Lockdown. A word that no teacher wants to hear. In fact, we would go as far as to say that a full daily Ofsted inspection would be preferable...(although knowing what an Ofsted inspection is like from years of experience that could be debateable). However, as with an Ofsten inspection, it is the response from the team of teachers and the school community that will see success achieved.
At ELC we always aim to promote a sense of community with our students. We like them to feel very much part of their learning process and that they can contribute positively to this. We believe that tutoring should go further than literacy and numeracy and should also incorporate a range of life skills. We are always keen to support them with building their self-belief and resilience; life skills that will serve them well as they move on to secondary school, university and then the 'big wide world'. Seem that the past month has been designed to try to test whether at ELC we are able to practice what we preach/teach...and touch would...we would like to think we have managed this.
Since the lockdown began we attempted to respond as quickly and as effectively as possible. We transferred our entire teaching platform virtually overnight into an online provision, and such has been the success of this that students' education has continued as before.
However, at the same time we also looked to respond proactively to the situation and with children being off school we aimed to fill the curriculum gaps with a range of our own free resources. This has resulted in students being provided with booster packs every school day and the impact of these has been significant in the mock 11+ tests that they have taken. Moreover, we have tried to do what we can as a small business to support our local community. The number of free lessons we have offered has increased dramatically, free 11+ test papers have been provided and the price of mock tests was halved.
Never ones to shy away from taking on additional responsibility though, we also established a virtual school. This has seen the provision of daily structured curriculum for children and also live lessons such as art, history and maths. One of the biggest highlights though has been the daily assemblies where children across Wirral gather to talk about their days, share stories of success and above all, enjoy laughter and speaking with others.
In a few months we are hoping to look back on this period as one that will never be repeated but that will also have taught us a lot about ourselves. The sense of community that has been built will long be remembered by us and we know that when schools return we will miss our daily dose of happiness from the children in the ELC virtual school.
For now though we will continue to provide the best quality resources that we are able to. Interesting comprehensions, maths puzzles, non-verbal reasoning challenges and verbal reasonings connundrums.