Learning from Home in the Senior School
"I couldn’t let the end of term pass without expressing our sincere thanks for the way in which you and the entire staff at BSC have handled the Coronavirus pandemic. The way in which you have been able to continue the students’ learning and keep their spirits up throughout this difficult time has been nothing short of remarkable. My husband and I recognise how difficult it must have been for the staff to switch to online learning, to overcome the technical challenges involved and to keep the lessons (and house activities) fun and interesting. This clearly involved a huge amount of time and effort but seems to have worked seamlessly. We would be grateful if you could pass on our thanks to the entire teaching staff of L5 and L6 as well as Mr. Lipscombe and Miss Wilson for their outstanding efforts. We are also extremely grateful for the school’s continuing efforts to keep parents informed through emails and online parents evenings and for the way in which it has handled the fee situation. Wishing everyone a relaxing and well-deserved break over the Summer." Senior School Parent
The College teachers care deeply about their pupils and have been incredibly busy in the past week continually trying to find the best means of teaching their subject in these difficult circumstances. This has led to a number of really positive and innovative changes in the content and style of lessons as they have adapted successfully to current circumstances and as new technologies have become available.
Feedback from parents and pupils after our first week of learning from home has also been really positive, and it’s clear that all pupils are engaging well with new ideas and methods. Staff too are really enjoying sharing ideas, discovering new things and the entire College community are managing to navigate these unchartered waters successfully, through mutual respect and a genuine desire to ensure our pupils continue to progress rapidly.
We know that working digitally can lead to some tasks taking longer as we know that internet connections, particularly for those who live in the countryside, vary and this can be frustrating. However, we hope that by building increasing flexibility into our routines and, of course, the more we all get used to working in this way, the easier things will become.
Here is our plan for remote working in the Summer Term.
Here is the latest information for the formal exam classes:
The Upper Fifth
The latest information about GCSE assessments from Ofqual (26th March) is as follows:
"We are rapidly working up plans to implement the arrangements the Secretary of State for Education has set out for exams this summer and, with exam boards and teaching bodies, are making considerable progress.
Students understandably want reassurance, and teachers urgently need to know what to do, and when. We expect to publish detailed information about the process and timetable which will apply this summer next week. This will include the steps we would like teachers to follow and more detailed guidance on how to consider the full range of evidence they will have available when submitting their assessment grades. We are talking to teaching representatives to make sure that what we are planning is manageable and appropriate, so that students, parents, carers and teachers can have confidence in the approach.
We will outline by Easter the process we will follow to make sure grades are fair across schools and colleges, as well as our proposals for appeals. We will also say more as soon as possible about the arrangements for additional exams in the new academic year.
We want to reassure students waiting for news that we are doing everything we can to make sure they are not disadvantaged by these unprecedented circumstances."
We will update pupils as and when we know more details, but given this news from Ofqual there will be no expectation that Upper Fifth pupils will need to provide any further evidence of their work until further notice. The only exception to this is pupils completing coursework projects (for example in DT) which is likely to be central to their grades. We wish them a good rest and a well-earned break.
As the summer term unfolds Upper Fifth pupils will begin work on their A Level courses.
Here is the latest information for the Lower School:
Lower Fifth and Fourths
The Lower Fifth and Fourths should take time over the holidays to relax and take a break after a very busy and productive term.
The start of next term looks like being affected by the coronavirus and as a result we have taken the early decision to let pupils and parents know that there will be no formal exam period next term; instead, remote departmental assessments will be used to track progress and enable staff to gauge pupil understanding of the key skills and content.
Pupils, in particular Lower Fifths will be progressing with their GCSE courses, may be looking for things to keep them busy over this period of enforced isolation; looking over and consolidating any work done this year, or in a previous year would most certainly be helpful.
"May I also pass on to you as a parent how impressed I have been with how the College has adjusted and continued to provide the pupils with a fantastic education."
Further comments from Parents
"I am writing to express my thanks to you all for the fabulous work that you have done over the past 3 months in keeping the children, educated, included and on track with their studies. I cannot comprehended just how much extensive work you have all been required to do to support our children. As I too have been working from home, I have watched [my son] adapt to his 'work from home' and take it incredibly seriously. In the last 3 months he has matured and taken full responsibility for his studying. This would not have been even possible if the school had not taken such innovative and pro active stances to the children's distance learning approach."
"We would just like to say a big thank you to you and all the teaching staff. We appreciate the hard work you have all put in to keep up the great education and structure the College provides through these most difficult times."
"We would like to pass on our thanks for successful start to the new term under these difficult circumstances. [Our son] seems to be coping well with the new regime and so far it has been a very positive learning experience for him... We are sure that it has required a huge amount of effort and planning from all the staff at the College and the last few weeks must have been incredibly complicated, so we thought we should pass on our observations about how well it is running from our perspective, everyone has really been so supportive at the school to keep things running as smoothly as much as they possibly can."
"I have found the College learning this term to be excellent, [our son] has enjoyed all of his lessons very much and feels that he is learning well at the moment. This is an incredible achievement in a very short space of time and the whole school staff must be praised for such commitment and effort."
"Since returning to school (albeit from home) the online lessons have been working really well. It is obvious that teachers and all involved have been working extremely hard in order to make things work and continue to do so. A big thank you to you all!"
"Thank you to all of [our daughter's] teachers for the enormous efforts they are putting into home schooling and all the tremendous ongoing support. They are all going above and beyond and it is really showing in [our daughter's] continued full engagement and level of ongoing learning. Her, and I’m sure many other children’s, home schooling is only being successful because of the efforts of her teachers."
"I just wanted to email you to express how impressed I am with how Bishop’s Stortford College has handled the online school situation...I personally feel like I have learned just as much as I would have if I was in school. Not only have I been learning, but I have also felt that being on Zoom calls and being able to have contact with people from my lessons who I would usually see every day at school has helped lift my spirits during the day! Thank you so much for all the members of staff’s efforts to try and make this work as well as possible!"
Remote Learning Satisfaction Survey Results
Pupils and parents across the Senior School were recently asked to fill in a few surveys regarding their remote learning experiences and workload. Here are the results: