Virtual Learning Experience
Virtual Learning At Rye St Antony
What a few weeks we have had. Since the closure of schools on 20 March 2020 Rye has, in true Rye spirit, taken on the challenge of setting up a virtual school in a week and providing a home school experience for children as young as 5 and young women as old as 18 that is second to none in the Oxford area.
We are proud to say that almost 100% of lessons have been taught virtually during lockdown from children all the way from Reception up to Year 13, and the progress our pupils have made has been beyond what we would have expected going into this experience. Just a couple of examples – Year 6 have been introduced to Maths work that wouldn’t normally have been covered until year 9. Year 11 have followed a next steps programme with an introduction to A-Levels and independent learning techniques amongst other things. This is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our teachers and leadership team and one where the indefatigable Rye Spirit and sense of community that our parents and pupils know and love has really shone through.
It is also important here that we extend our thanks and gratitude to those staff within our community who have come in every day to take wonderful care of the children of our key worker parents – they have played such an important role in allowing front line staff to tackle the pandemic by giving parents the confidence that their child(ren) are in safe hands whilst they carry out their essential roles.
Why has the virtual learning experience been so important?
As a school, we felt passionately about making sure the learning experience of our young people wasn’t compromised. This was so important to us not only from an academic progress point of view, but also mental health and well-being – trying to maintain some routine for pupils, a sense of normality and knowing what to expect each day and seeing and engaging with peers regularly.
The New Rye Normal
As we look back on the last 14 weeks, having welcomed some children back in school for 4 weeks ago, Rye is starting to feel like a school again. We are proud that by the end of the school year (8 July 2020) we will be the only school in the local area to have welcomed back every single child for some face-to-face teaching. The buzz and energy around school now that there are children back is one that, it is fair to say, will never be taken for granted again.
This also now feels like the right moment to commend our pupils for their resilience, versatility and adaptability in coming back into school in our ‘New Normal’ and picking up where they left off. Rye really does have something special to offer.
What does the future hold?
Whilst we are looking forward to welcoming all children back in September ‘as normal’ we are both proud and confident that we will be re-opening with a model that allows us to teach our full timetable virtually if the time arises again in the future