Moving to online learning with not a single lesson lost
Thursday, 02 April 2020
On Friday, 13 March 2020, the announcement was made that all schools in Belgium must close in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
By Monday, 16 March 2020, International School of Flanders (ISF) learning started on-time, seamlessly and with not a single lesson lost. The only difference was it was all done digitally, with ISF Online Learning Protocol. ISF ensured that all students have access to a device to use, and the efficient Administration Team coordinated the loan and distribution of school devices to families who did not have sufficient devices at home for each child they have in the school. At ISF no child was left behind.
ISF’s dedicated team of experienced and highly qualified teachers spent the weekend working to ensure that a significant degree of normality would be present for the students and that their learning does not suffer as a result of school campuses closing. All lessons, from English to Mathematics to Music and even Physical Education, continue and students of all ages can follow their learning plan for the year. Even the Science classes continue to complete experiments and make hand-on discoveries.
The International School of Flanders is a Google for Education school, and the platform is established in all that the school carries out. This helped to make the transition from a physical to a digital environment easier. The lessons are not purely based upon students sitting in front of a screen and watching a YouTube video or completing worksheet, after worksheet, after worksheet. The teachers keep the lessons interactive, in real-time, and students even continue to collaborate on projects together!
“At ISF, our values are at the core of what we do and who we are. We actively teach them to our students, and the result was they are adaptable enough, mature enough, and resilient enough to have adopted the new learning methods relatively easily,” says Belinda Yates, Executive Head. “After all, if it were not for our students, whom we see as partners in their learning, our online learning would not be possible.”
Cobus Steyn, Executive Deputy Head remarks: “This is not about keeping students “occupied” for the duration of the lockdown. We are continuing with new content and concepts, and our teachers regularly monitor students to ensure that gains in knowledge are made, understood and solidified before moving to the next topic or unit. Our goal was to create and deliver a method of coping with campus closure which is meaningful, sustainable and allows students to progress.”
“I am impressed at how our Pre-school students have been able to continue to make great strides in their development with our online learning. Our teachers have provided vital structure and routine to our young learners and our parents have greatly appreciated the interactive learning and the daily support offered via our Google platform,” says Órla Mcloughlin, Head of Campus, Tervuren.
Parents are very appreciative of the efforts that the caring teaching team are making.
“We’re truly impressed that ISF is right on the curve on this – amazing that come Monday he was straight into school in a virtual fashion. Amazing.”
“We appreciate all of the patience, time and energy that ISF Waterloo school put into this online teaching program during this lockdown situation. The dynamic teaching style of the class teachers has made the students excited to learn, participate and have fun – even when the topic seems difficult to teach online. ISF has made a huge difference in the daily life of the students during this crisis period.”
“I have the utmost respect for the teaching staff who have evidently been given the right blend of empowerment and support to teach our children! Their calm and determined approach is everything we need in an otherwise unpredictable period of our lives.“
The International School of Flanders (ISF) consists of two campuses, one in Waterloo and the other in Tervuren. The school’s motto “Rich in Diversity, United by Values” was very evident when a school of over 60 nationalities came together during a time of crises and took care of what matters most: the future generation.
Please visit The International School of Flanders’s website and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account for more information. ISF caters to students aged 2½ – 18, and is a CIS Member School offering IPC, Cambridge IGCSE and A-Levels.