Being Solution Focused During School Closure

Get up close and personal with our Campus Principal and find out how Tenby Schools SEP succeeded in their approach to support the Tenby Community.

How did you plan for closure?

We decided at the beginning of March that a school closure could occur in the near future. This was based on increasing knowledge from our ISP global schools and information from WHO and MOH – we all agreed we needed to be one step ahead of the virus. We started a special group named SEP COVID-19 Emergency Team that would start to plan for a school closure.This special group consists of all the Heads and Deputy Heads of the International and National Schools, Premises, Health and Safety, Medical, HR, IT, Legal and Communication Teams. We created a plan using support frameworks from our regional team. We know this work has enabled us to be ahead of other International Schools in our locality and in KL. We were able to start online learning immediately.

Our School Leadership Team conducts daily meeting through Microsoft Teams to ensure learning is running smoothly during closure.

How is the teaching and learning delivery done?

The first challenge was to ensure we were ready to go online for learning and communication channels both internally and externally. We started by reviewing our current in-school processes and systems. We were lucky because we have schools and staff teams that were already using Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams. However as you would expect there was variance across the campus in terms of skill, delivery and understanding.  We identified our best Digital Leaders to share the good practice already going on in our schools. Staffing and student upskilling plan was then put in place. We rescheduled our calendar in order to include new Professional development plans so teachers and students had clarity on how to deliver Amazing Distance Learning for our young learners.

What are the challenges faced by parents, students and teachers during the Distance Learning?

Infrastructure is the main issue and we do have challenges for 2300 people being online at the same time. We have worked hard to ensure those challenges have been solved using additional dongles, 4G hotspots and updating laptops. Another challenge is the monitoring of this new Distance Learning experience for all staff, parents and students . How do we know if it is going to work? Are the students going to get better? We all have experienced Haze days but this is new and brings new challenges. We had to ensure staff and students had significant training in a very short period of time. Training is ongoing and does not stop. Students and staff are being trained as we speak. This is online. Safeguarding is also high on our agenda and we have set up staff training hubs at both school and regional level.

What are the overall feedback by parents and students on Distance Learning?

So far it has been amazing and have exceeded our expectations. Check out the comments on our official Facebook and Instagram pages. It is an exciting period of time and the Tenby Community is very engaged and solution-focused. However, screen time will be an issue for all of us in time to come. It is new but if this lasts longer than the intended two weeks we need to ensure we maintain the momentum and increase creativity and interest. There may be hard times ahead and we are already discussing offline days and times when we need time away doing other things. I am super proud of our community and there many schools not at the stage we are at.

How does the school support parents and students during the school closure?

We have set up Online IT Helpdesks for staff, parents and students. Our IT Team has the ability to control your screen remotely, providing the virtual help when needed. Regional Training hubs are being set up and our Digital leads will continue to provide training to staff. ISP are creating Learning Hubs for both academic and administration staff. Leadership meetings are still continuing and we are planning improved processes as time goes on such as student assemblies and health weeks. Amazing Distance Learning is being quality assured by leaders. We are able to observe and look at feedback despite the challenges. Our new parent phone hotline has been set up and I plan to meet with the Chairs of the TSPA weekly so we can set up regular Parent feedback about their experiences. Students and staff have also received regular surveys so we can adapt and improve. Thank you for your support as always.

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