Dr Simon Watson of St Christopher’s School brings us up to date on how the school is operating during the closure and plans for the future.
Virtual learning offers many opportunities while also presenting challenges for families and teachers. At St Christopher’s, our teachers are blending synchronous and asynchronous learning, developing and adapting their strategies to try and meet the needs of individual families.
We have had many parents impressed by what we are providing online. We are trying to establish the right balance between an introductory ‘video explainer’ where the teacher will pre-record a video giving clear instructions and then be online for students or parents to ask questions and seek help and support, and ‘live teaching’. The online chat facility in Google Meet is a good opener for students to use, followed up with ‘live’ video where necessary. The ‘video explainer’ has the advantage of students being able to review the explanation given by the teacher if required, while other students can forge ahead at their own speed.
For younger children it is more challenging to conduct virtual learning as many of them require the instructions to be repeated. At St Christopher’s we have been providing individualised videos for the youngest children while sharing many additional resources with families. These videos can be paused and rewatched, enabling younger children to benefit from the repetition of rewatching the video. We are about to embark on small ‘live’ video opportunities for the youngest children too.
By far the biggest problem for students and staff is the lack of social interaction during this period of closure. It has given all concerned a very clear indication that schools matter and that teachers matter. So, regardless of how much virtual learning takes place in the future, there will always be a case for the human side of learning: encapsulated in the mission of St Christopher’s: Education for a Shared Humanity.
When we eventually return back to school, we expect to have to implement social distancing policies. We are planning for various scenarios for when we do return and look forward to receiving news from the Ministry of Education in due course, once the Bahrain Government believes it is safe for students and staff to return.
Admissions are open and active as we continue to receive a high number of inquiries both globally and locally from applicants seeking high quality education for their children. All applications are under process with offers being made and accepted where availability arises. Telephone lines for primary and senior admissions are open and we remain available via email. Wait lists and demand for placement remains extremely positive.
Call 17 605-000