra shifts to help out and keep all residents company. I think it’s important to carry on trying to support anyone who is struggling with this unusual time and let them know they are not alone. We can get through it if we all work together.” Staff at S6C are incredibly proud of the students – some of whom are also providing essential services in supermarkets and helping with childcare at home.
To find out more, please contact:
Simon Firth, Principal, S6C firstname.lastname@example.org