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1st March 21
When the UK Government announced at the beginning of 2021 that Primary Schools would not be reopening after Christmas, we immediately relaunched the online learning programme we had been developing since March 2020. This included face-to-face teaching and a full range of specialist arts lessons, such as individual and class music sessions, recorder, three choirs, two recorder ensembles, drama, LAMDA, and creative art lessons – all of which took place online.
While we have always been proud of our rich and engaging online learning offering, we were also aware that our children would inevitably struggle with the daily monotony of life in lockdown, and the difficulty of drawing a line between school life and home life. Children need stimulation and variety in order to thrive. While supporting the children’s educational needs is a top priority for us, supporting their emotional wellbeing is just as important.
Our solution was to introduce exciting new initiatives to enable children to interact with the school community, have fun together virtually, and truly enjoy their remote learning experience! As we prepare to reopen the Primary School on Monday 8th March, we wanted to look back at some of our highlights from the last few months of remote learning.
Dress Up Day
On Wednesday 3rd February, we held a virtual Dress Up Day, for which children were encouraged to create a costume at home inspired by someone they admire.
Everyone was impressed by the children’s creativity and how they paid tribute to a wide range of public figures and characters, including Captain Tom, Marcus Rashford, Harry Potter, David Attenborough, Coco Chanel, Pippi Longstocking, Angelina Ballerina, and many more.
Even TGS staff got involved, with Miss Emma Gowers, our Principal, choosing to dress up as Maria Montessori, one of her biggest inspirations. Maria Montessori invented the education method that The Gower School is proud to use each and every day. The approach she pioneered was about treating children with respect, and helping them learn in an interesting, hand-on way – and makes The Gower School such a special place.
A new weekly favourite, our virtual House Afternoons give the children the chance to take part in quizzes, scavenger hunts, singing sessions, and Beat the Teacher sports challenges every Wednesday – all while earning House Points for their respective Houses!
Most importantly, our House Afternoons allow TGS children of all ages and across all classes to enjoy activities together as a community, even from home.
Each class group has been taking advantage of the fantastic virtual tours available online – including Melbourne Zoo, Baltimore’s National Aquarium, Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House, and London’s Jewish Museum, National Gallery and Little Angel Theatre.
Baking and Cooking Sessions
TGS children were treated to cookery lessons from TGS teachers, as well as Miss Emma Gowers, our Principal, who expertly guided them in making tasty flapjacks, garlic and coriander naan-style flat bread, pancakes, and scones. In addition to being fun culinary adventures, these sessions helped the children develop valuable skills that they will use throughout their lives.
On Friday 12th February, to mark our final day of school before the half term break, Miss Gowers hosted a virtual disco for the whole school. The children dressed up in their best attire and danced up a storm to Miss Gowers’s special curated party playlist.
The children had an amazing time, and the positive comments we received from them made for the perfect conclusion to the half term. One Form Three child thanked Miss Gowers for ‘hosting this super evening’, while another described it as ‘one of the best days ever online’.
In fact, the feedback was so glowing, we decided that there could be no better way to celebrate our last day of remote learning this term than with an evening of virtual school discos for each class this Friday 5th March!
There’s no doubt that this Spring Term has presented its fair share of challenges, but we are delighted to have discovered so many innovative ways to keep the children’s spirits up – and with our crowd-pleasing virtual disco, we are set to end our remote learning journey on a high!