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Fosse Bank: a school that has adapted

These are ever-changing times indeed! We asked this Hildenborough prep school to tell us about the changes they have put in place and what benefits this has brought to their children...

Here, on Muddy, we’ve just conducted a CV-19 Lockdown Schooling Survey of over 1000 readers. And, no surprises, this survey highlighted just how important it was to parents that schools adjusted during lockdown. AND that we all predict a future of ‘blended learning’ well into the next academic year. We asked Fosse Bank how they pivoted successfully during this time…

Online learning

When the dramatic closure of all schools was announced in March it was clear everyone had to make some quick decisions about how to deliver a home school learning programme, so how did this prep manage? ‘Here at Fosse Bank we quickly moved the school to a remote learning platform using Office 365 and Zoom for video conferencing for all pupils,’ explains head teacher, Miss Alison Cordingley.

‘Morning Registration, Maths and English lessons took place using Zoom video conferencing, meaning that for a minimum of two hours a day pupils were working ‘Live’ with their teachers.’

‘Add in Whole School Celebration Assemblies, Friday Fosse Activity Challenges, singing and dancing for the nursery classes and you soon see how Fosse Bank has been able to offer a complete home school package for families, whilst continuing to offer our well regarded pastoral care for children who otherwise, may well have struggled with their new way of life,’ says Miss Cordingley.

Use of outside space

As schools around the UK have been welcoming pupils back, under strict restrictions, creative use of outside space has never been more important.

‘At Fosse Bank we were delighted to welcome all year groups back – each with an allocated classroom space and a dedicated large outside area,’ says Miss Cordingley. ‘With 28-acres to use, the children are definitely able to maintain social distancing and make use of the stunning grounds.

‘Teachers have led as many lessons as they can outside, school has provided snacks and lunches are enjoyed under gazebos and trees. And the odd water fight has taken place to celebrate lockdown birthdays.’

Getting Nursery up and running

Around half of parents were expected to send their child back to their early years setting, according to a survey commissioned by the Department for Education – with many working parents in desperate need of the childcare.

‘At Little Fosse Nursery we can take children as young as 2 years old, which has been a real help to working parents,’ says Miss Cordingley.

‘Again, fully utilising the various areas around the school, we’ve been able to offer our nursery classes extensive space in classrooms and our spacious Yurt and Sports Hall, with children enjoying outside space in our sports fields and tennis courts.’

Nurture and Support

‘In addition to Online lessons we’ve offered Break Out Rooms which provide extra 1-to-1 teacher support to children, if needed. Also our Head of Learning Support offered online sessions to those pupils who required it,’ says Miss Cordingley.

‘Feedback on work has been delivered online directly back to pupils who were also able to speak with teachers throughout the day if they required assistance.’

By reviewing and adapting our provision, the Head of Learning Support was busy working with families to adapt the curriculum to suit individual needs, offered regular wellbeing mentor chats via Zoom and even continued with their weekly dyslexia support club, again via Zoom. 

We even delivered to home any specialist equipment children had access to in school. 

Pastoral care is one of Fosse Bank’s strengths, and ensuring the wellbeing of our children over the past few months has never been so important.’

Read the Muddy Review of Fosse Bank.

Fosse Bank, Noble Tree Road, Hildenborough, Kent, TN11 8ND, Tel: 01732 834212, fossebankschool.co.uk

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