Remote Learning at Halcyon
“Having 3 children, in 3 different schools, makes us well placed to compare – and you are head and shoulders above the rest with your organisation and professionalism.” – Halcyon Parent
“What an outstanding team you all are. Thank you all again for sorting such amazing support for our children’s education in such a quick and professional manner.” – Halcyon Parent
“With much of our learning platforms moving online at Universities, this will be a valuable learning experience for the students at Halcyon, preparing them well for future learning models.” – Halcyon Parent
“Well done for keeping the show on the road in these testing times. Exceptional response from Halcyon to the adversity in front of us, and thank you for the regular communications. Amazing job that you are doing with our children.” – Halcyon Parent
“I fully support your decision to move to remote learning. Thank you for taking a strong leadership position on this.” – Halcyon Parent
“It is this sort of proactive learning approach that I’d expect from Halcyon and you have not disappointed.” – Halcyon Parent
We are offering the very best online learning platform in London. Our ethos – digital, forward-thinking, student-centred, research-led, and investing in high quality staff – means we are uniquely prepared for the current circumstances. We are providing our children with the reassurance of normal day-to-day routines: purposeful, structured learning, supported by excellent virtual wellbeing programs. Halcyon is fully equipped to maintain a high-quality education, preparing our students for university and beyond, as we have always done, despite these difficult times.
It is our moral responsibility to maintain social distance and so protect more vulnerable members of society. It is our school’s responsibility to ensure our children continue to receive an outstanding education, and that our learning community delivers the services and support that all our parents and students deserve.
We are confident that we have an unmatched digital learning programme. Our students are learning new skills every day, and showing themselves to be model IB learners; adaptable, curious, responsible, reflective, kind, open-minded and exceptionally diligent.
With the support of our community we look forward to a brighter future, together.
Barry Mansfield, Director
On Monday 16 March, a week before schools closed nationwide, our teachers came together at Halcyon to plan remote subject units, review their approach to integrating digital tools, and record full student attendance for their first online lessons.
Our remote learning platform has been described by parents as a “proactive approach” that was “very well planned, communicated and executed“. We are uniquely well-equipped to pioneer a Remote Learning environment. Our Digital Learning Leader Jon Neale is recognised as an influential leader in the world of Educational Technology (EdTech), and our teaching team is dedicated to sharing innovative means of digitally amplifying learning.
As we transition to Remote Learning, we can use EdTech to create interactive and inclusive lessons that support our students social wellbeing and help them stay engaged with their community. Uniquely equipped to select the most effective digital tools and integrate them into learning, our teachers’ online lessons can engage our students in a way that “lets our students know we’re there for them”, in the words of Jon Neale.
We recognise that to succeed in creating a remote learning platform, we have to go above and beyond; using digital tools to build an online, interactive community that reaches beyond the virtual classroom. Our Student Wellbeing Leader, Toby Cann, explained that the Wellbeing Team has created “a range of ways for the community to access support” through digital means.
Exceptional Online Learning
Lindsey Fairweather / English and EAL Teacher
Anne Liao / MYP Science Teacher and DP Chemistry Teacher
Martyn Steiner / MYP Science and DP Environmental Systems and Societies Teacher
Anders Henriksen / MYP Science/Maths and DP Physics Teacher
Celeste Gardner / PHE Teacher
Guiomar Mancho / MYP and DP Spanish Teacher
Jonathan Simpson / MYP and DP Individuals and Societies/Geography Teacher
Grade 8 Science
Using Nearpod, Grade 8 Science enthusiastically worked through a ‘Livedeck’ of interactive slides on the caused and effects of climate change. These slides included a Virtual Reality tour of a UK flood and a live ‘open-ended quiz’, where students thoughtfully shared possible answers to its causes. Martyn Steiner told us that being able to receive students’ responses and provide feedback on Google Classroom in real time made the remote lesson feel “just like a real Halcyon classroom” – a space where he could provide every student with the personalised attention they need.
Grade 11 Mathematics
Grade 11’s Higher Level Mathematics class used differentiation to solve optimisation problems in their remote lesson. Recognising that her class of two would work through the problem most effectively as a pair, Mathematics teacher Sonja Bartholomew used Notability’s ‘Present Screen’ function to showcase her virtual whiteboard to her virtual classroom, drawing on the iPad in real time as her students asked questions about what they saw.
Grade 7 Science
Grade 7 engaged in a home refraction experiment, sharing their discoveries on FlipGrid as they recorded the distortion of their hand-drawn arrows behind glasses of water. Ms Liao remarked that this was a wonderful way for students to “find connection with each other” as they all worked in different locations. Using Flipgrid and Google Classroom to peer-evaluate each other’s experimentation methods provided Grade 7 with the same level of interactive group learning that they would receive in person.
Grade 11 English
Our teachers have been sharing insights with one another on how to use tools like Google Meet to provide interesting, engaging classes – and it looks like our students are developing into #EdTech innovators too! Grade 11 led an in-depth discussion on Margaret Atwood’s poetry by sharing a screen on Google Meet and highlighting quotations as they worked through the text together. We are pleased to see that our students’ collaborative skills are reflected in their approach to online learning.
A Supportive Digital Community
Our Wellbeing team has used EdTech to ensure that students feel empowered to connect with the school community even outside of lesson times. Our Staff Wellbeing Project Leader Celeste Gardner has created a Flipgrid for students and staff alike to record their home workouts. Student Wellbeing Leader Toby Cann, Learning Coach Jesi Rosati and Restorative Practitioner Nito Harvey used Thinglink to create an interactive virtual map of the school’s classrooms to encourage students at lunch to speak to their teachers and ask for help if they need support to transition to a remote environment.
As our Remote Learning community flourishes, we communicate with our parents on a daily basis to share updates, stories and resources. We understand that students, staff and parents all need access to a structured source of support at this time. As our team innovates to create an ever-improving online learning environment, we aim to communicate any changes as clearly and transparently as possible through our daily bulletin and school app.