Dear Parents,

At this most testing time for millions of children and parents across the country, and the world, all of us at Salcombe Preparatory School remain committed to delivering the best possible educational experience for your child.

The last few weeks have been new and unusual for everyone, and we wanted to have a quick look at how remote learning has evolved, before moving on to how things will be changing when school starts again after Easter.

As soon as we realised that schools were likely to be closing, our teachers started planning remote learning projects and have been getting familiar with Seesaw, the new online learning platform that our Pre-Prep children will be using.

From 23rd March, we have been operating remote learning, initially from printed documents.  As parents have signed up to Seesaw, we have been able to upload children’s work.  During this phase, we have tried out different methods for engaging with the pupils in lessons, whilst keeping security at the forefront of our minds.  We have been investigating:

  • adding videos to teach lessons
  • children and teachers recording voice messages so they can speak to each other during the day

What have we learnt from our testing, our experience at the Prep and the experience of other schools in the Cognita group around the world?  Most importantly, we understand that the current circumstances pose great difficulty for all adults –juggling working from home and supporting home learning at the same time.  However, we needed to find a way to register the children in morning and afternoon sessions, assemblies are difficult as they were recorded as video messages, some parents felt there were too many worksheets. We do, however, need to increase the opportunity for pupils to safely socialise with their friends and teachers to continue to develop the pastoral aspect which is a central part of the school.

Thank you for your continued support, we are proud of what we have learnt so far and we are happy that the students have made good progress with their academic goals.  We continually ask the pupils to review and improve and we strive to do this too.  As always, we are committed to providing the planned curriculum through this medium over the coming weeks or months until we can re-open the school.

If you have any questions for our teaching staff or a member of the Senior Leadership Team, could we ask you to email parents@salcombeprep.co.uk, which will help us to look at common areas for development.

Yours sincerely

Mrs K Catlin & Mr G Smith

Deputy Head, Pre-Prep and Head of School

Mrs Catlin summer term welcome

Dear Parents,

At this most testing time for millions of children and parents across the country, and the world, all of us at Salcombe Preparatory School remain committed to delivering the best possible educational experience for your child.

The last few weeks have been new and unusual for everyone, and we wanted to have a quick look at how online learning has evolved, before moving on to how things will be changing when school starts again after Easter.

As soon as we realised that schools were likely to be closing, teachers started planning remote learning projects, they set up all the children with a Teams account and tested these in the classroom environment while we were still at school.

From 23rd March remote learning became online learning, and the Prep school teachers ran assignments and tasks within Teams.  We had a reduced timetable which allowed everyone to get used to the new technology and a completely different way of learning (and living).

Pupils learnt how to open and work with assignments.  We learnt how important it is to open assignments by clicking on the three dots beside the assignment and selecting one of the options.  Pupils learnt how to hand in their assignments either via class notebook or via assignments and grades and then read their teacher’s feedback and respond to this.

We have been using Assessment for Learning techniques for some time in school.  This is where pupils think about what they are trying to achieve and what success might look like. At the end of a lesson, pupils have been evaluating what they have learnt, how they have learnt it and whether they have achieved their targets.  This is as relevant in the new world as it was in the physical classroom.  We encourage pupils to write an evaluation before handing in their work in class notebook or assignments.  Linked with our new online teaching and learning programme, the quality and usefulness of the feedback is unique and individualized.

Teachers have been looking at different ways of engaging with the pupils during lessons in different ways:

  • By organising groups to share ideas and problem solve and then report back.
  • By using videos and voice-overs to introduce a lesson and explain a task.
  • By using audio explanations and stories.
  • Question and answer sessions as well as quizzes to assess learning.
  • Operating registration in their first morning and afternoon lessons.
  • Using face-to-face conferencing where safe and suitable.

So, what have we learnt?  We have discovered that pupils were keen to say hello to their friends and teachers which sometimes got in the way of the flow of the lesson, and we need to ensure this facility is fair to all.  We do, however, need to increase the opportunity for pupils to socialise with their friends and talk to teachers.

Once pupils have attempted an assignment, we need to ensure that everyone is able to ask questions about the things they are finding tricky. We learnt that family logistics and access to computers can be difficult.  Pupils have responded that they like the structure of a timetable, but we have also seen that some pupils are so engrossed in a task that they are then late for their next lesson, so we have adapted by making lesson resources available for longer.

Most importantly, we understand that the current circumstances pose great difficulty for all adults – juggling working from home and supporting home learning at the same time.  This is also impacting our teaching staff who are being teachers, as well as supervising their own young families at the same time.

Thank you for your continued support, we are proud of what we have learnt so far and we are happy that the students have made good progress with their academic goals.  We continually ask the pupils to review and improve and we strive to do this too.  As always, we are committed to providing the planned curriculum through this medium over the coming weeks or months until we can re-open the school.

If you have any questions for our teaching staff or other members of the Senior Leadership Team, could we ask you to email parents@salcombeprep.co.uk, which will help us to look at common areas for development.

Yours sincerely

Mr G Smith

Head of School

Mr Smith summer term welcome

020 8441 5356