Learning in Lockdown at QEH Juniors

When all schools closed on Friday 20 March, QEH Junior School was already prepared to provide a comprehensive and personalised programme of online learning.  

For the previous three years, the Junior School had been using an online learning platform called Seesaw to produce digital learning journals for all pupils, which documented and celebrated pupils’ learning and shared it with our parents, so we were ahead of the game and in a good position to quickly prepare our pupils and families for home learning.  

Before the Lockdown started, pupils were provided with home learning codes that allowed them to login into their own personal learning journals on Seesaw and post work to them from home. Parents were also provided with a detailed weekly timetable of subjects, form periods, assemblies and Zoom tutorials to help families stay organised. 

Teachers quickly became conversant with the activities feature in Seesaw, which allowed for the setting of scheduled daily tasks that included instructional videos and links to any printable resources needed. Pupils were able to submit completed work in response to a particular activity and teachers could then provide detailed feedback on the activity response in the form of annotated marking on completed work, audio comments or even video messages.  

Teachers also used Zoom alongside Seesaw to maintain contact with pupils and provide pastoral and academic support. Each week, regular form meetings and assemblies took place on Zoom. In addition, teachers were available on Zoom each day at specific times to provide academic support and guide pupils through their home learning tasks that had been set on Seesaw.  

The many creative tools included in Seesaw allowed pupils to present and share their work in many ways including videos, audio recordings, photographs, digital drawings and presentations; our pupils really enjoyed rising to the challenge of sharing their work creatively. The range and standard of the work that our young pupils produced remotely was truly remarkable and the boys Seesaw journals are now full of amazing art work, inspirational writing, informative videos, musical compositions and many other amazing pieces of work.  

On Fridays, teachers produced ‘Star of the Week’ videos that were shared on Seesaw and Mr Kendall used his Friday assembly video on Seesaw to list the many ‘Lockdown Legends’ that had been shared with him by teachers. Not only did this recognise the fantastic work that was being produced by the boys, but it also helped to recreate our usual Friday celebration assemblies at home. Along with additional home learning tasks and Mr Hall’s regular ‘Maths Challenges’, it’s fair to say that the staff made a real success of making home learning as engaging and enjoyable as possible for the boys at QEH Juniors.  Some examples can be viewed in the video clips below.

This comprehensive online support for all our pupils continued when, following government guidance, our Year 6 pupils were welcomed back into school for the final half term of the year. We were also able to invite our other year groups to enjoy a socially distanced morning or afternoon of activities at Failand before the end of the summer term.  It was lovely to see them all again and we are looking forward to welcoming all pupils back to school in September. 

Our online learning and co-curricular programmes remain ready to swing into action again in the event of another lockdown. 

To found out what the Senior school got up to in lockdown, please click here.

Year 4 virtual get together! Music: ‘Together’ by Martin Garrick & Matisse & Sadko

End of the week form time. Music: 'Together in Electric Dreams' Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder