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Remote Learning

Our Remote Learning story

From March – June 2020, 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 online lessons.

Our remote learning platform was 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 Education Technology (EdTech), and our teaching team is dedicated to sharing innovative means of digitally amplifying learning. Uniquely equipped to select the most effective digital tools and integrate them into learning, our teachers’ online lessons engaged our students in a way that “let our students know that we were there for them”, in the words of Jon Neale.

What our parents have said

“Exceptional response from Halcyon to the adversity in front of us.”
“It is this sort of proactive learning approach that I’d expect from Halcyon!”
“My children were 100% focused and engaged all day today. Well done!”

Digital Learning

Throughout this period, we offered the very best online learning platform in London. Our ethos – digital, forward-thinking, student-centred, research-led, and investing in high-quality staff – uniquely prepared us for the transition to remote learning. We provided children with the reassurance of normal day-to-day routines: purposeful, structured learning, supported by excellent virtual wellbeing programs. 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 provide 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.

For me, Remote Learning at Halcyon has shown ‘Innovation, Collaboration and Community’ in practice. Together, we have even found a way for my Grade 6 English class to deliver their Shakespeare performances online!

Lindsey Fairweather, IB MYP and DP English Teacher

Exceptional online learning

Grade 6 Visual Arts

In their Visual Arts class, Grade 6 had planned to use clay to create artefacts. Although they participated in their classes from home, students were still able to proceed with this exciting lesson through virtual means! Grade 6 used modelling Apps on their iPads to create personalised pots with their own unique shapes, patterns and colours.

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 shared insights with one another on how to use tools like Google Meet to provide interesting, engaging classes – and our students developed #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.

Grade 6/7 Spanish Cluedo

Ms Mancho’s Grade 6/7 Spanish class enjoyed a Spanish version of the popular game through a collaborative Google Slides presentation on. Using a dice Google add-on, players moved their counter into rooms to make a guess, in Spanish, at the suspect, weapon and location of the crime. Each character of the game had their own Spanish description on further slides in the presentation, bringing this class a truly immersive, interactive experience!

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’ on 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.

Wellbeing & Communication

Our Wellbeing team used education technology to ensure that students felt empowered to connect with the school community even outside of lesson times. Our Staff Wellbeing Project Leader, Celeste Gardner, created a Flipgrid for students and staff alike to record their home workouts. Student Wellbeing Support, Toby Cann, Learning Coach, Lily Frederick and Student Wellbeing Leader, 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 flourished, we communicated 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.