As soon as the country went into lockdown on 22nd March we at Essendene Lodge School ensured that systems were in place to ensure continuity of our children’s learning. Teachers went into overdrive to learn a new remote way of teaching. Mr Hodgkiss set up Google Classroom and our team were quick to learn this very efficient tool to communicate with their class as well as using it to set, mark and give feedback on children’s work. Through Zoom and Google Classroom it was almost like being at school!
One word to describe our approach was ‘resilience’. Team Essendene made tailor made timetables for their classes, this ensured that children had five live teaching sessions a day in line with their usual timetable and we even continued with specialist subjects such as music, drama, French and PE and our assemblies.
Our end of year calendar that is usually full of joyous whole school events was cancelled but in true Essendene spirit we managed to ensure that the curriculum for each class was completed, children were assessed and end of year reports were issued to parents. We even managed to hold our end of year parents’ evening via zoom! Year 6 returned on 1st June had their treat in school and we even managed to give them a good send off by inviting their parents ( ensuring social distancing) to the back playground celebrate this important milestone as they transferred to senior schools. Prizes were awarded and the rest of the school watched the whole thing on Zoom.
We worked in partnership with our parents to gauge feedback every two weeks through a parent meeting and took into account parental view such as screen time into account and modified our provision accordingly.
The school remained open for Keyworker pupils throughout the lockdown period and once pupils began to trickle back in on 1st June there was a huge sense of joy and relief.
We welcomed back all our pupils this term and have ensured that measures are in place and any risk is mitigated for covid19 secure school. It is lovely to hear pupils’ voices resonating through classrooms and in corridors and sounds of laughter coming from the playground.
We hope we never have to go through a complete lockdown again but just in case we do I know my team is totally equipped to carry on teaching!
Thank you to our parents for their unwavering support. Some of the comments below were well received and appreciated.
Year 4 Parent
“Have a lovely summer break, you all deserve it. Its been a very strange term but Team Essendene have absolutely smashed it! We have been very lucky as parents with the support we have been provided, most appreciated!”
We just wanted to say thank you so much for this year.
Evangeline seems to have taken to school life and learning so well and we know it is because of the tools you have given her.
Despite the challenges of lockdown and zoom school, she has had such a good experience and is so happy at Essendene thanks to you and the rest of the reception team.
We honestly couldn’t be more grateful for the great start to school that you have given her.
Year 5 Parent
Just a quick note to say a huge thank you for everything .The whole home schooling was very well organized and structured. The fact that there was still time to contact the teachers and there were continuous iterations of feedback and improvements, really impressive!
Year 4 Parent
We wanted to pass on our thanks again for the amazing work that you and the teachers are doing to ensure that the education is carrying on as best it can during these difficult times. They are both continuing to love their schooling, as we are getting to see first hand! We also really appreciate the feedback meetings and way that suggestions are being incorporated, such as ‘Form Time’.
Year 1 Parent
You have all handled the situation amazingly, and we are incredibly grateful.
First and foremost the parents would all like to extend their thanks to Essendene and to all of the amazing staff.
Parents are extremely impressed with how quickly the staff have adapted their lessons to remote learning in light of the current crisis our country is facing.
It has been fantastic for the children to still have had live interaction with their teachers, especially their class teacher, and with their peers. It is a strange time for everyone and not being able to go out and socialise with friends and family or play in the park is hard to explain to children.
Parents are hugely appreciative of the time and effort the staff have clearly gone to to ensure learning continues this week, especially given the short notice to switch to remote learning.
The children have enjoyed the novelty of learning in this way using this technology and have become more independent daily.