Belhaven Hill School

Co-ed Boarding & Day School for ages 5-13

Form 6's Online Journal

Form 6's Online Journal

Children, Teachers and Parents Team Up

No one can deny that lockdown has come with its difficulties that have affected people in many different ways. However, I do believe that it has taught us what we truly value in life. The idea of ‘Distance Learning’ was incredibly daunting for both teachers and children but it was also the parents who went on a steep learning curve to adjust to this new way of learning. Despite the distance, a wonderful closeness blossomed between teachers, parents and children alike, as we all relied on each other’s support to ensure we were providing the best education we could under these difficult circumstances.

All worries quickly subsided when the children logged onto Teams on the first January morning and I could see all their smiling faces and listened to their wonderful stories about their Christmas holidays. The children quickly adapted to working online and soon found that they were able to navigate Teams independently. It was important to continue teaching the curriculum but to introduce plenty of variety and practical activities to keep the learning fun.

Distance Learning during lockdown

The Topic for the term was Polar Explorers and the children looked into the lives of Sir Ernest Shackleton, Captain Scott and Sir Ranulph Fiennes, as well as learning all about the Arctic and the Antarctic. They produced fantastic diary entries on tea-stained paper that were then burned around the edges to give that true authentic feel. This topic continued on our return to school and we had a parent deliver a talk over Zoom about her adventures in the Arctic. They also wrote some wonderfully imaginative winter descriptions (helped by all the snowfall!), which they filmed and edited once they were back in the classroom.

Thursdays were our practical afternoons, which varied from cake making for fractions to exploding volcanoes and digging for fossil biscuits in science. These lessons felt a little more like a cookery show but with a very enthusiastic and active audience! This was my highlight each week as all the family took part and had great fun making their creations together.

Kitchen VolcanoFractions with baking

Adding to the variety in the week were the exciting art and DT lessons. This often required plenty of imagination to gather together bits and pieces from around the house to build the most wonderful artwork. In art, they were making reptiles and for DT they designed their dream bedrooms. I loved seeing how these progressed throughout the term and how proud they were of what they had made.

DT project

Class music lessons were another highlight for the children, whether they were collecting all sorts of cups, pots and other kitchen utensils to create instruments or learning how to write their own compositions in their music books.

Kitchen utensil music makingGuitar Practice

Outside of lessons, there were various sport challenges to take part in, including hockey, netball and distance events such as writing your name on a walk on Strava or cycling 10km. The children also took part in the Great Green Wall Challenge (one of our charities from the previous term), which involved completing a huge variety of activities, worth 25km each, to cross the 8000km length of the wall across Africa. They thoroughly enjoyed taking part in all the fun-filled activities and I understand that many of the parents particularly enjoyed the children learning to put on the washing, load the dishwasher and bake a cake! Some very popular choices were also den building, cleaning the car and making a three-course meal.

Washing the carPutting the wash on

We have all worked hard, had plenty of fun and made many special memories but there is no doubt that the children are delighted to be back together again!