Sylvania Heights Public School
Lessons learnt during COVID-19 are changing face-to-face teaching.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to remote learning, as Sylvania Heights Public School quickly learned during the remote learning period.
When teachers at Sylvania Heights Public School sat down to tailor their teaching to suit remote learning, they quickly realised their first solutions might not be their last.
Monitoring of student progress and feedback from parents, carers and students prompted teachers to continually revise and refine the tools and techniques they were using.
Highly differentiated teaching practices were deployed to address different ability and engagement levels among the students. On the online platform, students were grouped according to their reading and comprehension competency.
Students were provided with a mix of live video teaching, pre-recorded lessons and independent tasks. But as the remote learning period continued, teachers realised student learning outcomes would only improve if they were provided with differentiated instruction.
So, live video sessions were designed to cater for different ability levels within subject areas, with more assistance provided to some students and more challenges given to high achieving students. This ensured that all students were able to access the curriculum at their point of need whilst working from home. Having smaller groups participating in Zoom lessons allowed a higher level of student interaction, tailored more to their individual needs.
Students only had access to their group’s lesson, which meant they were focused on their own learning rather than worrying about what other students were doing.
Zoom links enabled students to log in and ask quick questions about the weekly timetable or to check their understanding of a task. They also had access to separate whole-class video sessions where they could talk to their peers.
The school is now planning to use the student responses to working in this way to improve existing teaching practices. For example, many students found the self-paced, independent aspect of remote learning very rewarding.
Teachers at Sylvania Heights will continue to use online platforms to provide differentiated tasks within their classrooms. The class teacher will, for example, work with small groups while other students work from Google Classroom on assigned tasks.
Homework will be designed in a similar way.