Online Learning at Hastings School

A new approach to teaching and learning is keeping us all connected and progressing

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One of our strengths lies in being part of the Cognita family. In terms of the educational and technological expertise available to us all, this has enabled us to make online teaching and learning a reality.

At Hastings School we have been able to adapt rapidly and successfully to the new situation, providing students and teachers with the necessary tools and resources to ensure rich online learning experiences and to help them stay connected.

This new era of learning is an excellent opportunity to boost the digital skills of students and teachers and further develop the use of technology across the school; an expertise which will continue to be used to great advantage when we are able to reopen our premises.

121 Devices Programme

Following our period of online learning during lockdown, we became convinced of the need for every student to have their own personal learning device. 

We are thrilled to announce that this term we are introducing our 121 Devices Programme where every pupil from Year 3 will receive their own personal device. The programme is fully funded by the school. This development promises to open up new methods of teaching, assessment and feedback, and to provide every student with greater ownership for their learning.

Benefits for the students

  • Personalised learning and differentiated instruction
  • Developed engagement, motivation, agency and ownership for learning
  • Enhanced collaboration skills
  • Full software and technical support by Cognita’s Digital Learning Team

For closer insight on why we are so excited about our digital learning developments, view this short video from Cognita Spain’s Digital Learning Advisor, Sabrina Espasandin.

What online learning looked like at Hastings School during lockdown

Curriculum

Our Online Teaching and Learning Programme was designed around the school’s existing curriculum, with all subjects being taught as when in school.

Timetable

The student’s day was organised following the current academic timetable with similar start and end times and allowing for the same break periods.

Tailored

We adapted the subject contents and group sizes to deliver them effectively via the online platforms, with our programme blending a mix of online and offline content and experiences.

Relations

Our online provision ensured daily live interactions between the students and teachers across all year groups.

Feedback

Teacher feedback and assessment was provided to ensure students understand how well they were doing and what they needed to do to improve.

Our approach to online education

Just like in class, we combined different types of activities to enrich the way in which the curriculum was taught, both in a synchronous format (the pupil and teacher participated at the same time) and in an asynchronous format (the pupils learnt without the teacher).  

Live Learning

To maintain human contact and interactions in online learning, synchronous sessions were carried out so that our pupils could connect with both their classmates and the teachers. This is what we call Synchronous Learning.

Pupils of all ages used Microsoft Teams. Each class and each year had their own team in Teams, and they regularly held videoconferences to receive live classes or even enjoy group assemblies.

Indepedent Learning

Either through explanatory videos from the teachers or previously designed activities, asynchronous learning allowed the pupils to advance at their own rate through the curricular content.

At Hastings School we already used different platforms depending on the necessities of each year. Tapestry is the learning diary used in Early Years and SeeSaw is used in Primary.

Also, both Secondary and the upper years of Primary learn through Century Tech: Artificial Intelligence-enabled online learning resource. 

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Teaching staff: the most valuable asset in our school

100% of the teachers were working remotely and continuing with the essential aspects of their job: setting clear, shared learning targets, delivering educational content, facilitating conceptual understanding, offering learning support to the pupils and, of course, monitoring progress and giving effective feedback.

Peer-to-peer learning and collaboration among teachers to share training and best practices was key during this period of online learning. And it’s an important element for the Continuous Professional Development of our teaching staff at Hastings during lockdown. As part of a large educational international group, our teachers have had the opportunity to continue their training thanks to a series of weekly webinars delivered by expert colleagues of Cognita schools in Spain.

Secundaria - Hastings School - Colegio inglés Madrid

The experience from the students' perspective

Students at the heart

At Cognita schools, students’ wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do.

Mental and physical wellbeing was key during this period. At Hastings School, our student support team is available for the whole school community offering all the necessary resources and assistance that may be needed.