Covid-19: Pridwin embraces online learning during lockdown

MELROSE – Pridwin Preparatory School is mindful of the effect of screen time on children and asks boys to complete work in their books and upload online afterwards to mitigate the effect of screens.

Pridwin Preparatory School continues with learning through a number of digital platforms during the lockdown period. This allows learners and teachers to interact from their homes and continue their learning journey.

Head of the Junior Prep Joanne Glendinning discussed the challenges associated with the schooling closures, “The complexity of this phase of development is that so much of learning is linked to socialising and collaborating and is dependent on the level at which the boys can access technology independently and interpret and carry out this information.”

Glendinning explained that with this in mind, Pridwin Junior Prep teachers have tried to develop activities that continue the classroom routines that the boys are already used to.

The boys begin the day with a physical activity to keep them fit and active and get the brain ready for the upcoming learning session.

Lessons focus on numeracy, literacy and the application of these skills. Learners were given a pre-pack of learning material including whiteboards for practice, workbooks and a set of reading books and library books to last the three weeks.

Instructions and tutorials are conducted online via Google Classroom and Seesaw. Boys and parents are therefore able to receive instructions, watch tutorial videos and upload evidence of written and oral work.

“Children are even expected to submit clips of themselves reading three times a week for comment and assessment from their teacher,” said Glendinning.

“I have been monitoring the uploaded videos and commend the teachers on their ingenuity in engaging and settling the boys. Mostly, I commend them on their commitment to the boys that they teach.”

Senior Prep deputy head Ross Grimley said, “We remain committed to delivering a world-class education to our boys and are using the affordances of technology to continue our efforts during this time.”

All Grade 5 to 7 boys have iPads and use Google Classroom to interact with teachers in real time, providing immediate feedback and responding to queries as soon as they arise. Boys are able to access work, submit their responses and receive feedback digitally. Google Classroom also links seamlessly with various educational technologies such as Google Forms, teacher YouTube channels and Zoom meetings.

“Pridwin values the relationship between teachers and boys and, to this end, learning is personalised as much as possible.”

Physical education lessons also take place through Google Classroom and the music department offers lessons through Zoom’s video conferencing ability.

“Even with all the digitalisation, we are mindful of the effect of screen time. As such, we have asked boys to complete work in their books and upload pictures of their work to mitigate the effects of screens,” said Grimley.

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