Following government guidelines, on 18 January we reopened school in a calibrated and staggered manner as per parental choice. Physical attendance is optional and requires prior registration as well as duly completed consent, health and travel forms. Students returning from overseas need to follow government guidance on quarantine requirements.
New systems, protocols and timetables have been created and communicated to all students and parents. Our blended lessons cater simultaneously for students inside the classroom and at home through live streaming. All classrooms have speakers and microphones offering an immersive experience to those learning from home. Students are able to fully engage with teachers and students in the classroom along with other students who are attending classes online.
The health, safety and wellbeing of students, staff and parents has always been the top priority for TBS. We are monitoring the developments closely with new research and guidelines coming in, and all decisions will be anchored to the principle of abundant caution.
An online rules and behaviour policy was created that set out student expectations during lessons such as participation, caring for their classmates and not talking over each other, amongst others. Having a protocol in place helped set the context for students right at the start.
Lesson plans were tweaked to make them interactive and encourage participation from each student. From starting each class with a Hook Activity to get everyone’s attention and giving Brain Breaks and Scavenger Hunts as quick fun activities to having a plenary while closing the lesson, we are trying to cover all bases to mix up the ways in which teaching is delivered and keeping student interest up.
Primary teachers engage in one on one conversations with students on a fortnightly basis to check in on their emotional wellbeing and give them an opportunity to voice their concerns in a safe space.
We have continued to hold specialist lessons whether it is computing, languages, dance, art, drama, music or physical education and even assemblies and parent teacher conferencesonline. All teaching lessons are recorded and archived for students who are unable to attend classes.
We have incorporated unplugged activities and offline reading and writing to balance out screen time.From creating a robot to making board games/flash cards and writing poems and rap songs, students are engaging in offline activities to reduce the amount of time they spend working on devices.
Student and staff wellbeing
We pioneered a whole new programme to add a bit of fun to lessons, encourage physical movement and bring student concentration levels up.Our teaching modules are punctuated with TBS Can 30-second challenges such as planking, hopping, toe touches, reading the alphabet backwards etc.
In order to provide holistic care for students, staff and parents, TBS Live was launched – an initiative to bring everyone together in the evenings to bring up the community spirit. A live link is shared every day for people to tune in at the same time and enjoy virtual concerts, theatre productions, power workouts, reflections on the quarantine and more.
We offer yoga and Zumba classes enabling staff to relax, unwind and keep fit. Staff also have confidential access to professional counsellors to address any challenges affecting their emotional wellbeing.
Resources for educators and parents
Our staff members have been sharing their reflections on the lockdown and tips on overcoming this adversity as well as studying its effects on the educational landscape. We recommend the following blog posts for both educators and parents.