The last week of the Spring Term saw schools’ transition to a new phase of learning, where technology and teaching skills were tested as never before. However, as always, students and staff at St John’s College in Southsea were up to the challenge!
Following the announcement of school closures, teachers at St John’s College are now taking full advantage of Microsoft Teams to provide remote learning and virtual classrooms. Students from Year 3 to 13 can join their normal timetabled lessons from any mobile device, laptop or desktop and discuss work, speak to their classmates and ask teachers questions at any time through the chat feature. They can also submit work, have it marked and returned as if they were in the classroom.
Marisa Elder, Head of MFL at St John’s College, commented “Students have been very mature with the approach to the new style of learning. It’s been nice to see and hear them even though we are not in the same room – I love that they can ask questions either verbally or in the chat function.”
Mary Maguire, Head of College, commented, “Microsoft Teams allows for not just classroom style learning, but also collaborative learning. It has allowed the transition to remote teaching seem simple and seamless for both staff and students.” Younger students at the College (Reception to Year 2) have been provided schoolwork packs and staff on hand to support them.
Penny Jones, a Year 6 parent, commented, “St John’s College’s support for the children’s learning has been amazing! My son is really enjoying his online classes – I heard him on a Spanish lesson the other day and it was fantastic!”
The College also remains open to students of key workers, given them on-site timetabled lessons, activities and support. Mary Maguire added, “The country’s priority is to protect the health of the population and we have been given a role to provide a safe and secure environment for children of key workers and our boarding community. We have all day provisions available and our School Matrons are on site to provide support and spread tranquillity in these anxious times. By giving our students the support from staff, the normality of being able to talk with their friends (online) and a routine of a normal school day, we hope this will help any anxiety or worries they are feeling and we look forward to welcoming them back on campus soon.”
ST JOHN'S COLLEGE RATED FOR ITS 'FOCUSED AND ATTENTIVE LEARNERS' IN INSPECTION REPORT
At St John's College we are extremely proud of our Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) inspection which has confirmed and reinforced our strong reputation as an independent school with a good academic record and an outstanding reputation for pastoral care. The report not only comments on our pupil's excellent attitudes towards learning, they have also highlighted the inclusive and supportive ethos of the College, making note of how supportive and tolerant pupils are of each other – essential in a diverse community such as ours.
The College was inspected in January 2017 and we gained the highest possible achievement, meeting all eight areas of relevant legislation. The inspection rated the College ‘Good’ for its academic achievement and 'Excellent' for personal development.
Some highlights from our ISI Report:
‘Pupils of all ages develop good knowledge, skills and understanding in accordance with the school’s aims to foster the spirit of endeavour.’
‘Throughout the school, pupils display excellent attitudes to learning’
‘Pupils are very well prepared for the next stage in their education.’
‘With the through school ethos, staff work diligently to support individuals as they progress upwards through the school.’