Photo credit to Mrs Foster, House Mistress of Penn's, Teacher of Drama

When schools were instructed to close in late March 2020 because of the COVID 19 pandemic, new and innovative ways to continue the education of Chigwell pupils of all ages were devised at speed.

Remote learning has been a total success so far. The School should be really proud of how quickly and well they have managed to organise this.

Parents (2020)

Embracing an Innovative Approach

Teaching and support staff across the school were superb in terms of their commitment and pupils, with the support of their parents in many cases, adapted to this new way of learning with remarkable skill. For the youngest children, carefully devised programmes of work were sent home but there was daily interaction with teachers through MS Teams. Older pupils had MS Teams lessons according to their normal timetable and these proved remarkably effective. Assemblies and chapel services continued by video; daily contact with tutors took place online; all pupils in Year 7 and above took their end of year exams remotely and ways were found to continue as much as possible of normal school life in all its forms.

10,500 Digital, Live Lessons

Pupils in three year groups were able to return from the beginning of June but in the weeks that followed we were able to bring all primary year groups back safely and there was almost 100% attendance. For pupils in Year 7 and above, over 10,500 live lessons took place using MS Teams. 25,500 online conversations took place across the school community between staff and pupils and 19,000 meetings took place in which individual support was provided.

I wanted to say how grateful we are for the way the School has been handling the situation. You are all doing an incredible job.

Year 11 Parent (2020)

But why did any of this matter?

Firstly, it was important that all pupils continued learning; we wanted to provide structure, motivation and a sense of normality through the lockdown period; it was also important that pastoral care continued and we wanted, as much as possible, to bind the Chigwell community together as we went through this challenging period, together.

Since 23 March 2020, the School has continued to provide education for all its pupils remotely. School Values of resilience, innovation and resourcefulness have been amply demonstrated by pupils and teachers as we all learn together. It has been heartening to experience the school community in full force online.

Learning in 'Real Time'

Pupils had interactive lessons according to their normal timetables in which they could communicate in real time with their teachers and peers. This allowed pupils to make good learning progress and engendered increased motivation and a sense of normality as the structure of the school day remained in place.

Accelerated Digital Innovation

A wide range of learning strategies were implemented through Microsoft Teams in addition to face to face teaching. These included PowerPoint presentations with audio insets, OneNote tasks, quizzes, video clips, traditional exercises using textbooks and exercise books and recorded lessons. Teachers rapidly learned to implement these new strategies alongside many effective traditional strategies. Pupils made good use of the Teams conversation space to communicate with their teacher and peers.

I wanted to show my support and appreciation for all your hard work and consider me a loyal and faithful supporter of the School.

Year 7 Parent (2020)

Thank you for all the positive feedback we have received from families.

"Thank you for all your efforts – we think the School is a fantastic institution. These are difficult times but the motto of ‘find a way or make a way’ is apt in the circumstances."

Year 2 Parent (2020)

"The fantastic online structure you have created has helped us manage through these unsettled times and has helped our son feel both secure and connected with his school and friends."

Year 3 Parent (2020)

"We can see how much additional effort must be required on the part of teachers in preparing and supporting online lessons. What more could we ask for given the COVID 19 situation."

Year 8 Parent (2020)

"I think you are all doing a marvellous job. We were exceptionally impressed at how quickly you had everything up and running. Chigwell seemed far ahead of the other schools in the area. The good thing that can come out of this is the children’s appreciation of their daily life at Chigwell."

Parents (2020)

"I just wanted to express my gratitude to the entire team at Chigwell. I know that everyone is doing their best to ensure that our children receive the best education and pastoral care and I feel fortunate that our children are members of the Chigwell School community."

Year 9 Parent (2020)

"The online learning is working very smoothly. Our daughter is discussing her work constantly with her class mates! We are super impressed with the School for the way they have implemented online learning."

Year 7 & 10 Parent (2020)

Let me take this opportunity to thank you very much for adapting so quickly to ensure that our children still get a great education.

Year 10 Parent (2020)

"Running a school is an immense task and I really wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for doing such a great job. In true Chigwell style, ‘the show must go on".

Year 8 Parent (2020)

"Can we express our gratitude to the brilliant school staff who are there in the thick of it, providing invaluable education and support, despite all the uncertainty and vagueness in society now."

Year 1 & 2 Parents (2020)

"We just wanted to say thank you to all the staff at Chigwell for everything that is being done during this challenging time in our lives. We know you have all been working tirelessly."

Year 8 Parent (2020)

"I want to thank you and the team for the stream of information in these most stressful times for pupils. The teachers have put so much time and emotional energy into getting the best outcome for their pupils."

Year 11 Parent (2020)

We really appreciate the efforts that you have gone to, to try to keep things running as best as possible in these difficult times.

Year 6, 11 & 13 Parent (2020)

"We thank you for reacting so swiftly and decisively in the midst of an escalating and changeable state of affairs. I say ‘bravo’ to you and the teachers for getting something up and running so soon."

Year 7 & 9 Parent (2020)

"Just a note to say to you all what a wonderful job everyone is going. The momentum is very much still there and my son is loving the regular Teams chats and showing off his work."

Reception Parent (2020)'

"We are very grateful to the School for the provision they have put in place and for all the updates and pray for everyone and also for a return to normality as soon as possible.

Year 6, 11 & 13 Parent (2020)

"Thank you to you and all your colleagues on the work you are doing. I appreciate how much more demanding [online lessons] can be."

Year 13 Parent (2020)

"The hard work you and your staff have done over the past few weeks is nothing short of admirable. We want you to know how much we appreciate and support your efforts as you continue the important task of delivering a meaningful education."

Year 10 Parent (2020)