Headmistress Jane Prescott explains how staff and pupils have adapted to the challenges of learning during lockdown.
When the country was plunged into the first lockdown and schools closed to all but key worker children at Portsmouth High School we had to change to teaching pupils learning from home and from the start we made sure we never compromised on quality.
Staff and pupils quickly rose to the challenge of learning via Microsoft Teams. We put IT staff on standby to sort out glitches and any teething problems for everyone. Girls and their parents used our technicians as if they were a support help-desk.
Staff were educated in the pros and cons of online learning and soon could form breakout groups just as if they were in school.
After the first lockdown eased there were some children who were unable to come to school for reasons such as self-isolating but now the system for guided home learning was so established staff easily incorporated pupils at home with pupils in the classroom – hybrid learning. We now find ourselves back in a national lockdown and the school has seamlessly switched to Guided Home Learning again to minimise as much as possible the disruption to pupils’ education.
The adaptation to a different way of teaching and learning has been swift and seismic. We are able to deliver face to face teaching whether that is in school or via our virtual classroom. Our pupils’ love of learning has not stopped during the pandemic.