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Getting to grips with a new learning platform has been a huge amount of work and a very steep learning curve for everyone. But this week I really enjoyed seeing all the prepared activities and recordings finally going live. More importantly though, it had seemed a very long time since I last saw the Nursery children, so I very much loved the individual family meetings and the opportunity to see and talk to you all again! Although it has been an incredibly busy week this was a real highlight. It has been lovely to hear the children's voices on recordings and see pictures and videos of the work they have been doing. This week has really highlighted for me what a fantastic sense of community we have and I have really enjoyed the way in which we have supported each other in order to respond to these extraordinary circumstances.
Mrs Samantha Forster, Head of Nursery
It has been so lovely interacting with the children once again, albeit in a very different way. Children bring the magic to the learning environment and keep you smiling throughout the day, spurring you on to be the best teacher you can be for those children. Being able to interact with Polar Bear Class, their families and the rest of the Brookham community has most certainly brought a smile to my face. They make the many hours of sitting in front of a computer or iPad totally worth it and make me appreciate how lucky I am to be their teacher.
Mrs Olivia Shepherd, Reception Class Teacher
The past few weeks have been an adventure into the realms of virtual learning, discovering new platforms and ways of interacting. Whilst missing the direct and immediate contact I usually have with my class, the ability to get together during our virtual class time made up for it to some extent. Enabling the class to interact with their friends was a particular highlight, along with seeing photos of what the children have been up to during this unusual time; camping in the garden, growing vegetables and going on long walks. I have enjoyed watching their IT skills develop and seeing them become more independent with their learning as they become more familiar with the learning platform.
Mrs Henrietta Platt, Year 1 Class Teacher
I have been really looking forward to seeing all of the children's faces on screen! I know that the children have been growing and changing over the last few weeks, with lots of wobbly teeth and birthdays, so I have been excited to catch up on their news. There have been new pets in some families, new lambs in others and even some new paddling pools starting to be used. All of the teachers have been very busy creating virtual lessons and so I couldn't wait to see how the children would get on with their activities. It has been amazing to see the huge effort they have put in and how much they have embraced the process. It has been really enjoyable to see how creative the children and their families have been, particularly with their retelling of the story of 'Jack and the Beanstalk'.
This week, we nervously awaited comments and feedback, hoping that the technology would work and that all of our families would be able to participate. There have been ups and downs and bumps in the road, but the highlight for me is certain: I saw my class! They were sitting at home, logged on and participating in our catch-up. I was so proud of how they listened to each other, took turns and embraced the technology, undeterred when an unexpected noise in the background moved the camera away from the speaker. Not only that, but they were quick to offer each other advice on how to navigate around the screen. At school, there is so much emphasis on collaborative learning and the children are rising to the challenge of adapting their styles to collaborate online. Mr Millsom has been equally impressed and we are incredibly proud of the maturity Year 3 are showing in such unprecedented times.
Miss Sophie Delacombe, Year 3 Class Teacher
Form time on the Monday afternoon was eagerly anticipated and proved a real joy - our opportunity to see the children again! It has been wonderful for the teachers and the children to be back together in our Form Groups, albeit in a different manner to what we are used to. The addition of live lessons to our home learning provision has allowed children to interact with each other again and as their teacher it has been fantastic to be able to support children and observe them make progress both with the technology and their learning. Virtual story time allowed us to share the story of 'Daedalus and Icarus' and live lessons allowed for a fruitful discussion to help their comic strips begin to come to life.
The Year 4 Team
The weather has not been the only cheery aspect to the start of the Summer Term. It has also been wonderful to see all of the Year 5's smiling faces again! It's been impressive to see how well they have tackled the new, virtual way of learning and really embraced their inner 'Jungle Tiger'. Despite these being very unusual times it has provided the opportunity to try new hobbies, for random acts of kindness and it has been lovely to hear the stories of what members of Year 5 have been up to. Our community is what makes our school such a special place and I really look forward to seeing how we grow, develop and come together to support one other over the coming weeks.
Miss Olivia Stebbings, Year 5 Form Tutor
Year 6 have hit the ground running with their first week of live lessons. Science was a great success with the making of their very own lava lamps. Imogen said she fried an egg which she couldn't have done at school so decided that learning from home was great as it allowed her to try out different things. They have are all quite taken with their new class book 'Holes' by Louis Sachar and are looking forward to finding out how the plot and characters development.
Mrs Jane Hamilton, Head of Year 6
What a challenging week it’s been, but despite this I am extremely proud of all of my students and to call myself a teacher at such a fabulous school. I see that pupils are always helping each other with hints and sharing what lessons they have next and so on. I have MOST enjoyed seeing so many beautiful and warm smiles looking back at me. Teaching Art online has been interesting and enjoyable - my favourite part is ‘meeting’ on Teams with my lovely students and hearing them share about their learning with their peers. It has felt like a virtual online gallery as my screen fills with friendly faces and exciting art work. I would like to thank all the parents who I can see are always on hand to support their child’s learning at home. What a fabulous team effort!
Mrs Olga Hougton, Year 7 Form Tutor
Virtual Teaching has taken me completely out of my comfort zone and I have had to get my head around things like Teams, channels, groups, Foldr, chats, posts and all sorts! As of course, have the children and parents at home. This week I have seen true resilience from everyone as we journey through the world of technology together. All of the challenges have been totally worth it as being able to see the children I teach again (even if it is on a screen) has been truly magnificent.
Mrs Alex Kingsbury, Year 8 Form Tutor (cover)