Remote Learning at Greythorn Primary School

At the end of remote learning we had missed 29 school days in Foundation-2 area and 38 days in Year 3-6 area (that’s excluding the last week of school at the end of Term 1 – we closed for students on the Monday of the last week).

We intended to produce both synchronous (live teaching) and asynchronous (content available anytime) learning for all students at Greythorn.
Here are some statistics from Greythorn for that period.

Synchronous Learning (videoconferencing)

50 + Webex sessions per week including:

  • Classroom sessions every day
  • Most classes had smaller group (up to 5 students) sessions every day
  • EAL sessions 4 times a week
  • Learning Assistance Program 2 times a week
  • Education Support staff supporting individual students several times a day throughout the week

Asynchronous Learning:

  • Use of Seesaw in years F-2
  • Use of Google Classroom and Apps in year 3-6

Seesaw data over the 29 days of remote learning:

  • 21,194 posts

Google Data was unavailable.

We encouraged a strong emphasis on wellbeing during the entire period including:

  • Webex sessions emphasising wellbeing
  • The introduction of smaller group Webex sessions to support increased voice for students, as well as the opportunity to connect with friends
  • Whole schools videos (juggling, how teachers survive isolation news, dancing & assemblies)
  • Well Being Days – to allow students to catch up and/or enjoy connection to the school via some fun activities
  • Greythorn Isolation Movie (photos of Greythorn families in isolation) and Photoboard (in front of office)

Total Youtube data for whole school videos:

  • Over 5000 views 

What we learned from Remote Learning?

Adaptability – Everyone learnt how to adapt very quickly.  We had 3 curriculum days and the holidays to have everything tested and ready to go with learning tasks and videoconferencing. 

Video content – Every staff member created content specifically for their classroom and year level.  In the case of Seesaw, on a platform not used before, so that was a very steep learning curve.  The idea that the content was in many cases describing the learning was probably new to most people.  In other words, simply providing text as instruction was limited, so the use of video to describe the learning was widespread.  This highlights the intent of teachers to make the learning as accessible as possible for as many of the students as possible.  There was also a clear intent to keep the content engaging for the students.  

Many staff members became proficient in the use of video editing such as iMovie and Movie Maker.

Feedback – explicit feedback was given to almost every task undertaken during the remote learning period.  In years 3-6 it was often via Google Classroom discussions and in Seesaw it was via likes, and either written and/or verbal comments.  We also received a great deal of feedback from parents during the remote learning period that enabled us to nuance our programs.  Some of these nuances were smaller group Webex sessions, less text when giving instructions, not too many tasks and a focus on wellbeing.

Focusing on simplicity – Staff continued to focus on the idea of simplicity in learning task design thus making the tasks accessible.  Meanwhile there was usually scope in the tasks to go further for the students that found the tasks easier.

Working cohesively – Teams had to work together in the most unusual of circumstances in order to create the content for the learning.  Teams continued to meet, plan together and collaborate in order to produce the learning sequences. 

We continued to meet as a staff collective every week, the curriculum level teams met to plan, the level team leaders met and leadership continued to meet throughout this period.

Duncan Exton
Assistant Principal